What Are the Entry Requirements to Medical Schools in Europe and the U.S.? How to apply to a university

The moment you decide you want to pursue a career in medicine, you know you are expected to go through a lot of hard work, and inevitably many hours of study. However, all your effort will be worth it in the end. After all, being a doctor is one of the noblest and most rewarding professions in the world.

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You have to choose your medical school wisely and in order to make your mission a little easier, below you will find the most common entry requirements to medical universities from all over the world.

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What to expect from Medicine studies in Europe vs. the U.S.

Wherever you decide to study Medicine in the European Union, you can be sure your graduation diploma will be recognised in all member countries. Statistically, though, it seems that while it is easier to get into a medical school in Europe, it is harder to find a place where you can practice medicine, and work as a doctor.

Getting into a medical school in the United States can be really difficult, but once you successfully complete your studies, you have a greater chance to easily find work in a hospital or other healthcare facility. It's better to start your medical studies in the U.S., as medical diplomas from abroad are not fully recognized in the States. You might have to take a Medicine pre-Master or pre-Bachelor before going to Medical school in America.

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Check out the general application requirements for universities, colleges and medical schools in Europe and the USA, with specific details for the academic level you’re looking for.

1. Entry requirements for Medical studies in Europe

Bachelor’s degree in Europe
  • High school diploma (certificate);
  • Good marks in Biology, Chemistry and Math;
  • Letters of recommendation;
  • Letter of motivation;
  • Voluntary or work experience related to Health Care;
  • Candidates taking the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) must offer three subjects including Chemistry and Biology at Higher Level, plus three subjects at Standard Level;
  • Good TOEFL and IELTS results (usually a minimum score of 6.0).
Master’s degree in Europe
  • Bachelor degree diploma (Medicine or any degree related to Health Care);
  • Good English skills, TOEFL and IELTS 6.5 to 7.0;
  • Pass an admission test;
  • For medical schools in Germany, for example, entry requirements would only include a Bachelor of Science degree with a GPA of 80.

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2. Entry requirements for Medical studies in the UK

Bachelor's degree in the UK
  • Previous (high-school) studies of at least two science subjects (most times Chemistry and/or Biology are mandatory);
  • Proof of English language proficiency: IELTS – average score 6.0 or 6.5;
  • A minimum score of 500 in each of the four sections of the UKCAT (UK Clinical Aptitude Test);
  • International Baccalaureate, with at least 36 points overall, including three higher level subjects (including Chemistry and Biology), and three standard level subjects. Each subject must be passed with a minimum of six points. International Baccalaureate is not required by all universities from the UK;
  • Reference letter from teachers/academic supervisors.
What is the UKCAT?

The UKCAT is an online test required by medical schools in the UK, designed to test cognitive abilities, attitudes, critical thinking, and logical reasoning. UKCAT is the UK Clinical Aptitude Test meant to select applicants with the right abilities to pursue careers in the health care field. The UKCAT test is not based on a sciences related curriculum; the format of the test covers questions that assess logical skills such as decision making, quantitative reasoning or situational judgement.

Master's degree in the UK
  • Bachelor degree related to Healthcare (it can be Chemistry, Physics, Biology, or more specific specialisations like Radiology, Surgery, Clinical Research, etc.);
  • Proof of English language proficiency: IELTS – average score 6.0 or 6.5;
  • You may also be required to have work experience in a hospital or other health facility.

3. Entry requirements for Medical studies in the U.S.

In the U.S., medical degrees are considered second entry degrees, meaning you cannot enrol directly to a Bachelor degree in medicine. You need a Bachelor (undergraduate) degree in order to apply to medical school. Then, you can enrol in a complete and progressive medicine study degree that usually lasts four years.

  • High School Diploma;
  • Undergraduate Degree in the field of Sciences (3 – 4 years);
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0;
  • Good TOEFL language scores;
  • Letters of recommendation;
  • Extracurricular activities;
  • Meeting MCAT exam requirements.
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You may have to meet additional requirements, like completing of premedical courses, such as:

  • College biology with laboratory, one year;
  • General college chemistry with laboratory, one year;
  • Biology, Chemistry – minimum of 24 semester hours in areas of humanities;
  • Mathematics (Calculus and/or Statistics, one year (6-8 semester hours);
  • General college physics with laboratory, one year (8 semester hours).
What is the MCAT?

The MCAT is an exam conducted by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and is required for all candidates who want to apply to any of the U.S. medical schools.The MCAT exam last approximately seven hours and a half and it is comprised of four main parts: Biology, Chemistry, Psychology and critical analysis and reasoning skills.

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The path to becoming a doctor

Keep in mind that entry requirements listed above may not be the only ones that you will need in order to be eligible for a medical school or university. Contact the medical school directly to see the exact list of requirements or read the programme information listed on Mastersportal.

In most universities worldwide, after four years of study, you will be granted with the ‘Doctor of Medicine’ (M.D.) title and will have to apply for a residency programme in your chosen specialisation. The duration of a specialisation programme can range from three years (e.g. internal medicine) to five years (for surgery) or even more.

You can start practising Medicine at the end of the residency programme. It may sound like a long way until you become an official doctor, but if you ask any medicine graduate, they will all say that the years of study are not that many. With each year, you learn more and more and it really is more like a journey of discovery.

Apply right now to a Master’s in Medical studies

You can now apply with Studyportals to a Medicine Master's from one of our partner universities abroad. You can apply whenever you want, and it won't cost you anything. Here are a few universities offering Medical degrees where you can apply now:

Check the available Masters and see which of the degrees match your background and interests. Start the application process by filling in your student profile. You will soon get contacted by one of our application counsellors who will assist you further. We’ll then apply on your behalf. 

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