Which Schools to Apply to?

While I have only posted a couple of times this resource has been super valuable for me. Thank you for continuing to provide this form. My question is related to where to apply. I am currently living in the Seattle, Washington area and am going to apply to the University of Washington as an in-state applicant. I want to apply to about 8-12 other schools, but don’t see many options out on the West Coast. It seems there are a number of schools who mainly take in-state applicant, but few private schools that are looking for good out of state candidates. I believe my MCAT is very competitive (35R), but my GPA is mediocre (3.44 sci, 3.56 overall). I am wondering if it would be a waste of money to apply at other state schools. I am going to have to look at applying other places? I don’t know where else to look for answers. Thanks

Have you considered the osteopathic schools? There is Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (one in north-central California and one in Nevada - Las Vegas I think), as well as Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, also in California (southern), plus AZCOM in Phoenix.
Your MCAT is great! And your gpa should be okay. If you’re concerned, just throw a wide net of applications and see who you hook. Best of luck. I think you should catch a few in your net!

The only schools that give preference to in-state students are state schools. Private schools do not give preference because they do not get state money.
My suggestion to you is to go to the AAMC or AACOM websites or get the MSAR/US news books on medical schools.

If you have a unique story or a unique reason for wanting to go to an out-of-state school it may help with applying to some of them, eg, some of the UC schools which always have at least a few out-of-staters.

In terms of allopathic schools, Stanford and USC are both private schools in California which you should consider; Loma Linda is another, but is a Seventh-Day Adventist institution with what appears to be a strong emphasis on Christianity as a basis for medical practice, so make sure that it matches your ideals before applying. UCSF also has a small joint program with UC Berkeley’s public health school which is sometimes overlooked; it would not be any easier for out-of-staters but with a public-health-oriented approach might be at least as willing to look at “quirky” applicants who really match their program goals–again only apply if you really do match up with them.

The UC schools might be worth considering especially if you can make a case that your interests particularly fit one of them (which is how rural-med or primary-care medicine people from CA end up at UW despite being out-of-staters).

Or, you might end up, despite your best efforts, on the East Coast, with snow instead of rain. My personal experience is that there are worse things in life, although the transition can be tough. And then there’s always that vast middle of the country, in which a number of excellent schools can be found.


Go through the MSAR and look at state schools which matriculate as many as 20% of the class from out of state. This will be some indication of their policy. Be careful, however, in how you intrepret those data. The data that are not reported are how many offers of admission are made. Figure a general yield of about 50% for a good many schools. (Figure in the 70% range for Harvard.)
For starters, I learned at the western regional Pre-Med Advisors/Med Admissions Deans meeting a couple of weeks ago that OHSU now matriculates nearly 50% from out of state. While that information is in the past year’s MSAR (new one is due out momentarily), it was viewed as being a little suspect. Not so. UCLA matriculates a bit more than 15%, UCSF nearly 20%. UNevada, UNM, and UAz take virtually no one from out of state.

Like Judy said there are many state schools that do accept out of state folks. Get your hands on the MSAR and look through this book, all pre-meds should use this book at some point in the process. It tells you a LOT of the information that you need to know for medical school applications.

Here is something to consider if you are interested in attending one of the osteopathic medical schools Linda mentioned previously (Touro, Western, AZCOM). The state of Washington participates in WICHE’s (Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education) professional student exchange program. This program enables students in 13 western states to enroll in selected out-of-state professional programs, usually because those programs are not available at schools in their home states. Since Washington does not have an osteopathic school they participate in the program. Here is a link to their web site: WICHE


Since Washington does not have an osteopathic school they participate in the program. Here is a link to their web site: WICHE

Jeff, I heard mumblings at the Western Regional GSA conference that Washington was moving toward opening a DO school before “too long” (whatever that means). Have you heard anything definitive? (I could be confusing it with Oregon, but I don’t think so.)

There have been rumors flying for years about the possibility of a DO school opening here in Washington. Unfortunately nothing has ever materialized. The demand could definitely support a second medical school, however the University of Washington School of Medicine has a monopoly on pretty much every location for third and fourth year rotations in the state and I don’t see them relinquishing their territory to a competing school. Oregon may be another possible location, but their state budget is in such sorry shape that unless a private organization is willing to flip the bill I don’t see it happening there either.

There is a private group attempting to raise twenty million dollars to build a DO school in Yakima Washington. This is not the first time a group has claimed to be building a DO school here so I guess time will tell if it actually happens. If the group does actually build the facility it will be interesting to see what the clerkship setup will be. With the University Of Washington School Of Medicine pretty much controlling the majority of possible sites in the state, this new school may have to set up the majority of their third and fourth year rotations out of the area, similar to what AZCOM does.

your stats are fine, I think; I had a higher MCAT, very similar GPA, got multiple acceptances etc.
The problem with other state schools is that if they accept you (which they might), many of them want you to pay out of state tuition for all 4 years. I ran into this problem at Michigan State, OHSU, Vermont, etc… This gets very, very expensive. Scholarships for out-of-staters will be minimal. This means that many private schools end up being cheaper than state schools. It is very hard to get this data before you apply and even before you interview, so just be aware that this is a big issue.