How to Get Into Harvard Medical School |Complete Student Guide 2022

harvard medical school-world study portal

Do you want to Get into Harvard Medical School ?? if you are in pre-med school, getting into Harvard medical school will be a dream come true for you. But like every other ivy league school, Harvard Medical’s acceptance rate is low.

Thus, the competition is very high, The question everyone will be asking is what does it really take to get admitted into the prestigious Harvard medical school?

It’s no news that Harvard medical school is the best of the best when it comes to med schools.

Most students don’t even bother applying because they feel they will never get the chance to get into Harvard med school.

so, what makes a student who wants to study here stand out of the seas of students that are overqualified applying to this great institution?

What do they need to do, to be admitted into Harvard med school?

Answering this question will mean a lot to medical students especially when there is no magical formula on how to get into Harvard medical school.

Thus, in this article, we will need to dig into the life of some of those students who succeeded.

As there are some characteristics that seem to be common among these students that successfully applied and got accepted into Harvard medical school.

Nevertheless, imitating these people does not guarantee that you will be accepted into Harvard med. school.

But it will surely increase your chances, knowing that you did the right things and you will know the class of students Harvard is interested in.

That being said, the world study portal team has put together an amazing article on how to get into Harvard med school.

Feel to jump to the part of the guide you need most.

Why Study At Harvard Medical School (HMS)?

Who wouldn’t want to be addressed as Harvard Medical Doctor? The respect, it commands alone is enough for you to want to study at Harvard medical school.

Like we stated earlier, Harvard is one of the best med schools in USA and the world. Founded in 1782, HMS is one of the oldest medical in the world.

Harvard medical school has a history of being at the forefront of medical discoveries and innovation.

One other reason to study at Harvard med. school is its flexibility, in which students are allowed to pursue their interests.

In turn, discover how they can change the fabric of the profession and make society better.

At Harvard med. school, you are prepared to take a leading role in medicine.

What Is Harvard Medical School Acceptance Rate?

Getting into Harvard medical school is very competitive. Nevertheless, there is no available data stating categorically the Harvard medical school acceptance rate.

However, base on the 2019 data, HMS accepted 227 students out of 6815 applicants, and this placed the HMS acceptance rate at 3.3% in 2019.

Entering MD students, 2019

  •  MD (includes 14 MD–Ph.D. students): 165
  • Applicants: 6,815
  • Admitted: 227 (3.3%)
  • Men: 73 (44%)
  • Women: 92 (56%)
  • Under-represented in medicine (African American, Native American, Hispanic, Mexican American): 39 (24%)
  • Asian: 45 (27%)

Additional entering students, 2019

  •  Ph.D.: 165 (165 HMS)
  • DMD: 35
  • Master’s: 135 (117 HMS, 18 HSDM)
  • DMSc: 9
  • Additional joint-degree programs: MD-MBA, MD-MPH, MD-MPP
  • Medical school alumni: 10,425 (MD and masters)

For the HMS class of 2023, Harvard medical school admissions statics state that out of 6815 applicants, 948 was interviewed, and 165 were given admission. this is a 2.39% acceptance rate.

Thus, I can say that the annual acceptance rate of Harvard Medical school is below 5%.

What Are Harvard Medical School requirements

The requirements to be admitted into Harvard medical school are divided into coursework and extracurricular activities.

Course work:

For you to successfully apply to Harvard medical school, you need to complete the following prerequisites.

  • Biology: you need to complete this course work with a one-year lab which should involve molecular and cellular biology.
  • Chemistry: This is yet another important coursework, you need to complete before applying to Harvard medical school. this comes with a two years lab and should include inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry.
  • physics: here too, a one-year lab is okay but it’s not mandatory. for HST applicants, an additional calculus is needed.
  • Maths: two of the most important part of this coursework are calculus and statistics but HST applicants need additional maths like differential equations and linear algebra. This usually takes one year.
  • writing: this is also a very important prerequisite. it takes one year too.

Thus, in other to be accepted into HMS, they also require coursework in behavioral sciences such as psychology or sociology.

Extracurricular activities

Just like in every other university, the extracurricular activities at Harvard are almost the same. That notwithstanding, you still need to be a top-performing student even in off-classroom activities. In other to survive the fierce competition for the best applicant.

Thus, checking the patience exposure, community service, and research experience boxes in your application is not enough. Many applicants may have done so too, therefore you need to dig deep to find what makes you exceptional compared to others.

And that can only be found in extracurricular activities you have been involved in.

Letters of recommendation

Another important requirement that will be needed to study at Harvard Medical school is your Letters of recommendation. You can submit up to 6 Letters of recommendation when applying to Harvard medical school. But then there are some restrictions namely:

  • At least two letters from science professors (i.e., with whom you took classes for a letter grade)
  • One letter from a non-science professor (i.e., with whom you took a graded class)
  • A committee letter/packet from your school (if applicable) counts as one letter toward your six-letter allowance.

Written Essays

Harvard medical school just like every other institution requires Essays which you need to apply through AMCAS, following their written sections.

  • Personal statement: This is a summary of your personal, academic, and extracurricular background as well as your path to medicine.
  • Work and Activities section: a section that briefly describes up to 15 extracurricular activities and awards, with the opportunity to further expand on three of your ‘most meaningful experiences.

How to Get Into Harvard Medical School

Like I said earlier there is no magic formula for forgetting into Harvard medical school thus assuming you know what to do is next to impossible. The advice I’m about to give here is what we believe will put in high contention with other applicants.

#1. Harvard students must have a high GPA and MCAT Score.

In other to apply to Harvard medical school you must have a high GPA and MCAT Score. Though this does help you stand out when applying to an ivy league school like Harvard. it will surely get your application notice from the admission board. According to the class of 2010, a GPA of 3.8 and an MCAT score above 35 is what you need to even get attention.

#2. Harvard students usually have impressive research resumes.

To apply to HMS you must have impressive research resumes. That you did research does not guarantee you will get into Harvard medical school. you really have to do something out of the ordinary.

Because many HMS applicants have been published as authors in journals, some have been involved in some very innovative projects which stands them out in a crowd of qualified applicants.

#3. Harvard students usually have notable leadership experience.

One of the most needed when applying to Harvard medical school is to have notable leadership experience. As a Harvard medical doctor, you are respected and often place in a position of leadership.

so to be accepted into HMS you need to excepted leadership qualities as that will be required when you are out in the field.

Thus, you can run for president in your or organize a non-profit organization, something that will put you in a position to lead others. This experience will really come in handy when applying to HMS.

#4. Harvard students often have close relationships with well-known physicians and/or professors.

Mentorship is very important if you want to be a good medical student. That’s why one of the must-haves when applying to Harvard medical school is a close relationship with well-known physicians and/or professors.

This will help the student to be accountable and also give the student a better chance of success. The mentor will usually motivate the students to perform at their highest potential.

That’s not all having a close relationship with a member of the faculty will ensure a good recommendation letter.

#5.  Harvard students must be great communicator.

Finally, to apply to Harvard medical school, you be a great communicator. The majority of the student often overlook this quality. So, they believe that since they are intelligent and have great scores they are good to go.

That’s not always true, a good physicians do not only understand medicine, they also have a way of communicating their diagnosis to their patients too.

The medical school determines an applicant’s communication skill level during an interview. Hence, if you are planning to apply to HMS do well to take communication classes before your interview.

Harvard Medical School Requirements for International Students

Applying to harvard university as an international student, the application process as well as the financial aids is the same with others.

One of the Harvard Medical School Requirements for International Students is that Applicants must satisfy the following:

Residence at Harvard for the period from January 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019 Positions that are medical school dependent (particularly resident positions) or career resident positions in order to have similar schedules to that of the community students. Compensation: $69,100 for a “P-1,” but depends on rank and awards (e.g., clerkships and privileges).

That being said, Here are the MAJOR Harvard Medical School Requirements for International Students;

  • if you must study at HMS as an international student you present a piece of evidence that the intellectual and personal credentials you carry are of great quality to predict your success in the study and practice of medicine.
  • Secondly, you will have to demonstrate aptitude in biological and physical sciences in your undergraduate years but must also include humanities and social science.
  • Aside from your international degree, you must supplement your education with at least one year of college or university training in either the united states or Canada. This is because any international medical student that does not have a  baccalaureate or advanced degree from an institution in the United States or Canada is rarely accepted for admission.
  • Finally, you must demonstrate your fluency in English, because effective communication is very important in other to deliver good health care especially among the medical care team, physicians, and patients.

After Applying to Harvard Medical School, whats next?

Prior to applying, students will complete the medical school admissions test. You must meet one of two test deadlines.

The test consists of three parts. Each test is 90 minutes long. The Clinical and Laboratory portions include 20 questions and 60-minute sections.

The Medical-Surgical and Other Subject Areas portions include 20 questions and 45-minute sections.

As indicated by the test requirements, it is preferable that you complete the test early in the registration period, generally December 15 through March 15.

You will be notified of your test results within four weeks of the test date. If you have any questions regarding your test results, contact the Admissions Office at [email protected]

How to Get into Harvard

Lately, I have seen people asking what do I have to do to get into Harvard?

Well, you may not be a med. school student but you still want to know how to get into Harvard.

The truth is that when it comes to Harvard’s admission requirements, a lot of things go in. Owing to the fact that their acceptance rate is very low(4.7% acceptance rate).

This means out of every 100 applicants to Harvard university only 5 are accepted.

Nevertheless, if you must learn anything on how to get into Harvard, you must focus 70% of your energy on the following admission requirement :

  • Harvard University GPA requirement
  • Testing requirements, including SAT and ACT requirements
  • Application requirements

These Harvard Admission requirements are no different from the Harvard medical school admission requirements.

It is very competitive, hence meeting the GPA, SAT, or ACT requirements is your gateway ticket to proving your academic prowess to the admission board.

once, this hurdle is scaled, the next is to impress the Harvard application readers and the remaining 30% of your application requirement will come into play immediately.

this will include extracurriculars, essays, and letters of recommendation. 

Without further ado, let’s dive in:

Harvard GPA Requirements

Even if you want to get into Harvard medical school, you can ask questions like how to get into Harvard medical school with a low GPA.

A low GPA alone has disqualified you from applying to an ivy league school, let alone Harvard university of all.

Though these schools usually have their minimum requirement when submitting your application, it still doesn’t guarantee you will be considered for a place in the school.

Based on Harvard’s current students, the average GPA that can really get you close to being considered is 4.18.

Thus, you are expected to be one of the top students in your class.

Meanwhile, if you are a high school junior or senior and you intend to apply to Harvard university but your GPA is below the average of 4.18.

you can still apply to Harvard University but you will need a higher SAT or ACT score to compensate.

SAT and ACT Requirements

In other to answer the question “what do you need to get into Harvard?”. For starters, you will need a very high SAT or ACT score to even stand a chance of getting into Harvard University.

Harvard SAT Requirements

Looking at some schools, they usually claim that they don’t have s cut-off mark for their SAT all you need to pass the SAT but that is not always the case.

For Harvard University, the average SAT score you need to get into Harvard is 1520.

Thus, base on analysis of the Harvard SAT score, the 25th percentile of New SAT score is 1460 while the 75th percentile is 1580.

hence, scoring 1460 places you below the average SAT score needed to get into Harvard while 1580 puts you above average score.

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Reading + Writing750720780
Here’s the breakdown of new SAT scores by section:

Harvard ACT Requirements

Just like the SAT requirement, Harvard university said it does have a set cutoff point but the truth is, if you score below the 75th percentile in your ACT exams it will definitely be difficult to get into Harvard.

Moreso, scoring below the average in your ACT exams will be considered as academic weakness, and you knoww Harvard do not appreciate that.

In ACT the 25th percentile score is 33 while the 75th percentile is 35.

Nonetheless, for a school that is as competitive as Harvard, To have the best shot of getting in, you should aim for the 75th percentile, with a 1580 SAT or a 35 ACT. You should also have a 4.18 GPA or higher. If your GPA is lower than this, you need to compensate with a higher SAT/ACT score.

Now that we have answered the question how to get into Harvard? let us further extend your chances by discussing the Popular Intended Fields of Study by Harvard Students. This will ofcourse help you make more informed decision if really want to know all there is to know about getting into Harvard in 2021.

Most Sort After Courses in Harvard

Harvard students stated that they had an aspired subject, even if they ended up pursuing a different field of study. Most students study biological sciences or social sciences.

This makes sense because Harvard’s graduate programs in the biological and physical sciences, as well as their political and social science programs, consistently rank in the top 5 in the country.

As long as they have the quality of the activities to demonstrate a passionate interest in their application, students applying in a less common field of study can more easily stand out from their classmates.

This is especially true if the population is underrepresented within this concentration, such as women in computer science (note that there are some caveats here that will be addressed later).

Likewise, students who are undecided about applying to Harvard can find it harder to stand out and need to make sure that their application is otherwise exceptional.

Harvard Class of 2024: Intended Field of Study

  • Humanities: 14.8%
  • Social Sciences: 26.0%
  • Biological Sciences: 18.9%
  • Physical Sciences: 7.7%
  • Engineering: 10.6%
  • Computer Sciences: 8.2%
  • Math: 7.4%
  • Undecided: 6.5%
Most Sort After Courses in Harvard
Most Sort After Courses in Harvard


These are five characteristics that seem to be common to most, if not all, Harvard medical students.

While there is no textbook that explains exactly how to get to Harvard Medical School, it is helpful to look at the profiles of the students at the school.

If there was one word I could use to describe Harvard medical students, it would be “unique”. In fact, the five features listed here are based on this concept. Stand out.

Don’t just do what every other pre-med is doing, go beyond that. Perhaps one day you can write an article teaching others how to get to HMS.

How to get into FAQ

Is it easy to get into Harvard?

It’s well known that Harvard’s admissions process is very competitive. Owing to the fact that their acceptance rate is very low(4.7% acceptance rate). This means out of every 100 applicants to Harvard university only 5 are accepted.

Can I get into Harvard with a 2.0 GPA?

Yes, GPA isn’t everything but I will be lying to you if i don tell you having a GPA somewhat around 3.5 will give you a better chance. 2.0 is the unofficial cutoff to get into the college. To go to the ivy league schools isn’t everything you can go to a community college and graduate with better grades.

What’s the lowest GPA Harvard accepted?

on average you need a GPA of 4.18 to stand a better chance of getting into Harvard, otherwise, you will need a good SAT or ACT score.

Does Harvard Medical School give scholarships to international students? GPA Harvard accepted?

Yes! but I will advise to check out other option too. there are numerous international scholarship averages to medical students who are studying in Harvard med schools. you can check out our list of international scholarship here. otherwise, you will need a good SAT or ACT score.

How hard is it to get into Harvard as an international student?

if you are international student anting to study at Harvard, know that A high score in the standard tests is a must for international students. SAT/ ACT Score– Minimum scorer of 1500+ in SAT with 750+ out of 800 in each subject. Harvard University needs SAT1 and SAT2 scores. A 34+ score in the ACT is required.


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