How to get into Harvard Medical School?

July 27, 2022
By AdmissionSight

How to get into Harvard Medical School?

How to get into Harvard Medical School? There are a lot of students who, still in the pre-med stage, have their sights set on attending the number one medical school in the country, and the reason why should not come as a surprise to anyone.

The admissions process at Harvard Medical School is notoriously challenging but ultimately well worth the trouble. The grade point average and Medical College Admission Test score criteria may appear to be insurmountable, but the curriculum is cutting-edge and will prepare you for a future in medicine like no other program can.

Old Harvard building at sunset.

Where exactly is the Harvard Medical School located? And how competitive is the admissions process to the Harvard Medical School? The answers to these issues and others will be provided in the comprehensive guide that we will discuss today. We will cover the acceptance rate at Harvard Medical School as well as the prerequisites that you need to fulfill in order to even be considered.

It is not impossible to enroll in Harvard Medical School, despite the fact that admission is competitive. Continue reading if this is the prestigious educational institution of your choice so that you can learn more about the admissions process.

Programs in Medicine Offered at Harvard University’s Medical School

At Harvard Medical School, students interested in pursuing a traditional medical degree have two distinct entry points to choose from. The first option is referred to as Pathways. The second approach is referred to as “Health Sciences and Technology” (HST). Let’s take a look at each one individually on how to get into Harvard Medical School?

A notebook with a stethoscope in a table.

Early clinical experience and exposure to population science are two essential components of the Pathways curriculum. The Pathways program places a strong emphasis on “pedagogical approaches” that “promote active learning.” An academic project will also need to be finished by you.

The Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have collaborated to form a company known as Health Sciences & Technology, or HST for short (MIT). Students who wish to pursue careers in biomedical research, physical science, or molecular science are the target audience for HST.

The “quantitative comprehension of modern biomedical sciences and pathophysiologic processes” is the primary focus of this particular program.

Pathways

The following is an outline of the coursework for Pathways:

You’ll start off the first year with courses in the Foundations:

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics
  • The Study of Child Development
  • A First Look at the Human Body
  • Histology
  • Pharmacology
  • Pathology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology

The Disease and Immunity in Defense courses immediately follow one another:

  • Dermatology
  • Rheumatology
  • Allergy
  • Immunology

The Homeostasis I and II sections are up next:

  • Cardiovascular
  • Respiratory
  • Hematology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Renal
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology Related to Reproduction

During the first year of medical school, you will put what you’ve learned into practice by participating in the Practice of Medicine. This involves giving presentations, taking tests, and getting some clinical experience. In addition, there are two weeks dedicated to professional development.

You will advance to Year 2 once you have successfully completed the first year.

Year 2 Curriculum

The Art and Science of Medicine

  • Neuroscience
  • Psychopathology

The beginning of the Primary Clinical Observational Experience

  • Clinical Skills / OSCE
  • Clinical Anatomy
  • Imaging
  • Clinical Epidemiology and Professional Responsibility in Medicine
  • A Way of Life in the Wards
  • Addiction
  • Human Development

After you have finished your preclinical education, you will officially start your clerkships. You are required to take the following classes:

  • Medicine
  • Neurology
  • OB/GYN
  • Pediatrics
  • A Primary Point of Care
  • Psychiatry
  • Radiology
  • Surgery

Your remaining time during your sophomore year of medical school will be spent participating in these clerkships.

Year 3 Curriculum

You will continue to be immersed in clerkships throughout the first portion of Year 3 of the program. As soon as you’ve finished everything, you’ll go on to the Advanced Clinical and Science Experiences.

You will also start studying for the USMLE Step 1 exam and take it no later than December 31 of Year 3. In addition to completing a scholarly project, you will participate in Advanced Integrated Science Courses. In addition to this, you will participate in clinical rotations and subinternships to further your education.

Year 4 Curriculum

You will take the USMLE Step 2 CK exam in the beginning of the fourth year of medical school (no later than December 31st). You’ll also complete a Clinical Capstone experience. Your enrollment in the Advanced Integrated Science Courses will not be interrupted in any way by any of this.

After completing all of these lessons, you will be able to graduate from the Pathways program at Harvard Medical School and become a licensed medical practitioner.

The fields of Health Science and Technology (HST)

The HST program opens off Year 1 with the Growth of Physician Scientists presentation (GPS). The following academic pursuits will be available to you during this time:

  • Biostatistics
  • Matlab for the Medical Profession
  • A First Crash Course in Biochemistry
  • Anatomy
  • Pathology
  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Genetics

Diagnostics at the molecular level and bioinformatics

  • An Overview of the Care Given to Patients
  • Hematology
  • Endocrinology
  • The Pathophysiology of the Cardiovascular System
  • Pathophysiology of the Respiratory System
  • Pathophysiology of the Kidneys
  • The Pathophysiology of the Muscles

After you have finished these classes, you will be initiated into the Research phase of HST and given the opportunity to participate in it. Your research will carry on into the second year, during which you will take the following classes:

  • Microbiology
  • The Biological Aspects of Human Reproduction
  • Gastroenterology
  • Neuroscience
  • Epidemiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychopathology
  • A Step Into the World of Clinical Medicine

The majority of Year 3 is devoted to Principal Clinical Experience, along with Core Clerkships in the following areas:

  • Medicine
  • Neurology
  • OB/GYN
  • Pediatrics
  • A Primary Point of Care
  • Psychiatry
  • Radiology
  • Surgery

You will start Advanced Clinical & Science Experiences during the end of the third year of your program. You’ll also have until the 31st of December to complete the USMLE Step 1 exam (of your third year).

The Advanced Clinical and Science Experiences that were begun in Year 3 will continue into Year 4, where they left off in Year 3. In addition to this, you will be required to take the USMLE Step 2 CK exam and complete a clinical capstone that lasts one month.

As can be seen, the Pathways routes and the HST routes are distinct from one another. It all boils down to what you want to study and what kind of medical practice you envision yourself having in the future.

Combined Degrees

The combined degrees of Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy

This initiative is made possible by a collaboration between Harvard Medical School and MIT, and it is supported financially by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Medical Scientist Training Program educates students to become physician-scientists who are able to conduct research in the laboratory and provide medical care to patients.

Medical students listening to a teacher.

One of the primary objectives of the MD/PhD program is to educate medical professionals from all subspecialties in a variety of research fields, including “basic and translational sciences, bioengineering, and the social sciences.” The program’s mission statement states that it aims to “train the next generation of premier and diverse physician-scientist leaders.”

The curriculum for the MSTP takes a total of eight years to complete, which isn’t too awful considering that you will graduate with both a medical doctorate and a doctorate in philosophy. The following is what will be covered in class:

Year 1

  • Participation in a Research Internship and Summer Class
  • An Exposition to the Workings of the Profession
  • Biostatistics
  • Matlab for the Medical Profession
  • A First Crash Course in Biochemistry
  • Anatomy
  • Pathology
  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Diagnostics
  • Bioinformatics
  • The Increasing Number of Physician Scientists
  • Foundational Components of the Profession
  • A Foundation in Biomedical Engineering Principles
  • An Overview of the Care Given to Patients
  • Hematology
  • Endocrinology
  • The Pathophysiology of the Cardiovascular System
  • Pathophysiology of the Respiratory System
  • Pathophysiology of the Kidneys
  • Pathophysiology of the Musculoskeletal System

Year 2

  • Research
  • Microbiology
  • The Biological Aspects of Human Reproduction
  • Gastroenterology
  • Neuroscience

You will submit your application to graduate schools both while you are taking these classes and after you have finished them.

  • Epidemiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychopathology
  • A Step Into the World of Clinical Medicine

Years 3-5

You will begin studying for the USMLE Step 1 and will take the exam during your third year. After that, you will devote the balance of the year to completing coursework for graduate school, participating in research rotations, and conducting research for your thesis.

Research on your thesis will continue throughout the fourth and fifth years of your program.

Year 6

You will finish the research for your thesis as well as any requirements it may have. Following that, you will participate in a course titled “Reintroduction to Clinical Medicine” as well as “Principal Clinical Experience.”

Year 7

During the year that is your second-to-last one in the MD/PhD program, you will return to the MD portion of the curriculum. You’ll be doing clerkships in the following areas:

  • Medicine
  • Neurology
  • OB/GYN
  • Pediatric
  • A Primary Point of Care
  • Psychiatry
  • Radiology
  • Surgery

After you have finished all of your required core clerkships, you will move on to more advanced clerkships. These are the elective classes, which mean that you have the freedom to pick and choose which classes you want to attend in order to fulfill the necessary number of credit hours.

Year 8

Your final year in the MD/PhD program finishes with more advanced clerkships, USMLE Step CK 2 and a Clinical Capstone that lasts for a month.

Graduate degrees include a Doctor of Medicine / Master of Academic Discipline.

It is possible to earn both of these degrees in just five years. After finishing the third year of the medical school program, you will take a break to finish the Master of Academic Discipline course of study, which will take a total of 36 credit hours to complete.

Both the Master of Bioethics and the Master of Biomedical Informatics degree programs provide students with the opportunity to earn this degree option.

Dual degrees in medicine and business administration are also common (Doctor of Medicine / Master of Business Administration).

In order to award this degree, students at Harvard University will need to complete coursework from both the Harvard Medical School and the Harvard Business School. The purpose of this combined program is to provide medical professionals with training in both medicine and business, thereby empowering them to confidently assume leadership roles within the medical industry.

A focus on economics also helps physicians guide their patients through the various therapy options available to them.

Master Medical Science /Doctor of Medicine

In addition to its Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree, Harvard also confers a Master of Medical Science degree. As part of this dual-degree option, you will also finish the MMSc portion of your studies after the third year.

Unidentified person studying using medical books in a library.

To acquire a Master of Medical Science degree, you will need to complete a total of 56 credit hours. These 56 credits include a requirement for a mentored research component of 32 credits. This initiative may have ties to clinical inquiry, immunology, the delivery of healthcare in developing countries, or medical education.

Combining a medical degree with a master’s in public health

This dual degree is offered through a collaboration between the Harvard Medical School and the Harvard Chan School of Public Health. Students who are interested in public health or preventative medicine might consider pursuing this degree because it is structured in the same manner as the other dual-degree programs.

The combined degrees are Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Policy

This option is made available through a collaboration between the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Harvard Medical School. This is an excellent choice for you to consider if you want to work in policy or build and expand public health programs in the future.

Students looking at a laptop while being instructed by a teacher.

While it is possible to achieve a Master of Public Health degree on its own, obtaining a dual degree in medicine and public health will enable you to practice medicine while also gaining experience in the study of public health concerns.

A significant number of graduates find employment in a variety of fields, including state and local governments, international organizations, nonprofit institutions, large service delivery organizations, and research centers.

Where is Harvard Medical School located?

Where is Harvard Medical School Located? The main campus of Harvard Medical School can be found at 25 Shattuck Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02115. This address serves as the institution’s mailing address.

How to get into Harvard Medical School is via Longwood Avenue, which intersects with the avenue Louis Pasteur at a point that’s both convenient and direct, is the way to go if you want to get to the university as quickly as possible.

Harvard medical school building with a fountain and a signage.

You can visit the website of Harvard Medical School if you would like to obtain additional information such as maps, directions, and other helpful information that will assist you in making your way to the Longwood/Boston Campus.

How hard is it to get into Harvard Medical School?

How hard is it to get into Harvard Medical School? If you are thinking about how to get into Harvard Medical School, it is absolutely necessary for you to become familiar with the criteria that are used to select students for admission to its Medical School.

Several examples of them are as follows:

  • Full-year of Inorganic Chemistry with Laboratory Instruction (AP credit will satisfy one semester)
  • Full academic year of Organic Chemistry with Laboratory
  • Full-year of Biology with Laboratory
  • One academic year of biochemistry.
  • One academic semester of biostatistics and statistics.

Calculus for one academic year (a score of four or five on the Advanced Placement exam is sufficient to fulfill the requirement) (HST applicants should enroll in higher-level math classes)

A course in physics, preferably one that includes a lab (HST applicants should take calculus-based physics)

One year devoted to writing (humanities or social sciences)

The Proportion of Students Accepted at Harvard Medical School (2021-2022)

The admission rate for the most recent cohort to enter Harvard Medical School, which will take place in 2020-2021, was 2.7%. This number does not change significantly from one year to the next.

The following is a breakdown of the data:

  • The number of medical school applications received by Harvard was 8,002.
  • A total of 851 interviews were done for the medical school at Harvard.
  • Harvard University selected 222 applications for further consideration, which is 26 percent of all applicants interviewed.
  • The number of students applying to medical school was 164.
  • The percentage of applicants that are accepted at Harvard Medical School is 2.7% overall.

Students from other countries and states are welcome to apply to Harvard.

Even though it might not be immediately apparent, the academic success of applicants is highly valued and expected at Harvard Medical School. Therefore, if you want to go to Harvard, you need to make sure that the material you take as an undergraduate is as challenging as it can possibly be.

It is important to keep in mind that the numbers that represent Harvard’s admission rate are averages. It’s not necessary to have a 4.0 GPA and a flawless score on the MCAT to get into Harvard. The information for accepted students is presented below.

Harvard Medical School Average MCAT (2022) (2022)

  • The typical score on the MCAT is 520. (range 513-525)

Grade Point Average at Harvard Medical School (2022)

  • Average GPA – 3.94 (range 3.74 – 4.0)
  • Average BCPM GPA – 3.95 (range 3.69 – 4.0)

Letters of Recommendation are required for Admission to Harvard

According to the website for Harvard Medical School, applicants are permitted to submit up to six letters of recommendation. The following information must be included in each letter:

  • They should have at least two (2) letters from professors in the sciences with whom they have taken classes who can attest to their academic ability.
  • There should be at least one (1) letter written by a professor whose area of expertise is not in the sciences.
  • We should obtain letters from all research supervisors for applicants to the MD-PhD program along with applications to the MD program. These letters are required for both programs.
  • Applicants have the opportunity to submit more than the maximum of six (6) letters if the additional letters come from research supervisors.
  • Applicants who wish to augment a premedical advisory committee evaluation packet with additional letters of recommendation should note that the packet itself counts as one (1) letter toward the maximum of six (6) letters that can be submitted.
  • Although we do not ask applicants to provide letters of recommendation from previous employers, those who have been out of school for some time and are currently working should have a letter sent from their current place of employment.

The Work and the Activities of Harvard Medical School

There is no requirement for you to submit a CV or resume on how to get into Harvard Medical School. Instead, you will be required to submit an application through the centralized AMCAS system, which will require you to talk about your accomplishments in depth.

Three asian students looking at a laptop.

These so-called “work and activities entries,” as they are sometimes referred to, are transmitted to Stanford, in addition to any other medical schools to which you apply via AMCAS.

You should be aware of the following information regarding the work and activities associated with the AMCAS.

The AMCAS job and activity submissions provide you with the opportunity to showcase to prospective medical schools all that you have been up to throughout your premedical years.

  1. In this portion of the AMCAS application, candidates have the chance to create up to 15 activity descriptions, each of which can be up to 700 characters long.
  2. After that, you can choose three of those activities to be the most meaningful ones, which will allow you an additional 1325 characters to elaborate on the activity.

We encourage you to make the most of this opportunity by providing as much detail as you can about your duties, responsibilities, the insights you acquired, and what you have learned as a result of the experience. You should also write in length about the impact you have made via the event, sometimes known as the “difference” you have made.

Taking your time when writing these essays is another piece of advice that we have for you. Get a head start on your application by starting it well in advance. You’ll be able to channel your energy into producing quality essays if you do it this way.

In addition, AdmissionSight is available to assist you in any way that we can. AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process to get accepted to the top universities in the world. Every day, we provide assistance to pre-med students just like you. We are able to help you come up with ideas for your essay, go over what you’ve already written, and proofread the finished product.

The Admissions Process at Harvard Medical School

When considering how to get into Harvard Medical School or any other extremely competitive medical school, the most important thing you can do for yourself is to have involvements that are profound, long-standing, and meaningful. These involvements should be ones in which you have made significant contributions and achieved exceptional levels of success.

Medical students using a microscope in the laboratory.

In the end, Harvard will always seek individuals who demonstrate a significant potential to become influential leaders in the medical field. Therefore, if you want to differentiate yourself during the admissions process for Harvard Medical School and assume that you have the necessary statistics to be evaluated, what kinds of activities should you excel in?

Research

A remarkable 99 percent of Harvard first-year medical students had research experience which makes research a prerequisite for Harvard candidates.

In addition, the more advanced your research is, the more chances you will have of standing out from the other applicants when it comes to the admissions process. The ability to demonstrate that you have received attention on a national or international scale through publications or talks is an advantage.

Volunteer or community service experience in the medical or clinical field

In the same vein, 93 percent of students had experiences that fell into this category; hence, in order to be competitive, we recommend extensive involvement in medically relevant community work, as well as work with various communities and work with underserved populations.

Shadowing a Physician or Gaining Clinical Experience

A total of 88 percent of the students have participated in a physician shadowing experience. Therefore, getting as much experience as possible working in a variety of medical settings and interacting with a wide range of professionals will help you stand out. In spite of the fact that Harvard is primarily a research university, the admissions office values experience in primary care.

Helping Out In The Community

Last but not least, 81 percent of students participated in additional forms of community service.

The Interview Process at Harvard Medical School

In addition to participating in orientation, having lunch, touring the facility, and having the chance to observe a class, applicants will have two typical one-on-one interviews. Applicants to the HST and MD/Ph.D. programs will each participate in a total of four interviews with faculty members.

According to the experiences of students, the interview process at Harvard is conversational and low-pressure. Interviewers frequently inquire about topics such as your history, experiences, and reasons for wanting the position. It is important to keep in mind that being granted an interview at Harvard Medical School is a very positive sign.

It indicates that the admissions committee was sufficiently impressed by both your personal statement and secondary essays to want to see you in person. Naturally, due to the fact that COVID-19 is still a threat to the entire world, interviews are being carried out digitally.

The Harvard Medical School employs the conventional question-and-answer style for the interview. You can get ready for your interview by examining the sample questions that Harvard has provided on its website.

Although there are a lot of questions listed on the internet, you can be confident that you won’t be asked anything close to as many questions during your actual interview. Each of your interviews won’t go on for longer than half an hour at the most. And if you would like additional practice for the day of your interview?

As part of our pre-med advising and medical school admissions consulting services, AdmissionSight provides mock interviews to our clients. Get in touch with us so we can get started.

How much does Harvard medical school cost?

How much does Harvard medical school cost? It is important to give one’s financial situation top priority when choosing a school of medicine to attend. How challenging is it, then, to get into Harvard Medical School when one’s financial circumstances are taken into account?

Your entire cost of attendance isn’t only about tuition. It also involves your cost of living. Having a place to sleep and something to eat is as crucial as the medical school itself. Let’s look at how much attending Harvard Medical School will cost.

Keep in mind that these prices are for the MD and HST programs. To assess the cost of the dual-degree programs, you’ll need to contact the admissions departments.

First Year:

Cost of Tuition: $66,284

Health Insurance Fee: $4,040

Living Expenses: $27,045

Additional Fees: $208

Total Cost of Attendance: $99,416

Second Year:

Cost of Tuition: $66,284

Mandatory fees: $1,314

Health Insurance Fee: $4,040

Additional Fees: $274

Living Expenses: $33,050

Total Cost of Attendance: $104,962

Third Year:

Cost of Tuition: $66,284

Mandatory fees: $1,314

Health Insurance Fee: $4,040

Additional Fees: $928

Living Expenses: $31,840

Total Cost of Attendance: $104,406

Fourth Year:

Cost of Tuition: $66,284

Mandatory fees: $1,314

Health Insurance Fee: $4,040

Additional Fees: $259

Living Expenses: $31,535

Total Cost of Attendance: $103,432

Total cost for all four years: $412,216

The overall cost of attendance for the HST program is a bit lower: $407,146.

The steps of how to get into Harvard Medical School and ultimately attend will undoubtedly put a significant dent in your finances. These figures may appear to be overwhelming if you are responsible for paying for your education out of your own pocket.

Because of this, there is such a thing as financial aid. Seventy percent of students in the Class of 2025 were awarded some form of financial assistance. Most received around $50,000 for most. It is possible that you will not have to pay for a significant portion of your education if you apply for scholarships, grants, and student loans.

At this point in time, it is extremely difficult to graduate from medical school without incurring at least some debt. On the other hand, there is a substantial possibility that some of these costs can be reduced.

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