Study Medicine in Latvia: Top Universities, Fees, Admission Requirements for International Students
A medical degree in Latvia is offered as an “MD,” or Medical Doctor. Studying medicine in Latvia takes 12 semesters, spanning six years. MD in Latvia is an undergraduate degree. This is not the case in countries like the US and Canada, where MD is a graduate-level course.
Although the official language is Latvian, medicine programs are entirely taught in English. This is one of many reasons thousands of students choose Latvia for higher studies.
This article will help you get a clear picture of medical education in Latvia. Read on to know about the best programs, universities, and all the details regarding admissions.
Top universities for medicine in Latvia
Currently, there are two universities with a six-year MD program. University of Latvia and Riga Stradins University are the top-rated universities in Latvia. Moreover, both are among the world’s 600 best universities for medicine, per QS World Rankings.
|University Name||Program Name||Duration||Language|
|2||University of Latvia||MD (Medical Doctor)||6 years||English|
|3||Rīga Stradiņš University||MD (Medical Doctor)||6 years||English|
The six-year MD program at the University of Latvia is structured in three parts. A part has mandatory subjects, B part has mandatory selections, and C part has electives.
Each semester introduces different areas of practice. For example,
- Basics of Clinical Care in the 5th semester
- Emergency medicine and basic life support in the 6th semester
- Clinical practice in the 5th, 7th, 8th, 10th, and 11th semesters
- Practice of family medicine, internal diseases, and surgery in the 12th semester.
Riga Stradins University attracts the highest number of international students. Close to 10,000 students from more than 65 countries have enrolled in RSU’s MD program.
The MD program at RSU is structured as
- Basic subjects (years 1-2)
- Pre-clinical subjects (year 3)
- Clinical subjects (years 4-5)
- Internship (year 6)
Admission requirements for studying medicine in Latvia
Studying at the best universities can open doors to infinite opportunities. But getting accepted into one is challenging. UL and RSU, the best in Latvia, can be somewhat selective in their admission process.
Here’s a peek at some statistics of these universities.
|University||Acceptance Rate||International Students|
|University of Latvia||45-50%||7%|
|Riga Stradins University||65-70%||27%|
Admission requirements for the Univerisity of Latvia
- High school diploma
- Proof of English language efficiency up to IELTS 5.5
- Transcripts of final grades
- Scanned copy of LU medical report
- Payment receipt
Admission requirements for Riga Stradins University
- Secondary school diploma and transcript of grades
- Compulsory subjects: English, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics
- Two letters of recommendation
- Letter of motivation
- Proof of English proficiency (international test score/secondary school grade)
- Copy of passport/ID
- Application fee payment slip
Non-EU applicants have to submit the following additional documents to RSU.
- 2 photos (size 3×4cm)
- Chest x-ray radiograph and radiologist’s report
- Police clearance certificate
- Proof of financial means sufficient to cover tuition and cost of living
How to apply?
You can apply directly via the university website.
However, as medical admissions can be cumbersome, you can consider professional application guidance. At Gyanberry, students can receive advice and mentorship at every step of the admission process.
Cost of studying MBBS / MD in Latvia
Below is a table for the first-year tuition fees at RSU and UL. The amount of tuition for the second year onwards is at the discretion of the University of Latvia. RSU, on the other hand, charges a fixed fee of 12,000 euros for all years.
|University||Annual Tuition Fees in EUR||Annual Tuition Fees in USD*|
|University of Latvia||10,238||10,703|
|Riga Stradins University||12,000||12,545|
Tuition fees for medicine programs in Latvia are comparable to those in other European countries. For example, the Czech Republic charges EUR 10,500-18,000 per year. Poland has an annual tuition cost of EUR 10,500-16,000.
Tuition costs are not the only charges students should factor in for their studies. Living costs play a significant role in selecting the best study abroad destination.
When it comes to living costs, Latvia is advantageous to international students. According to official records, an average international student will spend about EUR 4,800-8,400 per year. Depending on students’ personal choices, living expenses can be more or less than this range.
Take a look at the breakdown of living expenses in Latvia
|Particulars||Monthly expenses in EUR||Monthly Expenses in USD*|
|Total Monthly Expense||487-1,090||509-1,141|
* Tuition costs and living expenses are converted to USD at 1 EUR – 1.05 USD. Please note that currency exchange rates change from time to time.
Universities in Latvia have dormitories for students. The charges for these rooms range from around 70-120 euros. Students can also have privately rented residences or shared apartments, which cost anywhere from 100 to 350 euros per month.
Scholarships for international students
Latvian State scholarships are only available for citizens of countries with an agreement with Latvia. The scholarship award is provided as
- EUR 500 per month for bachelor’s and master’s students
- EUR 700 per month for Ph.D. students
Students of Riga Stradins University can use tuition discounts. RSU offers discounts to students in English language General Medicine and Dentistry programs. The discounts are given to promote academic excellence.
The eligibility for tuition fee discounts is determined in the following manner.
|Category||Discount||No. of Recipients||Eligibility Criteria||Year of Study|
|Academic Excellence||25% of semester fee||36 (bachelors and masters) and 4 (Ph.D.)||Weighted average grade in the previous semester: 8.5||Available for students in 3rd to 6th years|
|Social Support||10% of semester fee||Decided by the Faculty Council||Supporting documents to prove the need for financial support||Available for students in 2nd to 6th years|
Career scope for medical graduates in Latvia
Medical education in Latvian universities prepares students for professional practice. The natural choice for future doctors is to pursue residency.
The Graduate Medical Training at RSU Faculty of Residency is a golden opportunity for graduates. The program has over 70 specializations. Students have the chance to be trained by highly-qualified professionals. But this postgraduate program is offered only in Latvian. That means students have to be fluent in the language to participate well.
Alternatively, students can choose to pursue a doctoral program.
Graduates of Latvian medical universities are well-recognized in other EU and Non-EU countries. Students have started their medical careers in the US, UK, Australia, Sri Lanka, India, Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, and more. Each country has a licensure examination that medical graduates have to clear.