Best Pre-Med Schools In North Carolina (Costs, Extracurriculars & Admission Info) [2021]

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

If you’re based in North Carolina (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 North Carolina (based on reputation and alumni)
  • How important it is to attend a good pre-med school in the state
  • What pre-meds in North Carolina can do to be more competitive

Being a med student myself, I know how valuable it can be to think about these things.

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 North Carolina, 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 North Carolina

Duke University 

Location:Durham, NC
National University Rank:12
Average SAT score:1480-1570 (ACT 33-35)
Acceptance Rate:8%
Tuition:$17,484 (in-state)/$60,488 (out-of-state)
Undergraduate Enrollment:6,649
Student-faculty ratio:8:1

Founded in 1838, Duke is one of the top feeder schools for medicine in the entire U.S. (Source).

Popular majors among Duke pre-health students include Biology, Chemistry, History, and English.

Duke Health presents excellent research opportunities, both in the pure science labs and at it’s highly reputable medical school.

The Health Professions Advising office is well-positioned to help provide volunteering and shadowing opportunities in the local community and abroad. They focus on helping students across all four years of study (and after) in their preparations for the MCAT, final coursework, letters of recommendation, gap year opportunities, and more.

To make the most of your opportunities as a pre-med at Duke, check out the following video…

Of course, getting accepted into Duke University is a challenge. With its low acceptance rate and high average SAT scores, it’s seriously competitive.

But, even after that, there’s no denying that Duke has one of the best pre-med courses offered in the country.

Extracurricular opportunities like DukeEngage, FHI Humanities Labs, Bass Connections, and the huge list of Duke student groups and events, help prove that point.


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 

Location:Chapel Hill, NC
National University Rank:28
Average SAT score:1300-1490 (ACT 27-33)
Acceptance Rate:23%
Tuition:$9,021 (in-state)/$36,200 (out-of-state)
Undergraduate Enrollment:19,355
Student-faculty ratio:14:1

The University of North Carolina is one of the oldest public universities in the United States.

Founded in 1789, the University is home to over 500 different student organizations (offering plenty of opportunities for extracurricular involvement).

Situated in Chapel Hill, the accompanying University Hospital also helps provide important volunteering opportunities and clinical experience. 

UNC’s Health Professions Advising Office helps students to pursue a pre-health/pre-med route by offering proper counseling, events, workshops, and a weekly email service (via Listserv) providing valuable information on application deadlines, events and resources.

Scheduled events for the 2021 fall semester include the Choose DO Medical School Virtual Expo, Campbell University School of Medicine MSBS Info Session, UNC School of Nursing BSN Info Session, and a ton more.

Another limelight program offered by the UNC is its Medical Education Development Program or MED. This program, established in 1974, offers a structured summer curriculum to increase the ability of pre-professional candidates, especially those from underrepresented communities, to gain admission into medicine.

For further insight into how life at UNC is like as a pre-med, check out the following video…


  • Name: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Location: Chapel Hill, NC, United States
  • Phone: +1 919-962-2211
  • Website:

Davidson College 

Location:Davidson, NC
National University Rank:15 (National Liberal Arts Colleges)
Average SAT score:1310-1485 (ACT 30-33)
Acceptance Rate:18%
Undergraduate Enrollment:1,837
Student-faculty ratio:9:1

Founded in 1837, Davidson college is another reputed private college in Davidson, North Carolina.

Although there’s no dedicated pre-medicine program, the school’s Premedicine and Allied Health Professions office offers group and individual meetings to help you plan a suitable course of study.

Davidson’s Public Health Department offers two courses in clinical/hospital experiences (PBH 380 Issues in Medicine and PBH 390 Health Care Ethics), each worth one-course credit, to help pre-meds pick up valuable experience.

The school’s Mentor/Shadowing Programs, coordinated by Frances Alexander at fralexander@davidson.ed, offers aspiring pre-med’s the opportunity to interact with physicians, patients, and other health care professionals in clinical or hospital settings.

There is a long list of research opportunities, additional internships, and volunteering opportunities detailed here.


Wake Forest University

Location:Winston-Salem, NC
National University Rank:28
Average SAT score:1320-1490 (ACT 30-33)
Acceptance Rate:30%
Undergraduate Enrollment:5,287
Student-faculty ratio:10:1

Established in 1834, Wake Forest University has a good reputation among prospective pre-med students in North Carolina.

Their Health Professions Program is designed to help students prepare applications and become more competitive by offering each individual an academic advisor for their first two years of study.

The Pre-medical Clinical Internship/Shadowing Program matches Wake Undergraduates with physicians in the Wake Forest Baptist Health System, while The WF URECA Center promotes undergraduate research and creative activities between Wake Forest faculty and students.

The school also offers a list of Summer Undergraduate Research Programs, including the Biomedical Informatics Internship Program, here.

Wake Forest Medicine’s Early Assurance Program is another attractive option, putting Wake Forest undergraduates on the fast track to medical school.

This video gives more context on the attached medical school…


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

Final Thoughts

There are several options to choose from when it comes to choosing alternative pre-med schools in North Carolina.

Aside from the recommendations above, other schools that came up during my research, that also may be worth looking at, include:

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.

Related Questions

Is It Important To Attend A Good Pre Med School In North 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 North Carolina Has The Best Medical Program?

The best medical school in North Carolina, according to U.S. News Ranking (Source), is Duke UniversityYou’ll need an average GPA of 3.86 and an average MCAT of 519 to compete for its 122 places.

Other high scoring med schools in the state include:

  1. University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
  2. Wake Forest University

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

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

In North 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.

Related3 Best Paid Jobs For Pre Med Students (That Don’t Require Experience Or Training)

What Is The Hardest/Easiest College In North Carolina To Get Into?

Based on the data above, Wake Forest University appears easier to gain admission into as an undergrad. Their admission rate is the highest and their average SAT scores are lower than rival colleges in the state.

Duke University is perhaps the most competitive college to matriculate in as a pre-med in North Carolina.

What Major Should I Choose As A Pre-Med In North Carolina?

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 a North Carolina-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…