FAQ Image 3

What types of students prove to be successful applicants?

All types. The Atlantic Bridge Program is a cultural diversity scheme that is designed to add well-qualified students from a mosaic of backgrounds to our student bodies. Students of all ages, college majors, ethnicities, financial resources, etc., are encouraged to apply. Students are expected to present high marks in science subjects particularly chemistry and biology as the application process is competitive.

Must I be a US or Canadian citizen to apply to the Irish medical schools through Atlantic Bridge?

No, students from all NON-EU nations are welcome to apply through Atlantic Bridge, particularly if a portion of your second and/or third-level education took place in the USA or Canada, or at a US or Canadian school overseas.

I am a citizen of a European Union country and I hold an EU passport. However, I do not reside in the EU. Should I apply to the Irish medical schools through Atlantic Bridge?

Yes. The medical schools do not allocate places on the basis of citizenship. EU citizens who are not legal residents of the EU are not eligible to apply for the places reserved for EU residents.

I have a European Union (EU) passport but I ordinarily reside in North America. Do I qualify for EU tuition fees?

No. Holders of EU passports who are not legal residents of the EU are subject to overseas (i.e. non-EU) tuition fees.

How much are the tuition fees?

Tuition fees for the 2014/2015 academic year are as follows:

Four-year courses:
University College Cork – 39,200 Euros
University College Dublin – 39,200 Euros
The University of Limerick – 39,500 Euros
The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland* – 50,600 Euros

Five-year courses:
University College Cork – 31,000 Euros
University College Dublin – 31,000 Euros
National University of Ireland, Galway – 31,000 Euros
Trinity College Dublin – 31,100 Euros
The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland* – 49,100 Euros
The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – Medical University of Bahrain – 39,500 USD
Penang Medical College – Click here for detailed information [PDF]

Six-year courses:
University College Dublin – 31,000 Euros
National University of Ireland, Galway – 31,000 Euros
The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland* – 49,100 Euros
The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – Medical University of Bahrain – 39,500 USD

*The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland is a private school and a registered charity.

Tuition fees are subject to annual review.

How long are the medical degree courses in Ireland?

Four Year Courses (a bachelor’s degree and the MCAT are required for admission):
University College Cork
University College Dublin
The University of Limerick
The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Five Year Courses (the MCAT is not required for admission to these courses):
University College Cork
University College Dublin
The National University of Ireland, Galway
The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – Medical University of Bahrain
Trinity College Dublin
Penang Medical College

Six Year Courses*:
University College Dublin
The National University of Ireland, Galway
The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – Medical University of Bahrain
Penang Medical College

*Note: These courses are offered for students entering directly from high school and for high school graduates who have also taken college / university-level courses but will not have earned a bachelor’s degree by September 1st of the proposed year of entry. Depending upon their qualifications, the latter may receive an exemption from one year of the six-year course from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

Is the MCAT required?

Applicants applying to the four-year medical degree courses at the following schools must have written the MCAT in or before April of the year of proposed entry:

University College Cork
University College Dublin
University of Limerick
The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

What is a competitive GPA?

Because GPA can be very subjective, the Irish Medical Schools do not typically use guidelines around GPA for admissions purposes. For instance, Student A may have a slightly lower GPA than Student B, but Student A may have a much higher degree of difficulty in his / her degree or high school program. Also, many schools (especially in Canada) do not use a GPA system. So, there are many variables involved and therefore GPA is not always a useful system for assessing students for medical school and it can be misleading.

Consequently, the Admissions Committees tend to consider every application individually and on its own merits, taking into account (among other things) the degree of difficulty involved in the undergraduate degree, the competitiveness of the school, the course load carried by the student and a number of other factors.

Is the medical degree awarded by Irish Medical Schools recognized in the United States and Canada?

Absolutely. The medical degrees awarded by the Irish universities are recognized by the medical licensing authorities in the United States and Canada. Furthermore, the Irish medical schools have thousands of graduates who are currently practicing and or teaching medicine in North America. Every year our North American graduates return to the United States and Canada to pursue residency training.

Will I be able to practice medicine in the United States / Canada following graduation from one of these schools?

Graduates are eligible to practice in all of the European Union nations, in all British Commonwealth nations and territories and in the United States and Canada following successful completion of the applicable licensing procedures. Details for the United States and Canada are available in the Residency section on this website.

Are interviews required by the Irish medical schools? When and where are they conducted?

There are two medical schools that require an interview, The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and The University of Limerick. Interviews are conducted in North America and are generally scheduled to take place in New York, Toronto and Vancouver. Interviews are typically planned March through June. Candidates who are invited to interview will be notified well in advance to allow plenty of time for planning and travel.

How do I know if I am eligible for the 5 Year or the 6 Year Program?

Your eligibility for the five-year or six-year program will depend on your academic background including the courses you have taken and your level of achievement. Atlantic Bridge will provide specific guidance on your eligibility based on the information you provide on your Application Request Form.

In general, students will be considered for the five-year program if they are taking any one of the following: International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB), AP Examinations, SAT II (Subject Test Examinations) as well as candidates who have completed one or more years of College/University. Additionally, many students who have received their degree but have not taken the MCAT apply to the 5 Year Programs.

Can I receive an offer of admissions from more than one school?

Yes you can. In fact, during the admissions cycle for 2013 entry 68 candidates received multiple offers of admission.

What is a conditional offer?

Students who are currently enrolled in courses and who will not have final marks or earned their degree by the application deadline may be given a conditional offer by the schools. This is a common practice and allows students to (i) apply while they are still undertaking their current coursework and (ii) receive an offer of a place based on past coursework already completed and predicted marks.

A conditional offer is an offer that is contingent on meeting certain condition(s) which may include a) earning a high school diploma or bachelor’s degree by September of the year of entry, b) earning a certain grade point average, c) completion of the prerequisite science and math courses and/or d) obtaining a certain score on a standardized test (e.g. AP/IB/MCAT etc.).

How many entering classes are there each year and when do classes commence?

There is one entering class each year. Classes commence annually in mid September / early October.

How many North American students are accepted to the Irish medical schools every year?

Approximately 250 US and Canadian students are admitted each year. Currently, there are over 1000 North American students studying medicine in Ireland.

Will I receive as good a medical education at these schools as I would in the USA / Canada?

Absolutely. The standard of education in Irish Medical schools is extremely high. Their degrees are highly regarded throughout the world. Their graduates routinely secure some of the most prestigious residency training positions in North America.

Are student accommodations available?

Yes, all the universities have excellent, modern, housing. Housing in the private sector, including housing for married couples, may also be located with guidance from the college’s Student Accommodation or International Offices. For more detail, please visit our Accommodations page.

How much would I have to budget for living expenses year over year?

It has been our experience that, on average, students will spend approximately €18,000 (Euros) per year on living expenses (housing, food, supplies, transportation, books, etc.). Most of these expenses can be funded through US student loans or Canadian lines of credit. Medical school students should also consider that there may be additional costs associated with board exams and interviews for residency positions.

What kind of financial aid is available?

Financial aid in the form of US student loans and Canadian lines of credit are available to cover education expenses such as tuition fees, books and supplies, travel, etc. Currently the schools themselves cannot make scholarships available to international students.

What about health insurance?

Ireland has a public / private system of health care. Private health insurance is required for all international students and they should be prepared to provide evidence of that insurance upon arrival in Ireland. It is possible to obtain private medical insurance in your home country but please ensure that the insurance is valid in Ireland. As an alternative, you may also try the following companies in Ireland: VHI, ODON or AVIVA. For more information, please visit our Moving to Ireland page.

What about libraries and computer facilities?

All of the schools have libraries that are amongst the most extensive in Europe and contain vast collections of books, periodicals and research papers. The libraries provide a range of facilities and services to support and complement lectures, tutorials and practical work. Document supply services, database searching, a comprehensive range of reference works and expert advice on how to use them are all readily available. Extensive computer facilities (with Internet access and Wi-Fi) are also available to students.

May I obtain employment while I am studying in Ireland and do I need a visa before traveling?

For the answer to these questions, please view our Moving to Ireland page.

Are there any special airfares available to students studying in Ireland?

Yes, the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE) offers special student airfares to students who are studying overseas. CIEE has offices throughout the USA and Canada through which travel arrangements can be made to and from Europe, North America and the rest of the world. For details on their office nearest you call 1-800-781-4040 or visit www.statravel.com.

Whom can my family and friends contact if they want to receive information on travelling to Ireland to visit me?

The Irish Tourist Board at 1-800-223-6470, or visit www.ireland.ie. Most of the major air carriers have daily scheduled flights to and from Ireland. You could also check with your preferred airline.