International Students

You belong here! International students are integral parts of the UW-Madison community. We are proud to support all students and alumni – of all immigration statuses – to explore, prepare, and apply to health professional programs.

It is important to know that health professional programs in the US vary widely in their acceptance of international applicants. It is more difficult (but not impossible) to get into some health professional programs (e.g., medicine), while other health professional fields in the US are entirely open to training international students (e.g., allied health fields, chiropractic, dentistry, nursing, physician assistant, physical therapy, occupational therapy, optometry, podiatry, and veterinary medicine).

Consider the questions in the tabs below. Be sure to connect with your academic advisor, any special program advisors that you have, ISS advisors, and pre-health advisors at CPHA.

Come and talk with us about your interests, plans, and all the questions that you have. We are here for you.

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

Questions to ask:

  • 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 for both me and the people that I served or with whom I worked?

Questions to ask:

  • What programs in my field of interest accept international applicants?
  • What are the acceptance rates for international applicants at the programs where I want to apply?
  • What are the experiences of international students at the programs where I want to apply?


Not all health professional school organizations provide information online for international applicants. The following do.

Dentistry (DDS/DMD): American Dental Education Association (ADEA)
Medicine (DO): American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM via
Medicine (MD): Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
Nursing (RN): American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)
Pharmacy (PharmD): American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP)
Physician Assistant (PA): Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) (use the International Student filter)


If you are interested in a health profession that you do not see listed below, do not worry. Allied health professions, chiropractic, occupational therapy, optometry, physical therapy, podiatry, public health, and veterinary medicine programs all accept international applicants. You can find information about applicant data in program directories, on program websites, and by calling admissions offices directly. The same is true regarding applicant data for specific programs in dentistry, medicine (DO, MD), nursing, pharmacy, and physician assistant.

Also, if you are an international student who is interested in medicine, 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 applicants. However, all the other health professional degree programs on this campus do.

Questions you need to ask:

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

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