Cornell University

Acceptance Rates


Rates of admission to medical school vary over time, primarily dependent on  the number of applicants. For example, in the late 1980s around 30,000 people applied to medical school, however, this rose to an historic high in 1996 when nearly 47,000 people applied for the then 17,000 available medical school seats. Since 2007, the numbers of annual national applications have hovered around 42,000. (The number of seats available increased following the 2004 Association of American Medical Colleges' (AAMC) call for a 15% increase in medical school seats by 2015.) 

Over the years we have tracked the success of medical school applicants from Cornell, using two quantitative factors, Grade point average (GPA) and Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores. Here are some representative facts:

  • In 2002, when there were fewer applicants nationally and at Cornell, all 81% of all Cornellians were accepted. In 2016, applications were up significantly and Cornell's acceptance rate for first-time applicants was 63%.
  • Seventy-six percent of those Cornellians with a GPA of 3.4 or better were accepted to medical school in 2016. Grade point average is one useful predictor of acceptance.

Students should discuss the strength of their individual credentials with a Health Careers Advisor.

Prior to Applying 

Prior to application students are eligible to register with Cornell's Health Careers Evaluation Committee (HCEC). They obtain letters of recommendation and have a composite letter of evaluation written on their behalf. Medical schools look closely at the quantitative information that applicants present. Other factors also play an important part in acceptance decisions. Cornell students who are well prepared, both academically and experientially, should continue to be highly successful applicants.