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Top Feeders to Medical School

Updated June 2020

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 4800 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 University196Harvard Medical SchoolColumbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
2Stanford University161Stanford University School of MedicineUniversity of California, San Diego - School of Medicine
3Duke University159Duke University School of MedicineThe Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
4University of Michigan143University of Michigan Medical SchoolNorthwestern University - The Feinberg School of Medicine
5Yale University140Yale University School of MedicineHarvard Medical School
6University of California, Berkeley128University of California, San Francisco - School of MedicineUniversity of California, San Diego - School of Medicine
7University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill125University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of MedicineDuke University School of Medicine
8University of Pennsylvania124University of Pennsylvania School of MedicineEmory University School of Medicine
9Johns Hopkins University114The Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineIcahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
10Cornell University110Weill Medical College of Cornell UniversityUniversity of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
11Washington University in St. Louis101Washington University School of Medicine in St. LouisEmory University School of Medicine
12University of California, Los Angeles99David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLAUniversity of California, San Diego - School of Medicine
13Princeton University96University of Pennsylvania School of MedicineDuke University School of Medicine
14Vanderbilt University93Vanderbilt University School of MedicineDuke University School of Medicine
15Northwestern University85Northwestern University - The Feinberg School of MedicineUniversity of Michigan Medical School
16Columbia University83Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew York University School of Medicine
17Emory University74Emory University School of MedicineUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
18Dartmouth College72Emory University School of MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
19Brown University72New York University School of MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
20Rice University62Baylor College of MedicineStanford University School of Medicine
21University of Chicago59The University of Chicago Pritzker School of MedicineEmory University School of Medicine
22University of California, San Diego57University of California, San Diego - School of MedicineStanford University School of Medicine
24Case Western Reserve University47Case Western Reserve University School of MedicineDuke University School of Medicine
25University of Notre Dame46Vanderbilt University School of MedicineThe University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
26University of Southern California46David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLAUniversity of California, San Diego - School of Medicine
27University of Virginia39Emory University School of MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
28The University of Texas at Austin39Baylor College of MedicineEmory University School of Medicine
29University of Maryland, College Park38The Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineEmory University School of Medicine
30New York University37New 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)
1Duke University159Duke University School of MedicineThe Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
2Yale University140Yale University School of MedicineHarvard Medical School
3Stanford University161Stanford University School of MedicineUniversity of California, San Diego - School of Medicine
4Harvard University196Harvard Medical SchoolColumbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
5Johns Hopkins University114The Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineIcahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
6Princeton University96University of Pennsylvania School of MedicineDuke University School of Medicine
7Dartmouth College72Emory University School of MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
8Rice University62Baylor College of MedicineStanford University School of Medicine
9Amherst College28New York University School of MedicineEmory University School of Medicine
10Pomona College22University of California, San Francisco - School of MedicineWeill Medical College of Cornell University
11Vanderbilt University93Vanderbilt University School of MedicineDuke University School of Medicine
12Washington University in St. Louis101Washington University School of Medicine in St. LouisEmory University School of Medicine
13Williams College27Emory University School of MedicineUniversity of Michigan Medical School
14Bowdoin College21Emory University School of MedicineColumbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
15Swarthmore College17University of California, San Francisco - School of MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
16University of Pennsylvania124University of Pennsylvania School of MedicineEmory University School of Medicine
17Emory University74Emory University School of MedicineUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
18Brown University72New York University School of MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
19Columbia University83Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew York University School of Medicine
20Northwestern University85Northwestern University - The Feinberg School of MedicineUniversity of Michigan Medical School
21Davidson College17University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of MedicineDuke University School of Medicine
22Case Western Reserve University47Case Western Reserve University School of MedicineDuke University School of Medicine
23University of Chicago59The University of Chicago Pritzker School of MedicineEmory University School of Medicine
24Haverford College11Harvard Medical SchoolUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
25Cornell University110Weill Medical College of Cornell UniversityUniversity of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
26University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill125University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of MedicineDuke University School of Medicine
27Wellesley College15Yale University School of MedicineDavid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
28Morehouse College13Duke University School of MedicineWashington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
29Middlebury College15Harvard Medical SchoolUniversity of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
30University of Notre Dame46Vanderbilt 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 a America’s best MD programs, approximately 64% graduated from colleges categorized as “Most Selective” or “Extremely Selective.” Only 18% 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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