Requirements To Study Medicine In The USA For International Students (2023)

The US medical education system is one of the best in the world, and international students who are interested in studying medicine in the country have a unique set of requirements to submit.

The requirements to study medicine in the USA for international students include MCAT, GPA, AMCAS, letter of recommendation, research projects, and extracurriculars.

Requirements To Study Medicine In the USA For International Students

1. Extracurriculars

As an international student aspiring to attend medical school in the United States, it is important to consider the restrictions of your F-1 student visa when seeking out extracurricular activities.

While volunteering at non-profit organizations is usually allowed, working with private companies is not permitted under the terms of the visa.

Shadowing a doctor can be a great way to gain practical experience and insight into the medical field, but it can be difficult for international students to arrange. If you are interested in shadowing a doctor, it is recommended that you check with the office for international students at your university for guidance on how to proceed.

2. Research Project Participation

International medical school aspirants should be aware that participating in some research projects may be considered employment, which would violate the terms of the F-1 student visa.

To avoid this, it is recommended that you stick to research opportunities on campus and seek advice from your premed advising office before embarking on any research projects.

3. Letter Of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation are an important part of the medical school application process. As an international student, it is recommended that you obtain at least 6 letters of recommendation from professors, professionals, or doctors.

Having recommendations from professionals who have seen your performance both in and outside the classroom will help to strengthen your application and demonstrate your commitment to the field of medicine.


Another important requirement is the AMCAS. The American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) is the first step in applying to medical school in the United States.

All medical schools in the country accept applications through AMCAS, which streamlines the application process for students.

However, it is important to keep in mind that not all schools accept international students, so it is important to research and consider schools that do.

5. Secondary Application And Essays

After submitting the initial AMCAS application, schools will send out secondary applications with specific questions. Essays are a key aspect of these secondary applications and are used to further evaluate the candidate’s qualifications.

Essays are an opportunity for applicants to make the case for themselves as qualified candidates. It is important to show uniqueness and how the applicant will benefit the medical school community.

Schools may also ask for a diversity essay, in which applicants can share their experiences and how they have contributed to their desire to become a physician. It is important to note that essays must be written in formal English and writing assistance may be recommended if English is not your first language.

6. GPA

The grading system in the United States is based on a 0.0 to 4.0 scale, with 4.0 being an A+. To be a competitive candidate, it is important to maintain a high GPA, with a minimum GPA of around 3.5. Top-tier schools often require top-tier grades, so it is important to aim for the highest GPA possible.


The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is required for all medical schools in the United States. The average score for top schools is around 520, so it is important to aim for the highest score possible.

Once you have registered for the MCAT, you can choose which testing centre in your country or a US territory to take your test. Currently, international MCAT testing centres are located in:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Lebanon
  • Qatar
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • United Kingdom
  • Guam
  • Puerto Rico
  • S. Virgin Islands

8. Pre-med Coursework

The pre-med coursework required for medical school is the same for international and American students. Courses in biology, chemistry, physics, math, and English are required, but specific classes may vary by university.

List of All American-Accredited Medical Schools That Accepts International Students

Allopathic (MD) medical schools that accept international students:

  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Harvest Medical School
  • Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
  • McGill University Faculty of Medicine
  • Emory University School of Medicine
  • Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • Northwestern University The Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Tufts University School of Medicine
  • George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences*
  • The University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine
  • Georgetown University School of Medicine
  • Stanford University School of Medicine
  • State University of New York Upstate Medical University
  • Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University
  • Medical College of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland Faculty of Medicine
  • Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
  • Tulane University School of Medicine
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
  • Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Wayne State University School of Medicine
  • Case Western Reserve School of Medicine
  • Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
  • Duke University School of Medicine
  • Faculty of Medicine Université Laval
  • Queen’s University Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
  • West Virginia University School of Medicine
  • Saint Louis University School of Medicine
  • Universite de Sherbrooke Faculty of Medicine
  • San Juan Bautista School of Medicine
  • University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • University of Virginia School of Medicine
  • Boston University School of Medicine
  • The University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine
  • Universite de Montreal Faculty of Medicine
  • The University of California, Davis, School of Medicine
  • The University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
  • University of New Mexico School of Medicine
  • University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
  • McMaster University Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine
  • Weill Cornell Medicine
  • University of Utah School of Medicine
  • Loma Linda University School of Medicine
  • University of Chicago Division of the Biological Sciences The Pritzker School of Medicine
  • Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
  • University of Kentucky College of Medicine§
  • University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine
  • University of Connecticut School of Medicine
  • TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine
  • Universidad Central del Caribe School of Medicine
  • New York Medical College
  • Howard University College of Medicine
  • Yale School of Medicine
  • Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine
  • University of Illinois College of Medicine
  • Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
  • University of Louisville School of Medicine
  • The University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine
  • Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University
  • Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine–New York
  • Nova Southeastern University Dr Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • The Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Western University of Health Sciences–College of Osteopathic


Wrapping Up

Studying medicine in the United States as an international student can be a fulfilling and challenging experience.

As this article has enlightened you on the requirements to study medicine in the USA for international students, you should be able to submit a perfect application.

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