Florida is the third most populous state in the United States. It’s nicknamed “the Sunshine State” for its warm climate and beautiful beaches.
Medical schools in Florida produce some of the best doctors and nurses in the United States. The state is home to several excellent medical facilities, including several top-ranked research hospitals which are among the best in the world for both clinical care and patient outcomes.
Medicine is an art that has been practiced for centuries.
It requires many years of study and commitment to learn, which makes choosing the right school a big decision. The best schools in Florida will provide you with everything you need to become successful: from world-class instructors who are experts in their fields, state-of-the-art facilities, and of course an excellent education.
You will need to choose a school that offers the courses you want, in order to get accepted into medical school or nursing program. This list is not meant as comprehensive but provides information for prospective students who are looking at schools in Florida. It includes both public and private universities with some of the best programs for pre-med and nursing students.
How We Picked the Schools
Making a list like this is no easy task, especially when there are so many excellent options to choose from. We started by looking at the best universities in Florida for different programs, including medicine and nursing.
Here are the factors we used to pick the best schools in Florida.
Opportunities for On the Job Experience
In order to succeed in medicine or nursing, you need not only a solid educational foundation but also on the job experience.
The best schools in Florida allow students to gain this type of knowledge and skills through internships, externships, clinical rotations etc., so that they can hit the ground running when they graduate from medical school with a medical degree or nursing degree.
You can’t understand a doctor’s job without doing it yourself. You’ll first follow real doctors closely and help them in their daily practice. Eventually, you’ll build up your skills and start putting them into practice yourself.
Excellent Clinical Programs and Faculty
The best medical schools are those that can attract the most talented and dedicated faculty members.
Not only do instructors need to be experts in their field, but they also have to care about teaching students who want to follow a career path similar to theirs. They need not only passion for medicine or nursing itself but also commitment to teaching and mentoring students.
Pick schools whose teachers are actual physicians. Medical practice can’t be taught without real world experience.
Medical schools that are associated with hospitals will have the advantage of allowing students to work directly under experts in their fields. Not only do you get the experience and knowledge, but you also gain connections which may help later on when looking for a residency or job after graduation.
To be sure, medical schools can’t teach everything; it takes years of practice and learning to become a good doctor. However, with the right opportunities during medical school you’ll be better prepared than those who don’t have access to such resources.
The best schools in Florida will offer students state-of-the art facilities for their education.
Medical training requires new equipment and technology.
You may learn best through lectures and textbooks, but you’ll also need to practice on cadavers or with various simulators in order to prepare for real world scenarios. These are the best medical schools that offer students access to such resources so they can become successful physicians or nurses.
As we all know, medical school is not only a challenging but also an expensive endeavor.
The best schools in Florida need to offer their students excellent opportunities at affordable rates. This means that tuition must be reasonably priced and the overall costs of attending should be manageable without sacrificing on quality or opportunity.
Scholarships and grants help immensely with this aspect. Pick a college that offers lots of opportunities to students to get them.
The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) is an independent agency that accredits all medical schools in the United States. It’s a rigorous process to gain and maintain LCME accreditation, which means only the best programs are able to pass it successfully.
The first rule of picking a university is to always pick an accredited one. Non-accredited institutes are not legally allowed to offer degrees, so you should always avoid them.
Receiving quality education should be your top priority. Non-accredited schools offer poor education. Don’t do it. You’re spending lots of time and money on this endeavor. Make it fruitful.
The 6 Best Medical Schools in Florida: Detailed Reviews
Making a list of the best schools is hard. Every single school on this list is excellent. None is really better than the others. You should pick the one that suits you the most.
- Type: Public
- Location: 1600 SW Archer Rd, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA
- Acceptance rate: ~4.6%
- Tuition: $27,772 (in state), $57,772 (out of state)
The University of Florida College of Medicine is located in Gainesville, FL. It offers a variety of medical degrees including Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD), Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), and Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD). The curriculum at UF integrates future physicians with both lecture and laboratory formats.
Students rotate through clinical settings, as well as non-clinical ones, to prepare for their careers. They study the sciences and humanities in depth. They are introduced to many specialties that may interest them. The basic requisites to apply include be at least 18 years old, have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university by the time you enroll, and have taken the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).
The LCME accredited the University of Florida. It has been since 1978.
Its post-graduate program ranked 14th in family medicine residency programs list published by U.S. News & World Report for 2017. Its MD degree was ranked #23 by the same publication.
The University of Florida is a public university and one of top 25 best values in America, according to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine 2017 rankings.
It has an acceptance rate around 4.6%. Med school is the most competitive around the U.S., so it’s not surprising to see such a low acceptance rate.
The University of Florida College of Medicine is ranked among the top medical schools in America by U.S. News & World Report 2018 edition and has been since 1995 when it first started ranking them. All of its MD degrees have been fully accredited by the LCME.
It was established on May 12, 1956, with its first class entering 1958 and graduated its first students during the 1960s winter semester.
- Type: Public
- Location: 1115 W Call St, Tallahassee, FL 32304, USA
- Acceptance rate: ~2.1%
- Tuition: $21,293 USD (in state) $55,844 (out of state)
Florida State University College of Medicine is in Tallahassee, FL. It offers MD and DMD degrees.
Florida State University was established in 1851 as the nation’s first public university, with its first class graduating in 1856. It has been LCME-accredited since 1958. Its post-graduate program ranked #7 in family medicine residency programs list published by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.
Florida State University focuses on the sciences, technology, arts humanities, and professions. It embraces a philosophy of learning strongly rooted in the traditions of the liberal arts.
The University of South Florida promises persistence in teaching, research and creativity. The institution aims for its students to show a strong character essential to lifelong learning and personal responsibility within their community.
The doctor’s programs comprise a variety of courses. You should expect to take classes such as, Biochemistry, Medical Humanities and Society, Clinical Science and Anatomy, Systems-based Practice, Infectious Diseases, and Neuroscience and Behavior.
You should also expect to take at least one course in research. You will study the sciences and humanities in depth; this gives students a good appreciation of different specialties that may interest them.
Editor’s note: The acceptance rate as of May 2020 was 2.1%, making FSU one of the most selective schools in the country.
- Type: Private
- Location: 5000 Lakewood Ranch Blvd, Bradenton, FL 34211, USA
- Acceptance rate: ~3.7%
- Tuition: $35,830 (in state), $37,640 (out of state)
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine is a United States medical school in Erie, Pennsylvania. The school was founded in 1996 as the first osteopathic medical school to open in Pennsylvania.
The college has a campus in Bradenton too, making it eligible for this list.
It is one of the newest medical colleges in the country, since it was established in 1996. The college offers a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree.
The school was founded in 1996 as the first osteopathic medical school to open in Pennsylvania.
The admission requirement for Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine is 3 years of undergraduate study or a baccalaureate degree that has been conferred by an institution accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, or one year of undergraduate education and at least 3 years of osteopathic study at an American Osteopathic Association accredited college or university.
The undergraduate degree should be from a regionally accredited college or university, and the applicant must have an overall GPA of at least a B in the last two years/semester of study plus receive submitted scores (MCAT) that meet Lake Erie College medical school admissions requirements.
The program is like the one you find in other medical schools. You’ll study everything concerning the human body and biology. Becoming a doctor requires a lot of theoretical and practical knowledge.
One of LECOM’s strengths is how cheap it is for non-residents. If you aren’t in Florida, you won’t pay much more than a Florida resident. Most other colleges charge more than double price for out-of-state residents, but LECOM doesn’t.
- Type: Public
- Location: 12901 Bruce B Downs Blvd, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
- Acceptance rate: ~4%
- Tuition: $31,280 (in state), $ 54,739 (out of state)
The USF Health Morsani College of Medicine is a public medical school in Tampa, Florida. It was established in 1975 and is affiliated with the University of South Florida (USF).
It is one of only two medical schools in the state that were founded after World War II (the other being at the University of Miami).
The USF Health Morsani College of Medicine offers MD and PhD degrees. The college is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.
To get a doctor of medicine degree at Morsani you must take the following courses:
- Medical Humanities and Society
- Clinical Science and Anatomy
- Systems-based Practice
- Infectious Diseases
- Neuroscience and Behavior
You must also complete a ten-week clinical skills course. Besides, you must finish two years of an internship rotation before being able to graduate.
The school has six campuses: Tampa and St Petersburg are in Florida; Sarasota, Fort Myers and Lakeland are in Florida too.
For those who want to focus on teaching, there are also opportunities for a PhD degree program where they can become researchers and professors at universities.
Many people would consider USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, but getting in is as hard as any other medical school. The acceptance rate is slightly below 4%, with thousands of students applying each term, and only ~150 getting in.
- Type: Public
- Location: 6850 Lake Nona Blvd, Orlando, FL 32827, USA
- Acceptance rate: ~5.4%
- Tuition: $25,000 USD (in state), $53,000 (out of state)
University of Central Florida College of Medicine is a public medical school committed to training physicians who promote health and wellness in communities, teach tomorrow’s doctors, and conduct medical research to advance the field.
The college offers MD and PhD degrees. The Liaison Committee accredited the college on Medical Education.
The UCF College of Medicine is an excellent choice if you want to spend less than other colleges in Florida. They have a wide range of facilities that give students some of the best chances of finding jobs and internships. Also, the college offers many scholarships and aid programs that make tuition more affordable to students who need it.
The UCF College of Medicine is also very supportive of its students’ work-life balance. The school recognizes the importance that all individuals have outside of their schooling, such as family commitments. It has made it a priority for them to ensure their students can take care of their obligations while still fulfilling their commitments to the school. This includes offering part-time options for coursework so students can balance their time between working and studying.
The UCF College of Medicine is well-respected in the state, as it helps students from all backgrounds get an education that will help them excel in their careers. It also offers a wide range of scholarships for those who cannot afford to pay tuition on their own, so even if you need financial help there is still a way to get it.
- Type: Private
- Location: 1600 NW 10th Ave #1140, Miami, FL 33136, USA
- Acceptance rate: ~4.2%
- Tuition: $47,185
The University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine is a nationally ranked medical school educating future physicians who are committed to serving and pursuing leadership in diverse communities and to teaching and researching ways to improve the health of our world. We offer MD and PhD degrees. The College is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).
Studying for an MD at UM means a course load that is intensive and fast-paced, with classes offered in blocks, so you can start applying what you learn immediately. The school opens up many opportunities for students, including many scholarship programs.
The UM offers a wide variety of courses and programs within the college. The basic courses that are offered include Immunology, Medicine 101, Introduction to Pharmacology, Principles in Evidence-Based Medicine, and many more. No matter what your career goals are, the UM can offer you courses that will help you get there. On top of this, they have a wide range of research opportunities for students who want to go into medical research.
They also have a strong teaching program for those looking to teach at universities or even do PhD work in clinical medicine. They offer a wide range of courses for students who want to go into research, such as General Pathology I and II. They also have an extensive program that is run through the medical school in which you can do clinical rotations at many hospitals throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties. This gives doctors plenty of opportunities to gain experience in different areas.
UM has a reputation for being one of the best medical schools in Florida, so graduates of this school have many opportunities to get jobs and internships at top hospitals all over the state.
UM offers an opportunity for students to have a sense of community not found at other schools in Florida because it has residency programs where more than half of the students stay in-state after they graduate.
There are many different factors that go into choosing a career, and medical school is no exception. There are many things to consider when looking into medical school because it’s such an enormous commitment.
The first thing you should consider is whether or not you have the passion for it. Passion has a powerful influence on your ability to take care of your responsibilities in school while also balancing your time with family life. If you don’t have the passion for it, it may be best to consider a different path.
If you aren’t 100% committed to becoming a doctor, then it’s best to look for other career options. The path to becoming a physician is long and gruesome. It has to be your calling. Don’t become one just because your parents want you to. And please, don’t do it for the money. Money isn’t worth your life.