Preparing yourself as early as you can is the key to getting accepted into med school.
Best Pre-Med Schools in South Carolina
1. Clemson University
|National University Rank:||75|
|Average SAT score:||1310|
|Tuition:||$15,120 in-state; $37,712 out-of-state|
Clemson is a large public university, and they have a large pre-health program that includes everything from pre-med to pre-vet, occupational and physical therapy, and speech pathology.
The Health Professions Advising Department’s goals are to “introduce students to holistic development” in preparation for med school applications, encourage students to “self-assess,” and connect students to skills and resources they will need for their med school journey. Students are “encouraged to be proactive” with their goals and scheduling, and the burden is on the student to choose the most appropriate adviser for “their own unique path.”
The Advising Department is available from orientation to graduation to help with discovering the profession, prerequisite tracking, and application and interview preparation.
Clemson also partners with Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) to provide some interesting Accelerated Programs – for instance, they offer an accelerated pathway to medical school involving 3 years at Clemson and 4 years at MUSC. Clemson also offers an Early Assurance Program in conjunction with the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville – this is open to up to 5 Clemson students per year who receive an offer of admission in their junior spring.
Clemson also offers student organizations to foster connections outside of class: there is a Prehealth Honors Society, a chapter of the American Medical Students Association, and the Foundation for the International Medical Relief of Children.
The video below provides a quick snapshot of pre-med life at Clemson…
- Name: Clemson University
- Location: 105 Sikes Hall, Clemson, SC 29634
- Phone: 864-656-3311
- Website: clemson.edu/professional-schools
2. Bob Jones University
|National University Rank:||#31 Regional, #3 Best Value|
|Average SAT score:||1090|
Unlike most schools, Bob Jones University (BJU) does offer a true premed program. As BJU says, “most programs that call themselves ‘premed programs’ are actually biology programs with premed advising.”
BJU has a carefully designed program that focuses on physiology and makes you an outstanding medical school candidate. Their goal is to promote “thinking like a physician” before you even get to medical school, and their electives allow you to focus your program on virology, histology, and immunology. BJU has a number of unique programs that will help you become the best med school applicant you can be.
BJU has a cadaver lab, setting it apart from the vast majority of prehealth programs. This provides a first-hand, real-world look at the human body and your professional career. This lab is taught by an experienced medical doctor and helps students prepare themselves for “the stringent academic expectations” of medical school.
BJU premed students are also eligible for Greenville Health System’s MedEx Academy, a paid summer internship/shadowing/assisting program. This program provides research and clinical experience at a North or South Carolina hospital, advanced medical training, and MCAT prep.
BJU can also provide summer research opportunities in their Cancer Research Lab, a chance for “unparalleled” experience testing anticancer properties of substances on cancer cells, writing and applying for grants, and honing research skills.
All BJU students complete a 40-hour student medical internship. This real-world practice is done through one of the Greenville Health System campuses.
For those interested, BJU also offers short-term medical mission trips to serve others in a different part of the world.
In addition to premed advising and the Career Services Center, students are able to be a part of the Premedical Association. This group offers peer mentoring and MCAT help, and arranges trips, speakers, and service opportunities.
The video below shows a little more about what life is like as a student at BJU…
- Name: Bob Jones University
- Location: 1700 Wade Hampton Boulevard, Greenville, SC 29614
- Phone: 864-242-1500
- Website: bju.edu/premed-predent
3. University of South Carolina (USC)
|National University Rank:||117|
|Average SAT score:||1275|
|Tuition:||$12,688 in-state; $33,928 out-of-state|
The University of South Carolina’s Pre-Med program is centered around the Office of Pre-Professional and Graduate Advising, which is tasked with making sure all Pre-Med students understand the requirements of preparing a strong medical school application. Through this office, you can get MCAT prep help, news about internship and research opportunities, and apply for job shadowing experience.
USC offers the Pre-Medical Academic and Career Exploration Series (PACES), a week-long intensive residential program to help incoming first-year students explore a career in medicine.
USC also has a variety of Pre-Med-oriented student organizations, including Amigos del Buen Samaratino, which coordinates volunteers for that local clinic and CURE at South Carolina, which helps sponsor and run 27 hospitals around the world.
- Name: University of South Carolina
- Location: Columbia, SC 29208
- Phone: 803-777-0169
- Website: sc.edu/premed
4. Furman University
|National University Rank:||46 in Liberal Arts Colleges|
|Average SAT score:||1309|
Furman University’s pre-health program has been very successful, placing 78.9% of pre-health graduates in medical or graduate school programs in 2019. The Office of Pre-Professional Advising is available to help you navigate the journey to med school and to connect you with the experiences that make you a great candidate.
Furman prides itself on offering innovative courses like Medical Spanish, Medical Ethics, and Poverty, Medicine, and Law.
Speaking of medicine and law, Furman offers the Medical Legal Partnership, providing interns with the chance to screen for “health-harming legal problems,” and then draft complaints, investigate claims, and observe in court. This cutting-edge program prepares students for “a world in which the definition of health care is rapidly expanding.”
Students can also apply for internships with Prisma Health-Upstate Clinical Observation Program. In addition to helping find internships, the Advising Office can place you with Heller Service Corps, providing volunteer, shadowing, and clinical placement opportunities throughout South Carolina. Another campus resource is the Malone Center for Career Engagement, which can help with resumes, mock interviews, and setting career goals. The Advising Office will also assist in finding funding for your summer research internship.
Student organizations on campus include FUMMO, a global health awareness group, and PHOKUS, a group to promote community health and wellness. Furman University Responders trains those students who want to obtain an EMT certification.
- Name: Furman University
- Location: 3300 Poinsett Highway, Greenville, SC 29613
- Phone: (864) 294-2000
- Website: furman.edu/pre-health
Is It Important To Attend A Good Pre-Med School In South Carolina?
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 a stretch!
What College In SC Has The Best Medical Program?
The best medical school in the state, according to U.S. News Ranking, is The School of Medicine at University of South Carolina. You’ll need an average GPA of 3.7 and an average MCAT of 508.
How To Improve Your Medicine Application As A Pre-Med In School In SC
A great way to make your med school application as competitive as possible is through extracurriculars.
In South Carolina, 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.
What Is The Hardest/Easiest College In South Carolina To Get Into For Pre-Med?
Based on the data above, Bob Jones University appears easiest to gain admission into as an undergrad. Their admission rate is one of the highest and the SAT average is fairly achievable.
Clemson University appears the most competitive.
What Major Should I Choose As A Pre-Med?
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)
Related: What’s The Easiest Pre Med Major?
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.
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.