The 7 Best Medical Schools in Chicago – 2024

March 29, 2024

best medical schools in chicago

Chicago, often dubbed “the Windy City,” is renowned for its iconic skyline, deep-dish pizza, and esteemed medical institutions. Among the plethora of Chicago medical schools, these institutions hold a rich history of medical education and research, drawing aspiring physicians from across the globe. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the med schools in Chicago, delving into their locations, acceptance rates, academic criteria, and unique offerings.

Please note that these schools are ordered by acceptance rate, from lowest to highest. The number is not indicative of one school being “better” than another. All schools on this list are fantastic world-class medical schools from which you can launch a successful medical career.

You may also wish to explore these related blogs:

1) Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine

  • Location: Maywood
  • Acceptance Rate: 1.31%
  • Average GPA: 3.6
  • Average MCAT: 510
  • Degrees Offered: MD, MD/Ph.D., MD/MPH, MD/MS, MD/MA, MD/MBA

With a class size of 170 students, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine is guided by Jesuit values, prioritizing holistic care and addressing health disparities. Central to the curriculum are the Patient-Centered Medicine (PCM) courses, where faculty provide guidance on navigating challenging medical scenarios such as death, end-of-life care, and physician burnout. Students can participate in one of three honors programs—Global Health, Bioethics, or Research—earning distinctions at graduation. Finally, the school provides unique elective programming and extracurricular experiences, including courses like the Ignatian Service Immersion global health experience and language programs such as Medical Spanish and Medical Polish.

2) The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine

  • Location: Hyde Park, Chicago
  • Acceptance Rate: 1.37%
  • Average GPA: 3.87
  • Average MCAT: 519
  • Degrees Offered: MD, MD/Ph.D., MD/MPH, MD/MS, MD/MA, MD/MBA

Located within the University of Chicago campus, the Pritzker School of Medicine offers an intimate learning environment with a small class size of 90 students per cohort. Situated on the South Side of Chicago, students enjoy a college-town atmosphere while accessing diverse communities through six student-run free clinics. Being one of the few medical schools integrated into its university campus, students benefit from interdisciplinary collaboration opportunities across various fields. With 35% of each class from underrepresented backgrounds, the school prioritizes diversity and inclusion, fostering culturally competent physicians ready to address global healthcare needs.

Chicago Med Schools (Continued)

3) Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

  • Location: Streeterville, Chicago
  • Acceptance Rate: 1.85%
  • Average GPA: 3.92
  • Average MCAT: 520
  • Degrees Offered: MD, MD/Ph.D., MD/MPH, MD/MS, MD/MA, MD/MBA

Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, with a class size of 150 students, stands as a premier institution renowned for its research excellence and commitment to global health initiatives. With an impressive 68% of graduates matching at top-25 residency programs in 2024 and half of students engaging in global health experiences, Feinberg ensures its graduates are well-prepared for success in the field. Additionally, students embark on a four-year Area of Scholarly Concentration project, conducting longitudinal research projects under esteemed faculty mentorship. The Feinberg School of Medicine not only emphasizes academic rigor and research but also places a high value on student wellness, equipping students with skills for resilience, balance, and career satisfaction.

4) Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science

  • Location: North Chicago
  • Acceptance Rate: 2.02%
  • Average GPA: 3.66
  • Average MCAT: 512
  • Degrees Offered: MD, MD with Distinction in Research, MD/Ph.D.

At the Chicago Medical School (CMS) at Rosalind Franklin University, located in Chicago, students experience diverse clinical rotations at outpatient clinics and urban medical centers. CMS emphasizes patient-centered care, teaching students that patients are central to the care model and essential members of the healthcare team. Students learn the importance of positive patient interactions and clear communication, honing their skills in simulation labs with supportive faculty. Early exposure to patients in various clinical settings, including inner-city hospitals serving the underserved and the Federal Health Care Center for military personnel, provides valuable hands-on experience. Despite its large class size of 200, CMS remains committed to excellence in medical education and community engagement.

Best Medical Schools in Chicago (Continued)

5) Rush University Medical College

  • Location: Near West Side, Chicago
  • Acceptance Rate: 5.8%
  • Average GPA: 3.62
  • Average MCAT: 509
  • Degrees Offered: MD

Rush Medical College features a more intimate class size, typically around 130 students. Within this close-knit community, students have the exceptional opportunity to participate in EXPLORE Rush during their preclinical years, refining vital clinical skills under the guidance of faculty mentors. Moreover, Rush offers two distinctive four-year longitudinal programs in family medicine and health equity and social justice. As students progress, clinical rotations offer a diverse learning experience, spanning Rush University Medical Center and John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County. Additionally, Rush Medical College fosters engagement through the Rush Community Service Initiatives Programs, encouraging students to actively contribute to patient outreach and education initiatives within the West Chicago community.

6) University of Illinois College of Medicine

  • Location: Near West Side, Chicago
  • Acceptance Rate: 7.8%
  • Average GPA: 3.78
  • Average MCAT: 514
  • Degrees Offered: MD, MD/Ph.D., MD/MPH, MD/MS, MD/MBA

The University of Illinois College of Medicine stands as the largest public medical school nationwide, spanning three campuses in Chicago, Peoria, and Rockford. Across all campuses, the curriculum, values, and clinical experiences remain consistent. Notably, the Chicago campus plays a pivotal role in serving a diverse and underserved patient population within the University Medical District, including the University of Illinois Hospital and affiliated clinics throughout the city. Additionally, the college offers optional Scholarly Concentration Programs, providing specialized medical training pathways over four years in fields such as innovation medicine, urban medicine, and global medicine.

Best Medical Schools in Chicago (Continued)

7) Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University

  • Location: Downers Grove
  • Acceptance Rate: 2.7%
  • Average GPA: 3.7
  • Average MCAT: 510
  • Degrees Offered: DO

Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM) is a leading private osteopathic medical school just west of Chicago. Midwestern University, CCOM’s home, holds significant influence in osteopathic medicine. In fact, its graduates represent nearly 13% of practicing osteopathic physicians and surgeons nationwide. The curriculum emphasizes discipline-based learning and fosters patient-centered care. Students can gain clinical experience through various on-campus clinics, including dental, family practice, speech and language, and optometry clinics at the Midwestern University Multi-Specialty Clinic.

What Makes Chicago Medical Schools Different?

Opting for a medical school in Chicago offers a plethora of distinct advantages tailored to aspiring physicians. Firstly, Chicago’s status as a renowned healthcare hub ensures unparalleled clinical exposure. With access to prestigious institutions like the University of Chicago Medical Center and Northwestern Memorial Hospital, students engage in diverse clinical rotations spanning various medical specialties. Moreover, Chicago’s diverse patient population, reflective of the city’s multicultural fabric, enriches students’ experiences, fostering cultural competency and empathy.

Chicago Med Schools (Continued)

Furthermore, Chicago’s dynamic urban landscape offers a rich tapestry of cultural experiences and extracurricular opportunities. The city boasts world-class research institutions and medical facilities, including the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, providing students with access to cutting-edge medical advancements and hands-on research experiences. Whether participating in groundbreaking studies or collaborating with experts in their field, students benefit from a stimulating intellectual atmosphere that drives innovation and academic excellence.

What Do You Need to Get into Chicago Medical Schools?

To gain admission to Chicago medical schools, aspiring students typically need to meet rigorous academic and extracurricular criteria. Firstly, a strong academic background is essential, with most institutions requiring a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college, preferably with a focus on pre-medical coursework. Competitive GPA and MCAT scores are crucial, often serving as primary indicators of academic aptitude.

Additionally, candidates are expected to demonstrate a genuine passion for medicine through relevant extracurricular activities, such as clinical volunteering, research experience, and leadership roles in healthcare-related organizations. Strong letters of recommendation from professors, physicians, or mentors who can attest to the candidate’s character and suitability for medical school are also typically required. Moreover, successful applicants often showcase well-rounded personal attributes in their medical school personal statement. These qualities include resilience, empathy, and a commitment to serving diverse communities, aligning with the values of med schools in Chicago.

Chicago Med Schools (Continued)

For high school students contemplating a future in medicine, there are several advantageous pathways to consider. Exploring accelerated BS/MD programs, which offer a streamlined route to medical school, can provide invaluable opportunities for those committed to pursuing a medical career from an early stage. What’s more, investigating renowned feeder institutions and top pre-med schools can offer a strong foundation in the sciences and prepare students for the rigors of medical school admission. Early assurance medical programs provide a pathway for exceptional undergraduates to secure a spot in medical school before completing their bachelor’s degree, easing the transition into medical education.

Choosing a Chicago Med School

Ultimately, selecting the right medical school involves a comprehensive assessment of one’s goals, values, and aspirations. Ensuring alignment with these factors guarantees a rewarding and fulfilling journey toward a career in medicine, particularly within the dynamic and vibrant city of Chicago, where numerous opportunities for growth and advancement abound.