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Study Medicine in USA: Eligibility, Colleges & Tuition Fee

Updated on 21 March, 2024

The MBBS curriculum in the USA is challenging, and therefore, rewarding for the graduates. Unlike in India, studying medicine in the USA is equivalent to pursuing a postgraduate program or an MD. International students looking forward to studying medicine in the USA will complete a pre-medical course from any US university/college. While MBBS is a four-year course in the country, the total duration required to pursue it is seven to nine years. Students will also have to apply for a residency program for three-five years to practice as a doctor.

Requirements for Studying Medicine in USA for International Students

In the USA, you cannot directly enroll for a medical degree as an international student. First, you need to complete a bachelor’s program in the science stream. Most students opt for chemistry or biology as their pre-medical course. Upon successful completion, you become eligible to enroll in the four-year medical program.

Application Process and How to Study Medicine in USA?

To apply for MBBS, you’ll first have to complete a course in the science stream and then appear for MCAT (Medical College Admission Test). Aspirants can apply to the universities via American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS, a central application processing service). Please note that few universities also accept applications directly.

Tests to be eligible for MBBS in the USA are:




4. Pre-medical course

5. Completion of 10th and 12th

Documents required for taking admission in MBBS in USA:

Here’s the list of documents required for enrolment-

1. Statement of purpose

2. Letter of recommendation

3. Criminal background verification

4. Curriculum vitae (CV)

5. Evaluation of foreign transcript by an accredited agency

6. High school certificate

7. TOEFL score of 90-100 or IELTS score of 6.0-7.5

8. UG degree in the science stream with a minimum 3.0 GPA

9. MCAT scores to determine the college/university

For whom can MBBS in the USA be the right choice?

Studying medicine in the USA involves taking care of too many procedures. The course requires utmost dedication and passion as studying medicine is not easy. So, if you think you are passionate and inclined towards completing the course and serving the purpose you’ve always dreamed of, then studying medicine in the USA will be extremely rewarding and fulfilling.

Why Study MBBS in USA?

The United States of America is medically advanced and boasts of highly developed technology in all fields. The country is mostly in the news getting praises for medical miracles with new research and experiments. Studying medicine is an expensive affair in all the nations, but its ROI in the US is highly satisfying, so a pool of aspirants. Here are a few benefits of studying MBBS in the USA-:

Globally acknowledged MBBS degree- In the US, it takes almost 10 to 15 years to become a doctor, including the practice and residency. The program is tough and rigorous and so recognized throughout the world.

Best medical schools around the globe- The medical schools in the USA have a highly advanced infrastructure. The faculties have years of industry experience and mentor students to become better professionals.

Easy access to green cards- Medical graduates from the USA are highly valued professionals, thus making obtaining green cards easier.

Easier to practice in India- The Medical Council of India recognizes the US medical degree. The training received in the medical schools to clear USMLE ((United States Medical Licensing Examination) prepares students to crack the MCI test easily.

Top Medicine Universities in USA

Studying medicine in the USA is quite competitive, given the sheer volume of aspirants and the reputation of US medical colleges. Here’s the list of top medical schools in the USA-:

● Harvard University

● Johns Hopkins University

● University of Washington

● Columbia University

● University of Pennsylvania

● Stanford University

● University of California- San Francisco

● University of Michigan- Ann Arbor

● Yale University

● Walden University

● Kansas State University

Course Structure of MBBS in USA:

Course structure in the USA is different from the curriculum in India. In the former, MBBS is offered as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree. It is a second-degree program as the students must get a first degree which is a Bachelor of Science in chemistry, physics, or other science-related fields. The Bachelor of Science degree or the pre-medical course people refer to is mandatory to enroll in the medical degree program. Upon completion of MBBS, the students will apply for the residency program as per their specialization. Here’s an elaborate course structure for you to understand the procedure of studying medicine in the USA:

Bachelor of Science (BS) course:

The BS degree teaches students the foundation of medical science. In the USA, students pursue the BS course after completing 10th, whereas, in India, students pursue the same in 10+2 format. Since the Indian students have already studied half the course, they only have to complete four semesters of the BS degree. 

If a student already has a BS degree, they can be exempted from the USA pre-medical degree and directly enroll in MD. In this circumstance, it is best to discuss the situation with the university.

MBBS/MD degree

After a BS degree, the students are eligible to enroll for an MD degree. The MBBS program has been divided into two parts-

Theory: In this stage, students learn theory about medical science. The subjects include medical ethics, anatomy, biochemistry, histology, physiology, clinical science, pathology, and neuroscience.

Practical: Also known as an externship, in this stage, the students get hands-on training on practical aspects of MBBS. Students learn how to treat patients in hospitals. Please note that to be eligible for the practical stage, students will have to clear USMLE 1. 

Residency program

To be eligible for the residency program, students will have to clear USMLE 2. The residency program is for three to five years. Students will have to opt for specialization in this stage. After this, students will have to appear for USMLE 3 to get a license. Upon passing, one can practice as a qualified doctor wherever they want.

What is MCAT?

MCAT or Medical College Admission Test is a necessary examination for international students to become eligible for US medical schools. The computer-based, multiple-choice questions test evaluates candidates on their knowledge of biological sciences, social and psychological foundations, and reasoning skills, among others. The MCAT scores are submitted during the application process for the admissions committee to determine the candidate’s ability to be in a medical school.

The average score ranges from 472 to 528. Here are some important details about the MCAT test-:

Frequency of test15 times per year
Duration of test7 hours and 30 minutes

Biological foundations

Physical Science

Biological Science

CARS (Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills)

Psychological Foundations

Registration cost$335 (standard registration)
Maximum Score528
Score Range472-528

Cost of Living in USA

Housing some of the best universities around the globe, the United States of America is a dream study abroad destination for MBBS aspirants. The average cost of living may be somewhere near $2,700 per month. Here’s the monthly breakdown of living in the USA-:

Other living costs$1,200

Source: Numbeo

Tuition Fee for Top MBBS Universities in USA

The top universities in the USA award the best-in-class medical degrees. Here is an average tuition fee for top medical colleges in the USA-:

University  Medicine QS Rankings 2023Tuition Fee (in USD; latest info)
Harvard University1$71,000/year
Stanford University 3$21,800/quarter
Johns Hopkins University4$64,700/quarter
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)9$44,000/year
University of California, San Francisco10$57,400/yearly
Yale University11$67,250/yearly
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)12$82,700
Columbia University14$32,700/quarter
University of Pennsylvania16$58,600/year
Duke University17$70,300/year

Additional Costs

Apart from the tuition fees, here are the additional pre-arrival costs that you’ll have to bear to study MBBS in the USA-:

English Language testapproximately INR 17,000
Students Visa$185
NEETINR 1,700 (general category)

Scholarships for MBBS in USA

Prestigious medical schools and organizations in the USA offer scholarships to deserving students to complete their education without any problems. These scholarships often make studying medicine in the USA after 12th easy for international students.

Harvard Medical School Scholarship
AMTIE Student Scholarship
Vagelos Scholarship
Stanford Institutional Aid
AMTIE Student Scholarship
ASAHP Scholarship of Excellence
AHIMA Foundation Merit Scholarship
Financial Aid for Non-US Medical Students

Job Prospects and Salary of MBBS Graduates in USA:

Here’s a list of jobs and salaries of healthcare professionals in the USA-:

General PediatriciansINR 1,37,18,061
PsychiatristsINR 1,64,97,514
General InternistsINR 1,47,09,619
GynecologistsINR 1,78,40,730
SurgeonsINR 1,90,97,636
Important Link to Study in USA
Chicago University Acceptance RateUSA Jobs for IndianHubert Humphrey FellowshipJohns Hopkins University Admissions
Columbia University Masters Acceptance RateCaltech Phd Acceptance RateMIT Acceptance Rate for International StudentsUniversity of California Berkeley Acceptance Rate

Urvi Agrawal

Urvi has 3 years of experience as a content writer and marketer. Over years, she has established herself as a study-abroad expert and is adept at crafting compelling and engaging content for students. Self-driven and passionate professional, she likes writing poetry and has authored a poetry book ‘Thoughts of a Wallflower’.

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