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 in medical schools and inevitably many hours of study. However, all your efforts will be worth it eventually. After all, becoming a doctor is one of the most dignified and most worthwhile professions in the world.
Submitting applications to medical schools is not something you should do lightly. You have to pick your medical school prudently. To make your mission easier, we will provide for you the most common entry requirements to medical schools from Europe, the United States and the UK.
We will also throw in additional information like what GPA is required to apply, what undergraduate degree programs are accepted, and if you require an entrance exam to get into one of the medical schools.
Top foreign destinations to study a Medicine degree program:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
- The Netherlands
So, what does it take to obtain admission into a medical school?
1. Admission requirements for medical schools in Europe
Listed below are some of the most common admission requirements for Medicine degrees provided by European universities:
- High school diploma (certificate)
- Good marks in Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Math
- Letters of recommendation
- Letter of motivation
- Voluntary or work experience related to healthcare
- Applicants taking the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) have to offer three subjects comprising Chemistry and Biology at Higher Level, with three subjects at Standard Level. Not all schools need an International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB).
- Minimum TOEFL and IELTS results
2. Admission requirements for medical schools in the U.S.
In the United States, Medical degree programs are considered second entry degree programs, meaning you cannot enlist directly in a Medicine Bachelor’s. You first have to do a Bachelor’s (undergraduate) degree program in a related Science subject (common choices are Biology and Chemistry) before you submit an application to a medical school. Then, you can enlist in a Medicine degree that typically lasts 4 years.
Here are the general medical schools’ criteria for the United States:
- High school diploma
- Undergraduate degree program in the area of Sciences (3-4 years)
- Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0
- Good TOEFL language scores
- Letters of recommendation
- Extracurricular activities
- Minimum MCAT exam result (set by each university individually)
Some American med schools have extra criteria, like completing premedical programs, such as:
- College Biology with laboratory, one year
- General college Chemistry with laboratory, one year
- Biology, Chemistry – at least 24 semester hours in field of Humanities
- Mathematics, one year (6-8 semester hours)
- General college Physics with lab, one year (8 semester hours)
What is the MCAT?
The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a multi-choice test initiated by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Almost all United States medical schools require candidates to submit MCAT test scores during their university application.
The MCAT exam takes around 7 hours and a half to finish and it has 4 main parts:
- Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
- Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
- Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behaviour
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
3. Admission requirements for medical schools in the UK
We have listed below some of the most common criteria for candidates to medical schools in Britain. Be aware that each school is free to set its own requirements, which is why we recommend that you to check the admission information on the webpage of the study program.
Bachelor’s degree in Medicine (MBBS) in the UK
- Past (high school) studies in at least two Science subjects. Typically, Chemistry and Biology or Physics/Maths are compulsory.
- Evidence of English language adeptness: IELTS – average score of 6.0 or 6.5, or PTE Academic
- UCAT test score. Each school can use it differently. Some set a minimum UCAT score they’ll accept. Other schools use a “points system” for assessing applications and will give you more points for a higher UCAT result.
- International Baccalaureate, with minimum of 36 points overall, comprising three higher level subjects (with Chemistry and Biology), and three standard level subjects. Each subject has to be passed with at least six points. International Baccalaureate is not needed by all schools from the UK.
- Successfully passing the interview(s)
- Proof of voluntary or work experience linked to medicine and healthcare
- Recommendation letter from teachers/academic supervisors
What is the UCAT?
The UCAT (formerly called UKCAT, UK Clinical Aptitude Test) is an online test needed by medical schools in the United Kingdom. It is structured to test cognitive abilities, critical thinking, attitudes, and logical reasoning.
The UCAT assists schools select candidates with the right abilities to pursue careers in the healthcare discipline. The UCAT test is not based on a science-focused syllabus. The format of the test covers questions that evaluate logical skills, like quantitative reasoning, decision making, and situational judgement.
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