We’re covering everything you need to know as you consider applying to Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. You’ll learn about acceptance rates, application deadlines, average MCAT scores, tuition, curriculum, and more.
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All About Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Established in 1859 and located in the heart of Chicago, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine offers students a world-class medical education in an exciting urban setting. It provides an evidence-based approach that prioritizes active student learning and promotes scientific inquiry. With a combination of traditional lecture classes and individual mentoring, the medical program at Northwestern ensures that students have a strong foundation they can build on as they become medical researchers and physicians.
Feinberg is home to 639 MD students who enjoy a 2.7:1 faculty-to-student ratio. Feinberg emphasizes active, problem-based learning, meaning that students spend much of their time in small group sessions rather than lecture halls. In the first year of study, every individual student is assigned to a college which is headed by a faculty mentor. Within this college, approximately 44 students provide mutual support and help one another learn and adapt to the medical profession. Faculty mentors also guide each student in creating a thesis project based on clinical inquiry or independent study in a field related to medicine. This focus on building a professional community that values lifelong learning means that students who complete the program are uniquely suited to become leaders in their chosen fields. Feinberg graduates have gone on to advance the fields of pediatrics, hepatology, cardiology, medical education, and immunology, among others.
Research is a vital component of the school’s mission, and some students decide to pursue their MD and PhD concurrently in the school’s 7 to 8-year Medical Scientist Training Program. Feinberg conducts approximately 4,500 clinical trials and studies a year, giving more than 50,000 researchers, patients, and volunteers the opportunity to help advance science and find new breakthroughs and cures. Prioritizing groundbreaking medical research is a hallmark of Feinberg’s commitment to innovation, and the recently opened Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center is a new space for scientific inquiry. This facility includes 12 floors of space dedicated to vital research on cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, heart disease, and diabetes.
The Feinberg School of Medicine also boasts a unique Student Wellness initiative aimed at protecting the well-being of current students and giving them effective strategies to meet future challenges. Recognizing that studying medicine often entails mental and emotional pressures, this program gives students an outlet and a community they can turn to in times of stress, grief, and other mental health challenges. The program’s Personal Awareness and Self-Care core competency ensures that future physicians will be empowered to protect their emotional health throughout their careers.
The school’s primary teaching hospital is Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and students also train at Anne & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, which is ranked first in the nation for physical medicine and rehabilitation.
The Curriculum at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Feinberg’s curriculum emphasizes current research and a spirit of inquiry that encourages students to investigate future medical advances. It is organized into three phases designed to integrate four main elements: Science in Medicine, Clinical Medicine, Health & Society, and Professional Development.
Phase 1 (Years M1 & M2) involves modules, clinical experience, and a mentored research project. Students begin interacting with patients and practicing clinical skills in Phase 1, the first 20 months of the curriculum. During this phase, they spend one half-day every other week learning these vital skills. Phases 2 and 3 (Years M3 & M4) involve a set of core clerkships spanning multiple disciplines, including Surgery, Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychology, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Neurology, and Early Childhood Mental Health. In Phase 3, students prepare for advanced clinical rotations with clerkships in Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Subinternships.
Another unique feature of Northwestern Feinberg’s curriculum is the Area of Scholarly Concentration (AOSC), a program that allows students to perform their own hypothesis-driven investigation or formal independent study in a field related to medicine in Phase 3 of the curriculum. Fields of inquiry include: global health, medical humanities, clinical investigation, translational medicine, and community and family health. The AOSC encourages the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills while building strong mentoring relationships between students and faculty.
In addition to its MD and MSTP programs, Northwestern Feinberg also offers the following dual-degree programs:
- MD-MA – This program is for students who would like to pursue an MA in Medical Humanities & Bioethics concurrently with their MD. MA coursework is typically completed part-time over the course of four years.
- MD-MPH – in conjunction with the Department of Preventive Medicine. Students should first be admitted to the medical school before applying to the graduate school.
- MD-MS in Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety – Students can complete this part-time dual degree program during the first two years of medical school.
- MD-MS in Health Services and Outcomes Research – a program for students interested in improving policy, healthcare delivery, and health outcomes through research. Students can complete the program by taking a gap year between the third and fourth year of their MD.
- MD-MBA – with the Kellogg School of Management. Students interested in pursuing these two degrees concurrently should apply during their third year of medical school, after which they will spend approximately 9 months completing a degree in management studies. The remainder of the MBA can be completed at the Chicago or Evanston campuses. A GMAT or GRE score is required to apply to this joint degree program.
“The first and second years are focused on an organ-system approach to medicine in classroom lectures and small groups. Beyond science in medicine, there is a strong focus on holistic education with emphasis on public health, professional development, ethics, research, and clinical skills. The first two years are pass/fail and don’t factor into AOA consideration, so it gives students time to figure out the best study strategy for them. Professors and the administration are very supportive and work to engage students in critical feedback to constantly reform and reshape modules to create the best learning experience for students. Most class hours are not required, creating an environment catered to students working in the way that is best for them to learn.”
How has Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Made an Impact?
Feinberg alumni and faculty have been pioneers in numerous fields, representing a significant number of firsts in American medicine.
- Published some of the first journal articles on performing Cesarean sections
- Conducted fundamental work on synapses and neurotransmitters
- Developed a means of safely administering anesthetic gases
- Developed the first neuro-controlled prosthetic arm
- Created multiple advances in the field of nanotechnology
- Published the influential textbook The Anatomy of the Nervous System
- Identified the bacterial organism of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
- Completed the first multiple organ transplant
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine – Notable Programs
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine: Enrollment, Acceptance, Tuition, and More
Out of 6878 applicants to Northwestern Feinberg for the Class of 2023, 159 ultimately enrolled. The class is made up of 83 females and 76 males, of which 22% are from underrepresented minority groups.
What is the acceptance rate for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine?
Northwestern Feinberg does not publish an acceptance rate, but its enrollment rate is 2.3%.
How expensive is tuition at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine?
Tuition is approximately $62,088 per year, not including the cost of living. Financial aid is available for qualifying applicants.
When is the application deadline for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine?
Here is the Northwestern Feinberg application cycle:
- June: AMCAS application cycle begins
- September: Interviews begin
- November 1: AMCAS deadline
- November 15: Feinberg School of Medicine secondary application deadline
- September – February: Interviews conducted
- November – March: Acceptance letters are sent
The Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine uses a “modified rolling admissions process,” according to the school, with acceptances sent out in batches.
Median MCAT Scores for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
The entering class in 2019 had a median GPA of 3.91 and a median MCAT score of 520.
In 2019, the most popular residency programs that students from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine match into are in the following fields:
- Internal Medicine (39 students)
- Pediatrics (14 students)
- Psychiatry (10 students)
- Dermatology (10 students)
- Emergency Medicine (10 students)
- Surgery (10 students)
- Obstetrics/Gynecology (9 students)
- Orthopaedic Surgery (8 students)
- Family Medicine (8 students)
- Neurology (7 students)
- Radiology (6 students)
- Anesthesiology (6 students)
- Otolaryngology/ENT (5 students)
- Urology (5 students)