4 Best Pre-Med Schools in New York State (Key Facts & Data) [2022]

Preparing yourself as early as you can is the key to getting accepted into med school.

If you’re based in New York (or interested in going to school there), choosing one of the best pre-med schools in the state can also help.

In this article we’ll cover:

  • The best pre-med schools in NY (based on reputation and alumni)
  • How important it is to attend a good pre-med school in the state
  • What pre-meds in the state can do to be more competitive

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 New York State, 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 New York

1. Columbia University

Location:New York, NY
National University Rank:2
Average SAT score:1505
Acceptance Rate:5.4%

It is difficult to get accepted into Columbia, but once there, pre-med and pre-health students are given excellent academic preparation for medical school (at Columbia, most of the students apply to allopathic medical schools). 

The Office of Preprofessional Advising works with individual students to choose the right path for them based on their interests. The school has an extensive Premedical Handbook to help students, and premedical advisors are available to students at any time. 

Columbia has a wide variety of extracurricular activities, many of them designed to help students line up clinical experience before applying to medical school. Below is a list of a few of the pre-med-related student groups:

  • AMSA – The American Medical Student Association is a premed society that plans lectures and programs
  • CU-EMS –  Columbia’s Emergency Medical Service is a student-operated ambulance service
  • CUSJ – Columbia’s Science Journal – an undergraduate research publication
  • Peer Health Exchange – recruits and trains students to teach health workshops in under-sourced NYC schools

The Preprofessional Advising Center also offers placement assistance and an extensive network for clinical and research opportunities

Check out the video below for more info on pre-med life at Columbia…


  • Name: Columbia University
  • Location: 403 Alfred Lerner Hall, 2920 Broadway, New York, NY 10027
  • Phone: 212-854-6738
  • Websitecc-seas.columbia.edu

2. Cornell University

Location:Ithaca, NY
National University Rank:17
Average SAT score:1480
Acceptance Rate:10.9%

Like many schools, Cornell does not offer an actual pre-med major, but rather they focus on exploring student options and interests while keeping an eye on the health career track. 

Pre-Health Advisors in the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell will help you navigate the waters of the 40 available majors and required/recommended courses for medical school applicants. Cornell Health Careers Advising also provides resources and insight. The Cornell Handshake, a tool to share events and opportunities, can be tailored to highlight pre-health announcements. 

Cornell recommends that you get research and leadership experience (not necessarily in medical fields) to strengthen your medical school applications, and their advising offices will help you get those in person or virtually during the school year and summer. 

There are a number of organizations on campus dedicated to pre-health or pre-medical pursuits: 

  • Cornell University Emergency Medical Services – students can apply to get valuable clinical time 
  • Alpha Epsilon Delta – pre-medical honor society
  • Student Osteopathic Medicine Society
  • Pre-med Minorities Mentorship Program

Cornell also has two advisors dedicated to medical school applicants in order to help with course planning, extracurricular activities, timeline help, and connecting with alumni.

For some excellent pre-med tips for studying at Cornell, check out the following video…


  • Name: Cornell University
  • Location: 410 Thurston Avenue, Ithaca, NY 14850
  • Phone: 607-255-2000
  • Websitecornell.edu

3. New York University

Location:New York, NY
National University Rank:28
Average SAT score:1440
Acceptance Rate:16.2%

NYU is another high-ranking university with a strong pre-med program, called “Pre-Health” at this school (Pre-Health covers all of those who are preparing to apply to medical, dental, or pharmacy programs). 

Pre-Health is overseen by the College of Arts and Sciences, and they provide guidance and advice for undergraduates. In addition, the Preprofessional Advising Center offers support and advising specifically for Pre-Health students as they navigate their requirements. The Preprofessional Advising Center also coordinates application workshops, career seminars, and internship opportunities.

Related: Is NYU Good For Pre-Med? (Everything You Need To Know)

The “Pre-Health Community” is also important at NYU. This group of students provides vital help, support, and connections to one another throughout the schooling and application process. 

There are a number of Pre-Health student organizations, such as:

  • Phi Delta Epsilon – pre-med co-ed fraternal organization
  • Student National Medical Association – focused on needs and concerns of students of color
  • Pre-Health Advisory Board
  • Draper Chemical Society

In terms of clinical and research experiences, New York City has a wealth of opportunities that NYU can help students tap into. The Preprofessional Advising Center will help you determine the best opportunities for your interests. 

Interested in what a day as a pre-med might look like at NYU? Check out the following video…


  • Name: New York University
  • Location: 50 West 4th St, New York, NY 10012
  • Phone: 212-998-1212
  • Website: cas.nyu.edu/prehealth

4. University of Rochester

Location:Rochester, NY
National University Rank:34
Average SAT score:1420
Acceptance Rate:29.7%

The University of Rochester bills itself as “one of the smallest and most collegial among the nation’s top research universities.” UR does not technically have a pre-med program or major; you simply have to take the required courses in conjunction with the other courses for your major to express your “pre-med interest.” 

One big advantage pre-med students have at UR is the proximity to the University of Rochester Medical Center, comprised of Strong Memorial Hospital, the medical and dental schools, and the medical research facility. The Center provides undergraduates with valuable research and clinical opportunities. 

UR also has the Health Professions Advisory Committee, which provides three full-time academic advisors to help with academic planning and the medical school application process. Because of its direct connection to the medical school, there are many resources available for students who are “pre-med interested,” including job shadowing, summer research internships, and an active medical alumni network.

Here are some of the groups on campus for students interested in pre-med:

  • Minority Association of Pre-medical Students (MAPS)
  • American Medical Student Association
  • EMPEX – this program provides the unique opportunity for students to practice procedures (sutures, IVs, EKGs) with nurses in the Strong ER
  • Homeless Response Team
  • Affinity groups from Anesthesiology to Ultrasound

While it doesn’t call itself “pre-med,” UR does a great job with undergraduate preparation because of its direct connection to the hospital and medical school. Students have tremendous exposure to an amazing array of resources to prepare them for medical school. 


All admissions data is taken from the American Association of Medical Colleges (Source). Ranking data is taken from U.S. News.

Related Questions

Is It Important To Attend A Good Pre Med School In New York?

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 New York Has The Best Medical Program?

The best medical school in NYC, according to U.S. News Ranking (Source), is New York University (Grossman). You’ll need an average GPA of 3.96 and an average MCAT of 522.

How To Improve Your Medicine Application As A Pre-Med In School In NY

A great way to make your med school application as competitive as possible is through extracurriculars.

In NY, 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: 7 Physician Shadowing Programs In NYC! (2021) & 17 Best Hospital Volunteer Opportunities In NYC!

What Is The Hardest/Easiest College In New York To Get Into?

Based on the data above, the University of Rochester appears easier to gain admission into as an undergrad. Their admission rate is one of the highest and their undergraduate admissions places are more than most other schools in the state.

Columbia for undergrad 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)

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.

If you found this article useful, make sure you check out the rest of our pre-med guides…