The process of gaining acceptance to a health professions program in the U.S. as an international student can be challenging. This is due to a number of factors, including the cost of graduate education and a corresponding emphasis on training students who can and intend to practice within the U.S. Secondly, unlike for undergraduate education, private scholarships are virtually nonexistent for health professions programs and students generally finance their medical education through government-sponsored loans, which are only available to citizens and permanent residents. International applicants are often required to place in escrow a sum equivalent to two to four years’ tuition and fees and/or obtain a co-signer.
While entrance into these programs can be difficult, there are a number of medical schools that accept international applicants. There are also a number of avenues for international students to join the healthcare community:
- Graduate programs in medical sciences, such as epidemiology, immunology, bioengineering, genome sciences, or one of many other fields
- Graduate programs in public health
- MD/PhD programs
- Medical education outside the U.S. Examples include: DukeNUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore; Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland; and the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara School of Medicine