Study Medicine in the USA
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Studying Medicine in USA: The Complete Guide .. 2023

Studying medicine in USA is a great option for students who want to study in this field. The country has some of the best universities and medical schools in the world. Non-Americans who want to study medicine in the USA will face a challenging but rewarding path. Some of these are education requirements, training course, visa, costs and financing.

The USA has been a leader in medical research and innovation for decades. This means that studying medicine here gives you access to the latest technology. There are also many opportunities to work with leading experts in your field of study, along with clinical experience that can’t be found anywhere else.

Studying Medicine in USA

Requirements to Study Medicine in America

Requirements to Study Medicine in America are a completed undergraduate degree and the Medical School Admission Test ( MCAT ).

Prospective physicians in the United States must complete a four-year undergraduate degree before they can study medicine at one of the country’s approximately 130 medical schools. In principle, medical schools in the USA are open to undergraduates from all disciplines. Many students take a specific scientific subject or directly enroll in a pre-med bachelor’s degree that prepares them for later medical school. However, other subjects, such as literature or sports, are also not exclusion criteria.

Because applicants come from so many different professional backgrounds, they must pass the Medical School Admission Test when applying to a medical school. The MCAT is a standardized test to determine eligibility to study medicine in the USA. It has been used for over 80 years in the USA and Canada. International applicants must also take the exam. Three areas are questioned, namely biology and chemistry and linguistic understanding. The MCAT consists largely of multiple choice questions and takes approximately 4 hours. 

But as a non-American, studying medicine in the USA is not easy. Firstly, university places in the USA are in great demand, there are many more applications to universities than free places. Second, most (but not all) medical schools only accept US citizens as a matter of policy. The few universities that also accept international students generally require permanent residency in the United States, at least one year of university education in the United States, or even a U.S. degree. This makes it difficult for many applicants from abroad to access.

Also read: Studying Medicine in Germany

Visa to Study Medicine in the USA

Foreigners wishing to complete a full medical degree in the United States generally need an F-1 visa. The F-1 visa is linked to the place of study and limited to the duration of study. After completing your studies, you are allowed to stay in the country for a maximum of 60 days; It is generally not possible for you to remain a doctor in the USA. The F-1 visa requires admission to a full-time study program, proof of language skills, and secure financing for stay. A J-1 visa is sufficient if it is only a shorter study visit (for example, an exchange program or research stay) and not a full medical study in the US.

Also read: Medical Education in Netherlands

Studying Medicine in America

The Cost of Studying Medicine in America

With the high reputation of medical education comes a high price. Medical school in the US costs $25,000 to $45,000 per semester. The average US medical student graduates with six-figure debt.

There are additional costs for non-Americans. You need to pay between 275 USD and 325 USD. There is also an international fee of $90. The cost of the F-1 visa, including the SEVIS fee, is currently around 360 USD.

Also read: Working as a Doctor in Switzerland

Financing to Study Medicine in America

Government or private student loans are a must for most US medical students. Although there is great earning potential in the medical profession and it takes years to pay off a six-figure loan amount, most doctor candidates choose this route. However, this funding option for medical school in the USA is not open to international students. For non-Americans who are not allowed to stay in the United States after their studies, there is little financial support from public or private entities in the United States. 

The Procedure to Study Medicine in America

Medical education in the USA begins with a four-year course in medical school. Medical school ends with a doctor of medicine (MD) or Doctor of Medicine degree. No dissertation or dissertation is required for this doctoral degree. Medical education in the US is followed by residency or postgraduate medical education, lasting between three and seven years, depending on the specialty. Residency training is a clearly regulated clinical and hospital-based curriculum. Especially the first year is considered extremely tiring.


Even if the US offers a high-quality medical degree, it’s nearly out of reach for many German high school graduates. Even if you enter one of the few universities for foreigners with the entrance exam, high costs and funding remain an almost insurmountable obstacle. Studying medicine abroad is easier in other countries, you can find many more in our comprehensive overview.

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