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.
NYU has an excellent reputation in terms of academics, but does it stack up for pre-med? Here’s what we know about NYU’s strength and reputation at the undergrad level.
Is NYU good for pre-med in 2021?
NYU is a great school for pre-meds hoping to go on to study medicine. Its connections with its own affiliated NYU Grossman School of Medicine provide a ton of extracurricular (shadowing, research, and volunteering) opportunities, while its AMSA chapter and pre-health advisory service do a lot to help improve students’ applications. The 32% admissions acceptance rate it boasts is another huge plus.
Of course, attending NYU by no means guarantees a spot in med school (that’s the same of all colleges/universities) – you’ll still have to work hard to attain a superb GPA and MCAT score regardless – but it definitely can help set you up.
Read on if you want to learn more about what it offers pre-meds hoping to go on to become successful physicians.
Does NYU offer pre-med?
Pre-med is not a dedicated major at NYU but rather a “track” called Prehealth. What that means is that you can have a major in any field while having the support of the track to help guide your application.
Also known as the Robert and Ellen Salant Prehealth Program, it prepares students for an advanced degree after they finish their undergrad in careers like medicine, dentistry, public health, allied health, and veterinary.
The track gives you the flexibility to choose from hundreds of different majors and minors. For example, if you’re someone that wants to opt for biochemistry with a public health minor on the pre-health track, you’ll be able to complete the requirements to graduate with your desired degree and the ones necessary to apply to medical school.
If your major closely aligns with your prehealth courses (like the example above), then you don’t have to take many additional classes to complete the track.
But you can still also major in music, performing arts, etc., and be part of the program. It just means you’ll have to pick up the common prereqs along the way!
NYU Pre-Med Requirements
As for what those are, here’s what NYU’s Prehealth program lists (you can take each of these at the school) as its requirements:
- General Chemistry I & II (& Lab)
- Principles of Biology I & II (& Lab)
- Organic Chemistry I & II (& Lab)
- General Physics I & II
- Calculus I
- Expository Writing
- Biochemistry I/Protein Biochemistry
According to their advisory services, except for Chemistry and Expository Writing (which should be taken in Year 1), you can do these at any time/order during your undergrad. You can also do them at any of the college’s study away sites (London, Syndey, Shanghai, etc) too!
While you do these courses (and your undergrad), NYU’s Prehealth Program is there to help you arrange clinical and research experiences, civic engagement opportunities and be a bridging point between relevant clubs and organizations that you can get involved with to help round out your future application (more on this later).
The video below helps show what pre-med life is like at the university…
What’s good about NYU pre-med
The Prehealth track at NYU is built in such a way that students can choose any major they want while creating an excellent foundation in STEM and writing.
“This is extremely beneficial for students at NYU. It gives you a chance to explore different fields that you are interested in and be a flexible thinker.”– Zahin Ahmed, Neural Science Major, College of Arts & Science, NYU
But besides the degree of freedom being a pre-med at NYU affords, here’s what else is good about it:
- The classes provide a very solid foundation for the MCAT
- NYU has a prehealth activity that helps you get letters of evaluation from all your teachers every semester (you can even get these sent to the prehealth office)
- You get individial mentorship and support from pre-health staff
- The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) at NYU connects undergraduates to a network of medical professionals
- AMSA also organizes activities like MCAT prep sessions, medical students panel, volunteer excursions, and peer mentorship programs
- There are many student clubs from the Pre-Vet Club to the Pre-Dental Society that help students explore the field and community service
- The Medical Dialogue Review, NYU’s student-run medical journal ranges from discussions of public health to reviews of recent medical journal publications
That last one is incredibly useful for helping you gain publications (something that looks amazing to medical school admissions teams).
But let’s take a little closer look at what else NYU offers when it comes to really strengthening any med school application…
NYU Prehealth can help hook students up with Manhattan hospitals and their volunteer departments and connect them with valuable summer clinical and research opportunities.
Side note: we also have a useful list of these here; Physician Shadowing Programs In NYC, and Best Hospital Volunteer Opportunities In NYC.
NYU’s Medical Record e-newsletter, something available to all on the Prehealth track, helps keep students informed about potential research opportunities on campus and beyond the square.
NYU’s Center for Student Activities, Leadership, and Service can help you get involved in the types of community projects that look great for med school apps. Their ties with NYU CMEP, the Office of Global Spiritual Life, and the College Cohort Program are very useful too.
What’s bad about NYU pre-med
Based on our research, the main complaints are as follows:
- Big class sizes (making it hard to get close to professors and score important letters of recommendation)
- Patchy pre-health advisory support (the quality can be a little hit and miss – more on this later)
- No undergraduate EMT program (missed opportunity for clinical experience)
- Not allowed to take courses affiliated at NYU’s Grossman School of Medicine
Are you at an advantage for getting into NYU medicine?
Being a pre-med at NYU offers no clear advantage for helping you get into NYU medicine. The school is still super competitive; it has a tiny 2.2% acceptance rate and is tuition free (encouraging a lot of applicants).
NYU’s pre-med acceptance rate
Getting into a medical school from pre-med highly depends on factors like the combination of MCAT scores, GPA, and interviews. But according to the statistics, the acceptance rate of NYU pre-meds to US medical schools is 32%.
Here’s the data from 2017:
- Students applied: 60,724
- Students accepted: 19,351
- Acceptance rate: 32%
To get into NYU as an undergrad (before then signing up to the Prehealth track) is pretty tough, however.
According to 2020’s data, their acceptance rate was just 16.2% and the average GPA was 3.69 or higher (1510 SAT or a 34 ACT).
What NYU majors are best for pre-meds?
As per the AAMC data of 2016, amongst the 21,030 students who got accepted to medical school, 52.8% were majors in Biological Sciences.
NYU offers various majors that are best for pre-meds that’ll help you get through the MCAT, such as:
- Neural Science
The trick is to pick something you feel you’ll get a high GPA in!
We discuss all this (and more) in this article: What’s The Easiest Pre Med Major?
Is NYU good for Biology?
NYU was ranked #121 on College Factual’s list of the best schools for Biology majors. It is also ranked #7 in New York. There are three options available to students pursuing a major in Biology at NYU.
- Biology track
- Ecology track
- Global Public Health/Biology
This ensures an overall strong foundation when it comes to the training for medical school as you experience various sciences and their value in the health field.
Is NYU good for pre-med? Reddit’s Opinion!
Reddit is a great place to get honest student opinions away from NYU’s own promotional materials.
Yes, I would recommend it! The classes are hard which makes it difficult to get through for some people (ex. Molecular cell and orgo are two big weed out classes). But if you make it through, NYU prepares you really well for the MCAT and also applying and the difficult classes means that you’ll be better prepared for med school in the future which is a plus!– go_girl_08
“I really like NYU and being in the city really really exposes you to a bunch of internships, hospitals, mutual aid organizations, and volunteer opportunities.”– u/zero300
I’m in GPH/Applied Psych and I just want to say that if you get Professor Marybec Griffin (which you probably will) for your intro public health class, she is amazing and it’s sort of unbelievable to have a prof that genuinely wants you to learn. I’m trending towards an A in her class so far!– u/Traditional-Yoghurt0
I’m not a big fan of premed advising because they don’t know much about what they’re talking about. The premed reddit exposed me to a bunch more requirements and opportunities. I would take advantage of NYU’s premed clubs because a lot have alumni panels and dr panels and peer mentoring which is much more helpful for me.– u/zero300
Premed advising isn’t the best… it’s not horrible but not great. My advisor was always really nice and didn’t give me horrible advice but I know some who have. Also, my advisor literally told me to apply MD Ph.D. and made it sound like she was sure I’d get in even though I had little research.– u/go_girl_08
NYU vs Columbia for pre-med
The Columbia University Postbac Premed Program is highly regarded as one of the top medical schools for its rigorous approach to medical school preparation.
Both universities require a GPA of more than 3.5 to get into. But if you were to look at the acceptance rate, NYU is easier to get into than Columbia University (5.4%).
At the end of the day, it all depends on the cost, the environment, and the facilities that look right to you!
For more alternative schools check out the following article; Best Pre-Med Schools In New York State (Costs, Extracurriculars & Admission Info).
Conclusion: Is NYU good for pre-med?
NYU, although it isn’t Ivy League, is a top school for pre-med. Its acceptance rate to postgraduate health programs is a solid 32% and it offers huge opportunities for research, civic engagement, clinical experience, and student leadership.
Although its pre-health advisory service isn’t without criticism, in terms of infrastructure and opportunity the school has everything you need to put together an unbelievable med school application.
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.