April 9, 2020 By College Ave Student Loans

How Much Does Medical School Cost? Average Medical Degree Tuition & Costs

How Much Does Medical School Cost? Average Medical Degree Tuition & Costs

Medical School Costs

Choosing to pursue a medical profession is a life-changing decision. It’s a commitment to improving the lives of others and contributing to the greater good. But it doesn’t come without sacrifice. If you’re interested in becoming a physician, surgeon, or any of the dozens of other medical professions, you’ve probably already considered how much medical school costs—and what that means for your future. And you’re not alone! Many students start their research early so they’re prepared for all of the associated costs of med school. Resources and requirements vary among institutions, so explore the list below to get a better understanding of what to expect.

Medical School Requirements

In order to be accepted into most medical school programs, you must complete a bachelor’s degree in a related subject like biology, medicine, or physical science. Some undergraduate programs also offer pre-medical advising to make sure students are on the right track for med school. This includes preparation for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), which accompanies transcripts, essays, and letters of recommendation for the application.

Once you’re accepted, you can pursue one of two types of medical degrees in the U.S.: Medical Doctor (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.), both of which typically require four years of medical school. The first year includes a combination of classroom and preclinical mentoring and lab time. Second-year students begin rotations in medicine, surgery, anesthesiology, and more to explore different areas of interest. Third- and fourth-year medical students begin taking their licensing exams that are required to graduate. After earning a license, med school graduates enter a residency program at a hospital or clinic under physician supervision and work there for an additional three to seven years. More specialized areas typically require longer training in residency. (BLS)

Residents can then apply for an unrestricted medical license to practice without supervision or complete a one or two-year fellowship in a specialty area. Board certifications are also available for physicians and surgeons in their specialty, earned by passing another exam. With so many requirements, the ultimate med school cost can change depending on the school, programs, and specialty you choose.

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Private and Public Medical School Tuition

The cost of medical school will vary depending on whether you go to an in-state or out-of-state school and if the institution is private or public. And as many students already know, attending college includes more costs than just tuition. That means your budget must also include fees, books, food, housing, and supplies, plus a cost-of-living adjustment in your city of choice.

Here is a breakdown of average tuition and fees by institution type in the 2019-2020 school year, as reported by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

Average Private School Costs
Resident (In-State)
$55,337 Tuition
+$3,400 Health Insurance
+$1,982 Fees
= $60,719 Total
Non-Resident (Out-of-State)
$56,946 Tuition
+$3,366 Health Insurance
+$1,977 Fees
= $62,289 Total


Average Public School Costs
Resident (In-State)
$32,520 Tuition
+$2,486 Health Insurance
+$2,605 Fees
= $37,611 Total


Non-Resident (Out-of-State)
$56,001 Tuition
+$2,540 Health Insurance
+$3,375 Fees
= $61,916 Total


You’ll notice that attending an in-state public school has a more than $24,000 price difference compared to out-of-state private school costs, which over 4 years adds up to $98,000 in savings! It’s a difference that partially explains why it’s so difficult to generalize about the cost of medical school. On the other hand, average non-resident costs are nearly the same across public and private institutions, so don’t limit your options to public if you’re looking out-of-state. Overall, the cost of med school adds up quickly and requires smart planning and budgeting along the way.

Total Cost of Medical School

Over four years, a medical student can expect to pay anywhere from $150,444 (in-state, public school) to $247,664 (out-of-state, public school) and up. These can be daunting numbers, especially when moving from undergrad directly to medical school. Thankfully, medical professions have some of the highest salaries in the country, with a median salary of at least $208,000. Be sure to explore the many options for paying for med school including specialized loans, grants, scholarships, and exchange programs.

Understanding the cost of medical school is just one step in a long career path. Make sure you use the right tools and available research to make smart choices and set yourself up for the future.

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