Research and preparation are key to getting into med school. If you’re based in Alabama (or interested in going to school there), choosing one of the best pre-med schools in the state can definitely help.
In this article we’ll cover:
- The best pre-med schools in Alabama (based on reputation and alumni)
- How important it is to attend a good pre-med school in the state
- What pre-meds going to school here can do to be more competitive
Being a med student myself, I know how valuable it can be to think about each of these questions. Getting into med school is tough, the right information can help give you a small advantage.
Ready to learn more? Let’s go!
Before we get into the best pre-med schools in Alabama, you might be interested in what’s on offer in the surrounding states. Check out our guide; Best Pre-Med Schools in the USA for more information.
Best Pre Med Schools In Alabama
University of Alabama at Birmingham
|National University Rank:||153|
|Average SAT score:||1090-1365|
|Tuition:||$10,710 (in-state)/$25,380 (out-of-state)|
Established in 1965, UAB is one of the newer colleges on this list but also one that, owing to its medical school, is hugely popular with pre-med and pre-health students.
The University’s Early Medical School Acceptance Program (extending to both Dental and Optometry – EMSAP) is an undergrad and professional program providing highly qualified students a path into training. Designed as an 8-year program divided into two parts; four years at UAB followed by 4 years in medical, dental, or optometry school, students can only apply in the senior year of high school.
Outside of this track, UAB has additional offerings for pre-health students via their busy Pre-Health Advising committee.
Resources to make use of include getting involved with Inquiro, an undergraduate journal publishing scientific research, the Reynolds-Finley Historical Lecture Series, admissions testing prep, assessment tools, and a ton of volunteer opportunities via the UAB Service Learning department.
Here’s a video that gives a snapshot of what life is like as a pre-med at the school…
- Name: University of Alabama–Birmingham
- Location: 1720 2nd Ave S., Birmingham, AL 35294
- Phone: 205-934-4011
- Website: uab.edu
University of Alabama
|National University Rank:||143|
|Average SAT score:||1080-1340|
|Tuition:||$11,620 (in-state)/$31,090 (out-of-state)|
Founded in 1831, the University of Alabama is one of the state’s largest schools with an undergrad enrollment of over 32,000.
Pre-Health is taken very seriously at the college with support offered by Pre-Medical Shadowing at the University Medical Center, the Alabama Student Rural Health Association (ASRHA), the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students (MAPS), Pre-Dental Society, Society of Women in Medicine (S.W.I.M) and a bunch more student-ran organizations.
2019 saw the school produce 52.9% medical school applicants (significantly higher than the national average at 41.9% – Source). Of that cohort, 79% of MD applicants completed research.
Top medical schools attended by past UA grads include UAB School of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Saint Louis School of Medicine, and Case Western Reserve.
Here’s an insight into some of the pre-med offerings at the University, specifically the McCollough Medical Scholars Forum…
- Name: University of Alabama
- Location: Box 870100, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
- Phone: 205-348-6010
- Website: ua.edu
|National University Rank:||97|
|Average SAT score:||1150-1320|
|Tuition:||$11,796 (in-state)/$31,956 (out-of-state)|
The highest-ranked college in the state, Auburn University offers pre-health curricula for most allied health professions, including popular pre-dentistry and pre-medicine tracks.
Designed to prepare students for professional training by covering all the prerequisite courses, popular majors chosen by pre-med students at Auburn include Biomedical Sciences, BA Chemistry, Genetics, Microbiology, and Physics.
The college’s Pre-Health Advising Program helps provide guidance to students via competitive assessments, academic, and entrance test prep, event programming and more.
Competitive applicants have an acceptance rate of about 30% of the national average. Auburn is also affiliated with a Rural Medicine Program (RPM) designed to increase the number of family-practice physicians serving rural Alabama.
- Name: Auburn University
- Location: 202 Martin Hall, Auburn, AL 36849
- Phone: 334-844-4000
- Website: auburn.edu
|National University Rank:||143|
|Average SAT score:||1070-1250|
Samford University has a long record of preparing students for careers as physicians, dentists, and optometrists. Although there’s no direct pre-med track, Samford’s Prehealth resources offer personal mentoring, MCAT prep, and an alumni network to help students make the most of their undergrad studies.
They’ve sent students to schools like Mercer University School of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Loma Linda and more.
Since 2013, 88 Samford prehealth students have applied for medical school and 60 have been accepted. That’s an acceptance rate of 68.2%. In the same period, the national medical school acceptance rate was approximately 38%.(Source)
With one of the lowest student/faculty ratios of all colleges on this list, students can work closely with professors to help score important letters of recommendation.
The Christian mission of Samford also lends itself well to community service.
Here’s more on what they offer…
- Name: Samford University
- Location: 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL 35229
- Phone: 205-726-2011
- Website: samford.edu
University of North Alabama
|National University Rank:||40 in Regional Universities South|
|Average SAT score:||1015-1180|
|Tuition:||$10,800 (in-state)/$20,400 (out-of-state)|
The University of North Alabama recommends majoring in any academic discipline in preparation for med school, but mention that the majority of pre-meds choose either biology or chemistry.
Their Pre-Health Professions committee has played an instrumental role in helping send students from the college to the University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Medicine, University of South Alabama College of Medicine, and more.
In order to support attending students, UNA offers summer programs like the Rural Medical Scholars Program (RMSP), Rural Medicine Program (RMP), and various internships and volunteer programs in the surrounding areas.
One local institution that has good connections with the college for things like shadowing, volunteering and more, is the nearby North Alabama Medical Center.
Here’s an introduction to what the group offers medical students…
- Name: University of North Alabama
- Location: UNA Box 5121, Florence, AL 35632
- Phone: 256-765-4608
- Website: una.edu
All admissions data is taken from the American Association of Medical Colleges (Source).
There are several options to choose from when it comes to choosing great pre-med schools in Alabama.
Aside from the recommendations above, other schools that came up during my research, that also may be worth looking at, include:
- University of South Alabama (Mobile, AL)
- University of Alabama–Huntsville (Huntsville, AL)
- Spring Hill College (Mobile, AL)
- Birmingham-Southern College (Birmingham, AL)
- Jacksonville State University (Jacksonville, AL)
- Tuskegee University (Tuskegee, AL)
- Troy University (Troy, AL)
- University of West Alabama (Livingston, AL)
Whichever major you choose, the connections, experiences, and opportunities at these colleges will give you all you need to help put together a competitive application.
You’ll still have to put in the time of course, but you’ll have lots of support to help you along the way.
Is It Important To Attend A Good Pre Med School In Alabama?
Having a reputable school on your med school application can look good. Performing well during undergrad, at any of the colleges recommended above, is a strong indicator you’ll fit in studying medicine.
How much an individual school actually contributes to your chances of becoming a doctor is open for debate, however.
The biggest factors, in terms of competitiveness, are your GPA score, your clinical experience (shadowing, working, etc), and extracurriculars, and how well you present yourself in application essays and interviews.
To say the strength of your candidacy comes solely down to where you studied for pre-med would be unfair!
What College In Alabama Has The Best Medical Program?
The best medical school in Alabama, according to U.S. News Ranking (Source), is the University of Alabama Birmingham. You’ll need an average GPA of 3.77 and an average MCAT of 509 to compete for its 176 places.
Other high scoring med schools in the state include:
- Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (Dotha, AL)
- University of South Alabama College of Medicine (Birmingham, AL)
How To Improve Your Medicine Application As A Pre Med In School In Alabama
A great way to make your med school application as competitive as possible is through extracurriculars.
In Alabama, you have a lot of clinically relevant medical/hospital volunteering opportunities to take advantage of.
These positions are organized and very useful for obtaining letters of recommendation (LOR’s), shadowing, and other important networking connections.
You can also look into relevant pre-med jobs like scribing, EMT, and phlebotomy available in the state for extra clinical experience.
Related: 3 Best Paid Jobs For Pre Med Students (That Don’t Require Experience Or Training)
What Is The Hardest/Easiest College In Alabama To Get Into?
Based on the data above, the University of Alabama is possibly one of the easier Alabama-based colleges to gain admission into. Their admission rate is one of the highest in the state and their average SAT scores are lower than rival colleges.
What Major Should I Choose As A Pre-Med In Alabama?
The standard advice is to choose a major you feel you can do well in. Your GPA will be possibly the biggest differentiator between you and other pre-med candidates.
Here’s what you should consider:
- How motivated you’ll be to study (choose something you’ll enjoy)
- How “suitable” you are to the subject (maximize your chance of a high GPA)
If you did well in a particular subject in high school, or find something relatively easy to get good grades in, that could make for a good pick.
Something else to think about is the MCAT. Sometimes life science subjects can be a good fit as they’ll help you in the preparation for this key med school exam. They also may cover many of the prerequisites.
One thing is for sure though; you don’t need to be on a pre-med track at an Alabama-based college to get into med school. Your GPA, your MCAT, and your extracurriculars are what count!
If you found this article useful, make sure you check out the rest of our pre-med guides…
- Best Pre-Med Schools In Pennsylvania (Costs, Extracurriculars & Admission Info)
- Best Pre Med Schools In Texas (Costs, Extracurriculars & Admission Info)
Born and raised in the UK, Will went into medicine late (31) after a career in journalism. He’s into football (soccer), learned Spanish after 5 years in Spain, and has had his work published all over the web. Read more.