Frequent Questions

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.

Is there a minimum age requirement?

Students must normally have attained the age of seventeen years by 15th January following the year of entry to a University.

What degrees are awarded by the Irish medical schools?

In Ireland, successful candidates are awarded a suite of degrees upon their graduation from medical school. Some programs award a total of three degrees: Medicine (MB), Surgery (BCh), and Obstetrics (BAO), while others award a total of two degrees: Medicine (BM), and Surgery (BS). The Irish suite of degrees is the equivalent of the M.D. which is awarded in the USA and Canada.

Are the medical schools in Ireland accredited by the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME)?

Yes. The World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) has awarded recognition status to the Medical Council of Ireland (MCI). The Medical Council of Ireland is the sole authority for accrediting, regulating, and ensuring the quality of education for the Irish Medical Schools.  RCSI Bahrain is also accredited by the Medical Council of Ireland.

WFME Recognition Status has been awarded for ten years with immediate effect starting in 2020.

 

MCI – WFME Press Release

MCI website

Directory of Organizations that Recognize/Accredit Medical Schools (DORA)

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.

What are the tuition fees?

Annual tuition fees for the 2020/21 academic year are as follows:

Four-year courses:
University College Cork – 45,000 Euros
University College Dublin – 55,140 Euros
University of Limerick – 47,592 Euros
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – 57,635 Euros

Five-year courses:
University College Cork – 39,000 Euros
University College Dublin – 53,040 Euros
National University of Ireland, Galway – 39,000 Euros
Trinity College Dublin – 41,200 Euros
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – 56,135 Euros
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – Bahrain – 39,500 USD

Six-year courses:
University College Dublin – 53,040 Euros
National University of Ireland, Galway – 39,000 Euros
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – 56,135 Euros
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – Bahrain – 39,500 USD

The above fees should be treated as a guideline only and are not official. 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
University of Limerick
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

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

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

For information on eligibility requirements for each course, please click here.

 

What about the MCAT?

MCAT is required for admission to the Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM), 4 Year medical programs. During the 2020 admissions season, the MCAT scores for students who received offers into the 4 Year GEM programs ranged from 496 to 520.

Applicants applying to the four-year medical degree courses at the following schools must have written the MCAT before May 1st of the year of entry:

University College Cork
University College Dublin (must be within 2 years of the year of entry with a 503 or higher)
University of Limerick (must be within 3 years of the year of entry)
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (must be within 3 years of the year of entry)

What is a competitive GPA?

Because GPA can be very subjective, the Irish Medical Schools, with the exception of Trinity College and University College Dublin, do not typically use specific 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 as 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 or high school curriculum, the competitiveness of the school, the course load carried by the student, how the student performed academically and a number of other factors.

However, if applying to Trinity College your GPA or equivalent should be a minimum of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale. If you are applying to University College Dublin, your GPA or equivalent should be a minimum of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

I have a European Union (EU) passport but I do not ordinarily reside in the EU. Do I qualify for EU tuition fees?

Holders of EU passports who are not ordinarily residents* of the EU are subject to overseas (i.e. non-EU) tuition fees. A student who meets any of the following conditions may request to be assessed for EU Tuition Fees.

*Ordinarily resident means being resident in the EU/EEA/Swiss Confederation for a minimum of 183 days in any one calendar year for a minimum of 3 of the last 5 years.

(a) For all applicants aged under 23 on September 1st of the year of entry to a program:

  • Parent(s) must have been resident as tax-payer(s) (i.e. principal residence for the purpose of taxation) in the EU for three of the five years prior to commencing the program AND
  • Applicant/student must have been ordinarily resident in the EU/EEA/Swiss Confederation for three of the five years prior to commencing a program

(b) For all applicants aged 23 or over on September 1st of the year of entry to a program:

  • Applicants over 23 are considered independent, mature applicants. The applicant/student must have been resident as a tax-payer (that is – principal residence for the purpose of taxation) in the EU/EEA/Swiss Confederation for three of the five years prior to commencing the program

(c) Students educated for 5 years in primary or secondary school in the EU/EEA/Swiss Confederation can be assessed for EU fees

A student who is eligible for EU fees must apply via the Central Applications Office.

Note: Any period of residence as a student or a holder of a student visa will not be included in the assessment of years of residence.

If I am eligible for EU Fees, how should I apply to the Irish Medical Schools?

In order to receive an offer of an EU place, you must apply via the Central Applications Office (CAO).

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.

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

There are four medical schools that require an interview:

  • The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
  • The University of Limerick
  • The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – Bahrain
  • University College Dublin

Since the advent of COVID-19 Interviews will be conducted online.

What if I am already enrolled in medical school?

Although you can apply, you should be aware that Irish medical schools do not usually accept students who are currently enrolled as medical students.

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

You should check the Medicine Entry Requirements page for specific information.

In addition, an Atlantic Bridge admissions officer will provide specific guidance on your eligibility based on the information you provide on your Application Request Form.

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

Yes, you can. Every year, a number of candidates receive more than one offer or multiple offers.

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), for instance, 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. IB.)

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

There is one entering class each year. Classes commence annually in September.

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

Approximately 300 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?

On average, students will spend approximately €18,000 (Euros) per year on living expenses (housing, food, supplies, transportation, books, etc.).  Medical school students should also consider that there will be additional costs associated with board exams, clinical electives 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.

Will I have to undergo a health screening?

Yes. In the interests of the safety of both patients and students, Irish health care regulations require that a student entering a health care-related program undergo a health screening at the university’s health center after registration with the school. This is required to ensure that students are free of any infectious disease that may cause harm to patients, other students, or faculty.

Documents for such screenings are provided by the universities. Please note that there is an associated cost of approximately €225 – €300 (depending on the school) for health screening. The fees are paid directly to the university.

What about health insurance?

The Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service (INIS) require that all non-EU students have private health insurance while studying in Ireland. Students should be prepared to present proof of insurance when arriving in Ireland.

Non-EU students must provide evidence of comprehensive medical insurance when registering with the Garda National Immigration Bureau. The following health insurance providers in Ireland can ensure that you have the policy you need upon your arrival:  VHI, ODON and AVIVA.

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.