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Essentials to Study Medicine in the US

Mansi Topa Mansi Topa
Content Curator

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 SchoolQS World Ranking
Stanford University2
Harvard University3
Yale University15
University of Pennsylvania19
University of Michigan20
John Hopkins University21
University of California, Los Angeles32
Northwestern University34
University of California, San Diego41
Brown University56

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 TypeDuration
General Medicine4-(graduate) & 6-year program
Veterinary Medicine6-year program
Physiotherapy3 to 4-year program
Pharmacy5 to 6-year program
Nursing3 to 4-year program
Medical specialization3 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).

ScholarshipNumber of ScholarshipsValue
Physicians of Tomorrow - AMA8 – 10 students10,000 USD
Chinese American Physicians Society (CAPS)Financially needy2,000 USD to 5,000 USD
International Scholarships for Surgical Education-American College of Surgeons210,000 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 SchoolLocationAcceptance Rate
University of Mississippi School of MedicineMississippi38.18%
Central Michigan University College of MedicineMichigan21.91%
University of Missouri – Kansas City School of MedicineKansas City20%
University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health SciencesNorth Dakota18.79%
LSU Health Sciences Center ShreveportLouisiana17%
University of Puerto Rico School of MedicinePuerto Rico16.12%
Mercer University School of MedicineGeorgia10.4%
Sanford School of Medicine The University of South DakotaSouth Dakota9.92%
University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of MedicineTennessee8.73%
Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of MedicineWashington8.44%

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.

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