The University of Pennsylvania got good news last week when U.S. News and World Report boosted the rankings of several of the school's graduate and professional programs over the past year. Yet as David Petersam explained in an April 21 article in the school's newspaper, The Daily Pennsylvanian, the medical school's promotion to a very distinguished second place ranking among U.S. schools will not affect the already red-hot competition for admission to the school. Unlike other graduate programs, which are much more dependant on high rankings as a draw for admissions, Penn's medical school was already in elite company.
David Petersam, founder and president of Admissions Consultants, said medical school rankings hold less weight than those for law and business programs.
"The bottom tier MBA programs will accept just about anybody, so a lot of people therefore put a lot of weight on the rankings," he said.
Though Penn's School of Medicine is pleased with its new ranking, they share Petersam's opinion, noting that the change will not significantly influence applicants.
"We consistently receive between 5,000 and 6,000 applications for approximately 150 positions in the school," noted one Pen Med official.
Petersam also noted that factors other than rankings, such as financial aid, are more important to medical school applicants. As the article pointed out, rankings do serve as one of several measures that prospective students use to pinpoint their preferred schools, but when it comes to medicine, rankings are rarely deal breakers for applicants.