Getting Started

Medicine has long been regarded as a highly rewarding profession, appealing to both the altruistic and the intellectual sides of our nature. The path to becoming a physician is often described as long and arduous. This is, in part, true. But during that journey, you are studying and gaining experiences that are not only in preparation for the future; they are also fulfilling at the time you are undertaking them.

There is not one path to “getting there” either. People begin their journeys at different stages of their lives. Some students enter Carleton having had significant experiences with the healthcare world which have convinced them that medicine is their calling. Others arrive knowing that they love science and they love helping people. They believe medicine is the perfect career to meld those two passions, so they begin their serious exploration during their undergraduate years. Still others decide midway through their Carleton career, or a few years after graduation, that they want to pursue medicine. The important message here is that Carleton has the resources to help you to navigate your own individual journey.

Competition for seats in the 141 U.S. medical schools is as strong as ever. There are more than two applicants for each seat, and on average the national acceptance rate to medical school is 40-45%. Carleton’s acceptance rate is much better than this national average, and is comparable to our peer institutions. Carleton supports all the students and alumni who decide to apply, regardless of GPA. Of course, medical schools look for much more in their applicants than simply the GPA and MCAT scores. It is important that the applicant must have strong interpersonal skills. Applicants must also have an understanding of the healthcare field, as gained through experiences in hospitals and clinics, and a strong commitment to service.

Most of the information on this website focuses on medical school admissions. However, many of the same courses and experiences are required by other health professions programs. For more information on either those programs (dental, veterinary, etc.) or for medical school, please contact Pam Middleton at