Tips for International applicants

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If you are an international student who aspires to attend medical school in the U.S., there are a few things to be aware of.  For general questions about the application process, please read the Tips for Students considering the MD degree, then consider the following special items that pertain to international students.

Residency and citizenship

When applying to US medical schools, non-US citizen permanent residents (green card holders) are generally treated the same as U.S. citizens.  If you do not fit into this category, be sure you are aware of the individual schools’ policies on citizenship status before you spend much time and money applying.

Range of schools to apply to

Many schools are required to have a very large percentage of their admitted students be U.S. citizens, which drastically limits the number of spaces for international students.  Be sure to check the MSAR (Medical School Admissions Requirements) either online or borrow the book from Dr. Gillie.  This will tell you which schools even consider applications from international students.  Private versus public schools will have more flexibility in this regard, but also higher tuition.


Most medical schools will require all 4 years of tuitions, fees, and living expenses put into an escrow account before final acceptance to prove that you can pay for your time in medical school.  This amount may be reduced by any scholarship award you may receive from the school itself.  Educational student loans that are supported by the U.S. government are not available to students other than permanent residents or those with immigrant visa status, thus the escrow requirement for international students.

For more information 

Check out the NAAHP (National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions) web pages for information about international student requirements and other advice and information.  Go to and on their webpage search for “international.”