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

Sidney Kimmel Medical College, part of Thomas Jefferson University, has awarded more than 31,000 medical degrees since its 1824 foundation. Responsible for more living graduates than any other private medical college in the US, it has a seriously impressive reputation.

But does it live up to the reputation? And how far does the med school go in terms of meeting its mission statement focused on diversity, inclusion, and its education of outstanding individuals? Let’s find out…

Is Sidney Kimmel A Good Medical School?

Sidney Kimmel is a great and prestigious med school. It offers excellent clinical facilities, combined degrees, a well-located campus, and a tremendous extracurricular and well-structured student affairs office. But its low acceptance rate, the high cost of living in Philadelphia, class sizes, and expensive tuition is definitely something to consider.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Sidney Kimmel, and diving a little deeper into its pros and cons, read on…

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 Sidney Kimmel Medical School? Major Pros

Clinical Affiliates

SKMS has an extensive network of clinical facilities, making life easier for the med students looking for hands-on experience and rotations. It includes the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and many affiliates.

Clinical training of students is directed by faculty at affiliated hospitals in suburban Philadelphia, northeastern, central, and western Pennsylvania, as well as in Delaware and New Jersey.

Approximately 3,000 beds are available for clinical teaching, with a student/bed ratio varying from seven to 20 beds per student, depending on the institution.

Early clinical experience

Soon after matriculation, you will be in contact with patients, developing clinical skills and knowledge while contributing to patient care in meaningful and appropriate ways in your early stage in medical school.

Combined Degrees

Alongside the regular MD degree, SKMD has a combined MD/PhD Program, a dual MD/MPH Program at Jefferson, and a Joint MD/MBA-MHA Program in Health Administration, which aims to prepare future graduates for leadership roles.


Among all the residency and specialty programs offered, here are the most popular matches from its 2020 and 2021 classes:

  1. Anesthesiology
  2. Emergency medicine
  3. Family practice
  4. Internal medicine
  5. Neurology
  6. Obstetrics and gynecology
  7. Orthopedic surgery
  8. Pediatrics
  9. psychiatry
  10. Surgery – general


Sidney Kimmel is a prestigious med school. It is ranked #56 in US News’ Best Medical Schools: Research and #61 in Best Medical Schools: Primary Care.

Campus Location

SKMC is within walking distance of theaters, museums, ethnic neighborhoods, shopping areas, nightlife, comedy clubs, and fine restaurants.

And the lifestyle in South Philadelphia is maybe the best in Philly. Neighborhood pockets are full of shops, cafes, outdoor dining, and bars.

Related: Best Medical Schools In Philadelphia (Ultimate Guide)

Scott Memorial Library

The Scott Memorial Library (SML) is the campus hub for access to print and non-print resources, study space, and learning technologies.


The Office of Student Life & Engagement is the go-to place for student events and activities, organization management, new student university orientation programs, leadership training, and wellness & recreation programs. And the SKMD has a ton of extracurriculars:

  • Fitness and Recreation: Jefferson Recreation & Fitness Center (JRFC) is where students attain fitness goals and live healthier lives.
  • Student Organizations & Societies: The Student Organization Directory is published annually through the OSLE. This publication includes descriptions of more than 100 active campus organizations and groups.
  • Learning Societies: eight different learning societies named after esteemed Thomas Jefferson University graduates have been created to promote communities of students committed to the core values of SKMC. Approximately 32 students from each class form each learning society.
  • Community Service: Opportunities for SKMC students to immerse themselves in community service are plentiful. SKMC students participate in community service, from patient care and education at local high schools to medical care and patient advocacy at five area homeless shelters.

Related: Best Opportunities For Hospital Volunteers In Philadelphia

Student Support

SKMC has many resources for students designed to maximize their educational experience. It offers students the opportunity to meet and work with skilled personnel and experience a variety of educational material and methods and everything to support their curriculum in the first two years.

And the Office of Student Affairs and Career Counseling at SKMC is always there to support med students.


Given its location in metropolitan Philadelphia, SKMC is conscious of all aspects of human differences. It sponsors the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives to support its commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Why Sidney Kimmel Medical School? Major Cons

Acceptance rate

From the published data of Sidney Kimmel Medical College’s class profile, the SKMC Admissions Committee selects a class of approximately 270 students from a pool of roughly 11,000 applicants. It delivers a competitive acceptance rate of 2.45%.

Cost of Living

Philadelphia’s cost of living is 17% higher than the national average. Still, this can vary greatly depending on how much you spend on housing and transportation. But it’s definitely a con here.

Class size

In the 2018-2019 year, SKMD had a 1,159 students class, and there are comments online stating “the class size might be intimidating to some people.”


Sidney Kimmel is not a cheap med school. And its full-time tuition is $60,314, and an estimated minimum expense for a first-year student will be approximately $83,651 for the 11-month academic year.

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

Sidney Kimmel Med School Data


The most recent data show that a successful applicant’s average total GPA was 3.73, and the average MCAT score was 514.

Match List

The most recent class had an outstanding success, with 100 percent of students matching into residency positions. The top 4 specialties were internal medicine, emergency medicine, family medicine, and pediatrics.

45% of Sidney Kimmel’s medical graduates went into fields that lead to a primary care career.

Check out the infographic below for additional info…

What Are The Entry Requirements For Sidney Kimmel? 

Applicants must complete the online AMCAS and SKMD secondary applications. To be eligible, an applicant must meet a few requirements:

  • Meeting entrance requirements (all academic and technical standards of SKMC)
  • Satisfactory completion of current enrollment.
  • Good health
  • Accept curriculum and tuition changes as approved by the faculty
  • Agree to comply with the rules and regulations of Thomas Jefferson University, and the Code of Professional Conduct
  • A criminal background check is required.

SKMC will e-mail applicants a receipt notification when they receive the applicant’s verified AMCAS application. The primary objective is to inform candidates about the instructions for completing the Sidney Kimmel Medical College secondary application.

The Admission Committee only starts evaluating the application when all materials have been received, including:

  1. The SKMC Secondary Application Form
  2. The non-refundable $80 application fee
  3. MCAT scores
  4. Letters of recommendation (sent directly to AMCAS)

The full breakdown of their admissions criteria is available here.

Is Thomas Jefferson University (Sidney Kimmel) Good? Reddit’s Opinion

Here are some of the best comments from Reddit which stood out regarding the pros and cons of SKMC. 

Positive Opinion On Sidney Kimmel Medical College

Orthopedic department

You should never go to a school due to a specific specialty, but SKMC’s orthopedic department (Rothman) is among the best in the country.

And Philly is generally a dope place.

– u/Gloryblade23

Good Environment

I just got accepted here yesterday and my interview day was great. They really focus on the students and have a great track for primary care, etc. My sister and brother-in-law both attended here and they absolutely loved it and matched to their top choices. It might not be a T20 school but I think focusing on students is more important than just being a good research school but that’s just me. Overall from their experiences and mine it seems like a great school to attend with a great community. I’m also from Jersey and went to Philly a lot when she was there and there’s always something to do so that aspect is great.

– u/ksirak99

Negative Opinion On Sidney Kimmel Medical College

Class size and ranking system

Loved my interview day here. Only cons I could see are the large class size and the ranking system (I believe you’re split into thirds).

– u/Doctasdocta

Conclusion: Is Sidney Kimmel Medical College A Good Medical School? 

Sidney Kimmel Medical College is an excellent choice for med school. Its prestige and excellent clinical facilities, coupled with combined-degrees options and great extracurriculars, make it so. But there are clear disadvantages, such as its low acceptance, the high cost-of-living ins Philadelphia, class sizes, and expensive tuition.

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