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Paying for four years of medical school typically requires an enormous financial investment, especially at private academic institutions.
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the median four-year cost of attendance at private med schools added up to about $338,000 for the class of 2020. That cost is 2% higher than in the prior year, and it’s around $82,000 greater than the median in-state cost at public medical schools in 2019-2020, AAMC data shows.
[READ: How to Attend Medical School for Free.]
Among the 48 ranked private medical schools that submitted tuition and fees figures to U.S. News in an annual survey, the average charge for the 2019-2020 school year was $57,937. Meanwhile, among the 10 most expensive private schools, the asking price was significantly higher: $67,214.
Six of the 10 priciest private med schools are based on the East Coast, three in the Midwest and one on the West Coast. Four of these schools placed in the top 10 of the research-oriented medical school ranking, but only one — Harvard Medical School — was ranked in the top 10 for primary care.
Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City had the highest tuition and fees during the 2019-2020 school year with a sticker price of $68,886. The most affordable private medical school is also in New York City: the Grossman School of Medicine at New York University, where students paid nothing for tuition and only ponied up $3,950 for fees during the same year.
At NYU, numerous school benefactors are subsidizing the cost of the school’s medical degrees. NYU offers full-tuition scholarships to all its M.D. students, regardless of need or merit.
[See: 10 Least Expensive Private Medical Schools.]
Aspiring doctors who are evaluating whether a medical education is worth the cost should keep in mind that becoming a doctor typically results in earning an annual salary that is well above $150,000. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average May 2019 salary among physicians varies depending on their medical specialty, ranging from $184,410 in pediatrics to $261,730 in anesthesiology.
Below is a list of the 10 most expensive private medical schools during the 2019-2020 school year. Unranked schools, which did not meet certain criteria required by U.S. News to be numerically ranked, were not considered for this report.
|School (name) (state)||Tuition and fees (2019-2020)||U.S. News research rank||U.S. News primary care rank|
|Columbia University (NY)||$68,886||6 (tie)||31 (tie)|
|Brown University (Alpert) (RI)||$67,994||38 (tie)||35 (tie)|
|Case Western Reserve University (OH)||$67,971||24 (tie)||56 (tie)|
|Northwestern University (Feinberg) (IL)||$67,951||18 (tie)||35 (tie)|
|Dartmouth College (Geisel) (NH)||$67,794||50 (tie)||19|
|University of Southern California (Keck)||$67,557||31 (tie)||47 (tie)|
|Washington University in St. Louis||$66,913||6 (tie)||31 (tie)|
|Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (NJ)||$66,530||94-122||94-122|
|University of Pennsylvania (Perelman)||$65,343||3||14|
|Harvard University (MA)||$65,203||1||10|
Don’t see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News Medical School Compass to find tuition and fees data, complete rankings and much more. School officials can access historical data and rankings, including of peer institutions, via U.S. News Academic Insights.
U.S. News surveyed 188 medical schools for our 2019 survey of research and primary care programs. Schools self-reported myriad data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News’ data the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind. While U.S. News uses much of this survey data to rank schools for our annual Best Medical Schools rankings, the data can also be useful when examined on a smaller scale. U.S. News will now produce lists of data, separate from the overall rankings, meant to provide students and parents a means to find which schools excel, or have room to grow, in specific areas that are important to them. While the data comes from the schools themselves, these lists are not related to, and have no influence over, U.S. News’ rankings of Best Colleges, Best Graduate Schools or Best Online Programs. The tuition and fees data above is correct as of May 19, 2020.
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