Medical school is expensive. According to Shemmassian Consulting, it costs an arm and a leg. The average cost to attend a public in-state medical school is over $37k, while the average cost to attend a private med school located in your state runs about $60k, without private out-of-state tuitions averaging about $62k, and those figures are paid annually. Yes, if your child is going to be a doctor, well, you’d better start saving now, because the figures above only apply to medical school only, mind you. Medical school is a whole other entity, its own unique monster, so to speak. Keep in mind that there is four prior years of college, before medical school, to figure in to the total cost, and this is followed up with hands-on training as a resident, and perhaps goes on as a fellowship; we’re looking at ten-to-twelve years of training all together. And then there are the insurance expenses that the medical student must carry…
So, whether you have the money for it and have a strong desire for your potential future doctor to attend one that is costly, or your main focus is to dodge those astronomical costs completely, you have to know which schools cost the most. Well, even though we won’t be helping with that sky-high tuition, we figured we can give you another form of assistance. Below is a list, compiled for your convenience, of the most expensive medical schools in the world (from the years 2018 to 2020), numbered from twenty to one, from those considered on the low end of the high-priced scale to the most costly of them all. Some may surprise you, some may bowl you straight off your feet, but all of them will show you the price tag of sending your child through medical school at an institution that is known both for the quality of its training and the price of it. Get comfortable while you read…heck, grab a snack. It may be the last time you are really able to relax for awhile after you’re done reading.
20. Rocky Vista University, Colorado
Yearly Tuition: $54,980
Average Total Debt Owed Upon Completion: $364,000
While the price is on the low side of the list, Rocky Vista is one of our most expensive medical schools, but it is also considered one of the best (though the school is unranked among the best, technically). The College of Osteopathic Medicine charges $60 just to apply, according to US News, so that price alone is in keeping with the tuition numbers; we would hope the education they provide is worth the price. Located in Parker, Colorado, there are plenty of opportunities for excellent experience and gainful employment for the future as well.
19. Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, California
Yearly Tuition: $59,600
Average Total Debt Owed Upon Completion: $370,000
Western University of Health Science is rated highly, and has even earned positions in the ratings under Best Medical Schools: Research and Best Medical Schools: Primary Care. Their tuition is among the highest, but they have also been under the gun for charging other exorbitant fees, like $480 for student parking. The have 78 staff full-time, which gives them a faculty-student ratio of 0.1:1…not too shabby. But again, the education is top-notch, which likely justifies the cost somewhat…or not. If Western is in your sites be sure you understand all of the charges you and/or the student will be responsible for.
18. Michigan State University, College of Human Medicine, East Lansing, Michigan
Yearly Tuition: Average of $82,000 for non-residents and $53,970 for residents
Average Total Debt Owed Upon Completion: $390,000, $250,000
The cost of attending this medical school differs greatly for non-residents of Michigan state. The cost for state residents for the 2018-2019 school year was $30,740 for two semesters, according to Michigan State Medical School’s Student Loan Planner. The same program, in the same year, ran non-resident students a whopping $58,108 for two semesters. For a 9 month year a resident will pay around $53,970, as opposed to $81,940 for non-residents, which comes to $216,000 and $328,000, respectively. Keep in mind that this includes basically all expenses, living and otherwise, as they relate to school.
17. Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, Virginia
Yearly Tuition: In-State-$32,456, Out-of-State-$56,382
Average Total Debt Upon Completion: Approximately $140,000 In-State; $230,000 average out-of-state
Eastern Virginia Medical School rated for Best Medical Schools: Research, and rated at #49 under Best Medical Schools: Primary Care. The quality of education offered at this school has made it a popular choice among med school students, but it is costly for out-of-state residents, with a $90,000 price hike for those who live outside of Virginia. Regardless, the institution has a reputation for providing a very solid and desirable education.
16. Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Yearly Tuition: $56,000 for 2 Semesters, plus an additional $838 fee per semester, full-time; one academic year costs approximately $61,500
Average Total Debt Upon Completion: Approximately $240,000
This private medical school is renowned for ranking #91 (was tied) in Best Medical School: Research, and #94-122 in Best Medical Schools: Primary Care. Some have referred to this particular school choice as a ‘back-up’ option in case their first and second choices fall through, but it seems that the proof is truly in the pudding in this particular case. The cost is high, true, but it seems that students feel that it’s worth the price. With an average total cost falling around $240,000, and the cost of the program with all the bells and whistles, including living expenses runs about $347,000. Yep, it’ll cost you, but overall it will be worth the investment in the long run.
15. West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, Lewisburg, West Virginia
Yearly Tuition: $19,950 for In-State Residents; $49,950 for Out-of-State Residents
Average Total Debt Upon Completion: In-State averages $228,000, while Out-of-State will pay approximately $340,000
Applying students must pay a fee of $155, and tuition prices are based on full-time status. It also has a student-faculty ration that is comfortable at 0.1:1, which always makes for a far better learning experience. This school also rated high in Research and Primary Care, solidifying its reputation even more. So, this is a med school that will give a good education for a steep price, but it’s considered one of the best.
14. Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, D.C.
Yearly Tuition: $54,104
Average Total Debt Upon Completion: $395,000 (includes cost of living, insurance, exam fees, travel, etc.)
Georgetown U is one of the most popular schools on our list, with a reputation that not only precedes it, but also scatters its name across the front of hooded sweatshirts worn by teenagers all over the place. One of Georgetown’s five graduate schools, the School of Medicine opened in 1951 in D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood. The programs offered there provide everything from a top-notch curriculum that focuses not only on knowledge, but on the values and attitudes that go hand-in-hand with the medical profession. This school is a highly-ranked choice that has earned its position.
13. Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, East Lansing, Michigan
Yearly Tuition: Out-of-State averages $87,000; In-State averages $45,000
Average Total Debt Upon Completion: Out-of-State averages $360,000; In-State averages $200,000…Figures include cost of living, insurance, books and equipment, etc.
Established in 1989, this medical school awards the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree, as well as the same doctorate, with a PhD (OD/PhD). Accredited by three major educational entities, the school places high value on the MCAT and GPA scores of applicants. The curriculum is focused on the pre-clerkship period of medical training, with a home hospital being assigned to each student, and they rotate through training periods covering internal medicine, psychiatry, family medicine, general surgery, and OB/GYN, among others. The school is highly rated and boasts a fairly high success rate as well.
12. University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
Yearly Tuition: $46,500 (In-State); $94,000 (Out-of-State)
Average Total Debt Upon Completion: $200,000 (In-State); $395,000 (Out-of-State)
The University of Illinois Medical School is rated one of the ‘Best Medical Schools’ by US News, employing 970 full-time faculty members, with a faculty-student ratio of 0.8:1. It possesses a rating of #50 in Research and #48 in Primary Care, and is one of the more popular school choices among potential attendees. It is the world’s first ‘engineering-based’ college of medicine.
11. University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Yearly Tuition: $59,010
Average Total Debt Upon Completion: $260,000
Perelman School of Medicine has a much better faculty-student ratio, coming in at 4.3:1, which makes things a bit desirable at this particular medical school. If you couple that with the price, which is a bit lower than those at other schools that compare, it is easy to see that it is a great choice for those entering the medical field. The fact that the University of Pennsylvania was home to our very first medical school here in the United States, Perelman offers a very attractive package indeed.
10. Harvard University Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
Yearly Tuition: $95,000-$100,000
Average Total Debt Upon Completion: Approximately $500,000 (including all fees, taxes, insurance, and living expenses)
As one would expect, this is among the highest on our list, and for a variety of reasons, including the popularity of the ivy league school. It brags a faculty-student ratio of 13.6:1, and is listed among the very best medical schools today. Founded in 1782, Harvard is considered one of the greatest and most influential medical schools available to those in training for the field.
9. Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina
Yearly Tuition: $77,849 (with all fees and expenses)
Average Total Debt Upon Completion: $320,400
This is yet another of the best medical schools out there, which is in keeping with the high-priced trend we see here; you get what you pay for, after all. On the Best Medical Schools list Duke came in #12 in Research and #26 in Primary Care, so they have much to offer, and are recognized for it. They also have a faculty of 1,349, which gives them a faculty-student ratio of around 2.7:1. Yes, this is a high tuition school, but it has one of the best medical educations available.
8. Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
Yearly Tuition: $56,300
Average Total Debt Upon Completion: $250,000
The yearly tuition to attend this particular medical school increases by more than $2,000 over last year, with a student activity fee that falls at $562. While some would venture to say that this is an atrocious price, its about right for attending a good medical school today. Marion G. Crain, Interim Provost for the university, stated that the tuition charged to each students allows the school to provide the ‘world-class’ university experience that students expect to receive, and that both inside and outside the classes they take. With that being said, it would be hard to expect any less for the price.
7. Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
Yearly Tuition: $65,500
Average Total Debt Upon Completion: $262,000
This particular medical school has its tuition and additional fees assessed by its parent corporation, which reviews the charges regularly. Included in the prices are not only living expenses and school-related charges, but Medical Recreation fees, Insurance, Student Activities, and a Health Services fee. Brown University gave out its first medical degrees in 1975, so they have 45 years of training experience behind them in the field, and they are one of the preferred medical schools on our list.
6. Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
Yearly Tuition: Term M1: $69,000; Term M1(2): $2,000; Term M2: $87,000; Term M3: $4,300; Term M5: $93,021 (Includes living expenses, insurance, and related fees)
Average Total Debt Upon Completion: $280,000
Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University is one school who features very different term schedules and plans; therefore, their tuition varies greatly from year to year. The school also offers an abundance of student resources, as well as a very good curriculum, both of which have managed to take Brown University to the top of the ratings list as far as med schools go. But like the others featured here, they are high priced, so be sure this is the route your student wants to go before moving forward.
5. Columbia University College of Physicians, New York City, New York
Yearly Tuition: $60,000
Average Total Debt Upon Completion: $250,000
While the price seems high to most of us, Columbia does offer full rides for lower income families, and with payment installments and other resources, the price above is considered reasonable for the middle class. This is another of the best when it comes to the education offered, and Columbia even made the ‘Overall Best Colleges for the Money’ list, ranking in at #574.
4. Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth University, Hanover, New Hampshire
Yearly Tuition: $74,000 (room and board figured in)
Average Total Debt Upon Completion: $300,000
This particular medical school is also an Ivy League research facility at Dartmouth, and the funding they gain from research is responsible for 75% of Dartmouth College’s cash intake. This puts them high in the college ratings, which is considered good by applicants. Named for Audrey and Theodor Geisel (of Dr. Seuss fame), the school aims to ‘improve the lives of the people it serves: Students, patients, and local and global communities’.
3. Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio
Yearly Tuition: $65,500
Average Total Debt Upon Completion: $275,000
Case Western School of Medicine is considered a leader in biomedical research, and provides an excellent education in medicine to those who attend. As a result of their hard work and clear mission, it is one of the top 25 best medical schools in the country. Because of these facts, the high price shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, so if you are considering sending the student in your life to medical school at this institution, you have put a great choice on your list of options.
2. Keck School of Medicine at University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
Yearly Tuition: $65,000
Average Total Debt Upon Completion: $300,000
Keck School of Medicine has some pretty good ratings, tying for #31 in Research, and tying for #47 in Primary Care. With 1,927 faculty members, their faculty-student ratio sits at an impressive 2.6:1. Their engaging medical program has a great curriculum that is taught by very good professors, making this school well worth the more than $300k tuition.
1. Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
Yearly Tuition: $77,142 (with room and board added)
Average Total Debt Upon Completion: $320,000
The medical school at Tufts University is said to be the most expensive medical school out there, once all of the bells and whistles are added in (above we only added room and board). It is one of ten separate schools that actually make up Tufts University, and it has been consistently ranked as one of the best medical research institutions when it comes to clinical medicine. The price reflects this ranking, but don’t let your knees start knocking just yet. Sending your student to medical school at Tufts means they’ll be getting one of the best educations available out there.
Yes, the medical schools listed above carry some pretty high price tag, but they aren’t just shooting from the hip when they go about setting them. They are all high-quality schools with much to offer the future doctor, whether that person plans to actually practice medicine or work in another area of medicine. If medical school is what your student wants to attend, it only makes sense to get them the best education possible, and that means spending money. You can bet it will be well worth it in the end. So, good luck to all students in their studies and the pursuit of their futures. May they get the very best educations that money can buy.
Written by Liz Flynn
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