World-class medical education at one of the top Caribbean medical schools - UMHS School of Medicine
- Low attrition rate – unprecedented 96% student retention
- 95% first-time pass rate on USMLE Step 2 CK*
- Affordable tuition and fees - Our students save up to $162,642 over other U.S. and Caribbean medical schools
- Small class and lab sizes
- World-class medical teaching facilities
- Outstanding and highly credentialed faculty that care about your education and each student becoming a physician
- Exceptional residency placement
- 20+ hospital affiliations in US and Canada
- The Ross family values of honesty and integrity
- Founder legacy of more than 40 years of success in medical education
- Over 90% of first-time applicants obtained a residency in 2023.
Why do students choose the University of Medicine and Health Sciences over other Caribbean medical schools?
While some Caribbean medical schools may promote their enormous graduating classes, they hide the fact that a large portion of their student body fails to complete medical school, with attrition rates averaging as high as 40%! This should be a red flag and added to a list of things to consider when looking at other med schools in the Caribbean.
96% of the students that enter our MD program graduate from our medical school in the Caribbean.
We are committed to your success and our primary goal is to help you excel in med school, match into a residency program and have outstanding careers. Read more in our medical schools in the Caribbean faqs section of this article.
The school facilities on the campus of Saint Kitts are one of the most modern in the Caribbean and is comparable to those of many of the top med schools in the US. It features the latest technologies in the classrooms including full human simulation laboratories as well as an 11,000 sqft school of medicine Anatomy/NeuroAnatomy lab. Take our Medical school Virtual Tour to see for yourself!
Our Schools admissions staff are trained to recognize the unique potential in applicants.
Admissions is one of the most important and seldom discussed aspects for all of the Caribbean medical schools. In 1978 our founder, Dr. Robert Ross, created one of the first Caribbean medical schools with an outstanding reputation. Based on more than 40 years of experience in medical education, we now know that GPA and MCAT data are not pure predictors of success in medical school - our schools 96% student retention rate remains as a testament to this fact.
As such, we take a very holistic approach to admissions, looking at a broad range of many different indicators of a student's chance to handle the rigors of medical school.
Some of our best med school Applicants and students come from non-traditional backgrounds or are candidates that are simply overlooked by other American medical school’s dated modes of analysis.
We offer a truly personalized approach to medical education at our Caribbean med school. Our medical school faculty share a love of teaching and are fully committed to each student’s success in school and in their career as an MD.
We have an exceptionally low student-to-faculty ratio of 8:1 This ratio is one of the lowest for any of the highly accredited Caribbean medical schools. Teachers have ample opportunity to get to know their students and vice-versa. Students and graduates remark that it was the availability of the doting faculty and the wealth of information they always had time to share, that contributed so much to their success as a physician. Opportunities are also available for research.
We are committed to educating uniquely skilled and diverse medical professionals eager to meet the need for MD physicians in various settings throughout the United States and the world. With a focus on quality patient care in clinical medicine, we utilize the latest in advanced technological instruction and personalized education and training. Our aim is to produce genuinely passionate doctors who are highly prepared for practice in a changing medical landscape. If you are looking for one of the Best Caribbean Medical Schools, learn more about becoming a doctor through our top Caribbean medical school program by speaking with an admissions representative, current students, or alumni. We are sure you will put our Caribbean med school on the top of your list of medical schools in the Caribbean to consider attending!
As the only Caribbean medical school that is family/privately owned, UMHS was founded by Dr. Robert Ross (1917-2011). He was known worldwide with an impeccable reputation for developing academic institutions and dedication to excellence. This dedication to excellence and feeling "morally responsible for the success of our students" continues with his family members that own and operate the institution today. Read our Mission Statement.
Take the first step to becoming a Medical Doctor
Caribbean Medical Schools Tuition and Fees - Cost comparison preview
How can other accredited Caribbean medical schools be so much more expensive?
The University of Medicine and Health Sciences continues to be the leader in providing high-quality education at a fair and affordable price. As the only family/privately owned Medical School in the Caribbean, we do not answer to stockholders or large corporate investors like other offshore medical schools.
"We believe our moral obligation is to leave graduates with as little debt as possible while generating enough revenue to maintain the institution's financial health for future growth and withstand operational setbacks. The revenue generated from our current tuition and fees more than exceeds our operating expenses, allowing us to invest further in the campus, in educational technology, and grow the university at a healthy pace."
We often get asked why the other Caribbean Medical schools cost thousands more and are so much more expensive than UMHS and the vast majority of US Allopathic and Osteopathic medical schools? Obviously, we can't answer for other Medical schools in the Caribbean, but it seems obvious that these Caribbean med school programs could meet their operating expenses and still collect a healthy profit with tuition and fees at a much lower rate than what they are charging now.
What does your academic admissions committee look for in medical school applicants?
For the remainder of 2023 and moving forward, our Caribbean medical school's admissions committee is concerned with whether the medical school applicants have the ability and drive to succeed in the incredible rigors of Medical School. This is determined holistically without a computer formula by looking at GPA and MCAT, but also through more qualitative factors such as
- Life experience
- Extracurricular activities
- Leadership potential.
- Research experience
- Personal essay
- Letters of recommendation
Greater weight is given to a candidate whose trajectory of academic performance, rather than just cumulative GPA or stats from an MCAT score on its own, (which we find as a poor estimator of future success).
A strong personal statement essay can be extremely helpful and one of the pivotal factors for admission into Caribbean medical schools.
Read more about applications and our admissions philosophy here: our medical universities admissions philosophy
Frequently asked questions about the Doctor of Medicine program at UMHS Medical School in the Caribbean
Is UMHS one of the accredited Caribbean medical schools that allow residencies and licensing in the US and Canada?
One question we get asked often is about our medical school accreditations and accrediting organizations.
The University Of Medicine and Health Sciences School of Medicine takes pride in being one of the top-tier accredited Caribbean medical schools with very high accreditation standards.
Our students are qualified and eligible to sit for the United States and Canadian medical licensing exams and can apply for residency throughout the US and Canada. Our Caribbean medical school has ACCM accreditation, NCFMEA recognition, and various US state approvals.
Our schools name can be found on the list of Caribbean medical schools approved institutions on the World Federation for Medical Education - WFME/FAIMER World Directory of Medical Schools.
Fully licensed doctors who are graduates of our Caribbean medical college are able to practice in all 50 United States.
Can UMHS graduates attend residencies, get licensed and practice in California?
Yes! UMHS graduates can attend residencies, get licensed and practice in the State of California.
Additionally, UMHS has State approval in Georgia and Florida and have submitted an application for NY State approval.
How does your Caribbean medical school assist students in the residency match process?
The Academic and Student Affairs department is chiefly responsible for helping students match into residencies. They work with students on an individual basis on everything from residency interview coaching to residency application strategies.
Click this link to read about residency placements and our schools of medicine in the Caribbean residency program.
How does UMHS medical school assist students in preparing for the USMLE Step Exams?
The University of Medicine and Health Sciences has contracted with Kaplan, a renowned test preparation service, to assist our student's success in studying and passing the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 board examinations.
This prep service is a resource included in the tuition and fees for our students. Kaplan customary fees for these live services named "In Center with Live - 12 Month" are $9,999 for step 1 preparation and $7,499 for "In Center with Live - 9 Month" Step 2 CK preparation.
You can also join us on a webinar to learn about USMLE pass rates or request more info.
What are the average USMLE pass rates at your school of medicine?
Students must pass two portions of the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) for graduation. The USMLE Step 1 is taken after completing the preclinical basic sciences years of medical school. The USMLE Step 2 CK (clinical knowledge) is taken after completing core clinical rotations. Both exams are rigorous and require extensive medical knowledge. USMLE pass rates are important statistics for medical school applicants to look at. The scores students get may play a role in residency placements.
Read more about the USMLE pass rates for Caribbean medical schools here
What is the MCAT requirement policy for admission into the Medical school?
Currently, our school's policy requires all United States citizens and other permanent residents to submit their MCAT scores as part of their application into our Caribbean medical school. There is no minimum MCAT score requirement for applying to our medical school.
While the MCAT is not required for non-U.S. citizens, it is still highly recommended for all applicants to Caribbean schools from every country.
More information about the MCAT can be found on the AAMC website and in the admissions section of our Caribbean medical schools website
What medical residencies do UMHS medical students match into?
Our medical school graduates annually match into some of the most competitive residency programs across the US and Canada. Some of the residencies and specialties our medical students attained include: Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, General Surgery, Neurology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Anesthesiology, Ophthalmology, Pathology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Radiology.
Students who complete the basic sciences courses at our Caribbean medical schools location in Saint Kitts and clinical clerkships have matched into a residency program in 38 states including California, the District of Columbia (DC), Canada, and Puerto Rico.
Read more about our Caribbean medical schools residency program match results here - UMHS medical school match results
Is a premed degree required for acceptance into UMHS?
Similar to other US and Caribbean medical schools and international medical schools, a premed or health-related baccalaureate BS degree is not required for admission into our Medical school.
Read more about our school of medicine admissions requirements here.
You can apply to our MD program here: https://www.umhs-sk.org/apply
In addition, click to find our best medical scholarship opportunities.
Advanced courses such as Biochemistry are not required but are suggested. Zoology is not required.
What is it like living on St. Kitts?
St. Kitts is located in the West Indies surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Attending UMHS offers the best of both worlds, with the luxury of safe living in the Caribbean plus all of the modern amenities expected from a Caribbean Medical School, including grocery stores, banks, restaurants, coffee shops, and more. We strongly believe in the utility of diversity in healthcare, women in medicine, and LGBTQ equality.
You can also read more about living in the Caribbean here - medicine and medical school life in the Caribbean
Navigate back Home toward the top of this Caribbean medicals schools page with these navigation links
Find out more about our Caribbean Medical school MD program
UMHS Caribbean Medical School Reviews
Do you have any questions or would you like to speak with an admissions advisor?
FAQs About Best Medical Schools in the Caribbean
Admission requirements - What are the admission requirements for Caribbean medical schools?
The admission requirements for offshore medical schools will vary from one institution to another. Some schools of medicine do require a bachelor's degree to apply, but having a pre-med degree is not required. Other schools like UMHS require at least 3 years of undergraduate education as well as completion of certain courses such as:
- Biology with lab - One year
- Inorganic Chemistry with lab - One year
- Physics with lab - One semester
- Mathematics (Statistics or calculus) - One semester
- English - One year
- Chemistry Organic - One year
Other advanced courses such as biochemistry are not required but considered helpful.
Besides coursework, UMHS as well as other institutions require:
- Letters of recommendation
- Research projects
- Work experience
- Personal essay
Most universities, including UMHS, require MCAT scores also, but there have been variances during the COVID pandemic. An advanced degree program, such as a msc - master of science or phd degree or even mba is NOT needed, but these types of programs show desirable dedication.
Caribbean medical school rankings - Which top Medical Universities in the Caribbean offer the most affordable tuition and fees?
The University of Medicine and Health Sciences is family owned . Being family owns give us a huge advantage over other Caribbean medical schools as we make decisions based upon what is best for our students without answering to stockholders or large corporate investors. This also gives us the option to provide an affordable Medical education that can save our students as much as $162,642 of student debt over other Caribbean medical schools. Here is information about other Schools and their programs including those called the Big 4 Caribbean medical schools.
|Medical University Ranking
|Basic Sciences Location
|Tuition and Fees
|1. University of Medicine and Health Sciences
|UMHS, UMHS St Kitts
|Basseterre, Saint Kitts
|2. American University of Antigua
|Manipal Education & Medical Group in India
|Antigua and Barbuda
|3. Saba University School of Medicine
|R3 Education, Inc, (a holding company)
|Saba, NL ( Kingdom of the Netherlands)
|4. The American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine
|Adtalem Global Education Inc (NYSE: ATGE)
|5. Ross University School of Medicine
|Adtalem Global Education Inc (NYSE: ATGE)
|6. St. George's University
|St George's, SGU
|Altas Partners, Baring Private Equity Asia and private investors
|Grenada, West Indies (and additional facility in the UK)
Are Caribbean Medical Schools Legitimate?
Yes absolutely. There is no doubt that there are a select few elite med schools in the Caribbean that are legitimate.
Unfortunately though, due to the vast number (sixty or more) of offshore Caribbean medical schools, there are many that accept students without the competency level required for the demands of medical school. They frequently have extremely large rates of attrition, subpar board examination passing rates, and subpar residency match rates as a result. These schools have contributed to a subpar reputation.
Of course, UMHS, as well as five of six other elite Caribbean schools of medicine have a long tradition of producing outstanding physicians with extremely high pass rates on all board/shelf examinations. This along with the necessary accreditations allows students to match into the same residency programs as graduates from US Allopathic and Osteopathic and get licensed in the US and Canada.
What are gpa requirements for med schools in the Caribbean?
The average grade point average, GPA, of accepted students varies between 3.2 and 3.3 at many Caribbean medical schools. There can be large differences in this statistic greatly depending upon the University that a prospective student is considering.
At UMHS, we do not have a minimum GPA for matriculation into our school as each student is evaluated holistically. More emphasis is often given to the trajectory of the GPA than the actual numerical value itself.
Are Caribbean Medical Schools recognized in the US?
The University Of Medicine and Health Sciences School of Medicine takes pride in being one of the top tier Caribbean medical schools with very high accreditation standards. Our students are qualified to sit for the US and Canadian medical licensing exams and can apply for residency throughout the US and Canada. Our Caribbean medical school has ACCM accreditation, NCFMEA recognition, and various US state approvals. Our medical school is fully accredited by all of the important governing bodies that top-tier medical schools require including the WFME.
Do Caribbean Medical Schools Confer a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) degree?
All Caribbean medical schools that are credentialed to allow graduates to practice in the United States and Canada upon graduation confer the Doctor of Medicine, MD degree.
There are several Medical Schools in the Caribbean that confer a MBBS degree, but graduates of these programs do not qualify to practice in the US without additional training.
Do US and Canadian Hospitals hire graduates of Medical Schools in the Caribbean?
Yes. Hospitals in the United States as well as hospitals in Canada DO hire graduates from accredited Caribbean medical schools such as UMHS.
Medical school graduates are hired based on their skills, competencies, and qualifications in the U.S. The hiring process most often doesn't take into account whether you attended one of the top medical schools. A medical graduate's qualifications are all that matters to them.
Approximately 25 percent of U.S. physicians are international medical graduates, which includes graduates of Caribbean medical schools.
Read more about UMHS being one of the top accredited Caribbean medical schools here: UMHS as one of the top rated Caribbean Medical Schools with high accreditations