Is Nova A Good Medical School? (Major Pros & Cons)

The Kiran Patel College of Allopathic and Osteopathic Medicine at Nova Southeastern University is a private institution established in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 1964.

Its mission statement aims to advance human health through innovation in med education, research, patient care, and community engagement.

Let’s find out what they really deliver.

Is Nova a Good Medical School?

Nova is a good med school, offering research options, combined degrees, and good campus life. Living in Fort Lauderdale, with warm weather and recreational choices, is a plus. But Fort Lauderdale can be an expansive place to live, the school isn’t as prestigious as other nearby options, and there are complaints online concerning the school’s organization.

We’ll investigate all this in more detail in this article.

Interested in learning more about specific medical school pros and cons? Check out our Medical School Guides here – we cover all osteopathic (DO) and allopathic (MD) schools.

Why Nova Medical School? Major Pros

Good Research Options

NSU’s MD program is very research-focused. More than 200 research projects are currently taking place at NSU, including investigations on cardiovascular disease, anti-cancer therapies, chronic fatigue syndrome, autism, coral reef restoration, stem cells, disorders that cause blindness, and wildlife DNA forensics.


NSU has a spacious 314-acre campus in Fort Lauderdale/Davie, Florida, just minutes from downtown Fort Lauderdale.

It allows med students to train in a culturally diverse region and to access hospitals and strong specialty practices.

Great City

Fort Lauderdale is a great city! It has year-round sun, outdoors fun, and vibrant cuisine and culture.

There is tons of natural beauty, like blue-wave beaches, quiet backcountry eco waterways, lush green spaces, and outdoor fun like kayaking, paddle boarding, biking, fishing, snorkeling, diving, boating, and even mountain biking trails.

The city has a sophisticated urban vibe. Downtown Fort Lauderdale is 15 minutes away from the campus!

Off-Campus Housing

Nova has Off-Campus Housing Services to provide students, faculty, and staff with a resource to identify options for rental housing near NSU.

There are rental listings, including apartments, condos, townhouses, homes, and rooms in private homes.

Student Well-Being

The school delivers its med students excellent support for their well-being, such as medical and counseling services and health insurance. Every student is enrolled in the NSU Student Health Insurance plan.


The Office of Recreation and Wellness (NSU RecWell) offers many programs and services in an inclusive environment. It includes Intramural & Club Sports, Fitness & Wellness Programming, Scuba and Rescue Certifications, and Outdoor Adventures.

Class size

NSU has relatively small classes, with 51 students in the 2021 class. Med students at Nova typically work in small groups of 7-8 students per cohort, which helps the learning environment.

Osteopathic and allopathic medicine

Nova has programs in both osteopathic and allopathic medicine. Each medical school has a separate application process and sets the students in its own way.

Dr. Kiran Patel College of Allopathic Medicine is the newest. NSU’s DO program, on the other hand, is the largest medical school in Florida and is still growing, with pending approval of an additional site campus in the Tampa Bay region.


The MD curriculum is centered on patient-first interaction and professional collaboration. The College is focused on training students to care for underserved populations, including rural, homeless, and the elderly. Every Nova med student must complete a rotation in one of these areas.

Related: The Ultimate List Of Classes You Take In Medical School (What Doctors Learn & Why)

Faculty-Student Ratio

According to US News, the faculty-student ratio at Nova is 0.3:1. Its Allopathic Medicine has 54 full-time faculty members.

Why Nova Medical School? Major Cons

Cost of Living

Generally, Fort Lauderdale is expensive, and its cost of living is 7.2 points higher than the national average.

If you move to the city, you should expect the cost of living to be more expensive than in other Florida cities, like Saint Petersburg and Tampa Bay.

Related: How Do Medical Students Pay For Living Expenses? (Crucial Money Saving Tips)


Its full-time tuition costs $56,784.

Nova isn’t as cheap as other schools.

Very selective

Nova has only a few MD spots, and it’s competitive to gain admission. Their MD program sees more than 5,000 primary applications for approximately 50 spots, with a 1% acceptance rate.

Schedule Problems

According to our research, there are reports that NSU gives its students a hard time with schedule issues.

There are complaints about things like the university changing mandatory class times on the same day, surprise same-day in-person exams, and scheduling students to mandatory standardized patient classes, not realizing they would be late going to another lab on the other side of campus.

More on all this later in the section on student comments.

Problems with religious freedom

Another complaint about NSU is about their management of religious issues. According to a Reddit user, some students had a religious holiday on the day of an exam, and they let NSU know a month ahead they couldn’t make it, but the university didn’t accept the reason, saying that they could have made up the holiday.

Clinical Facilities and Rotations

Nova med school claims its program has strong ties to South Florida’s seven leading and award-winning hospitals and is building an onsite teaching hospital.

Students at Reddit, nonetheless, claim it doesn’t seem the money ever makes the way back to improvements (an example is the anatomy class given with old anatomy software instead of cadavers)

Besides that, NSU apparently had problems with some hospitals in the area, causing issues with their rotation sites, which are no longer associated with highly regarded hospitals.

Low prestige

Nova is unranked in national medical rankings and is not considered a “prestigious” MD institution.

Relations between school administration and students

The relationship between the school administration and its med students doesn’t seem the best.

Many online students complain that the college management doesn’t receive suggestions to improve students’ experience, and there are even rumors that the managers keep a “blacklist” for unsettled students.

Nova Med School Data


The average scores for the Fall 2020 class were 511 for the MCAT and a 3.69 GPA.

Match List

2022 saw NSU with an impressive 100% match, with around 49 students graduating.

What Are The Entry Requirements For Nova? 

Applicants selected for an interview are assessed holistically using both traditional and non-traditional (multiple-mini interview) formats.

Beyond traditional academics, like a bachelor’s degree and adequate preparation in physics, biology, chemistry, biochemistry, and mathematics, the list of personal attributes that are considered during the admissions process are:

  • Intrinsic motivation to pursue the MD degree
  • Social skills
  • Cultural competence
  • Teamwork
  • Verbal communications skills
  • Written communication skills
  • Ethical responsibility to self and others
  • Reliability and dependability
  • Resilience and adaptability
  • Altruism
  • Capacity for improvement
  • Critical thinking and ability to succeed academically

Applicants must present at least three but no more than four letters of recommendation.

Is Nova A Good Medical School? Reddit’s Opinion

Here are some comments from Reddit which stood out regarding the pros and cons of Nova Medical School. 

Frayed relationships with the admin

A literal advisor told me that I didn’t want my name mixed up negatively with admin, that I shouldn’t leave a paper trail. How is giving suggestions to your school on how to improve the experience for future classes a punishable thing!? My friends attending other medical schools have had no experience with this and were as shocked as I am. Does this happen in other med schools? Has anyone else experienced this? Am I just being paranoid? I hope this isn’t a regular thing cause what the actual hell.

– u/novarysmart

When I interviewed at Nova, a student took me aside and told me to never, ever get on the admin’s bad side. I went to the school anyway, because the school accepted me, and I’m so poor that the $2000 deposit meant that I had to go there, even after I got accepted elsewhere. I’ll be honest, I absolutely hate it here.

– u/frustratedxx

Conclusion: Is Nova A Good Medical School? 

Nova is an acceptable med school, offering research options, good campus life, and a solid match rate. Fort Lauderdale is a great city yet expensive. The school comes under fire online concerning its scheduling issues and the administration’s inability to hear or honor students’ suggestions for improvement.

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