International Applicants


International applicants are defined as those who are not US citizens or permanent residents/Green Card holders. International students are welcome to apply to medical school in the US, but they are more limited in terms of where they can apply, as some schools will not consider international applicants. Currently only 48 allopathic medical schools and 18 osteopathic schools will consider international applicants. However even those that will consider international applicants, only admit a small number each year. Dental schools on the other hand are almost all open to accepting international students. 

The AAMC Medical School Admissions Requirements Guide, the DO Explorer, and the ADEA Official Guide to Dental School are great resources in helping applicants to determine what schools will be open to applications from international students and how many students are interviewed and matriculate each year. While medical schools use the same holistic review and have the same standards for international candidates as they do for domestic ones, it is more challenging for international applicants to gain admission because there are fewer schools that will admit them and overall schools do not admit a large number of non-citizens or permanent residents. In 2023 the acceptance rate for all international applicants to MD schools was 11% as compared to an overall acceptance rate of 44% nationally for all applicants. 


International applicants also face challenges with financing their medical and dental education, given that they are ineligible for US federal financial aid. While there are some schools that have institutional financial aid funds available for international students, it is generally not as generous as at the undergraduate level. There are some private loans available, but currently most of these programs require the borrower to have a US cosigner. Some schools have policies which may require evidence of the student’s ability to pay tuition above and beyond the INS requirements for an I20. Finally, there are also schools that require international students to place tuition funds in escrow prior to matriculation.

Columbia has been fortunate to help support successful international applicants over the years.  If you are interested in this path, you should speak to a premedical advisor early in your college career to begin planning.  

Other useful resources which appear on the AAMC website include:



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