Caribbean medical school requirements are a little more relaxed than top MD programs in North America. typically ask for all the same application components as schools in the US and Canada, though they may have lower minimum score requirements for your GPA and MCAT and require fewer clinical hours or shadowing hours. Even so, it’s important to look over each school’s requirements carefully and ensure you meet them! In this blog, we’ll look at the common Caribbean medical school requirements you need to know, how they compare to US med schools, and tips on how to make your at Caribbean med schools!
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Here are the common Caribbean medical school requirements that most schools ask for:
- Undergraduate or Bachelor’s degree
- Minimum GPA and school transcripts
- or standardized test requirements
- Healthcare experience/
for Caribbean medical schools will vary a bit between schools, but some of the common hard requirements are a Bachelor’s degree, a minimum , completion of premedical coursework and recommendation letters. All of these application components are considered holistically by Caribbean medical schools to determine who to admit.
Caribbean medical school requirements tend to be longer list and a bit more competitive at the top schools of , such as the “big 4”: St. George’s University, Saba University School of Medicine, Ross University School of Medicine and the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine
To get into these top Caribbean medical schools, you’ll generally have more admission requirements to meet and will need a strong application that ticks all the right boxes, despite the being generally higher than North American medical schools.
Here are the common requirements across all of the “big 4” Caribbean medical schools:
Requirements for international applicants to Caribbean medical schools
Caribbean medical schools receive applicants from the US, Canada and even further abroad.
There are only a few differences in Caribbean medical school requirements for international applicants, since a vast majority of applicants are not from the Caribbean.
First, if English is not your first language, you will be required to submit proof of English language proficiency with either IELTS or TOEFL test scores. English is widely spoken in the Caribbean, and most MD programs are taught in English, with some exceptions.
For instance, some medical schools in Cuba require Spanish language proficiency, and offer language mastery courses to students or ask applicants to submit a Spanish language proficiency test to enroll. Some medical schools in Puerto Rico also require applicants to be fluent in Spanish, although these are considered , not Caribbean medical schools.
Looking for the easiest medical schools to get into? Here's our guide:
As we can see, Caribbean medical school requirements aren’t really all that different from medical school requirements for medical schools in the US, Canada and elsewhere around the world. Particularly at the top-ranked schools in the Caribbean, the requirements are very much along the same standards.
The primary way that Caribbean medical school requirements deviate is in the way applicants are evaluated. Like many North American medical schools, Caribbean medical schools take a holistic approach to admissions. However, the minimum academic requirements, including GPA and MCAT scores, do tend to be lower at Caribbean medical schools. On average, students matriculating to Caribbean schools have lower GPA and MCAT scores than the top schools in the US and top .
Another notable difference in Caribbean medical school requirements is the lack of requirement to take the . Most of the Caribbean or even consider it. The only exception would be the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, which requires some components of the assessment.
While the Caribbean medical school requirements in general seem more relaxed and easier to accomplish, this doesn’t mean a subpar application will get you into medical school. It also doesn’t mean that a below average GPA or MCAT doesn’t require some work to offset. You’ll still need to put in some work to meet Caribbean medical school requirements, even if they objectively seem like the .
Here are some good tips to remember when putting together your application to Caribbean medical schools:
Studying medicine in the Caribbean may be a dream come true for you, and there are certainly some good options out there for applicants. However, many students are drawn to apply to Caribbean schools after facing medical school rejection from schools in the US or Canada, or they are concerned that their GPA or MCAT score isn’t high enough to get accepted.
If you’re applying to medical schools in the Caribbean because they are “easier” to get into, you should consider your options carefully. For one, not all Caribbean medical schools will offer you the quality of education you are looking for, and those recognized, reputable schools that do are not necessarily any easier to get into than US schools. Their admissions standards and requirements are still high because they follow similar standards to their counterparts in the US.
Studying in the Caribbean also means you will have some disadvantages when it comes to applying for residency in the US or Canada. If your plan is to return to the , you’ll be classified as an International Medical Graduate, regardless of your citizenship. Even if your Caribbean medical school has a good match rate, it will still be a bit tougher for you to match to competitive residencies in the US.
If you are thinking of studying medicine in the Caribbean, be sure to do your research and consider all the pathways open to you. Also think about your future career, the trajectory you want to have, and whether a Caribbean medical school education will help you realize it.
1. What are the requirements for Caribbean medical schools?
Caribbean medical school requirements are quite similar to medical school requirements for schools in the US and Canada. In general, applicants need to have a completed Bachelor’s degree with all prerequisite courses finished. You will also need to take the MCAT, submit letters of recommendation, a personal statement and likely have at least some healthcare experience under your belt.
2. What GPA do I need to get into Caribbean medical schools?
Most Caribbean medical schools require a minimum GPA between 2.7-3.0. The average accepted GPA at Caribbean medical schools is around 3.2-3.3. If you’re looking to get into , Caribbean medical schools are an option, but take note that not all of these schools are the most reputable, and there are many
3. What MCAT do I need to get into Caribbean medical schools?
The median MCAT score of matriculants to Caribbean medical schools is between 490-500, meaning Caribbean scores on average. If you want to , it is still possible! There are many med schools out there who have low minimum MCAT score requirements or who don’t require the MCAT at all.
4. How do I apply to Caribbean medical schools?
Caribbean medical schools will typically have an online application you can fill out through their website portal. Some of the top schools also accept AMCAS and TMDSAS applications if you’ve also applied to US allopathic medical schools.
5. Are Caribbean medical schools legitimate?
The top Caribbean medical schools are accredited and completely legitimate med schools offering a quality medical education. It should be noted, though, that not all of the universities and MD programs in the Caribbean are accredited or recognized by institutions in the US and Canada. If your goal is to seek a residency placement in the US or Canada after graduating, check to make sure the Caribbean school you’re applying to is accredited, recognized and has a good residency match rate, since you’ll be considered an
6. Is it easier to get into Caribbean medical schools?
In general, Caribbean medical school acceptance rates are higher, and their admission requirements and standards are lower, making them a bit easier to get into than top med schools in the US and Canada. Based solely on admissions data, Caribbean medical schools are easier to get into, but you should consider all the ramifications carefully before deciding where to apply.
7. Do medical schools in the Caribbean require the MCAT?
Not all of the Caribbean medical schools require applicants to take the MCAT, but you can expect that most of the top programs will ask it. US applicants will almost always be expected to take the MCAT. Some international applicants can choose to take the UCAT or GAMSAT instead, depending on the school and their country of origin.
8. Do Caribbean medical schools require CASPer?
No, in fact most Caribbean medical schools do not ask students to complete CASPer or the Altus Suite. It is not a common requirement for Caribbean medical schools.