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Top Feeders to Medical School

Updated July 2021

Earning an excellent GPA in a rigorous, usually science-based major and scoring well on the MCATs are prerequisites to earning a spot in any American medical school. Those seeking a spot in the nation’s most selective medical programs need to meet that criteria AND bring other compelling factors to the table. One such factor can be the prestige of your undergraduate college. While attending an elite undergraduate school is not a prerequisite for gaining acceptance into an elite medical school, it certainly can help, as our analysis demonstrates.

The two lists that follow showcase the top 30 “feeder” schools into the most highly-ranked MD programs. On the first list, for each school, we look at the raw number of students who go on to attend elite MD programs, as well as the two MD programs enrolling the most graduates from that undergraduate school. The second list looks at the top 30 producers when adjusted for a school’s undergraduate enrollment, which allows us to highlight schools that may be smaller in size, but that still send a consistent flow of graduates to the world’s premier medical schools.

In order to identify "top feeder” colleges, we relied on publicly available data from LinkedIn, a professional networking site featuring profiles of approximately 170 million workers across the United States. Specifically, we identified and analyzed the undergraduate backgrounds of nearly 7500 individuals who enrolled at twenty five of America’s most reputable MD programs, including those at Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Pennsylvania (Perelman), New York University (Grossman), Stanford University, Columbia University, Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, UCLA (Geffen), University of California-San Francisco, Washington University, Cornell University (Weill), Duke University, University of Washington, University of Pittsburgh, University of Michigan, Yale University, University of Chicago (Pritzker), Northwestern University (Feinberg), Vanderbilt University, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, University of California at San Diego, Baylor College of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Case Western Reserve University, and Emory University.

Top Feeder Rankings (by total graduates enrolled)

Rank (Total)Institution#MD GraduatesTop Med School (#1)Top Med School (#2)
1Harvard University292Harvard Medical SchoolColumbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
2Duke University256Duke University School of MedicineThe Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
3Stanford University245Stanford University School of MedicineUniversity of California, San Diego - School of Medicine
4Yale University229Yale University School of MedicineHarvard Medical School
5University of California, Berkeley203University of California, San Francisco - School of MedicineUniversity of California, San Diego - School of Medicine
6University of Michigan197University of Michigan Medical SchoolNorthwestern University - The Feinberg School of Medicine
7Johns Hopkins University184The Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineIcahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
8University of Pennsylvania182University of Pennsylvania School of MedicineEmory University School of Medicine
9University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill180University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of MedicineDuke University School of Medicine
10Vanderbilt University176Vanderbilt University School of MedicineDuke University School of Medicine
11Cornell University172Weill Medical College of Cornell UniversityUniversity of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
12Washington University in St. Louis162Washington University School of Medicine in St. LouisEmory University School of Medicine
13Princeton University152University of Pennsylvania School of MedicineDuke University School of Medicine
14University of California, Los Angeles151David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLAUniversity of California, San Diego - School of Medicine
15Northwestern University145Northwestern University - The Feinberg School of MedicineUniversity of Michigan Medical School
16Columbia University139Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew York University School of Medicine
17Brown University116New York University School of MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
18University of California, San Diego108University of California, San Diego - School of MedicineStanford University School of Medicine
19Dartmouth College 102Emory University School of MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
20Emory University 94Emory University School of MedicineUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
21Massachusetts Institute of Technology91Harvard Medical SchoolStanford University School of Medicine
22Rice University84Baylor College of MedicineStanford University School of Medicine
23University of Chicago82The University of Chicago Pritzker School of MedicineEmory University School of Medicine
24University of Washington75University of Washington - School of MedicineDuke University School of Medicine
25University of Notre Dame71Vanderbilt University School of MedicineThe University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
26University of Southern California66David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLAUniversity of California, San Diego - School of Medicine
27Case Western Reserve University63Case Western Reserve University School of MedicineDuke University School of Medicine
28University of Texas at Austin57Baylor College of MedicineEmory University School of Medicine
29University of Virginia54Emory University School of MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
30New York University53New York University School of MedicineThe Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

 

Top Feeder Rankings (adjusted for undergraduate enrollment)

Rank (Adjusted)Institution#MD GraduatesTop Med School (#1)Top Med School (#2)
1Yale University229Yale University School of MedicineHarvard Medical School
2Duke University256Duke University School of MedicineThe Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
3Stanford University245Stanford University School of MedicineUniversity of California, San Diego - School of Medicine
4Johns Hopkins University184The Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineIcahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
5Harvard University292Harvard Medical SchoolColumbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
6Princeton University152University of Pennsylvania School of MedicineDuke University School of Medicine
7Vanderbilt University176Vanderbilt University School of MedicineDuke University School of Medicine
8Dartmouth College102Emory University School of MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
9Rice University84Baylor College of MedicineStanford University School of Medicine
10Washington University in St. Louis162Washington University School of Medicine in St. LouisEmory University School of Medicine
11Amherst College38New York University School of MedicineEmory University School of Medicine
12Massachusetts Institute of Technology91Harvard Medical SchoolStanford University School of Medicine
13Williams College40Emory University School of MedicineUniversity of Michigan Medical School
14Pomona College29University of California, San Francisco - School of MedicineWeill Medical College of Cornell University
15Swarthmore College27University of California, San Francisco - School of MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
16Columbia University139Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew York University School of Medicine
17Northwestern University145Northwestern University - The Feinberg School of MedicineUniversity of Michigan Medical School
18Brown University116New York University School of MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
19University of Pennsylvania182University of Pennsylvania School of MedicineEmory University School of Medicine
20Emory University94Emory University School of MedicineUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
21Davidson College24University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of MedicineDuke University School of Medicine
22Bowdoin College23Emory University School of MedicineColumbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
23University of Chicago82The University of Chicago Pritzker School of MedicineEmory University School of Medicine
24Haverford College16Harvard Medical SchoolUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
25Case Western Reserve University63Case Western Reserve University School of MedicineDuke University School of Medicine
26Cornell University172Weill Medical College of Cornell UniversityUniversity of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
27Whitman College14University of Washington - School of MedicineStanford University School of Medicine
28University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill180University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of MedicineDuke University School of Medicine
29Tufts University48The University of Chicago Pritzker School of MedicineUniversity of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
30University of Notre Dame71Vanderbilt University School of MedicineThe University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine

 

Does institutional selectivity matter?

 When applying to medical school, yes, it appears that institutional selectivity does in fact play a role. In our sample, of the students who went on to enroll at America’s best MD programs, approximately 64% graduated from colleges categorized as “Most Selective” or “Extremely Selective.” Only 17% of elite medical school students in our sample graduated from schools indicated as minimally selective or non-selective. Click here to see how we group colleges by selectivity.

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