America's Top Medical Schools

The annual list of top medical schools is out and while little changed among research schools, there's a new school atop the primary care school list.

While the top medical schools for research mostly stayed in the same place, there were visible changes in primary care, with a new top school.

Each year U.S. News ranks the best graduate schools for law, business, medicine, education and engineering, as well as specialties within each. The publication ranks the schools by evaluating factors such as standardized test scores of newly enrolled students, opinions from experts on the quality of the school’s program, and acceptance rates.

In the primary care list, the University of Colorado—Denver was knocked out of the top 10 and last year’s top school was bumped down to second for a new reigning champion.

The order of schools isn’t the only thing that changed: all of the schools increased tuition by at least 2.5%, some by far more than that. Looking at some of the tuitions—which can be particularly expensive if the school differentiates between in-state and out-of-state students—it’s no wonder medical school graduates are drowning in debt by the time they start working.

The top 10 primary care schools are below, but you can see the full list here:

9. (tie) University of Wisconsin—Madison

Madison, WI

Tuition: $23,807 (in-state); $33,704 (out-of-state)

Fees: $1,130

Enrollment: 698

—Madison's School of Medicine and Public Health also made the top 10 for family medicine (8) and rural medicine (7), though it ranked a bit lower for research (28).

Last year the school just missed out on being in the top 10, but it broke in this year by beating out Harvard (11). UW

9. (tie) Michigan State University (College of Osteopathic Medicine)

East Lansing, MI

Beaumont Tower on the East Lansing campus.

Tuition: $40,112 (in-state); $82,071 (out-of-state)

Fees: $70

Enrollment: 1,252

With tuition topping $80,000 for out-of-state students, Michigan State University is the most expensive school on either the primary care or research top 10. Plus, the school has the most enrolled students, by far—they must be mostly residents of Michigan.

Primary care is the only specialty for which U.S. News ranked the school.

8. University of Michigan—Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI

Photo Andrew Home/Wiki

Tuition: $29,956 (in-state); $47,904 (out-of-state)

Fees: $194

Enrollment: 687

Just ahead of another Michigan medical school, the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor performed well across the board, ranked 12 for research and landing within the top 10 for family medicine (6), geriatrics (4), internal medicine (8), and women’s health (7).

Medical school students will be happy to know that in two years the tuition for both in-state and out-of-state students increased by just 3.6%.

6. (tie) University of Nebraska Medical Center

Omaha, NE

Photo JonClee86/Wiki

Tuition: $27,992 (in-state); $67,604 (out-of-state)

Fees: $3,050

Enrollment: 510

Out-of-state students who choose University of Nebraska will either really want to attend the school or have a lot of scholarship money. Not only is tuition second highest for out-of-state students, but they’ll be paying almost $30,000 more than their in-state classmates.

The school ranked 9 for rural medicine, but 64 for research.

6. (tie) University of Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN

Medical Center

Tuition: $37,869 (in-state); $49,764 (out-of-state)

Fees: $5,156

Enrollment: 986

The only other specialty that the University of Minnesota ranked within the top 10 was rural medicine (4). The school just missed out for family medicine (11) and ranked 34 for research. Including fees, the cost of going to school is one of the highest in the top 10.

5. University of Massachusetts—Worcester

Worcester, MA

Tuition: $8,352

Fees: $14,535

Enrollment: 518

UMass doesn’t rank quite so highly in other specialties. The only other specialty U.S. News ranked for the school was research, where it landed at 49. Only tuition for in-state students was reported, and while it looks incredibly cheap, take a look at the fees the school charges to make up for the low tuition cost. Even still, the full cost for in-state students is just $22,887.

4. University of California—San Francisco

San Francisco, CA

Tuition: $32,106 (in-state); $44,351 (out-of-state)

Fees: $3,590

Enrollment: 632

UCSF didn’t rank high in just primary care, the school made it into the top 10 for 8 specialties,: research (4), AIDS (1), drug and alcohol abuse (4), family medicine (3), geriatrics (8), internal medicine (3), pediatrics (8), and women’s health (3).

The majority of the student body gets to pay the less expensive tuition as most students are from California, according to U.S. News.

3. Oregon Health and Science University

Portland, OR

Physicians Pavilion. Photo M.O. Stevens/Wiki

Tuition: $38,428 (in-state); $53,596 (out-of-state)

Fees: $2,226

Enrollment: 528

In just two years the cost of tuition has really skyrocketed at Oregon, up 12% for in-state students and 10.4% for out-of-state students. The majority of students are from the state (roughly three-quarters), though, so it makes sense that the in-state tuition is increasing more.

2. University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC

North Carolina Memorial Hospital and Children’s Hospital

Tuition: $17,537 (in-state); $44,416 (out-of-state)

Fees: $1,909

Enrollment: 811

There are three other specialties for which UNC lands in the top 10: AIDS, family medicine and rural medicine. The school didn’t do too poorly for research either, ranking 22. Some of the most popular residency and specialty programs at the school are family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics and general surgery.

1. University of Washington

Seattle, WA

University of Washington quad

Tuition: $29,958 (in-state); $58,947 (out-of-state)

Fees: $378

Enrollment: 918

The University of Washington is often at the top of the list for primary care schools, and even nicer, it’s also on the list for top research schools.

Unfortunately, though, going to one of the top medical schools isn’t cheap, especially for out-of-state full-time students. In the last two years, tuition at the University of Washington has increased 8.6%.

Now, take a look at the top research schools.

Since there was little change among the research schools, if you follow these lists closely, then you can probably guess which school landed at the top of the list.

While the ranking itself didn’t change all that much, one noticeable change across the board is the cost of tuition. The schools mostly increased tuition by 4%.

In fact, not only is the rank of top 10 research schools similar to last year, there’s only one new entry into the top 10 and most of these schools also appeared (in a different order) in the primary care list.

You can see the full list here, or just take a look at the top 10 below:

10. University of Washington

Seattle, WA

University of Washington Medical Center

Tuition: $29,958 (in-state); $58,947 (out-of-state)

Fees: $378

Enrollment: 918

The University of Washington is the only new entry into the top 10 for research medical schools, and it makes its entrance by bumping the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor and the University of Chicago (Pritzker), which were tied for eighth, out.

Not only is the University of Washington in the top 10 for research and ranked number 1 for primary care, but it’s also first for family medicine and rural medicine and in the top 10 for the following specialties: AIDS, drug and alcohol abuse, geriatrics, internal medicine and pediatrics.

8. (tie) Duke University

Durham, NC

Levine Science Research Center

Previous rank: 8 (tie)

Tuition: $49,940

Fees: $3,383

Enrollment: 430

Still tied for eighth in research, Duke doesn’t rank as well for primary care (40), although it’s still in the top 10 for 5 other specialties: AIDS, family medicine, geriatrics, internal medicine, and women’s health.

8. (tie) Columbia University

New York, NY

Photo Alex Proimos/Flickr

Previous rank: 8 (tied)

Tuition: $51,484

Fees: $5,777

Enrollment: 665

Columbia is still tied for eighth with Duke in research, but they’re not tied in primary care: Columbia is ranked 8 spots behind Duke at 48. However, Columbia is still in the top 10 for 4 specialties: AIDS, drug and alcohol abuse, internal medicine and women’s health.

7. Yale University

New Haven, CT

Yale-New Haven Hospital

Previous rank: 7

Tuition: $51,480

Fees: $605

Enrollment: 401

Keeping with the trend of the last 2 schools, Yale didn’t rank strongly with primary care (68) and it only made the top 10 in 3 other specialties: drug and alcohol abuse, geriatrics, and women’s health.

6. Washington University in St. Louis

St. Louis, MO

Brookings Hall

Previous rank: 6

Tuition: $54,050

Fees: $0

Enrollment: 485

There may be no fees for students enrolled in Washington University, but then the medical school has one of the highest tuition costs of all the schools in the top 10. Only the University of Washington costs more, but only for out-of-state students.

The school ties with Duke at 40 for primary care and just makes the top 10 for three other specialties: drug and alcohol abuse, internal medicine and pediatrics.

4. (tie) University of Pennsylvania (Perelman)

Philadelphia, PA

Medical and research buildings of Perelman and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Previous rank: 4 (tie)

Tuition: $48,738

Fees: $3,740

Enrollment: 665

The University of Pennsylvania is one of the few schools that increased tuition by less than 4%. The school ranked best in pediatrics, where it landed the top spot, but it was also in the top 10 for AIDS, drug and alcohol abuse, internal medicine and women’s health, and was close to the top 10 for primary care (13).

4. (tie) University of California—San Francisco

San Francisco, CA

Mission Bay campus

Previous rank: 4 (tie)

Tuition: $32,106 (in-state); $44,351 (out-of-state)

Fees: $3,590

Enrollment: 632

The tuition at UCSF increased the least amount out of the schools in the top 10, with in-state tuition up 3% and out-of-state up just 2.2%.

Plus, UCSF performed well across the board and made it into the top 10 for 8 specialties, though: primary care (4), AIDS (1), drug and alcohol abuse (4), family medicine (3), geriatrics (8), internal medicine (3), pediatrics (8), and women’s health (3).

3. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Previous rank: 3

Tuition: $45,750

Fees: $4,762

Enrollment: 484

Tuition at Johns Hopkins rose in par with the majority of schools at close to 4%, year over year. The medical school ranked 26 in primary care, which is far better than some of the other top research schools, and first in internal medicine, while still ranking highly in the other specialties: AIDS (2), drug and alcohol abuse (3), geriatrics (2), pediatrics (4), and women’s health (2).

2. Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Previous rank: 2

Tuition: $48,999

Fees: $781

Enrollment: 468

Other than research, Stanford didn’t rank as well with the other specialties, landing 38 for primary care, 10 in internal medicine and pediatrics, and 11 for women’s health. It only increased tuition by 3.5%, though, year over year.

1. Harvard University

Boston, MA

Harvard Square

Previous rank: 1

Tuition: $52,100

Fees: $1,481

Enrollment: 708

Harvard consistently tops the list and while its tuition isn’t the most expensive on the list, it did increase by 4.5% year over year, which is the largest increase among the top 10.

Harvard just landed outside the top 10 in primary care (11), but it ranks first in drug and alcohol abuse and in women’s health, plus it is second for pediatrics, internal medicine and AIDS and sixth for geriatrics.