What does a Harvard admissions interview look like

Study medicine in the USA

If you take into account that the distance between Germany and America is significantly greater than, for example, that between Germany and France or Italy, this is all the more remarkable. One of the reasons for this is certainly the fascination of the large and diverse state with fascinating metropolises such as New York or San Francisco.

But job prospects and the quality of training in the USA also play a role. This is especially true for future doctors and other students who would like to work in the medical field later on. After all, a study by the UK Department of Health found a few years ago, doctors in the USA are paid the highest salaries in an international comparison. Medical training there also enjoys a high reputation.

Studying medicine in the USA - which requirements are important?

Studying medicine in the USA opens up good future prospects. However, the prerequisites for being able to complete it at all are high:

  • You must first have completed a four-year bachelor's degree in another subject. It does not have to be a scientific subject. A discipline like history is also possible.
  • Only then can you apply to one of the American medical schools. However, you have to be prepared for stiff competition here. The places to study medicine are in great demand and many medical schools do not even allow non-Americans to apply.
  • Applying to an American university is also different from enrolling in Germany. For example, letters of motivation are required there and every now and then there are even admission interviews in which the applicant has to present himself accordingly. Since the competition is very high, especially at elite universities, your own application must be particularly good and have as many additional qualifications as possible (athletic achievements, musical achievements or voluntary work).

So, as you can see, studying medicine in the United States is far from easy. Even if the future prospects look good afterwards, the road to get there is rocky. You have better chances if you, as a medical student in Germany, would like to complete a practical year or an internship at a medical institution in the USA.

Which university is the right one?

Figure 1: Harvard, source: tpsdave (CC0 license) /pixabay.com

There are basically many renowned medical schools in the USA. Due to the fact that a large number of them do not allow foreigners, the choice is limited in advance.

Harvard is usually at the top of the relevant rankings, closely followed by Stanford. However, apart from the high entry requirements, such elite universities are anything but cheap. That is why it is worth taking a look at the lower tiers. In an international comparison, these medical schools usually still enjoy a good reputation and are still considerably cheaper than Harvard and Co.

What are the costs of studying medicine in the USA?

The costs of studying medicine in the USA depend on the individual case. Basically, you should consider the following factors in advance:

  • Tuition fee:How much a year at an American university costs varies depending on the university. The differences can be serious. At medical schools, you should expect around US $ 20,000 per year. If it is one of the top universities, more than $ 40,000 will quickly become due.
  • Cost of living: These also vary depending on where you are. Rooms in campus dormitories are usually the cheapest. But these can quickly add up to $ 1,000 a month. It is therefore important to build in a financial buffer for the standard of living.

If these costs are too high for you, you can seek financial support. Both an application for BAföG abroad - albeit a temporary one - as well as a scholarship are possible. A student loan can also help cope with the high cost of studying in the United States. Such loans may even be issued by the German state. Appropriate student loans from banks, which only have to be paid off after graduation, are of course an alternative. In this regard, you should calculate beforehand how high the debt burden will be after graduation.

Are there also public universities?

Figure 2: Community College Bronx, source: tpsdave (CC0 license) /pixabay.com

In addition to the coveted private universities, there are also state universities in the USA. These have the advantage for domestic and foreign students that they are often significantly cheaper. As a foreigner, however, you are often not even accepted here, as the universities are partly financed by taxpayers' money and therefore give priority to residents of the respective country.

The disadvantage of the so-called community colleges, which are becoming more and more popular as a cheap alternative to other universities, is that most of them do not yet award a bachelor's degree, but only an associate degree. If you would like to complete a bachelor's degree, which is a basic requirement for studying medicine in the USA, you have to switch to another university after completing the associate degree.

Which practical experiences have to be completed?

Prospective doctors in the USA first complete a residency after their studies, usually in a hospital. How long this takes varies - depending on the medical specialty. The first year is generally referred to as an internship. The specialist examination at the end of the residency is not necessary in order to be able to practice as a doctor afterwards, but it is now increasingly required by medical institutions.

If you want to specialize further, you can apply for a multi-year “Fellowship”. In this context, research is usually also required.


Those who complete a medical degree in the USA usually have bright future prospects and can look forward to a high salary. However, it is difficult for foreign students to get a place at a private or state university. Therefore, find out as early as possible about your opportunities and the necessary requirements and also think about financing options. A semester abroad or a year at an American university is actually always easier. However, if you want to live in the USA and study medicine, you have a rocky road ahead of you. However, with the right planning, the dream of studying medicine in the United States can certainly become a reality.

This article was written by Markus Müller. If you want to study medicine abroad, you can find more information at www.college-contact.com, for example

By Just Landed

Other recommended articles

Did this article help you?

do you have feedback, an update or a question about this topic? Comment here: