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.
Yale has an excellent Ivy-league reputation, but does it stack up for pre-med? Here’s what we know about Yale’s pre-med offering (and if it’s right for you)…
Quick Answer: Is Yale good for pre-med in 2022?
Yale is an excellent school for pre-med. It provides outstanding extracurricular (research, shadowing, and volunteering) opportunities, while its pre-health advisory service help to improve students’ applications. The almost 90% med school admissions acceptance rate is an impressive plus.
Of course, by no means attending Yale will guarantee a place in med school (that’s the same for all colleges/universities). You’ll still have to work hard to reach an excellent GPA and MCAT score.
Let’s dive a little deeper into Yale’s full pre-med picture, picking out the major pros and cons!
Does Yale Offer Pre-Med?
“Pre-med” refers to anyone completing coursework in preparation for applying to medical schools. And Yale does not have a “pre-med major,” but it suggests a typical pre-med curriculum to help you think about when and what you should take.
Beyond the suggested pre-med courses, there is no specific major for pre-med at Yale. Many choose to major in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, or Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. But many others choose English, Religious Studies, Biomedical Engineering, or even Computer Science.
Biology-related majors tend to include many pre-med courses already, and, it’s true, majors like English and CS don’t have much overlap. But it is perfectly possible to complete any major you choose alongside pre-med, as long as you plan well.
That means you can have a major in any field while having the support of the track to help guide your application.
The Office of Career Strategy (OCS) is where to get started if you are considering medical school at Yale. It offers many ways for you to engage that align with your needs. They help you explore options, create application materials, learn to network with ease, guide you through negotiating offers, and consider how graduate school might fit into your plans.
Within the OCS, you will find the Health Professions Advising Program (HPAP), which helps undergraduates and alumni of Yale College, Postdoctoral Associates, and students in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences interested in following an advanced study in the health professions. The most helpful advising resources for the first year are FroCos – First-Year Counselors – and the professional adviser at HPAP.
They recommend you make an appointment to speak with the OCS health professional folks during the beginning of the sophomore year.
Yale Pre-Med Requirements
By the end of sophomore year, you should have decided whether you want to go directly into med school right after graduation or take a gap year (or more) first.
If you don’t take the latter, you must finish all your pre-med requirements by junior year, and, in this case, you should follow these recommended classes:
- General Chemistry
- English 114 and 120 (or another writing credit)
- Gen chem lab [alternatively Freshmen Organic + orgo lab]
- Take a small STEM class (First-year seminar or CURE class)
- Math 112 or 115 or 116 or 120 (it depends on your preparation)
- Summer: you would do research at Yale and start volunteering at Yale New Haven Hospital
- Organic chemistry + lab
- [or one semester of biochemistry]
- Intro bio sequence
- Psychology (1 semester)
- Statistics (1 semester)
- WR course Summer: research at Yale or another institution. Start volunteering if you haven’t started already. Or finish that language requirement in a foreign country.
- Biochemistry (1 semester)
- Physics 170 or 180 or 200 + lab
- Research for credit (if your major allows for this)
- Study for the MCAT
- Summer: apply to med schools
Senior year: Medical school interviews
On the other hand, many undergrads take a gap year to finish a research project or even participate in clinical research, and med schools like students with strong gap year experiences. In this case, if you are going to take a gap year, OCS/HPAP recommends a slightly different set of classes.
As you do these courses (and your undergrad), Yales’s HPAP is there for you. They help you arrange clinical and research experiences and volunteering engagement opportunities.
What’s Good About Yale Pre-Med
Being a pre-med at Yale allows you to choose any major you want while creating a foundation in STEM and writing.
But besides this freedom, here’s what else is good about it:
- Among the FroCos in every residential college, at least one pre-med can provide informal, constructive advice. FroCos understand how overwhelming it is to choose classes as a first-year because they were in your shoes just a few years ago.
- The climate among pre-meds is supportive rather than cutthroat.
- The advisers at HPAP provide structured guidance through all four years and during the medical school application process itself. They look at your courses to make sure you’re checking off all the boxes and give you a much-needed sanity check =) You can set up 15 to 30-minute appointments at any time.
- Practically all the classes have tons of support from Undergraduate Learning Assistants (ULAs), Graduate Teaching Assistants (TAs), and professors during office hours. ULAs are students who have taken the class before, a year or two older. TAs, on the other hand, have more expert knowledge of the subject, and they can explain tricky concepts in new ways.
- Many classes allow you to work with your peers on problems, and Yale students are excellent collaborators! Putting heads together helps to work through many issues. This atmosphere makes my pre-med classes more fun.
- The classes provide a rock-solid foundation for the MCAT
- Yale undergrads do well when applying to med schools, with almost 90% getting into a US medical school. The national average is approximately 45%.
- This high acceptance rate is not dependent on what students major in.
- Yale offers hundreds of extracurriculars via campus organizations, including nearly 100 athletic teams, over 50 performance groups, and 60 cultural associations.
But let’s look at what else Yale offers to strengthen any med school application.
Health Care-Related Volunteer and Community Service Opportunities
The Yale OCS offers pre-med students Health Care-Related Volunteer and Community Service Opportunities in the New Haven and Surrounding Area. It includes dozens of opportunities that will help to enrich your curriculum.
Among Yale’s extracurriculars, one can find many student-run publications that help keep students informed and allow them to research and get some significant publications.
What’s Bad About Yale Pre-Med
According to our research, the main complaints are as follows:
- Pre-med students have many classes already picked out between all of Yale’s requirements, the med school requirements, and major requirements. They do not get to take many courses purely for fun or interest. They also often take classes over the summer (sometimes at other institutions) to lighten the load during the academic year or even out of scheduling necessity. And many of these classes are challenging and filled with other pre-meds.
- A very noticeable number decide to stop doing pre-med.
- Classes are hard.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, students struggled to fulfill pre-med requirements due to decreased in-person opportunities for research and clinical experience (not much of a problem anymore!)
Are Pre-Meds at an Advantage For Getting Into Yale Medicine?
Being a pre-med at Yale offers no apparent advantage for helping you get into Yale medicine. Yale is the third most-selective medical school in the US, with an acceptance rate of 2.44% for the class of 2023, according to data released by the Medical School Admission Council (AMCAS).
Yale’s Pre-Med Acceptance Rate
Getting into a medical school from pre-med depends on MCAT scores, GPA, and interviews. And contrary to the low yale pre-med acceptance rate for admission seekers, Yale undergrads do well applying to med schools, with an impressive 90% getting into a US medical school.
Is Yale Good For Biology?
For biological and/or biomedical sciences students pursuing a bachelor’s degree, Yale is at #9 in College Factual’s most recent rankings and #1 in Connecticut.
Is Yale Good For Pre-Med? Reddit’s Opinion!
Reddit is a great place to get honest student opinions. Here are some of (what we feel are) the platform’s most relevant comments.
Nope. Pretty much the least competitive pre-med program there is, and collaboration is encouraged and required. The most “toxic” you get are a few extra first-years in Freshman Orgo, but they’re easy to avoid.– mekade24
Current med student, calhoun (hopper) alum. Definitely was not competitive [during] my years, though there were turbos who tried to make it so. The intro bio sequence had some strong grade inflation so that it was pretty hard to get anything less than a B+ so everyone was super chill and would help each other on problem sets, but Orgo/Biochem was perhaps a little less collaborative.
Also, Yale is a great place to take advantage of research funding. I finished with a 3.45 science gpa (pretty low for med school applicants, I was on a varsity team and wasn’t great at time management), but I’m at a top 5 MD program because I got some great publications over my summers.– PatagucciPete
Conclusion: Is Yale Good For Pre-Med?
Yale is an Ivy League top school for pre-med. Its acceptance rate to medical school is almost 90%, and it offers excellent research opportunities. It’s definitely up there as one of the best places to help you go on and get accepted to study medicine.
And for a little snapshot into what life as a pre-med at Yale might look like, you can check out the video below…
Writer | Lawyer | PhD Student at @DerechoUCA and @UFPel
I spend most of my time washing dishes, changing diapers, playing doll/ball/house/doctor/cooking with my daughter, and making my son sleep. I write and read about education, philosophy, law, religion, finance, and real estate when there is some time left. And I usually don’t sleep!