7 Best Medical Schools in Chicago

Here are the 7 best medical schools in Chicago for anyone who wishes to study medicine in the US.

These medical schools are highly sought after by international students from all over the world not just based on their popularity, but mostly because they offer a comprehensive curriculum and vast opportunities in medicine and medical research. 

Medical students get to be tutored by recognized physicians, doctors, and medical practitioners. These results in an incomparable clinical experience. 

In Chicago, you’ll find over 24 private, non-profit universities and colleges, with only 10 of these colleges having medical schools that offer Doctor of Medicine programs and research. Yet, no matter the medical field you want to study, you’ll find a program for it. 

Colleges in Chicago offering medical programs are significant research universities with major research funds. They are equipped with laboratory facilities, and training spaces, and are also affiliated with reputable teaching hospitals. 

So keep reading as you get to know the quality of each of the best medical schools in Chicago, their GPA and MCAT score requirements, acceptance rates, affiliations, and most importantly, the requirements to get accepted into a medical school in Chicago.  

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Best Medical Schools in Chicago

Requirements to get accepted into Medical school in Chicago

Like every other medical school in the US, medical schools in Chicago are very competitive. In fact, more than 5 of these schools have acceptance rates of 15% or less.

Yet, the requirements to get admission into medical school in Chicago is pretty straightforward. These include ninetieth percentile or higher scores (as it is mandatory for acceptance by the top 3 medical schools in Chicago), exceptional GPA and MCAT test scores, previous medical experience in Chicago, strong application, and college essays that show your desire to become a medical doctor in Chicago.

Students with experience working with the local community in Chicago or those who are able to show a strong commitment to serving patients in Chicago are highly considered during the admission process.

You should also have completed internships, and/or had job experiences in the medical field, to increase your chances of getting accepted. You can choose to volunteer at a free clinic, or with a hospital service, as it is one of the best ways to show your commitment and passion for medicine. You’ll get to experience what working in an emergency room or another medical profession is like.

You can also be Paid while doing a number of jobs to get work experience in the medical field. You can work with professors in reputable medical colleges If you enjoy research. You may find lab internships and assistantships vacancies to collaborate with other researchers on their projects or even do research on your own project.

If you want to work directly with patients, you can work as a nurse assistant or nurse’s aide at a hospital, local clinic, or any place where ill and sick people are treated.

However, in a situation in which you do not have any preclinical experience in the Chicago local community, your application and college essays should show how passionate you are to become a medical doctor to serve Chicago. 

This will help the admission committee of the school understand why you’re specifically applying for their program.

Another important requirement you need to have before applying to any medical school in Chicago is letters of recommendation. You’ll be expected to get official letters from your professors, employers, or people who believe in you. 

It’s quite crucial you get a recommendation letter from a current or previous employer who can affirm your work ethic so as to show the admissions committee how committed and strong-willed you are to study medicine. Aside from having exceptional grades, they’ll be able to determine your ability to perform in a challenging and rapid environment.

Letters of recommendation must be officially submitted with the rest of your application materials either through email or you can mail them directly.

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7 Best Medical Schools in Chicago

  1. University of Chicago Pritzker College of Medicine
  2. Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
  3. University of Illinois College of Medicine
  4. Rush University Medical College
  5. Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine
  6. Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
  7. Rosalind Franklin University Chicago Medical School

1. University of Chicago Pritzker College of Medicine

The Pritzker School of Medicine is the prestigious medical school of the Biological Sciences Division of the University of Chicago. It is located in Chicago’s historic Hyde Park neighborhood, on the university’s main campus.

The white coat ceremony was held by the medical school and its first-class matriculated in 1927. The medical school offers a full-time Doctor of Medicine degree program, graduate medical education, joint degree programs, and continuing medical education programs. 

The Pritzker College of Medicine is affiliated with the University of Chicago Medical Center which serves as the primary teaching hospital. According to US News, the University of Chicago Medical Center is the third-best hospital in Illinois. In July 2008, Pritzker also became affiliated with the NorthShore University HealthSystem. 

U.S. News & World Report ranks Pritzker School of Medicine 17 in the “Best Medical Schools category, and #34 in “Best Medical Schools for Primary Care” and Research”. 

Prestigious alumni include Robert Gallo, known for discovering HIV, and Joseph Ransohoff, who established the first neurosurgical intensive care unit thereby advancing the field of neurosurgery.

Getting accepted into Pritzker is quite competitive, with the school having an acceptance rate of 4%. Incoming students must possess a high MCAT score and GPA score – 519 and 3.844, respectively.

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2. Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

The Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University is the medical school of Northwestern University founded in 1859 and located in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. 

It is a prestigious medical school that offers a full-time Doctor of Medicine degree program, graduate medical education, multiple joint degree programs, and continuing medical education programs.

The curriculum focuses more on a “learner-centered” education, organized into three phases and focusing integration of four main curricular aspects: clinical medicine, science in medicine, professional development, and health & society, designed to provide each student with outstanding learning opportunities. 

According to the U.S. News & World Report in 2022, Feinberg is ranked #17th best American medical school for research based on its commitment to patient care and community service. 

Feinberg’s medical centers include the Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab. The Northwestern Memorial Hospital serves as the primary teaching hospital for the medical school. US News ranks the center as the number one in Illinois and the 10th best medical center in the US. On the other hand, the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab was ranked first in the US for rehabilitation.

An alumnus of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine has gone on to become a prominent medical professional, medical school president, multiple Nobel Laureates, and MacArthur Fellows, hence the reason why it is one of the best medical schools in Chicago

The acceptance rate of the Feinberg School of Medicine is 7.09%. Applicants must have an average GPA score of 3.9 and an average MCAT score of 519.

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3. University of Illinois College of Medicine

The University of Illinois College of Medicine offers a four-year medical program at four different sites in Illinois: Chicago, Rockford, Peoria, and Urbana–Champaign. 

The Chicago campus is the largest of them all, giving students a huge clinical experience, such as first-year students taking patient histories while following doctors on rounds. On the other hand, the Urbana–Champaign campus is now home to the recently established Carle Illinois College of Medicine after the admission of new students was stopped after Fall 2016.

A Doctor of Medicine degree program (M.D.), a medical sciences Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program, and three joint degree programs: MD/MPH, MD/Ph.D., and MD/MBA are some of the graduate programs offered by the College of Medicine. 

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With over 75 residency options available in different fields on the four campuses, the University of Illinois College of Medicine is well known for innovative research. The US News ranks it as the 55th best medical school in the U.S for medical research.

Notable alumni include Olga Jonasson, one of the early pioneers in kidney transplantation and the first to be in charge of an academic department of surgery, and Julius B. Richmond, a former U.S. Surgeon General.

The acceptance rate is 7.4% acceptance rate, while the average GPA and an MCAT score required are 3.8 and 512 respectively. Applicants must also show a strong interest in the study of medicine, and possess the intellectual traits and interpersonal skills expected of doctors.

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4. Rush University Medical College

Rush University is a private research university founded in 1972 in Chicago, Illinois. It comprises the Rush University Medical College, Rush University College of Nursing, Rush University College of Health Sciences, and the Graduate College of Rush University.

The Rush Medical College was one of Illinois’s first medical colleges and offers a “system-based” curriculum, that requires individual examination through biochemistry, anatomy, and other subjects of study. Also, medical students can either get a pass or fail during preclinical years. 

In terms of research, Rush Medical College is ranked #58 by US News as one of the best medical schools in Chicago. Notable alumni of the school include  James B. Herrick, a doctor who first described sickle cell anemia sickness, Robert Holbrook Smith who co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous, and David J. Peck, the first African American to receive a Doctor of Medicine from Rush Medical College.

Rush Medical College requires an average GPA and MCAT score of 3.6 and 509. The acceptance rate is 3.8%.

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5. Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine

The Stritch School of Medicine is the medical school of Loyola University Chicago located at the Loyola University Medical Center. It has 5 medical campuses which are Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Foster G. McGaw Hospital, the Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Translational Research and Education, and the Loyola University Center for Health and Fitness.

First and second-year medical students get to acquire the necessary clinical skills and background necessary to succeed in their residencies and clerkships even in later years of their education. 

The unique learning curriculum of the school focuses on professionalism and strong clinical background. In the first two years, students learn in “blocks”, small group learning, and undergo mentoring programs while focusing on a single class.

Stritch medical graduates are awarded the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degrees which require successful completion of all coursework and passing the U.S. Medical Licensing Exam with flying colors. This includes the Step 1, Step 2CS, and Step 2 CK exams.

Like the Pritzker College of Medicine, the Stritch School of Medicine is also very competitive, having an acceptance rate of 3.8%. Additionally, the average GPA is and the average MCAT score is. Incoming students must possess a high MCAT score and GPA score – 510 and  3.72 respectively. 

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6. Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine

The Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM) is a private, non-profit medical school founded in 1900 in Downers Grove, Illinois. 

It is the fourth-oldest medical school in the state of Illinois and one of the best medical schools in Chicago when it comes to osteopathic medicine. 13% of practicing doctors and surgeons in the U.S are graduates of CCOM. 

Midwestern University offers multiple academic programs at graduate-level health programs in two campus locations. Doctoral degree programs include Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Dental Medicine, Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice, Doctor of Occupational Therapy, Doctor of Pharmacy, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, Doctor of Psychology, Doctor of Optometry, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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Graduate degrees offered by the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine are accredited by the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission and that includes the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine D.O. degree.

With its recent campus in Glendale, Arizona, the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine has become the second medical school in the state. Notable alumni include James N. Weinstein, former Microsoft Healthcare Richard Scheuring senior vice president, and Richard Scheuring, a NASA flight surgeon.

CCOM curriculum is based on discipline-based learning, rendering patient-centered care while working successfully with other doctors and healthcare professionals. The school is affiliated with several clinics for gaining clinical experience. This includes the Midwestern University Multi-Specialty Clinic, which has a family practice clinic, a dental institute, an optometry clinic, as well as a speech and language institute.

CCOM acceptance rate is 15%. Incoming students must have an average MCAT score of 508 and a GPA of 3.6. The College of Osteopathic Medicine is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. 

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7. Rosalind Franklin University Chicago Medical School.

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFU) is a private, nonprofit medical school located in North Chicago. It comprises more than five schools: College of Health Professions, Chicago Medical School, Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine, College of Pharmacy, and School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

More than 29 study programs are offered by RFU in Ph.D. programs for medical and basic research as well as graduate health-related subjects. RFU is also one of the first medical schools to admit women and minority applicants long before other med schools in the U.S. 

In terms of community service, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science has continued to show its huge commitment. It considers community service as a natural and crucial element of medical education. 

A vivid example of this was the Interprofessional Community dedication to community service established by the medical class of 2016. The free clinic was built to provide low-income residents of Chicago with healthcare services.

Applicants for the Chicago medical school must have an average MCAT score of 511 and an average GPA of 3.61. A strong passion for medicine, intellectual traits, and interpersonal skills expected of doctors should also be demonstrated by each applicant. 

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FAQs On Best Medical Schools in Chicago

What is the Best Medical School in Chicago?

The Pritzker School of Medicine is the prestigious medical school of the Biological Sciences Division of the University of Chicago. The medical school offers a full-time Doctor of Medicine degree program, graduate medical education, joint degree programs, and continuing medical education programs. 

How long does it take to graduate from a medical school in Chicago?

The Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) program requires 4 years to complete. On the other hand, at least 4-to 5 years of finish are required to complete the Ph.D. program in Biomedical Sciences.

Is Chicago medical school hard to get into?

Medical schools in Chicago are quite competitive with more than 5 of these schools having acceptance rates of 15% or less. 

What are the requirements to get accepted into med school?

  1. Ninetieth percentile or higher scores (as it is mandatory for acceptance by the top 3 medical schools in Chicago),
  2. Exceptional GPA and MCAT test scores
  3. Previous medical experience in Chicago
  4. Strong application and college essays.

Conclusion

And that’s it. Everything important information you need to know on the ten best medical schools in Chicago. 

These schools offer a comprehensive curriculum, vast opportunities in medicine and medical research, as well as equipped with laboratory facilities, and training spaces. They are also affiliated with reputable teaching hospitals

Got a question? Let’s know your thoughts in the comments below.

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