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Medical Degree (MD/MBBS) in the US: Admission Guide for International Students

Nov 11, 2022

MD/MBBS in the USA: Eligibility and Admission Requirements

The United States is often seen as the leader in education. Many international students aspire to study in the US in various disciplines, including medicine. A medical degree in the US is the MD, or Doctor of Medicine. The MD is offered as a second-entry degree. This is unlike most countries that accept high school graduates to study medicine.

Med school aspirants have to complete the required coursework to be eligible for admission. Students can choose any major for their undergraduate degree, as long as they meet the subject requirements.

Medical schools in the US are extremely competitive. According to a report by the AAMC in 2019, only 325 of 1890 foreign applications were accepted. Therefore, students should consider their eligibility and admission requirements carefully before applying. 

Read on to know more about the general eligibility criteria for international students to study MD in the US.

Study MBBS/MD in the US: Overview

Programs Offered MD
Program Duration 4 years
Average Annual Tuition Cost USD 60,000
Eligibility Criteria 4-year relevant undergraduate degree
Entrance Exam MCAT
English Proficiency Tests Minimum score of IELTS 7.0 or equivalent
Application Portal AMCAS
Application Deadline 15 October
Application Fees starts at USD 170

Acceptance rates of medical universities in the US 

Medical universities in the US are highly competitive. Acceptance to a med-school is based on a few factors: MCAT scores, undergraduate GPA, work experience, and application. Acceptance rates tend to be low for high-ranking universities. Below is a list of the acceptance rates of five top universities offering MD:

  • Princeton University – 6%
  • Columbia University – 7%
  • Harvard University – 5%
  • Yale University – 6.5%
  • Standford University – 5.2%

It can be pretty challenging for most international students to be accepted in the above universities. It is crucial to match your MCAT scores with the universities most likely to accept them. 

The table below highlights the acceptance rates of a few well-ranking and less competitive universities.

These universities also offer medical sciences-related undergraduate degrees. Med-school aspirants enroll in these undergraduate degrees for premedical studies before MBBS.

MBBS/MD eligibility for international students

Most universities in the US accept international applications for MD. General eligibility criteria for MD programs include

  • Four-year undergraduate degree*
  • Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
  • English proficiency of at least
  • Work experience

*Note: Universities usually do not mention a specific major. But the popular majors include 

These degrees receive preference as they help students understand the MCAT syllabus, resulting in better preparation for the test.

Even though universities do not specify a major, they expect students to have completed the following coursework

  • Organic Chemistry (1 semester)
  • Biochemistry (1 semester – laboratory recommended, but not required)
  • General Biology or Zoology (2 semesters)
  • General Chemistry (2 semesters)
  • General Physics (2 semesters)

Many universities require students to complete their undergraduate degrees in the US, UK, or Canada to apply for the MD program.

Admission requirements for international students

Applicants should ensure they have the following documents/information available before applying online for MD programs

  • Academic Transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation/Letters of Evaluation
  • Submission of MCAT scores
  • Applications Essay

Application Process for MBBS/MD in the US 

Applications for medical programs are made through American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). Resident and international students can use the service to submit their applications. However, international students who have completed their high school outside the US should ensure their academic scores are converted per AMCAS guidelines.

Please note that not all universities use AMCAS. It is important to confirm if your preferred university accepts applications through AMCAS.

The application process involves the following steps:

  • Apply through AMCAS
  • Submit University’s secondary/supplemental application
  • Submit letters of recommendation through AMCAS Letter Service
  • Confirm your application status
  • Interview

Applications should be submitted by 15th October. 

On average, most students apply to 16 medical schools via the AMCAS. 

The basic application fee for AMCAS is USD 170 and USD 40 for each additional university.

Gyanberry’s application assistance

Acquiring admission into medical universities in the US is challenging. It is even more cumbersome for international students who may need to translate their academic transcripts per the application guidelines. 

But Gyanberry makes it easy by helping international students in every step of their journey to medical universities.

With Gyanberry’s services, you can get your profile assessed, shortlist universities, receive application details, and more.  

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International students can apply to MBBS/MD programs in the US through the AMCAS application portal. The portal does not limit the number of universities to apply. But most students choose up to 16 universities.

Applications through AMCAS should be submitted before 15th October. The primary application fee is USD 170. An additional fee of USD 43 is applicable for every additional university.

Applicants should ensure they have their academic record, MCAT scores, work experience record, applications essay, and letters of evaluation. Details about identity, nationality, family, conduct, etc., are required.

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