International Students

International students often have questions about the realities of applying to and attending medical school in the U.S. What follows information geared toward helping international students understand the medical school application and admissions process. We offer it because we care about you and your career aspirations, and we want you to be informed as you consider where to attend for your undergraduate studies. We do not share it to be discouraging, but to be as helpful as possible as you consider your future. Please know: if you choose to attend Northwestern, we are here to help!

There are two main concerns:

Seats available

Many medical schools do not accept international students. In 2013, according to the AAMC, 75 schools indicated in the Medical School Admissions Requirements Guide (MSAR) that they would accept applications from international applicants. In the same year, 1,777 international applicants applied to MD-granting programs in the US; only 346 were accepted, and of those, 264 matriculated.

Financial constraints

Even when an international student is accepted they face the task of financing the cost of medical school. Only U.S citizens and permanent residents are eligible for federal aid, which includes Direct Stafford, Direct PLUS, and Perkins Loans. In most cases, international students will need to secure private loans or institutional loans if offered by the medical school. In many cases, medical schools require applicants to prove they have sufficient financial resources to pay for all four years of medical school, or will require the applicant to have the full amount placed in escrow.


Connect with HPA

The advisors at Health Professions Advising work with current Northwestern students across all majors. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in medicine or any other health profession, we’re here to help!  If you’d like to know more about what it means to be a pre-med or pre-health student at Northwestern, here are a few ways you can begin connecting with us:

Attend a Pre-med Info Session for First Year Students!

This workshop is required for all first-year pre-med students prior to meeting with an advisor 1-on-1. In the workshop, we’ll go over a lot of useful information, including pre-med requirements, coursework, experiences, and what medical schools are looking for! See our events page for upcoming workshops.

Meet with an advisor!

Schedule an appointment to meet with an advisor. We look forward to talking with you!

We are also available during weekly Drop-in Q&A sessions, which occur in our office on Mondays from 3:00-4:30pm and Thursdays from 1:30-3:00pm. No appointment necessary – students are accepted on a first come-first served basis. Drop-in Q&A sessions are meant for brief questions (typically 5-10 minutes per student, max.)

Check out our Events & Opportunities

Our Events and Opportunities page lists recent announcements, opportunities, and upcoming events.

Attend an event/workshop!

HPA hosts a variety of events and workshops each quarter, including visits by medical schools and health professions programs, panels, and informational workshops. Check out our current calendar for a listing of current events, and RSVP for anything that interests you!

Get familiar with our website

We have a lot of helpful, valuable information here! Get started by checking out our Pre-med or Pre-health overview pages.