Essentials to Study Medicine in the US

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    For international students, to get admission in medicine school in the US is a big challenge in terms of investment of time and money. Intellectual effort is the next big challenge as it is not easy to get into a medical school as one needs intensive study to get a chance and enter one of the reputed medical schools in the US.

    The path may be long but the rewards are incomparable - a secured well paid job and respect in the society.

    Unlike UK or other nations, the US offers only postgraduate degree in medicine.

    Mentioned are the top universities under QS World Ranking offering medicine course in US.

    Check Programs and Courses offered in the US

    Medical School QS World Ranking
    Stanford University 2
    Harvard University 3
    Yale University 15
    University of Pennsylvania 19
    University of Michigan 20
    John Hopkins University 21
    University of California, Los Angeles 32
    Northwestern University 34
    University of California, San Diego 41
    Brown University 56

    Entrance Exams for Medical School in the US


    To study medicine in the US, one must appear for MCAT which is a 7.5 hours computer based, multiple choice exam which examine the test taker on the basis of subject knowledge, critical thinking, problem solving and writing skills. It is accepted by almost all medical schools in the US.

    The examinee must have completed undergraduate in relevant subjects with acceptable GPA.

    MCAT is accepted by almost any medical school in US and selective colleges in Canada. The evaluation of marks scored in MCAT may be different for different universities, so the aspirants must check with the universities before applying.

    MCAT must be taken a year before the aspirant plans to take admission. One can take MCAT 7 times in a lifetime.


    The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is taken by all the students including international students to practice medicine in US. The exam assesses the examinee on the basis of patient focused skills for safe and effective medical care.

    After clearing USMLE, the applicant would receive a standard ECFMG certificate which will further help in selection of Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM) programs in the US. To study medicine in the US, GEM requires completion from 1 to 3 years.

    What does it take to get into the US Medical School?


    A bachelor’s degree – To study medicine in the US, one needs to get educated in below mentioned subjects: -

    1. Biology with lab – 4 semesters
    2. Inorganic Chemistry with lab – 2 semesters
    3. Physics – 2 semesters
    4. Math – 2 semesters (Calculus for 1 semester)
    5. English – 2 semesters

    Note: Pre-requisites classes may vary.

    Consider a prestigious institution for undergraduate. Check the acceptance rates of the universities, the higher the number the more you have chances to get into that institution.


    MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) is similar to SAT or GRE but in medicine. Score well to get a chance to enter a reputed institution.

    A set level of GPA and MCAT is required to further screen the students. If you fall below, you may be rejected automatically.

    For most medical schools, GPA and MCAT must be at least 3.5 and 30 respectively.

    Save yourself a chance in case you fall below the required score level: -

    In case, you fall under the deadline in only one of the case, you can still hope to enter the medical school.

    Your growth chart is observed to decide whether you have improved every year. If you did, you stand a chance to get admission.

    Take any post baccalaureate pre-med program to cover up the scores.

    Tuition Fee of the US Medical Schools

    Getting admission in medical school in the US is most expensive. The aspirants must provide a proof that they have at least 25,000 USD per year. The private institutions which accepts international students are more expensive. The average tuition fee for them is around 58,000 USD per year.

    Apart from tuition fee, the aspirants must have enough funds to survive independently in the US.

    The aspirants who can arrange such huge amount of money to study medicine in the US have a chance to study in that country. But, the degree gained from the US will allow the aspirant to practice almost anywhere in the world.

    Study Period for different branches of Medicine:

    Program Type Duration
    General Medicine 4-(graduate) & 6-year program
    Veterinary Medicine 6-year program
    Physiotherapy 3 to 4-year program
    Pharmacy 5 to 6-year program
    Nursing 3 to 4-year program
    Medical specialization 3 to 6-year program

    Top US Medical Schools for Research

    Medical students who are interested in the field of research can consider the given universities:

    • Harvard Medical School
    • Stanford University
    • John Hopkins University

    Study Medicine in the US with Scholarships

    The profession of a doctor holds the highest position in the society. In the US, the fee for medical school is quite high. Students with caliber but with less funds are supported with scholarships in US for the deserving and/or needy in different amounts and forms (cash, stipend).

    Scholarship Number of Scholarships Value
    Physicians of Tomorrow - AMA 8 – 10 students 10,000 USD
    Chinese American Physicians Society (CAPS) Financially needy 2,000 USD to 5,000 USD
    International Scholarships for Surgical Education-American College of Surgeons 2 10,000 USD
    American College of Surgeons International Guest Scholarships - 10,000 USD

    Less Competitive Medical Schools in the US

    Mentioned are the names of least competitive medical schools on the basis of acceptance rate. Students who have good score but are unable to take admission in top medical institutes can always try in such institutions.

    Medical School Location Acceptance Rate
    University of Mississippi School of Medicine Mississippi 38.18%
    Central Michigan University College of Medicine Michigan 21.91%
    University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Medicine Kansas City 20%
    University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences North Dakota 18.79%
    LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport Louisiana 17%
    University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine Puerto Rico 16.12%
    Mercer University School of Medicine Georgia 10.4%
    Sanford School of Medicine The University of South Dakota South Dakota 9.92%
    University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine Tennessee 8.73%
    Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine Washington 8.44%

    To study medicine in the US for international students is a costly affair. But, if you get a chance to be a part of medical school in the US, you must try your best to go through with admission.

    Average growth of a doctor in the US is 14% annually. Apart from that, average salary of a doctor in the US is around 198,000 USD (physician or surgeon) which is a whopping amount.

    Once you become a doctor, you have endless opportunities to grow in your career in terms of respect and earnings.