International students enrich the intricate world of medical education and add a vibrant diversity to it by bringing diverse perspectives, cultural insights, and a dedication to caring for others that transcends borders. However, on their journey to becoming a doctor, international students encounter a road full of challenges, such as navigating visa regulations, adapting to unfamiliar places and healthcare systems, and high medical school tuition

Therefore, finding a medical school that welcomes and supports you becomes paramount. Read along to discover the medical schools that accept international students, the admission requirements, and what you need to consider before applying to a medical school as an international student.

List of Allopathic (MD) Medical Schools that Accept International Students

American University of Antigua College of MedicineCoolidge, Antigua
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of MedicineBoston, MA
CWRU School of MedicineCleveland, OH
Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew York, NY
Duke University School of MedicineDurham, NC
Geisel School of Medicine at DartmouthHanover, MD
George Washington University School of Medicine and Health SciencesWashington, DC
Harvard Medical SchoolBoston, MA
Howard University College of MedicineWashington, DC
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew York City
Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimore, MD
Loma Linda University School of MedicineLoma Linda, CA
UTHealth Houston McGovern Medical SchoolHouston, TX
Medical College of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeMilwaukee, WI
Memorial University of Newfoundland Faculty of MedicineSt. John’s, NL
Morehouse School of MedicineAtlanta, GA
New York Medical CollegeValhalla, NY
Northwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicago, IL
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of MedicinePhiladelphia, PA
Stony Brook University Renaissance School of MedicineStony Brook, NY
Rutgers New Jersey Medical SchoolNewark, NJ
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical SchoolNew Brunswick, NJ
SLU School of MedicineSt. Louis, MO
Thomas Jefferson University Sidney Kimmel Medical College Philadelphia, PA
Stanford University School of MedicineStanford, CA
SUNY Upstate Medical UniversitySyracuse, NY
TCU and UNTHSC School of MedicineFort Worth, TX
The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidence, RI
Tufts University School of MedicineBoston, MA
Tulane University School of MedicineNew Orleans, LA
UC Davis School of MedicineSacramento, CA
UCLA David Geffen School of MedicineLos Angeles, CA
UC San Diego School of MedicineSan Diego, CA
University of Chicago Pritzker School of MedicineChicago, IL
CU School of MedicineAurora, CO
University of Connecticut School of MedicineFarmington, CT
UF College of MedicineGainesville, FL
University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of MedicineHonolulu, HI
University of Illinois College of MedicineChicago, IL
University of Louisville School of MedicineLouisville, KY
UNC School of MedicineChapel Hill, NC
University of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburgh, PA
USC Keck School of MedicineLos Angeles, CA
University of Utah School of MedicineSalt Lake City, UT
UVA School of MedicineCharlottesville, VA
Vanderbilt University School of MedicineNashville, TN
VCU School of MedicineRichmond, VA
Washington University School of MedicineSt. Louis, MO
Wayne State University School of MedicineDetroit, MI
Weill Cornell MedicineNew York, NY
WVU School of MedicineMorgantown, WV
Yale School of MedicineNew Haven, CT

List of Osteopathic (DO) Medical Schools that Accept International Students

American University of Antigua (AUA) College of MedicineCoolidge, Antigua
MWU Arizona College of Osteopathic MedicineGlendale, AZ
MWU Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine Chicago, IL
Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic MedicineKansas City, MO
Liberty University College of Osteopathic MedicineLynchburg, Virginia
Marian University College of Osteopathic MedicineIndianapolis, IN
MSU College of Osteopathic MedicineEast Lansing, MI
NSU Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic MedicineFort Lauderdale, FL
Rowan University School of Osteopathic MedicineStratford, NJ
UNE College of Osteopathic MedicineBiddeford, MA
Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the PacificPomona, CA
William Carey University College of Osteopathic MedicineHattiesburg, MS

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

Grades and Transcripts

As an international applicant, displaying academic excellence is crucial as it demonstrates your ability to excel in challenging coursework and readiness to face the demanding nature of medical education. While GPA requirements vary among medical schools, the average GPA for applicants in the 2023-2024 academic year was 3.64, and for matriculants was 3.77. Therefore, you must maintain a high GPA to gain admission into the medical school of your dreams. You’ll also have to submit transcripts from all previous educational institutes you’ve attended, following the instructions provided by AMCAS.

Scholarships & Financial Aid

International students can apply for federal student aid, such as Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Direct PLUS Loans, provided you meet the eligibility criteria. You can also benefit from several institutional scholarships, external scholarships, and grants. At AUA, we offer more than 18 different scholarships and grants to help you alleviate the financial burden of pursuing a medical education. You can also find a collection of scholarship and loan possibilities on the International Education Financial Aid (IEFA) website. Other databases and scholarships to consider include Access Scholarships, Tylenol Future Care Scholarship, and White Coat Investor Scholarship

Citizenship and Visa Status

Arguably, the most essential requirement for international students is identifying your citizenship or visa status on your medical school application. To study in a medical school in the U.S., you must have a type F-1 visa. Before applying, you must also ensure that your targeted schools are certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).

A valid and secure visa throughout medical education is critical for legal compliance, access to resources, continuity of education, residency and employment opportunities, and personal stability. 

Fluency in English

A requirement for applying to a medical school as an international student in North America is proficiency in English. You can demonstrate proficiency in English by obtaining a satisfactory score on the TOEFL, CAE, or IELTS exam. The required scores vary among schools, so it’s imperative to research the specific score expectations of your target schools. Here at AUA, we suggest aiming for a TOEFL score of 80 or better or an IELTS score of 6.5 or better. 


The Medical College Admission Test assesses your understanding of the foundational natural and social sciences and determines whether you possess the analytical, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills necessary for a career as a physician. For international applicants, submitting a high MCAT is a great way to demonstrate that you’re ready to tackle the challenging medical school coursework. 

If preparing for the MCAT feels like an uphill battle, check out the study strategies, valuable insights, and advice we’ve provided on how to study for the MCAT

Additional Documentation

As part of the application process, it’s necessary to submit supplementary documentation, such as a personal statement or letters of recommendation. Here, you can delve into events and experiences that shaped your medical aspirations and provide testimonials from professionals and professors who’ve witnessed your commitment to medicine. See it as an opportunity to display personal qualities beyond academic excellence. 

Make sure to check the specific requirements for each medical school you apply to, as the required additional documentation can vary. 

What to Consider Before Applying to a Medical School

To make informed decisions and increase your chances of securing admission to a medical school that aligns with your goals and aspirations, you should consider several factors:

  • School Options: The optimal medical school allows you to develop the necessary knowledge and skills to become an outstanding physician. Therefore, you should thoroughly research various schools and consider location, curriculum, reputation, and faculty expertise before applying. 
  • Eligibility Requirements: Familiarize yourself with the general eligibility requirements, including GPA, prerequisite coursework, MCAT score, English proficiency, and visa status. Pay close attention to any additional documentation required and fulfill the specific criteria unique to each medical school you want to apply to.  
  • Competitive Admissions: Applying as an international student in the U.S. can be more competitive than the regular application process. According to AAMC statistics for the 2023-2024 academic year, out of 1,297 applicants to the U.S. MD-Granting Medical schools, only 143 were accepted. 
  • Financial Constraints: As an international student, you’ll have additional expenses such as living expenses, housing, health insurance, and flights. Therefore, you should explore financial support options, including federal aid, scholarships, and grants. 
  • Visa Restrictions: In the U.S., international students are allowed to work a maximum of twenty hours a week during the semester. Moreover, you may face limitations on work opportunities in the U.S. or your country after graduation.
  • Transcript and Coursework Verification: Ensure that your academic transcripts and coursework meet the requirements of your targeted schools for a smooth application process. Before applying, double-check that all other documentation is in order and there are no discrepancies in your application.

Key Takeaways

Embracing diversity in medical education allows us to foster an inclusive learning environment and nurture healthcare leaders capable of addressing complex global healthcare needs. This makes choosing the right medical school for you of utmost importance. Therefore, by seeking out a diverse list of medical schools that actively welcome international students, understanding admissions requirements, and considering various other factors, you’ll find the environment that allows you to grow personally and professionally. 

As you embark on your journey toward medical school, we encourage you to research thoroughly, seek professional guidance, and remain resilient in the face of obstacles. If we’ve sparked your interest and you want to learn more about our program, feel free to check our website for additional information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it hard to study medicine in the USA for international students?

Medical programs in the US are revered for being challenging and rigorous. However, they’re recognized worldwide for their esteemed programs and advanced infrastructure. Therefore, despite potential challenges arising due to the language barrier and cultural differences, you’ll get the chance to learn from top experts in the field and build a global network within the medical community. 

Can I secure federal student loans as an international student?

Whether or not you can secure federal student loans as an international student depends on your status, outlined by the U.S. Federal Student Aid basic eligibility requirements. You can also secure private or institutional loans, if offered by the medical school. 

Will I pay more for medical school as an international student?

Studying in a medical school as an international student can be costly, as you’ll have to pay additional fees or expenses. Some of them include health insurance, visa costs, and living expenses. Therefore, research the specific costs at the medical schools you’re interested in and consider available scholarships and financial aid options. 

If a medical school is accepting applications from international students, does that mean someone is always guaranteed a spot?

There isn’t a guarantee that all international student applicants will be accepted into a medical school program. Strengthen your application by highlighting your medical experience and academic competencies and writing an exceptional personal statement.