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Top Premedicine Colleges

by Douglas Matus

A premedicine program prepares future doctors and dentists for the rigors of medical or dental school. The best pre-med schools provide a culture that promotes the study of medicine, with student groups for pre-med students and a high reputation in foundational fields like biology and chemistry. Combine good MCAT scores with a high GPA from one of these schools and you will significantly improve your chances of acceptance into the medical school of your choice.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Students who wish to become family physicians benefit from UNC's preparatory approach.

"U.S. News and World Report" chose this university as its No. 1 medical school for primary care for 2014. UNC Chapel Hill also ranked as No. 22 in research and is consistently ranked as one of the best 25 undergraduate schools in the country. The first state university in the U.S., pre-med students benefit from the assistance of a Health Professions Advisor when choosing their major and classes. This support continues through preparation for the MCAT and application to a medical school.

Harvard University

Harvard's Medical School, founded in 1782, currently has 2,900 full-time faculty members.

In the "U.S. News" rankings for 2014, Harvard ranked in the top five in seven medical categories and was No. 1 for research and women’s health. The same publication has consistently picked Harvard as the best all-around university, so pre-medical students are sure to get top-tier foundational instruction. There are over a dozen campus societies for pre-med students, including the Harvard Hippocratic Society and the Harvard Premedical Society.

University of Pennsylvania

Ranked as the world’s 16th best medical school by "The Times" of London in 2013, "U.S. News" gave the University of Pennsylvania top honors in pediatrics for 2014. Founded in 1740, this university stakes a claim as the oldest in the country, and has long been considered a premier destination for pre-med students. The College of Liberal and Professional Studies even offers a post-graduate pre-health program for students who earned a degree in a non-science subject.

Johns Hopkins

Chosen by "Times Higher Education" as the second best medical school in the U.S., Johns Hopkins uniquely encourages pre-med students to take a year off before applying to medical schools. For 2014, "U.S News" ranked Johns Hopkins No. 1 in internal medicine and second for AIDS research and geriatric care. Students are also given the opportunity to intern at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, which has the only eye trauma and pediatric centers in the state of Maryland.

Columbia University

Columbia University was the first in the U.S. to award the Doctor of Medicine degree.

Pre-med students at Columbia benefit from the university’s comprehensive handbook for those who plan to pursue studies in medical school. With course lists tailored for pre-med instruction, students can also develop through exposure to the College of Physicians and Surgeons, which "U.S. News" ranked as the second best college for drug and alcohol research and fourth best for AIDS study. Columbia University boasts a faculty to student ratio of less than 3:1, so pre-med students are sure to get the support and attention they need.

About the Author

Douglas Matus is the travel writer for "West Fort Worth Lifestyle" magazine, and spent four years as the Director of Humanities for a college-prep school in Austin. Since 2005, he has published articles on education, travel and culture in such publications as "Nexus," "People's World" and "USA Today." Matus received an Education Pioneers fellowship in 2010 and an MFA from CalArts in 2011.

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