Is Cornell Good For Pre-Med? (Everything You Need To Know)

Choosing a great college for undergrad studies can make a big difference when it comes to being a pre-med. But because there’s so much choice, and a lot of factors hanging in the balance, it’s difficult to know what schools are best. 

Cornell has an excellent reputation in terms of academics, but does it stack up for pre-med? Here’s what we know about Cornell’s strength and reputation at the undergrad level. 

Is Cornell Good For Pre-Med in 2022?

Cornell is ranked #17 for National Universities and has a great reputation as a pre-med school. It’s difficult to get accepted, and their pre-health track is designed to “weed out” a certain number of students. 

Attending Cornell does not guarantee admission into Weill Medical College of Cornell University or any other medical school, but with the pre-health advisory plan and other resources, Cornell can put you on the right path. You’ll still have to have an excellent GPA and MCAT scores, among other “core competencies.”

Related: 4 Best Pre-Med Schools In New York State (Key Facts & Data)

Does Cornell Offer Pre-Med?

Like many schools, there is no official “pre-med” major at Cornell, but they instead offer a pre-health track. 1 in 6 Cornell students plans to pursue a career in human or veterinary medicine, so Cornell has a robust pre-health advisory system. 

Cornell Health Careers Advising can help you select a major (you can choose from up to 40), plan service and clinical experience, and ensure you are meeting the requirements. There are two advisors dedicated to medical school applicants.

Cornell Pre-Med Requirements

You’ll need to check with your advisor, but most pre-health tracks will tick most of the med school application boxes in terms of required courses. Here’s what you need at Cornell: 

  • Biology I and II and lab
  • Biochemistry: Proteins and Metabolism
  • Chemistry I and II and lab
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Calculus
  • Statistics
  • Physics I and II
  • English (First-Year Writing Seminar, etc)

The English requirement varies by med school, so check the requirements where you are applying. Cornell also suggests that you take some social science courses to help you do better on certain sections of the MCAT. 

Related: 4 Best Free MCAT Question Banks (3500+ Questions, No Sign-Up!)

What’s Good About Cornell Pre-Med

Cornell’s pre-health track is rigorous and you will be well-prepared for med school when you finish. You also have a lot of latitude in terms of how you get research, clinical, and civic engagement experience. 

Clinical Experience

Cornell will use its alumni network to help you find job shadow and clinical experience opportunities. They can also help you find volunteer opportunities in local hospitals and hospices. One of the best opportunities here is Cornell EMS, which serves the Ithaca campus.

Research Experience

Again, Cornell will help you find research opportunities with professors and alums, but you will need to do most of the legwork yourself. They suggest you generate an idea, send emails, and apply for funding. 

Civic Engagement

Cornell recommends that you get involved in their clubs, such as The Intergroup Dialogue Program (which will help with cultural competency), or any other club that interests you. Leadership positions in these organizations will help med school applications, as will any and all volunteer community service – all of which the advising office will help you set up. 

What’s Bad About Cornell Pre-Med

The same thing that’s good about Cornell: you have a lot of latitude with research, clinical, and civic engagement experience, meaning it’s up to you to coordinate much of it. The advising office will help, but you need to be a self-starter to network, inquire, and create your own opportunities. 

Also, there doesn’t seem to be much overlap between Cornell undergrad and Cornell’s medical school, probably due to the physical distance separating them. 

The video below provides a little more insight into the potential pros and cons of the college, as suggested by actual students…

Are You At An Advantage Getting Into Cornell Medicine?

This is tough to determine. As with any college, “attending Cornell does not automatically guarantee you admission..into Weill Medical College of Cornell University.” Weill Medical College is extremely competitive: 323 students were accepted out of 6,385 applications (5%) in 2019. 84% of those accepted were from out of state. 

Cornell’s Pre-Med Acceptance Rate

76% of Cornell grads with a GPA of 3.4 or higher got accepted into medical school in 2016. 

What Cornell majors are best for pre-meds?

Cornell likes to sell the fact that you can do almost any major you want and still prepare for medical school. Having said that, Biology is a very strong department, a med school requirement, and will prepare you well for med school. Chemistry is also a very strong department with challenging labs.

Is Cornell good for Biology?

The Biology program at Cornell is very strong – one of the toughest in the Ivies, according to the internet. 

Is Cornell good for pre-med? Reddit’s / Internet’s Opinion

Pre-med at Cornell is not cutthroat and is collaborative, according to some sources. But, according to some forums, you’ll be a small fish in a big pond, and it might be better for your chances to get a 3.8 at a different school than a 3.4 at Cornell – there are rumors of grade deflation at Cornell

“I don’t mean to be a bummer, but you should know what you’re getting into. Cornell has one of the hardest bio programs in the country (much harder than other Ivy leagues from what I have heard from friends who study there).”

– skrillexisok on r/Cornell

Conclusion: Is Cornell good for pre-med?

This Ivy League school has an excellent reputation for pre-med. You will be well-prepared in the pre-health track for medical school, and if you are a self-starter who charts your path wisely, you stand an excellent chance of gaining admission to a good medical school.