Additional Resources for International Students

CPHA is proud to support all students and alumni – of all immigration statuses – to explore, prepare and apply to health professions programs.

As a UW Madison student, you have access to all CPHA resources. As an international student, there are some additional resources and information that will be useful for you. We also encourage you to come and talk with us about your interests, plans, and questions. We are here for you!

US Admissions Policies for International Applicants

Health professional programs in the US vary widely in their acceptance of international applicants. It is important for you to know that the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (UW SMPH) does not accept international medical school (MD) applicantsHowever, international applicants are currently accepted by all other health professional degree programs on campus.

If you are interested in a health profession that you do not see listed below, do not worry. You can find information about applicant data in program directories, on program websites, and by calling admissions offices directly.

Programs that can be more challenging (but not impossible) to get into:

  • Medicine
  • Physician Assistant 

Programs that can be more accessible:

  • Allied Health Fields
  • Chiropractic 
  • Dentistry
  • Nursing 
  • Physical Therapy 
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Optometry
  • Podiatry
  • Veterinary Medicine 

Considerations for International Students

While you will want to stay in contact with your academic advisor, program advisors, ISS advisors, and pre-health advisors here at CPHA, you may find it helpful to consider the questions in the tabs below. 

As you begin to research health professions programs, connect with International Student Services (ISS). Ask an ISS advisor about the documents that you need to have in good order before you apply to programs (e.g., visas, CPT, OPT, STEM extensions).

In addition to US admissions policies, you may find it helpful to reflect on these questions to identify what you are looking for in your future career:

  • Do I plan on doing my training in the US?
  • Do I plan on practicing in the US?
  • What kind of service do I want to provide in a health professional field? Why?
  • How can I learn about the wide variety of health professional fields that are out there?
  • In what ways have I served or worked with people in the past that have been meaningful?

When selecting programs, you may find it helpful to reflect on these questions:

General Questions

  • Which programs in my field of interest accept international applicants? Some US programs, for example, may only accept international applicants from Canada.
  • Do these programs provide information on acceptance rates for international applicants?
  • What are the experiences of international students like at these programs?
  • Are these programs able to connect me with international students currently in attendance?

Credits and Academic Resources

Financing Your Education

  • Do I need to demonstrate my ability to pay for the entire program before I enroll?
  • Do I need to pay for the first year of training before I enroll?
  • Do I need to pay for the entire program before I enroll?

Resources from Professional Organizations

Some professional organizations have information that is specifically for international applicants or directories that help identify if a program accepts applications from international applicants. Here are some examples:  

Next Steps

  • Meet with a Pre-Health Advisor
  • Sign up for CPHA’s self-paced Health Professions Canvas Courses, Pre-Health 101 and our Application Courses, and look for pages and modules that are designed specifically for international applicants