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The 10 Most Underrated Pre-Med Colleges in the U.S.

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If you want to enter your undergraduate studies as a medical school candidate, you have a grueling but rewarding road ahead of you. As there is usually no college major called “pre-med,” most pre-med students major in a biological sciences field for their bachelor’s. That being said, people from any major can apply to med school as long as they take the appropriate science courses.


It is increasingly difficult to gain admission to a medical school in the US. Most competitive medical schools candidates have outstanding GPA’s, an exceptionally high MCAT score, shadowing/clinical experience, previous work experience in the medical field, along with other non-medical extracurriculars involvement.


So if you’re looking to go down the pre-med path, it’s beneficial to attend a college that will support you on your pre-med journey. Here are the 10 most underrated pre-med colleges in the US. Check these out and see if they might be a good fit for you!


How We Put This List Together


The traditional college rankings do a decent job of ranking the best pre-med universities, but they leave some key factors out. Here at CollegeVine, we like to advise families on the most underrated colleges based on the outcomes that these schools could bring for their students like starting salary/ROI, job placements, and other resume-building factors.


Thus, when putting this list together, we used the following criteria:

  • ROI and career outcome rankings
  • Whether there is access to attractive job markets post-graduation
  • Unique opportunities the school may have


1. University of Houston


Located in Downtown Houston, The University of Houston (commonly referred to as U of H), ranks in the top 100 of ROI and career outcomes, according to our data. It places number 171 in the U.S. News and World Report.


U of H has 23 health-related undergraduate majors that can help an aspiring medical candidate. They also have a pre-medical professional track for undergraduate students along with numerous research opportunities.


2. The College of New Jersey (TCNJ)


The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), located in the scenic Ewing Township, has one of the highest graduation rates of all four-year colleges and universities. It is also next to Philadelphia and New York City, both thriving job markets. If you want direct access to those job markets, you can also attend one of their other campus locations: Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.


TCNJ is ranked in the Top 150 in ROI and career outcomes and is ranked outside the Top 300 in the U.S. News and World Report rankings. They also have a great BS/MD program for students who are looking for guaranteed admission into TCNJ’s medical school. Finally, there is no minimum transcript requirement for admission into TCNJ.


3. Loyola University Maryland


Loyola University Maryland is a small, Jesuit, liberal arts institution located in Baltimore. 99% of students receive some sort of financial assistance from the university. They also have a special pre-health advising program for pre-med students.


Loyola University Maryland is ranked in the Top 150 in ROI and Career Outcomes. It places outside the Top 300 in the U.S. News and World Report. With access to the Washington D.C. job market, Loyola pre-med students have numerous opportunities to gain medical experience.


In 2015-2018, 71% of Loyola’s medical school applicants with a committee letter matriculated to either allopathic or osteopathic medical schools. In 2018, the success rate was 73%.


4. Ursinus College


Ursinus College, located in charming CollegeVille, Pennsylvania, is just 25 miles from Downtown Philadelphia. It places in the Top 40 of ROI and Career Outcomes for pre-med colleges and is ranked 90 in the U.S. News and World Report rankings.


Students who attend Ursinus College have great access to the Philadelphia and New York City job markets. The school also offers a special pre-health advising program. 99% of students also benefit from some form of financial assistance.


5. Oklahoma State University


Oklahoma State University (OSU) is located in Stillwater, about 60 miles from both Oklahoma City and Tulsa. OSU offers tons of opportunities for pre-med students, including early admissions opportunities to doctoral-health programs, assured undergraduate admission as long as you meet certain criteria, and more than $320 million in scholarships.


OSU students have access to the Oklahoma City and Dallas job market, 2.5 hours away by car. It is ranked in the Top 100 for ROI and Career Outcomes. U.S. News and World Report places it at 157 among national universities..


6. San Diego State University


San Diego State University (SDSU) has a very modern campus with numerous resources to help pre-med undergraduate students. Students can also take advantage of the gorgeous weather and beaches when they need to destress.


They also have an extensive health advising office that helps with everything med school related, including numerous resources to help you build your application. Finally, SDSU is ranked in the Top 80 for ROI and Career Outcomes. It places 127 in the U.S. News and World Report rankings.


7. Saint Louis University


Saint Louis University is located in scenic Missouri and has access to the Saint Louis and Chicago job markets. It is ranked in the Top 75 for ROI and Career Outcomes and 106 in the U.S. News and World Report rankings.


Saint Louis University offers the Medical Scholars Program, which allows first-time freshman to gain conditional acceptance to the Saint Louis University School of Medicine. And if you’re interested in studying in Madrid, Spain, Saint Louis University has a satellite campus where US-based undergraduate students can study.


8. University of Delaware


The University of Delaware has locations in Newark, Wilmington, Dover, Georgetown, and Lewes. Each of these locations is strategically close to the Washington D.C. and Philadelphia job markets. They rank in the Top 60 in ROI and Career Outcomes and 89 on the U.S. News and World Report.


There are two distinct pathways through which University of Delaware undergraduate students can gain admission to the Jefferson Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Students can be evaluated by the Health and Professional Evaluation Committee, the results of which can help you gain admission to any U.S. med school. Students can also apply for the Medical Scholars Program, which is an early admissions program offered just for second-semester freshmen.


9. Case Western Reserve University


Case Western Reserve University, located in Cleveland, Ohio, is home to 5,150 undergraduate students. It is ranked in the Top 25 for ROI and Career Outcomes and number 42 on the U.S. News and World Report.


Case Western offers strong scholarships for undergraduate students, and you can learn more about them here. They also have a BS/MD program for students looking to gain guaranteed admission into Case Western’s medical school.


10. Drexel University


Drexel University has several campus locations in Philadelphia and is home to 14,552 undergrads.


Drexel University ranks among the Top 75 in terms of ROI and Career Outcomes and places 102 on the U.S. News and World Report rankings. It also offers a BS/MD program for students who want to gain guaranteed admission into Drexel University’s medical school. Learn more about their BSMD program here.


For More Information


Interested in discovering more underrated colleges? Check out the following blog posts:

The Top 10 Most Underrated East Coast Colleges

The Top 10 Most Underrated Colleges in the Southwest

The Top 10 Most Underrated West Coast Colleges



Curious about your chances of acceptance to your dream school? Our free chancing engine takes into account your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and other data to predict your odds of acceptance at over 500 colleges across the U.S. We’ll also let you know how you stack up against other applicants and how you can improve your profile. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!


Sadhvi Mathur
Senior Blogger

Short Bio
Sadhvi is a recent graduate from the University of California, Berkeley, where she double majored in Economics and Media Studies. Having applied to over 8 universities, each with different application platforms and requirements, she is eager to share her knowledge now that her application process is over. Other than writing, Sadhvi's interests include dancing, playing the piano, and trying not to burn her apartment down when she cooks!