What You Need to Know Before You Study Medicine in China

What You Need to Know Before You Study Medicine in China

With an education system that ranks within the Global Top 10 - with an exact placement of 8th in the world, China has long been a top study destination for many students from around the planet. In fact, the country sees almost 450,000 international students enrolling in its institutions annually - up 11% over years passed. While the country offers a wide range of programs at multiple world-class universities, medicine is undeniably one of the top when it comes to a list of popular fields of study.

 Students from all backgrounds - even those from countries boasting the most rigorous medical programs like the US and the UK - travel to study in China for a variety of reasons.

Before you decide where you want to take your medical studies, here are a few things you should know about China and its medical universities:


One of the primary reasons students turn to destinations like China for their medical education comes down to the cost. Programs in the US and the UK can be incredibly expensive, and while they offer some of the highest quality courses, professors, and programs, many of the brightest students are unable to afford the cost of tuition, let alone housing, international fees, textbooks, etc.

So what do they do? They turn to China, which has world-renowned medical institutions that have produced some groundbreaking steps forward in healthcare. Fees tend to come to an annual average of between 5000 USD and 8400 USD - a fraction of what students pay in other destinations for comparable programs, degrees, and curricula. Overall, degrees for medical programs in China are achieved for fees that amount to 70% less than those in the US. These fees, of course, depend upon a student’s chosen degree within the field of medicine. Luckily, China offers almost anything you could want.

With programs recognized the world over and degrees accredited and accepted in the same major countries as US and UK medical schools, it’s no wonder China is a top option for international students looking to study medicine. You can learn more about the best universities, colleges, and institutions in China by checking out “The Best Universities in China” [link to article].


Because English has become widely recognized as the world’s universal language, having the opportunity to be taught by an English-speaking professor or doctor can provide students with an enviable advantage. Luckily, many Chinese universities offer medical degree programs, all taught by internationally renowned doctors in English (or Chinese, if students prefer that option). In fact, most of China's medical universities are ranked among the top 500 universities in the world and have taught English-medium MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) programs for decades.

With English courses and programs at all levels, from 6-year undergraduate programs to 4- or 5-year graduate programs, and even to PhD programs, China has everything students interested in medicine need. The fact that an array of its universities use English to conduct their lectures only serves to increase both the quality of education and the accessibility of the programs.


The application can be the most daunting part of choosing which medical university you wish to attend in China. Overall the process is considered relatively straightforward; however, it should be noted that each program, university, and degree level requires unique aspects to the application process.

Some universities require that prospective students submit a variety of components to their applications: the online portion, a non-refundable interview fee, transcripts from prior educational institutions, letters of recommendation, and health information such as immunization records. Other universities might additionally require an in-person interview at an international location or a video interview via Skype.

If this sounds overwhelming, don’t panic! Companies like Yes Atlas exist to help students through their application and international study process, every step of the way. Simply reach out and connect with an admissions guide to begin your application process.

International Experience

Students of all backgrounds, especially those pursuing a medical degree, benefit from international experience. Having the opportunity to learn a new culture, engage with locals, and work in a new setting prepares medical students for the world of healthcare into which they hope to enter.

Chinese universities not only expose students to an alternative culture and two of the most widely-spoken languages in the world (if students choose to study in one of the many Chinese dialects or in English), which will help them as they advance through their educations and careers, but also align with some of the top programs in the world. In other words, the universities in China are in compliance with the Chinese and EU standards of teaching, the US Department of Education (Stafford Loan Program), and the Medical Board in the US. This means that students can apply for residency and continued education opportunities in these locations and a slew of others.

Top Chinese Medical Universities

Here is a list of some of the best medical universities in China:

  • Peking University
  • Fudan University
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • Tsinghua University
  • Sun Yat-sen University
  • Zhejiang University
  • Nanjing University [listed in CRM database, but not showing]
  • Central South University
  • Huazhong University of Science and Technology [listed in CRM database, but not showing]
  • Central South University