4 Best Pre-Med Schools In Virginia (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 Virginia (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 Virginia (based on reputation and alumni)
  • How important it is to attend a good pre-med school in the state
  • What pre-meds in Virginia 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 Virginia, 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 Virginia

1. University of Richmond

Location:Richmond, VA
National University Rank:22 (Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges)
Average SAT score: 1280-1460 (ACT 30-33) 
Acceptance Rate: 31% 
Tuition:$58,570
Private/Public: Private
Undergraduate Enrollment: 3,291
Student-faculty ratio: 8:1

The University of Richmond Pre-Health studies gives students the guidance, support, academic preparation, and clinical experiences they need to successfully apply to health professional schools.

It has solid science programs and resources available to pre-health students.

Every year, approximately 300 students, including first-years, take the pre-health studies curriculum.

The program offers a combination of benefits:

  • A medical school acceptance rate of 86% (2017–2021)
  • MCAT preparation course in-house
  • A health studies minor that provides students to become better doctors, not only better students
  • Study abroad programs organized explicitly toward pre-health students
  • The program welcomes not just students majoring in the sciences but from all disciplines 

Dr. John Vaughn is the Director of Pre-health Education and holds a pre-health advising and program development position. This is in contrast to many schools this size. Ordinarily, science faculty members serve as the pre-medical advisor in addition to their teaching and research responsibilities. It ensures attention and consistency in the advising process.

Besides that, it provides adequate time and resources for the director of pre-health education to develop meaningful program components such as MCAT preparation, clinical externships, and mentoring programs.

Anyone wishing to apply to medical school can use their pre-med committee, despite their GPA and/or MCAT score.

Their Gottwald Center for the Science boasts state-of-the-art equipment and laboratory space that rival those found at many large research universities.

Introductory science classes average 20 students, allowing students and faculty to know each other well. This mainly benefits pre-medical students who rely on letters of recommendation from faculty when they apply to medical school.

Richmond offers a tuition-free MCAT preparation course every spring semester that includes individualized tutoring, weekly practice sets, and a full-length simulated exam.

86% of their 2017–2021 graduates who applied to medical school classes were accepted. Richmond students applying to other health profession schools show similar results.

Check out the webinar below for a detailed introduction to Richmond’s Pre-Health program…

DETAILS 

  • Name: University of Richmond
  • Location: Richmond, VA 23173
  • Phone: 804-289-8000
  • Website: richmond.edu

2. University of Virginia (UVA)

Location:Charlottesville, VA
National University Rank:25
Average SAT score: 1320-1510 (ACT 30-34) 
Acceptance Rate: 23% 
Tuition:$19,698 (in-state)/$53,666 (out-of-state)
Private/Public: Public
Undergraduate Enrollment: 17,311
Student-faculty ratio: 14:1

The University of Virginia (UVA) is a highly ranked public university located in Charlottesville, Virginia, founded in 1819.

It is a big institution with 17,311 (fall 2020) undergraduate students and competitive admissions; the UVA has a 24% acceptance rate. Its popular majors cover Liberal Arts and Humanities, Economics, and Management Sciences and Information Systems.

It is a cheaper alternative to an outstanding pre-med education. But exclusively for in-state students: they are charged a tuition rate of $19,698. On the other hand, out-of-state is out of luck: they will pay rates just as expensive as more prestigious universities offering pre-med, around $53,666.

Besides this, UVA offers a Post Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Program for career-changers with a solid undergraduate record but have not achieved the medical school prerequisites.

It takes 11 months, and its students take required science courses. Advisors guide them in the preparation of medical school application materials.

Students will have clinical exposure through shadowing and volunteer opportunities at the UVA Health System and other regional sites. Besides that, they will attend regular class sessions taught by a physician focusing on the US healthcare system, professionalism, and bioethics.

Students who have completed the program have had a 95 percent acceptance rate to medical school. The Pre-Medical Program costs are estimated at $34,526 (In-State) and $40,669 (Out-of-State).

For more on this program, check out the video below…

DETAILS 

  • Name: University of Virginia
  • Location: Charlottesville, VA
  • Phone: 434-924-0311
  • Website: virginia.edu

3. George Mason University

Location:Fairfax, VA
National University Rank:148
Average SAT score: 1100-1300 (ACT 24-30) 
Acceptance Rate: 89% 
Tuition: $13,119 (in-state) and $36,579 (out-of-state)
Private/Public: Public
Undergraduate Enrollment: 27,105
Student-faculty ratio: 17:1

George Mason University is a public school founded in 1972, with a total undergraduate enrollment of 27,105 (fall 2020).

Its admissions are selective and hold an 89% acceptance rate. Half the applicants admitted to GMU have an SAT score between 1100 and 1300 or an ACT score of 24 and 30.

GMU has a Pre-Med/Health Professions Advising service organizing all the prerequisites courses a pre-med student needs. The courses offered cover the following:

  • Biology with lab, 2 semesters 
  • Anatomy and Physiology with lab, 2 semesters 
  • Microbiology with lab, 1 semester
  • General Chemistry with lab, 2 semesters
  • Organic Chemistry with lab, 2 semesters
  • Biochemistry, 1 semester
  • College Physics with lab, 2 semesters
  • English, 2 semesters
  • Psychology, 1 semester
  • Sociology, 1 semester 
  • Statistics, 1 semester
  • Calculus, 1 semester

It will prepare students to apply broadly to medical schools and prepare for the MCAT exam.

But it is not the only access GMU offers to the medical school. They also have the Pre-Medical Undergraduate Certificate, a post-baccalaureate program. It is a premium plan offered to members of the military.

The Pre-Medical Undergraduate Certificate is a one-year undergraduate program that allows individuals to complete undergraduate pre-medical admissions requirements.

It is full-time, offered during the day, and located at the Science and Technology Campus of GMU. Students must be selected by the US military and are admitted as a cohort in the fall semester only.

Military members need:

  • a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school
  • a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • experience working in a health service position in the military
  • meet all the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) requirements 
  • interested in enrolling at the Uniformed Services University or another US accredited medical school

Only the individuals supported by EMDP2 will be eligible to enroll.

Check out the video below for more on what you need to know before applying/attending this school…

DETAILS 

  • Name: George Mason University
  • Location: 4400 University Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030
  • Phone: 703-993-1000
  • Website: gmu.edu

4. Washington and Lee University

Location:Lexington, VA
National University Rank:11 (National Liberal Arts Colleges)
Average SAT score: 1350-1500 (ACT 22-34) 
Acceptance Rate: 24% 
Tuition:$59,380
Private/Public: Private
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,822
Student-faculty ratio: 8:1

Washington and Lee is a top-ranked institution in Lexington, founded in 1749.

They combine a liberal arts education with a health professions track. This combination empowers students to prepare for health careers and receive a well-rounded, in-depth, and expansive education in several disciplines.

W&L has an outstanding record of placing its students into professional schools. Over the past ten years, more than 87% of their students who applied to medical schools from W&L were approved.

Their Health Professions Advisory Committee provides advice to guide students to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). Individual planning and preparation are the heart of the program.

The planning can begin in a student’s first year, specifically with the advice of a faculty member experienced in advising health career students. Follow-up counseling includes appropriate choice of major, scheduling of courses required for admission, and available summer opportunities.

Samples courses include genetics, biochemistry, medical ethics, statistics for biology, and poverty and human capability.

Check out the video below for more on Washington and Lee offers…

DETAILS 

  • Name: Washington and Lee University
  • Location: 204 W Washington St, Lexington, VA 24450
  • Phone: 540-458-8400
  • Website: wlu.edu

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 Virginia?

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 Virginia Has The Best Medical Program?

The best medical school in Virginia, according to U.S. News Ranking (Source), is the University of Virginia School of Medicine. You’ll need an average GPA of 3.89 and an average MCAT of 518.

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

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

In Virginia, 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 Virginia To Get Into?

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

The University of Virginia appears the most competitive.

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

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.

RelatedWhat’s The Easiest Pre Med Major?

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…