Are You Considering Attending Medical School In The US? Read This First.

A career in medicine is one of the most respectable and rewarding professions out there. Year after year, doctors are featured on the list of highest paid jobs in America. It is also an occupation that is expected to dramatically increase in demand; because of the record number of Americans who will be retiring in the coming years, more aging retirees will mean more people requiring increased level of medical care.

The promise of high salaries and easy availability of jobs has attracted a large number of med school applicants; however, given the cost of tuition and limited student admission, it is not surprising that admission for foreign students is a challenge. Very few US medical schools accept international students, and the ones that do may only accept a handful every couple of years. 


The cost of higher education in the U.S. has been hotly debated in recent years. Escalating prices have forced many university students to take out loans to be able to afford going to school. Most of these loans are government backed and include Direct Stafford, Direct PLUS, and Perkins loans. These loans are part of schools’ financial aid packages and are only available to qualifying U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents.

Most other financial aid packages such as grants, scholarships, and work-study programs are also only available to qualifying American Citizens and Permanent Residents. There are some grants and scholarships available to international students; however, they are limited, and are rarely, if ever, granted to medical students.

State-run schools and state affiliated schools offer discounted tuition rates to students who qualify as legal residents of their states; however, legal state residence is usually only afforded to U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents.  

High Competition For Few Spots

As is true for most universities, medical schools in the U.S. have become more and more competitive, accepting only a small percentage of the total number of students who apply. This leaves many American students no choice but to change their career paths.

For this reason, very few medical schools accept applications from international students: in the US, a total of only about 75 medical schools accept international students. In addition, some of the schools accepting international students only accept Canadian students, thereby reducing the options for non-Canadian international students even further.

What’s more, many medical schools have certain requirements for applicant’s educational background. Of the schools that do accept international students, many require that at least 1 year of undergraduate studies be completed at a US college. Some schools have gone even further with their requirements, taking only those international students who have completed at least 2 years of undergraduate schooling at US universities.

For these reasons, international students intending to study at US medical schools will face myriad challenges. Aspiring medical students in this position may want to consider obtaining permanent residence through the EB-5 Investor Program. If you have any questions about attending school in the United States as an international student, or want to learn more about the EB-5 Investment Visa program, please contact us.