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Applying to Medical School - FAQ Part 8 - US Medical Schools For Non-US Citizens
By []Shane M. Carter

Can I go to a U.S. Medical School if I'm not a U.S. Citizen?

It is possible but very difficult. Only a small number of international students are granted access to U.S. medical schools each year. You should research the process very carefully before applying. Many medical schools that say they take international students, for example, mean that they will consider students from Canada-and only Canada. Ultimately, your status is what makes the difference in most cases.

Non-US citizen permanent resident status (Green card holders)

In general, when applying in the United States, non-US citizen permanent residents (green card holders) are generally treated the same as U.S. citizens. In most cases, permanent residents can qualify as legal residents of a state and are therefore afforded the same preferences that may be given to state residents at public and some private schools.

International Student Status (Non-residents, no green card)

Those not having a green card, (i.e., international students), have a more serious problem, since not all schools will consider international applicants. Of those schools that will accept international applicants, some have particular requirements that must be met by international applicants who are accepted to the school. Quite often, medical schools require that international students provide proof that they are able to meet the cost of four years of medical school and living expenses. As a general rule, no federal financial aid is available for non-U.S. citizens. However, international students may be eligible for merit scholarships or other school specific funding.

Some schools with MD/PhD programs have a limited numbers of seats that may be awarded to international students. However, applicants should only pursue MD/PhD programs if they have a genuine interest in research as a primary activity in their future.

Also, think about your desire to continue your education in the U.S. If you are certain that obtaining a degree in the U.S. is what you want, consider applying for permanent non-resident status and beginning as an undergraduate in a U.S. College. Finally, consider completing your education abroad and enter a U.S. medical residency program after graduation. Graduates of foreign medical schools have an exponentially higher chance of gaining acceptance to a U.S. residency program than a U.S. medical school because our health care system, by design, produces fewer doctors each year than our society demands by population. As a result, foreign-physicians are imported in droves to fill gaps in residency applicant pools. So, if you have a dream of practicing medicine or obtaining medical training in the U.S. it is entirely possible with a little time and prepared effort. You should read the following article to learn more about applying to medical schools as a non-U.S. citizen or permanent resident:   rel=nofollow

Shane offers expert advice on a variety of topics that affect college students. He is a senior contributor to - a college-level academic editing, writing and tutoring service.