Harvard Medical School

How to Get into Harvard Medical School: A Look at The Admissions Process and Preparation

Going to Harvard Medical School is something that many medical students dream of, especially considering Harvard’s reputation in the health sector. In the US and around the world, the Harvard Medical School is regarded as the best medical school a med student can graduate from.

Unfortunately, going to the Harvard Medical School remains only a dream to most med students, as they never make it there. That’s due to the fact that the institution is extremely competitive, given that everyone wants to get enrolled there. 

To get into the institution, you have to be a bit smart; no, you have to be very smart. In this post, we will reveal to you a few techniques you can use to get admitted into the Harvard Medical School.

Making it into Harvard Medical School

Sometimes, it might feel as though there’s a magic formula that gets people into the prestigious medical school, since for each student who is admitted, hundreds of others are turned down. Even where a hundred students have the same grade, only one might get admitted, leaving the rest with the question – what did they do differently to be granted admission into the Harvard Medical School?

What most students don’t realize is that it is not just the scores that are considered in Harvard’s admission process. Taking a closer look at successful candidates, it’s evident that there are a few common traits among most Harvard students.  Even though imitating them doesn’t really guarantee you admission, it boosts your chances.

Here are some of these traits:

1. High MCAT and GPA scores

We can never adequately emphasize the importance high MCAT and GPA scores for those who are looking to get into Harvard. The interesting thing is, Harvard doesn’t just use these scores to determine who they will admit into the school; they even use it to figure out who to call for an interview.

Based on reports, the average cut-off points for 2010 were an average GPA of 3.8 and a MCAT score of at least 35. Though you will probably not come across an official requirement that says you’ve got to have high MCAT and GPA scores, you can be sure that the higher your scores in the two, the higher your odds of getting admitted.

Read Also: Difference Between Harvard College and Harvard University

2. Exceptional leadership skills

Generally, patients have very high expectations from the med students who graduate from Harvard, especially with regards to leadership. They expect them to spearhead their interests in the treatment process, something that requires great leadership skills.

To maintain the reputation that their graduates are good leaders, Harvard Medical School seeks the students that are promising leaders who are capable of excelling with the responsibilities bestowed upon them.

Therefore, if you want to succeed at getting into Harvard, try standing out from the crowd. Consider launching an NPO (non-profit organization), lead or participate actively in medical mission trips, or venture into any other activity that sets you apart as a great leader with drive and determination.

If you can get some work experience in a medical niche, that’d be a great way of showing those in charge of admissions that you have enough initiative and commitment.

3. Communication dexterity

You may have heard that the best doctors are not only able to treat but also able to communicate well with their patients. Therefore, you can expect that your ability to communicate effectively will be scrutinized greatly during the interview.

There are many academically brilliant candidates who failed the interview just because their communication abilities were not very good. If you’re not good at communicating, try taking a communication class and develop good communication skills before applying to Harvard.

4. An impressive research resume

Nowadays, most of the students getting admitted into the school are in a research team. But its not just about being part of a research team. Note, we said “an impressive research resume”. Impressive is the key here.

If you really want to make it to Harvard, you need to do something extra; conducting or being part of those conducting a research that stands out.

Tell you what? Many Harvard med students have been featured as an author in a research journal somewhere or have participated in a creative project in an undergraduate career.

5. A close relationship with a popular doctor or a professor

Many studies have showed that students who had a close relationship with a professor or a well-known doctor have better odds of succeeding.

Here’s the sense in it: such people can be great mentors and they can motivate you to perform to your optimum potential.

Have a good relationship with faculty members today; they will give you great recommendation letters when that time comes.

Did you know? There are numerous pre-meds asking for recommendation from professors they don’t know, just because don’t know anyone. Accordingly, they receive recommendation letters that are not very good. While these are okay for other medical schools, they will not serve you well if you’re seeking admission to Harvard.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is it difficult to get admission into Harvard?

Yes. Even for the top, getting into Harvard is not very easy but with the instructions that this guide describes, you have a chance to increase your odds.

2. How many applications did Harvard get this year and how many were accepted ?

Harvard received 34295 applications for the 2018 class but accepted only 2023 of those.

3. What do I need to have to get admission into Harvard?

Keeping in mind that Harvard is extremely selective when accepting students’ applications, you need to be exceedingly smart if you want to secure a spot in the school. Meet their SAT/ACT and GPA requirements and engage in activities that are beneficial to the community. The point is, be extra-ordinary and Harvard will consider you.

Final Word

These are the most notable traits you will find in the vast majority of Harvard med students. Though there’s no surefire manual for getting into the Harvard Medical School, looking at the profiles of successful candidates helps a lot.

One word that describes Harvard med students the best is “unique” and guess what?

The five traits we have described here are based around that word. Therefore, strive to make yourself stand out; excel at what you’re good at and hopefully, you will make it.

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