The Stanford University School of Medicine is one of the world’s best medical schools. Although the school proper was started in 1908, it has its roots as the University of the Pacific’s Medical Department, which was established in San Francisco in 1858.
Throughout its over 150-year history, Stanford Med has produced some of the greatest medical minds the world has ever known.
Stanford Med has been so successful thanks in part to the first-class resources it enjoys. The school partners with several prestigious hospitals, including Stanford Health Care and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.
Stanford Health Care regularly sits among the top five ranked hospitals in the state of California. With a level-I trauma center and 620 beds, Stanford Health Care provides students with ample opportunity to work with a wide variety of patients.
A level-I pediatric trauma center, the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital is nationally ranked and renowned for its notable resources. With 361 beds and outstanding resources, Packard allows students to work hands-on with some of the most pressing pediatric concerns.
Beyond these elements, Stanford Med boasts one of the most outstanding faculty offerings in the world. Current teachers include Thomas C. Südhof, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, and National Medal of Science winner Lucy Shapiro.
With such amazing teachers and resources, Stanford Med is unquestionably an excellent medical school.
But is it the right choice for you?
Stanford Medical School Acceptance Rate
In 2021 alone, 6800 future doctors applied to study at Stanford Medical. Out of that group, admissions counselors accepted only 2.2%. That means 6,648 of those applicants were rejected.
That’s an enormous number, so let’s scale it down to get perspective. Out of 100 students, only two will be accepted into the program. Very rarely, a third student will make it in.
Without question, those are intimidating numbers. Medical schools tend to be more exclusive than even the most elite schools in the United States.
Only 3.4% of those who applied to Harvard in 2021 were accepted, and only 4.3% of Princeton applicants made it in.
While that’s certainly scary, it’s important to look on the positive side.
Yes, 6,648 students get rejected each year, but 153 get accepted. That number should remind you that Stanford Med certainly wants to bring students into the program, but it wants the right students.
To increase your chances of being among that chosen number, you need to make yourself into the right type of student.
That process begins by getting the grades that Stanford wants to see in their students (more on that later). But also focus on getting good letters of recommendation, impressive extracurriculars, and a compelling application essay.
Stanford Medical School Tuition
Everybody knows that it isn’t cheap to go to medical school. Part of the reason that it costs so much to visit a doctor is that the physicians and nurses who are tending to patients spend a lot of money getting the expertise they need.
Geffen Med is no exception to this rule. For the first year of medical school, students living in an off-campus apartment should plan to pay $83,182 in total expenses.
That’s $25,274 for room and board, nearly $5,000 each for transportation and books and supplies, $2,625 for miscellaneous expenses, and $45,306 for tuition.
Without question, that’s a lot of money. But there are a few modifiers that can change things. No matter what, you’ll pay $45,306 each year for tuition. Nothing will change that.
However, the cost of books and supplies will drop over the next few years, to the point where you’ll only need to pay $570 for year four. Moreover, living with a friend or finding alternative transportation options, such as biking or carpooling, can change your expenses by a great deal.
Also, it’s important to look at these costs next to charges from other schools of equal quality. For example, at Stanford Med, students can plan on paying over $62,000 each year for tuition, books, and other costs. There are, of course, modifiers that can bring that total down, but it’s clear that great schools are very expensive.
Stanford Medical School Requirements
As you read earlier, it’s very difficult to get into Stanford Med. Thousands apply each year, and only 153 make it in.
If you’re still reading this far, you probably want to know what you can do to be among those 153 future doctors.
You probably know the first step toward acceptance: get good grades. Students entering Stanford Med have an average GPA of 3.89.
That grade point average comes only from getting A’s in most undergraduate classes, especially in the STEM courses that will lead directly into your medical career.
Like most medical schools, Stanford Med requires applicants to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).
The MCAT is a standardized test that measures competencies and skills developed during undergraduate studies.
Over the core of its four sections, the MCAT asks students about biological systems, analysis and reasoning skills, biochemistry, and the foundations of behavior.
Because the MCAT covers such crucial information, Stanford Med expects only the best from its applicants.
The average student accepted into Stanford Med has an MCAT score of 519. That’s on the higher end of most medical school requirements, but equal to other elite schools. Students at Harvard Med and Duke Med have an average MCAT of 519, while Johns Hopkins students have an average grade of 518.
With these strong grades, accompanied by impressive application materials such as a good letter of recommendation and a compelling application letter, you’ll have the best chance of acceptance.
Stanford Medical School Notable Alumni
Stanford medical has earned its prestigious reputation not just on the strength of its research and name. The school has produced some of the biggest names in the medical field, doctors who have advanced our understanding of the human body.
After graduating from Stanford Med in 1965, Irving Weissman pioneered methods of identifying stem cells. His work has earned him several awards and elections to the National Academy of Sciences.
Currently, Dr. Weissman serves as one of the directors of the Stanford Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine.
Graduate Randall Griepp collaborated in the United States’ first successful heart transplant. Griepp’s research has earned him approximately $8 million in grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Currently, he serves as a professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.
In addition to these outstanding doctors, Stanford Med has graduated luminaries in other fields. 2009 graduate Cheri Blauwet has established herself as a respected medical professional and academic, but she’s best known for her achievements as a Paralympic wheelchair racer.
Blauwet has earned multiple medals, including a silver in the 100-meter race in 2000 and a gold in the 800-meter race in 2004.
As these examples demonstrate, Stanford Medical prepares its students for excellence no matter which career path they choose.
Stanford Medical School Ranking
Stanford University is one of the world’s most famous schools, so it is no surprise that the medical school would be equally well-known. But the quality of a higher learning institution isn’t determined by its popularity. It’s things like faculty and research that matter.
By those standards, nearly every observing outlet in the world places Stanford Med within the top ten medical schools. These sites praise the school for the quality of its faculty, for the innovations it introduced, and for the consistent job placement of its graduates.
But more than any other outlet, the U.S. News & World Report annual lists are the most trusted. Thanks to the magazine’s thorough research and complex decision metrics, the site has become the gold standard for ranking schools.
Those respected processes have all found that Stanford Med is an excellent school. U.S. News places Stanford at number 22 on its list of top schools for primary care, and it puts the school in fourth place on its list of top schools for research. The site also places Stanford in the top ten for psychiatry, surgery, radiology, and more.
As its name suggests, U.S. News focuses on the United States, but the ranking site topuniversities.com covers the entire world. But even with more competition, Stanford Med ranks near the top.
Stanford Med falls in fourth place on topuniversities.com’s rankings, beaten only by Harvard in the U.S. and Oxford and Cambridge in the UK. The site gives the school high marks for its reputation as an employer and an academic institution, its faculty-to-student ratio, and its many citations in scholarly journals.
Should You Attend Stanford Medical School?
As you’ve read throughout this article, few medical schools are as impressive as Stanford Med. Since the school’s founding over a century ago, it has changed the face of medicine.
Researchers and graduates of Stanford Med have been responsible for some of the most important medical breakthroughs, improving patients’ lives worldwide.
Alumni of Stanford Med include innovative scientists, caring medical professionals, learned scholars, and everything in between. If that sounds like the type of career you want to pursue, then Stanford Med is absolutely the school for you.
But be warned – it won’t be easy.
As we saw earlier, Stanford is also one of the most exclusive schools globally. Thousands of people apply every year for admission, and only a tiny fraction actually make it in. Because it sits atop most of the ranking lists, Stanford Med can pick and choose its students, and it only chooses the best.
It takes a lot of work to earn the GPA and MCAT scores needed to catch the attention of the admissions counselors. It takes even more work to meet the demands of Stanford Med, should you be accepted.
If that idea fills you with more excitement than fear, then Stanford Med is a great choice. It’s a first-rate school that demands the best of its students. But in return, it promises to make you into a brilliant and creative medical professional.