Top Medical Schools In Illinois: How To Get In

There are many benefits to going to medical school in Illinois. Also, there are a lot of medical students and young doctors in the state because there are so many medical schools. 

In Illinois, there are also a lot of fun things to do, and the beautiful and strong city of Chicago has great places to visit that offer art, culture, history, music, professional sports, and good food (after all, Chicago is known for the best deep-dish pizza in the nation).

In Illinois, nine medical schools teach both allopathic and osteopathic medicine. Even though a few of them accept a lot of students from Illinois, most medical schools in Illinois accept a lot of students from other states. 

Many of the best medical schools in the United States are in Illinois. The University of Chicago Division of the Biological Sciences, the Pritzker School of Medicine, and Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine are both in the top twenty for research, according to US News and World Report.

In this article, you will be exposed to the various schools in Illinois, their MCAT, and GPA. Furthermore, you will see some tips that can make your entry into the schools easy.

Best medical schools in Illinois

1. Carle Illinois College of Medicine

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is connected to the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, which is the first medical school to be based on engineering. 

So, people who are interested in how engineering and medicine relate to each other will be well-equipped to apply and do well at this school. 

Applicants must take upper-level math classes like multivariate calculus, differential equations, and linear algebra to be considered for admission.

Engineering ideas are part of both the 18-month preclinical curriculum and the curriculum for senior medical students at the medical school. 

For example, the fourth-year curriculum includes Innovation, Design, Engineering, and Analysis (IDEA) projects, which give students the chance to work creatively on new ideas that help solve hard healthcare problems they see during their clinical rotations. 

The school also encourages an active learning environment. For their preclinical experience, students are placed in school communities and guided by faculty members who have been chosen to be Medical Education Facilitators.

As one of the best medical schools in Illinois, its GPA and MCAT score is 3.73 and 513. Also, the tuition at these schools is $52,614 for in-state students and $65,348 for out-of-state students.

2. Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

The Chicago Medical School is right in the middle of the city, and students can rotate through a wide range of clinical sites, such as private outpatient clinics, large academic urban medical centers that serve the underserved, and the Federal Health Care Center that treats veterans. 

At Chicago Medical School, a new strategic plan was introduced and put into place in 2019 to improve classroom learning, clinical rotations, and professional growth. 

Importantly, the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science says that its strong interprofessional education sets it apart from other medical schools. 

Students can learn about interprofessional discipline by voluntary work at the Interprofessional Community Health center, taking a first Foundations for Interprofessional Training course, or working at the DeWitt C. Baldwin Institute for Interprofessional Education.

The tuition at this school is $64,500. And as one of the best medical schools in Illinois, its  MCAT and GPA requirements are 514 and 3.78

3. Loyola University of Chicago Stritch School of Medicine

Loyola University’s medical school has a traditional two-year preclinical and two-year clinical curriculum. 

However, it also has vertically integrated courses that cover topics like end-of-life care, quality improvement and patient safety, radiology, and ultrasound at the point of care. 

Students can also join one of three honors programs: the Global Health Honors Program, the Bioethics Program, or the Research Program. Those who join one of these programs will get special recognition when they graduate. 

The Student Training in Approaches to Research Program at Loyola University is a strong eight-week research program that is both well-funded and strong. 

Also, the school offers unique extracurricular and elective programs, such as a course on transcendental meditation, a global health experience called Ignatian Service Immersion, a program on medical Spanish, and a program on medical Polish. 

Notably, the school’s mission statement is all about service. Because of this, the school looks for applicants who have done a lot of service work in their communities.

If you plan to attend this school, then budget annual tuition of $62, 298. And for your MCAT and GPA, you will need a score of 512 and 3.78.

4. Northwestern University The Feinberg School of Medicine

The Feinberg School of Medicine is one of the best medical schools in Illinois and the country. It is in the heart of Chicago and focuses on research. 

It’s important to know that 50% of students take part in global health experiences and that 65% of Northwestern medical school graduates get into one of the top 25 residency programs. 

In addition to the core pre-clinical courses and clinical rotations, each student works on a four-year Area of Scholarly Concentration project. 

This gives them the chance to work with a Feinberg faculty member on a long-term research project. Also, fourth-year medical students can take part in a course called “Teaching Selective.” 

This is an optional course that gives students a foundation in medical education as they move into the role of resident physician teachers.

The school ranks No. 17 among the best medical schools in the U.S., and its tuition and fees are $66,948. To be admitted into this medical school, you will need an MCAT of 520 and a GPA of 3.92.

5. Rush Medical College of Rush University

Rush Medical College has a smaller medical school class (about 125 students) and is known for its strong community, commitment to research, and investment in the West Chicago area. 

During the preclinical years, this group of students will have the chance to take part in EXPLORE Rush. 

This program’s main goal is to help students improve important clinical skills like taking a patient’s history and giving oral medical presentations with the help of faculty mentors. 

Then, second-year medical students are paired with faculty preceptors and spend time working on projects that are important to them and help patients in their local communities. 

During clinical rotations, students will work at both the large academic medical center Rush University Medical Center and the public community hospital John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County. 

Rush Medical College also runs the Rush Community Service Initiatives Programs. In these programs, students reach out to patients and teach people in the West Chicago community about health care.

It is ranked as one of the best medical schools in Illinois, at No. 68. The tuition at the school is $59.958.

If you want to be admitted into this school, you need a GPA of 3.7 and an MCAT of 511.

6. Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

The SIU School of Medicine is a medical school that only takes applications from people who live in Illinois. 

The MD/JD program, on the other hand, takes applications from people who live in other states. There are also only about 70 students in each class, which helps build a strong sense of community. 

SIU has a unique medical humanities program that includes health policy, ethics, psychosocial care, and religion, among other things. 

The medical school also tested the design of the senior clinical competency exam, which measures students’ clinical skills by watching how they interact with standardized patients. 

This test is similar to the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills test, and 90% of other medical schools have added this test to their programs.

This medical school requires you to have a GPA of 3.82, and an MCAT of 508. The tuition is $37,864 annually for in-state students. 

7. University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine

The Pritzker School of Medicine is on the campus of the University of Chicago. This lets medical students learn in a multidisciplinary setting and work with students and teachers from other professional schools. 

Also, medical students will do rotations in hospitals and care centers that are well-known for their commitment to medical education and have excellent clinical services. 

In addition, the preclinical program combines basic science classes with electives like health equity, advocacy, Anti-Racism, and the American Healthcare System.

Medical students are also involved in Chicago’s five community clinics, which offer preventive care to underserved patients and are run by medical students. 

In addition to the community clinics, Pritzker students can join groups like the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program and the Diabetes Prevention and Management Group that work to improve health in the community. 

The school also offers paid fellowships in research, global health, and community service to encourage its medical students to do long-term, useful work in these areas.

As one of the best medical schools in Illinois, it is ranked N0. 20 in the state. Its tuition is $59,052 for in-state and out-of-state students. 

If you wish to be admitted to this school, you will need a GPA of 3.93 and an MCAT of 521.

8. University of Illinois College of Medicine

The University of Illinois College of Medicine has four campuses. Starting in 2017, students can apply to Chicago, Peoria, and Rockford, which are the only three campuses that are currently accepting new students at the same time. 

All campuses have the same lessons, values, and clinical experiences. In addition to the four-year MD degree, the school has a lot of other specialized programs.

For a student to be considered for one of these programs, he or she must fill out an application for both the College of Medicine and the program of choice. 

There is the Rural Medical Education Program at the Rockford campus and the Global Medical Education Program at the Chicago campus. 

They also have the Urban Medicine program at the Chicago campus, the Innovation Medicine program at the Chicago campus, and the Clinician Executive Medicine program at all three campuses. And finally, the Innovation in Rural Global Medicine program at the Peoria campus.

9. Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM) of Midwestern University

CCOM offers a strong education in osteopathic medicine, and its COMLEX board pass rates are always higher than the national average. 

Even though the curriculum focuses on primary care, CCOM graduates can go on to a residency in a wide range of medical specialties. 

Medical students at CCOM will be able to join specialty associations (like the Dermatology Interest Group and the Student Osteopathic Surgical Association) and cultural affinity groups (e.g., Student National Medical Association).

As one of the best medical schools in Illinois, it requires you to have a GPA of 3.63, and an MCAT of 510.

Furthermore, the annual tuition and fees for this school are $74,035.

Tips for Getting Accepted into Medical Schools in Illinois

There is a lot of competition to get into medical school in Illinois, but there are six things you can do to improve your chances of getting in.

1. Maximize your GPA

More and more, medical schools look at applicants as a whole, which means that things other than academic performance are carefully considered (i.e., the personal statement, letters of recommendation, extracurriculars, and professional experience).

Still, your total and science GPAs are very important, and admissions committees usually check to see if your GPA meets the school’s minimum requirements.

Also, the candidates who do best tend to have GPAs that are much higher than what is required. In short, there is a lot of competition among people who want to go to medical school in terms of academic performance, so you must understand the value of medical school GPA requirements.

2. Get the best MCAT score you can

Admissions officers for medical schools in Illinois also look closely at your MCAT score to judge how well you did in school. 

As with GPA requirements, most medical schools have a minimum MCAT score that applicants must get, and those who get in do better than that. 

3. Do the right activities outside of school

Applicants to medical school who are well-rounded are the best ones. In addition to doing well in school, it’s important to take part in the right extracurricular activities that help you grow professionally and personally. 

Clinical experience, research, shadowing a doctor, and volunteering are all examples of extracurricular activities.

You can’t say enough about how important it is to take part in extracurricular activities. You’ll get hands-on medical experience and have an edge over other candidates who don’t do as well in extracurriculars.

4. Have the core skills that the AAMC wants medical students to have

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has a list of core skills that all medical students should have. 

This list is a general guide for people who want to become doctors and want to have the qualities that make doctors successful.

Some of these skills are working as a team, being able to talk to people, being resilient, being able to change, thinking critically, asking science questions, and being good at science. 

It is advised that you look at the core skills needed for medical school and then show off these skills in your application (i.e., you can tell a compelling story in your essay about an experience that required critical thinking and resilience).

5. Show how unique you are in your application to medical school.

During the application process for medical school, you will have the chance to show how unique you are. 

This will make you stand out from other people who want to go to medical school and make admissions committees interested in your skills, experience, and abilities. 

There are different ways you can show who you are in your application to medical school. And they are:

  • Write a personal statement that shows you have a growth mindset.
  • Get letters of recommendation from people you trust.
  • Pay attention to the section of the AMCAS application about work and activities.

6. Apply early and to a lot of medical schools.

Lastly, apply to as many medical schools as possible and do it early. Be honest with yourself about your academic, professional, and extracurricular status, and apply to schools that would be a good fit for your education and career goals.

Be aware of the timeline for applying to each medical school, and make sure to send in all of the necessary materials well before the deadlines.

If you apply early, you won’t have to worry as much and will have plenty of time to get all the materials you need, like official transcripts and letters of recommendation.


If you are not from Illinois, the only school you might not be able to get into is Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, which only takes students from Illinois (primarily those from southern Illinois). 

But most medical schools in Illinois accept a large number of people who don’t live in Illinois. And now that you know this, you can start applying.

Frequently asked questions about medical schools in Illinois

Is UIC a good medical school?

Yes, UIC is a good medical school. The University of Illinois is tied for 56th place in the Best Medical Schools: Research category and tied for 61st place in the Best Medical Schools: primary care category. Schools are ranked based on how well they do on a set of well-known measures of excellence.

Is Urbana Champaign good for Medicine?

Yes, Urbana Champaign is good for medicine. MCB is a great choice for students who want to go into medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, or other health-related careers. 

The Online College Plan ranks the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as the fourth best pre-med college out of the top 20.

What is UIC medical school known for?

The College of Medicine is known as one of the best medical schools in the country. It is also the largest. 

The 2,600 students who attend our school come from many different cultural and economic backgrounds. The College of Medicine is a great place to learn because of all the different kinds of people who go there.

What MCAT score do I need for UIC?

The MCAT score you need for UIC is 512. Also, keep your overall GPA at 3.6, and your science GPA at 3.6. 

What is SIU Carbondale known for?

SIU is the only public university in the state with a school of architecture that offers specializations in fashion design and merchandising. 

The SIU campus is in an area of Illinois called “Little Egypt,” and the name of the student newspaper is the Daily Egyptian.

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