Most international study destinations, like the United Kingdom, the U.S. or Australia require international students to complete their Bachelor’s studies before they can progress to apply for a medical school degree.
Even if the journey to becoming a doctor is neither simple, not short, pre-med foundation degrees are a great step for international students who come from an academic system that’s not compatible with the one in top education destinations. A pre-med preparation course can also be useful if you don’t meet language requirements or minimum grades for undergraduate admission to medical related studies.
Read below three cases in which an international foundation degree might help with your medical school preparation:
1. If you are an international student who plans to study Medicine in the USA
And you haven’t completed a Bachelor’s degree outside the U.S.
You’ll likely need to take a pre-Bachelor from a USA university or college to meet requirements for undergraduate university admission. You may not necessarily have to take a pre-med Bachelor, as in the USA most medical schools don’t require a specific type of Bachelor for admission to med school.
However, it’s never too early to start learning the basic subjects required for med school. You’ll need a high GPA score for med school admission (no less than 3.5), so it’s good to build a basis for getting good grades early on during your undergraduate studies.
And you have completed a Bachelor’s degree outside the U.S.
You may have to take a preparation course in the USA to meet the requirements needed to apply to an American med school. International foundation years in Medicine train students for taking the medical admission exam. They also provide training to make sure students are aligned with subject requirements, and that they have the right English language skills. You will need to prepare for the MCAT exam, and some pre-Masters in Medicine may offer help.
2. If you are an international student who plans to study Medicine in the UK
And you haven’t completed a Bachelor in a country outside the EU
You can prepare for starting your undergraduate degree studies in the UK with an appropriate pre-Bachelor. Some international foundation year options let you even gain entry if completing your preparation with high grades.
You might also need to take a preparation course to advance your IELTS language overall score of 7.0, the general requirement for an undergraduate course in Medicine in the UK. A number of medical schools will expect completion of the clinical aptitude test, UKCAT.
And you have studied Medicine outside the EU
You may have the option of taking an accelerated Medicine study track to align with the British medical system (if the medical school you’re applying to has this option). International foundation years in Medicine help students gain entry to medical, biomedical or healthcare degrees but you probably won’t be able to fully convert your previous undergraduate knowledge to the UK medical system.
As a graduate student, you can prepare for taking an MBBS course in Medicine which usually takes five years to complete, instead of six (which is the case for Bachelor’s students).
3. If you want to attend other types of medical studies
Medical studies don’t only prepare students for becoming doctors. You have plenty of other career options in the field of health sciences that pre-Bachelor or pre-Master preparation can greatly help you with.
Pre-med foundation pre-Bachelors include preparation for areas such as:
- Health and social care
- Sport and fitness
- Maternity support
- Rehabilitation therapy
- Paramedic science
- Veterinary science
- Health informatics
- Counselling and therapy
- Health services administration
All the specialisations mentioned are good options if you don’t get accepted for medical school but are still passionate about health care and want to pursue a different career in health science. The pre-med pre-Bachelors and pre-Masters above make sure you get a good start in your medical science career.
What is included in pre-med preparation classes
Some of the most common subjects covered by pre-med pathway programmes include general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics and biology. More advanced pre-Masters include topics like anatomy. More technical specialisations also include mathematics classes. By the time you finish those classes, you've made a good start toward a biology or chemistry degree, so lots of pre-meds choose one of those as their major.
Pre-med classes also include academic skills training including verbal and written communication, as well as English language classes and cultural integration programmes.
Don't hesitate and get ready to apply for medical schools abroad with the right pre-med international foundation year!