Most people believe that transferring between medical schools in the US is something unheard of, a myth.
In this article, I will not only clear this up but also explain the process involved in transferring medical schools and answer some frequent questions regarding this topic.
Without further ado, let’s dive into it.
Can you transfer to a different medical school?
Yes, you can transfer to a medical school in the United States. Transferring between medical schools is only allowed for 2nd-year and 3rd-year medical students.
With this said, first-year medical students cannot transfer from one medical school to another. Most educational institutions don’t like the idea of transferring from one medical school to another since the admission slots are already filled up and the schools’ curricula are different.
Before your transfer application is approved, you must have met the requirements and have a solid reason for transferring. This reason must legit enough to make them approve your request, it can be anything like family issues or you want to get closer to your spouse.
It is also worth noting that only schools that reserve spots for transfer students will accept you. Most medical schools in the United States do not accept transfers.
How to transfer from one medical school to another
So, how do you do the impossible? How do you transfer between medical schools?
- Speak with your Dean/Associate Dean of Student Affairs. You need his/her support before anything else can be done since your Dean will have to speak with the Dean of the school you want to transfer to.
- Make sure you meet all the transfer student’s requirements.
- Submit a good reason why you want to transfer.
- Pay the mandatory application fee.
- Fill out the transfer application form and submit it before the deadline.
- Submit your academic transcripts, an official letter of evaluation from your Dean, your MCAT & USMLE scores, and other required documentation.
Even after doing all these things, there’s no guarantee that it will be approved. Generally, transferring between medical schools in the US is more of a rarity than a regularity.
Is transferring medical schools hard?
Yes, it’s very difficult to transfer between medical schools, not only in the US but anywhere in the world. Medicine itself is a tough course and most people don’t get into medical schools because of the high competition.
Most transfer students whose applications were approved submitted compelling reasons for the transfer and had high scores in their MCAT and USMLE Step 1. I’m talking about scoring more than 260 in the United States Medical Licensing Examination.
If you are transferring between medical schools within the same state of which you are a legal resident, you may have a better chance of getting your transfer application approved than an out-of-state student.
Also, schools with available spots don’t want to give them to transfer students unless there’s a plausible and exceptional reason. Class sizes are pretty tight and transferring between medical schools is harder than getting into medical school as a freshman.
Can you transfer from a DO school to an MD school?
Sorry to break it to you, but it’s impossible to transfer from a DO school to an MD school. Relax, you are still going to be a practicing physician. DO, MD, none of these matters when you become a doctor.
It’s possible to transfer from one osteopathic school to another osteopathic school than to transfer from a DO school to an MD school. On the flip side of the coin, you can also transfer from an MD school to another MD school.
If you are currently in a DO school but want to study at an MD school you have two options; the first one is to drop out and apply to an MD school as a freshman, or you can continue your program at the osteopathic school. The latter is better, you don’t want to waste those precious years.
Also, not many medical schools would think of accepting you after you dropped out of another medical school.
Medical schools that accept transfers in the US
Like I said earlier, not many medical schools in the US accept transfer students. Below are some that do:
- SUNY Upstate Medical University (M3 only)
- Drexel University (M2 or M3 only)
- SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University (M3 only)
- George Washington University (M3 only)
- Mercer University (M3 only)
- Tufts University (M3 only)
- Rowan University (M3 only).
Make sure you check the transfer policies and admission requirements for the school you want to transfer to before commencing the process. You can also give their admissions office a call to get more information on how it works.
I hope this article was helpful, you can drop a comment below to let me know your thoughts about it.