10 Best Medical Colleges in The World

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Five medical students wearing scrubs as they walk inside the lobby of a medical school

It is common knowledge that pursuing a profession in the area of the medical sciences is beneficial, both in terms of one’s social standing and one’s financial situation. Many students have the goal of attending the best medical colleges because they believe it offers the most superior education in the medical sciences.

It might be very challenging to discover which universities throughout the world provide the greatest medical programs. In this piece, we are going to talk about the best medical colleges in the world, where one should strive to gain admission to get their medical career off to a good start and have the best chance of being a successful doctor. The prestige of the college, its acceptance rate, funding, research activities, graduation rates, and other factors were used to compile this list.

What are the best medical colleges in the world?

What are the best medical colleges in the world? The answer to this question is not as simple as it may first appear. The answer is not objective because it is dependent on how we understand the word “best.” Each of the prestigious educational institutions that follow is listed below.

Utilize this list as a starting point for your research to choose which of the many medical schools is the most suitable for you.

10 best medical colleges in the world

1. Harvard Medical School, Harvard University, Boston- USA

It was founded in 1782 as the graduate medical school of Harvard University, making it not only one of the oldest but also one of the most prestigious medical schools in the United States and the entire globe. It is consistently ranked first for its research effort among all the medical schools in the United States News & World Report.

harvard street sign


The QS World University Ranking 2023 placed Harvard Medical School at the top of the list of the best medical schools in the world. This ranking was based on the school’s excellent academic reputation. Its trainees and faculty have been involved in several significant public health and medical advances, including immunization against smallpox, the discovery of insulin as a treatment for diabetes, the first use of anesthetic to reduce pain during surgery, and many more.

HMS will consider applications from international students who have completed the necessary coursework and have attended and graduated from an accredited university in either Canada or the United States for a minimum of one academic year.

2. University of Oxford Medical School, Oxford- UK

One of the oldest medical institutions on the list, it was established in 1096, making it one of the oldest schools overall. It offers one of the most all-encompassing curriculums found anywhere in the globe. It is one of the world’s most comprehensive medical education programs and features many distinct departments.

Front view of an Oxford University building - included in the list of best medical colleges - with several students sitting on the grass communing with each other

It is intended for graduates who have received education in the experimental or applied sciences and provides a rigorous medical education over the course of four years. According to the 2019 rankings published by Times Higher Education, the Oxford University Medical School is the best in the world. According to the QS World Ranking 2023, Oxford University Medical School holds the number two spot on the list of the best medical colleges in the world.

3. Stanford Medicine, Stanford University, California- USA

Although Stanford is well recognized for its connections to Silicon Valley and is sometimes referred to as the “Billionaire Factory,” the university’s medical school is also quite well-known. The medical department of the University of the Pacific was formed in 1858, which is where the origins of the Stanford University School of Medicine can be traced back.

View of Stanford University building at night

The School of Medicine at Stanford University was not founded until 1908, however. The Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Stanford Health Care, and the School of Medicine all come together to form what is known as Stanford Medicine. It maintains a consistent position inside the top five best medical schools in the world rankings.

It was ranked third in the world by QS in 2021, putting it in third overall. The American Medical College Application Service is the organization through which prospective students can apply to Stanford Medicine.

4. Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Baltimore- USA

John Hopkins, a successful businessman, and philatelist from the United States, is honored with the naming of JHUSOM. In 1893, it first opened its doors to customers. This medical school at this university is dedicated to research, and the university invests more money into research than any other academic institution in the United States. The Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and the Johns Hopkins Hospital are on the same campus as the School of Medicine at Johns Hopkins.

The Johns Hopkins hospital.

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, School of Medicine, has been lauded as having the potential to become the Best Medical School 2021 by CEO World Magazine. Scholarships are provided by this medical school as well, and eligibility requirements include a demonstration of financial need and the availability of money designated for the award year. This medical school may claim a connection to around 18 Nobel laureates among its staff and alumni.

5. University of Cambridge, Cambridge- UK

The School of Clinical Medicine is the name of the medical school of the University of Cambridge. It was founded in 1976, but its history can be traced back to the reign of Henry VIII during the 1540s. It is widely considered to be among the most prominent medical schools in both the United Kingdom and the rest of the globe.

The Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine puts an emphasis on education that is oriented toward the patient. This medical school offers a Doctor of Medicine (MD) program that is six years long; upon successful completion of the first three years, the student is awarded a BA degree; upon successful completion of all six years, the student is awarded two degrees: the Bachelor of Medicine degree and the Bachelor of Surgery degree.

In addition to this, it is home to the beautiful Cambridge University Botanic Garden, which is a pleasure to behold. According to the results of the QS Globe Ranking 2021, it is the fourth-best medical school in the entire world.

6. UCL Medical School, University College London, London- UK

The University College London Medical Institution is one of the largest and most prestigious medical schools in the United Kingdom. Each year, the school admits 334 students into its undergraduate MBBS program. University College London is the result of the merger of six different medical colleges, the first of which was founded in 1746.

The UCL Medical School is the most recent addition to the institution, having only been founded in 2008. The University College of London prides itself on being an intellectual powerhouse and a diverse community.

It is widely recognized as the best university in the UK in terms of the quality of its research. They provide a total of 675 different postgraduate, research, and basic teacher education programs across a wide range of subject areas. Because of this, members of their community are encouraged to work on both contemporary and traditional topics. Additionally, University College London provides the most comprehensive selection of integrated BSc opportunities.

7. Karolinska Institute Solna- Sweden

The Karolinska Institute, sometimes known as the Caroline Institute (in English), was founded between the years 1817 and 1968 in Solna, which is located within the metropolitan region of Stockholm, Sweden. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is bestowed annually by the Nobel Assembly, which is housed in the Karolinska Institute.

The QS world rating for 2021 places it in sixth place overall. It has made the study of medicine and the human body its primary focus. It enjoys a widespread reputation for cutting-edge research and its innovative spirit.

It adheres to the model in which faculty members split their time between conducting research and teaching; doing so helps to ensure that both students and faculty members are aware of the most recent advancements in the fields of physiology and medicine.

8. Imperial College of Medicine, London- UK

The Chelsea and Westminster, Charing Cross, St. Mary’s, and Hammersmith medical schools were among the several that merged to establish the undergraduate medical school known as Imperial College School of Medicine. One of the Imperial College London hospitals also serves as the institution’s medical school. Imperial College London is located in London, England.

Front view of Imperial College London with foot traffic at the front of the building

It is a component of the medical school’s educational program at the college. According to the results of the Times Higher Education World University ranking for 2022, this particular medical school comes in at number three in the world for medicine. To be considered for admission to Imperial College’s medical program, applicants must first demonstrate their qualifications by passing the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) during the year they submit their application.

9. David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles- USA

The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA is the name of the medical school that serves the Los Angeles area (University of California Los Angeles). It is a medical school in the United States that has been granted accreditation.

It was established in 1951, but in 2001 it was renamed in honor of media billionaire David Geffen, who had donated $200 million in cash that may be used for any purpose. After the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, this medical school is the second one in the University of California system.

It currently holds the seventh spot of the best medical colleges in the world. In addition to that, exceptional students can participate in the Medical Scientist Training Program, which is a concurrent degree program. Some of them might have their schooling supported financially by the National Institutes of Health in the form of a stipend in addition to having their tuition and fees covered by the NIH.

10. University of California, San Francisco- USA

Founded in 1864, the University of California—San Francisco (UCSF) is a distinguished public institution focusing on health sciences. Exclusively offering graduate-level programs, UCSF spans San Francisco through three main campuses: Parnassus, Mission Bay, and Mount Zion. With over 3,000 students enrolled in a recent year, UCSF provides exceptional education.

While tuition costs are higher for non-California residents, the university ensures convenient student housing near the Parnassus and Mission Bay campuses. Operating on a quarter-based academic calendar, UCSF houses four professional schools—dentistry, medicine, nursing, and pharmacy—along with a graduate division. This division presents a variety of master’s and doctoral programs, certificates, and a notable physical therapy program.

UC San Francisco Medical Center

UCSF is recognized for its exceptional healthcare facilities. The renowned UCSF Medical Center, a teaching hospital, boasts high rankings across various specialties. The university’s medical affiliations extend to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, UCSF Dental Center, and San Francisco VA Medical Center.

With a strong emphasis on research, UCSF secures substantial funding from the National Institutes of Health, surpassing all other public schools in the U.S. It fosters global collaborations, partnering with influential entities like Pfizer, GE Healthcare, Kenya Medical Research Institute, and Aga Khan Health Services–Tanzania. The university’s language of instruction is English, making it an international hub for cutting-edge education and research.

How do I get admission to a medical college?

Most medical schools on the list have rigorous admissions criteria, as evidenced by the fact that only 3.3% of applicants are accepted at some of the schools. In most cases, the medical college website is an excellent place to start when compiling an exhaustive list of requirements for medical school.

The prerequisites for US medical colleges

  • A medical degree is considered a second-entry degree in the United States. It indicates that you won’t be able to start a bachelor’s program in medicine right now.
  • A four-year degree in science or a closely related field at the undergraduate level (which lasts for 3-4 years). Biology and chemistry are two of the most common options for students to choose from during their undergraduate scientific studies.
  • A grade point average of at least 3.0
  • Respectable results on the TOEFL.
  • Taking the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a must.
  • At least one year of experience working in the healthcare industry, preferably in a research or community setting.
  • An applicant essay.
  • Two letters of recommendation (recommended reading)

Some medical schools have additional criteria, such as a certificate demonstrating that the applicant has completed one year of laboratory work in either chemistry or biology.

Prerequisites for medical colleges in the UK

On the other hand, things are, as one might expect, a little bit different in the United Kingdom.

UK medical colleges require:

  • Possession of an International Baccalaureate diploma with a minimum score of 37 points and a foundation in three advanced disciplines, such as chemistry and biology. In addition to that, an A level is necessary (AAA includes chemistry and one other science subject – math, biology, or psychology).
  • A score on the IELTS of at least 7.5 out of 9.
  • A passing score on the UCAT is also required for admission to medical school in the United Kingdom; however, the weight that each university gives this score in the admissions process varies.
  • In addition to the common requirements of submitting a Statement of Purpose and Letters of Recommendation, institutions in the UK typically require you to complete one or more interviews.
  • Admission Work experience in the medical sector is given a significant amount of weight by the boards at these medical colleges. It illustrates the applicable skill set and the moral fortitude required to become a physician. Students can demonstrate their ownership attitude, the feeling of responsibility, and communication skills by gaining practical work experience, which also reflects their ability to collaborate effectively in a group setting.

When should you apply to medical school?

When should you apply to medical school? You should submit an application only when you believe you have one that can compete favorably with others. Do not be in a hurry to submit your application. Because getting into the best medical schools is so difficult, it is entirely appropriate to wait until after graduation to work on improving any areas of your application that may need improvement.

It is in your best interest to get your application in as soon as possible if you want to give yourself the best possible opportunity of being accepted.

group of medical students sitting and communing at the staircase

Before settling on any option, having all the relevant facts at your disposal is essential. This blog has assisted you in coming to a more informed conclusion about the best medical colleges you should apply to. AdmissionSight is always here to assist you if you have any questions or concerns. We have more than ten years of expertise assisting students in successfully navigating the challenging admissions process.

Consult with AdmissionSight and find out what we can do to help you get into the school of your choice by ensuring that you are sufficiently aware and well-prepared for the application process.


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