Often included in the list of “Next Eleven” economies, the Philippines is an archipelago country with over 7,000 islands, located in the Southeast region of the Asian continent. Officially known as the Republic of the Philippines, it is the world’s 5th largest island nation and has the 34th largest economy. With the third-largest English-speaking population, the country is also known for having the highest number of English literates in Asia. The Philippine culture is an amalgamation of Eastern and Western influences, molded with significant contributions from Spanish and American traditions.
The Philippines has a tropical climate, which means normal weather conditions are hot and humid most of the time in a year. The average temperature remains around 26.6-degree centigrade annually. Located in the Ring of Fire of the Pacific Ocean, the country faces extreme vulnerability to earthquakes and typhoons, however, copious natural resources plays an instrumental role in the endowment.
The country has very welcoming nationals, who are always willing to lend a hand to the foreigners in guiding them around the cities. With high English proficiency of the nation, it is easy to communicate with the locals for the foreigners. Philippines also has a thriving food culture, with Filipino cuisine being the most popular. Due to its geographical location, Philippines has easily accessible food ingredients, which makes the options here innumerable. White rice is almost a certainty in every meal you would eat here, the food in the country is delicious, and very easy to adapt to. Some of the classic signature dishes in the Philippines are Dininding, adobo sauce, Laksa, and Kari Kari.
There are around 2,180 higher education institutions, 607 public, and 1,573 private institutes currently functional in the country, as per the numbers revealed by the Commission of Higher Education. Currently, the country has two of its reputed institutes listed in the World University Rankings. These institutions are the University of the Philippines and De La Salle University. The primary medium of instruction in the Philippines is English, which is also the formal language used in business and communication.
Located on the shores of Manila Bay is the capital city of Manila, which apart from being the oldest city in the nation is also the administrative, political, and economic epicenter of the Philippines.
Thousands of medical school aspirants every year face the universal concern of getting a confirmed seat in a reputed medical university. The growing number of aspirants, limited number of seats, inconsiderable high tuition fees in private institutions, and inappropriate financial assistance are some of the hurdles that students face.
To overcome these concerns, many students nowadays are turning towards the better and easier recourse of moving to a foreign destination for getting an MBBS degree. The Philippines is one of the most preferred destinations for getting a higher medical education. The country follows the American education system and is known for being one of the highest exporters of medical professionals to the United States of America.
Affiliated universities and colleges in the Philippines issue the Degree of MD or Doctor of Medicine, which is equal to completing MBBS in India. The degree is recognized as an MBBS degree by the Medical Council of India (MCI). Apart from the MCI, the degree is also recognized as MBBS by the medical agencies of various other countries, including the USA, UK, Canada, Ukraine, Australia, Russia, Germany and the rest of Europe. The 5.5-year course includes practical training or internships in Hospitals.
Perks of getting MBBS in the Philippines
- Medical schools recognized by various international agencies including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Medical Council of India (MCI)
- World Directory of Medical Schools has listed many schools from the Philippines
- Recognized by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), Foundation of Advancement of International Medical Education & Research (FAIMER), and World Federation for Medical Education (WFME)
- No need to learn new languages as the primary medium of instruction is English in all recognized Medical Universities of the Philippines
- Follows the American Style PBL Curriculum, which is widely acknowledged and will be helpful in the preparation of the United States Medical Licensing Examination for students planning to practice in the USA later on
- Provides a conducive environment with an extensive range of international students enrolling from various countries, like the United States of America, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong, and different European nations
- Affordable tuition fee as compared to other popular foreign education destinations such as the USA, Australia, England or China
- Budget-friendly accommodation easily available for international students
- Lucrative career choices available in the Philippines for MBBS degree holders, making settling in the country a beneficial option
- Medicine graduates can also opt for more lucrative career choices such as Hospital Management after completing their medical degree from the Philippines
- No donation fees are required to get admission in a recognized medical school in the Philippines
- Direct admission process, supported by NMAT scores
- IELTS or TOEFL not mandatory
- The Philippines has one of the highest passing percentages internationally
Best Institutions to get an MBBS from in the Philippines
The national state agency, the Commission on Higher Education Philippines is authorized to recognize and list the universities and institutions in the country. Moreover, students are advised to ensure that the offered medical degree is recognized by the World Health Organization, which is imperative for international recognition. We have curated a list of best institutes to get an MBBS in the Philippines.
- The University of Perpetual Help – Las Pinas
- Davao Medical School Foundation – Davao
- Angeles University Foundation, Angeles
- Bicol Christian College, Legaspi
- Emilio Aguinaldo College. School of Medicine – Manila
- Cagayan State University, Tuguegarao
- Cebu Institute of Medicine – Cebu
- Central Philippine University College of Medicine – Iloilo
- De La Salle Health Sciences Institute, Dasmariñas
- Far Eastern University – Dr. Nicanor Reyes Foundation Institute of Medicine, Quezon
- Lyceum Northwestern College – Dr. Francisco Q. Duque Foundation, Dagupan
- Mindanao State University – College of Medicine, Tibanga, Iligan City
- Our Lady of Fatima University
- San Beda College – Manila
- Southwestern University-Matias H. Aznar Memorial College – Cebu
- The University of Northern Philippines – College of Health Sciences, Tamag, Vigan City
- The University of Santo Tomas, Manila
- The University of St. La Salle – Bacolod
- The University of the City of Manila, College of Medicine – City of Manila
List of MCI approved Institutions in the Philippines
- Ago Medical and Educational Center Bicol Christian College of Medicine
- AMA School of Medicine
- Angeles University Foundation
- Ateneo de Zamboanga University
- Baguio Central University
- Bicol Christian College of Medicine
- Cagayan State University Tuguegarao (Carig)
- Cebu Doctors University College of Medicine
- Cebu Institute of Medicine
- Central Philippine University
- Davao Medical School Foundation
- De La Salie University Health Sciences Campus
- Dona Remedos Trinidad Medical Foundation
- Emilo Aguinaldo College, Manila
- Far Eastern University Dr. Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation
- FEU Dr. Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation
- Iloilo Doctors College of Medicine
- Lyceum Northwestern University
- Manila Central University
- Our Lady of Fatima University (Fatima Medical Science Foundation) Valenzuela
- Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila
- Saint Louis University
- San Beda College
- Silliman University
- Southwestern University Matias H. Aznar Memorial College of Medicine
- St. Lukes College of Medicine William H. Quasha Memorial
- University of Northern Philippines
- University of Perpetual Help (Dr. Jose G. Tamayo Medical University)
- University of Perpetual Help Rizal
- University of Saint La Salle
- University of Santo Tomas
- University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center
- University of the Philippines Manila
- UV Gullas College of Medicine
- Virgen Milagrosa University Foundation
- West Visayas State University
- Xavier University
- Zamboanga Medical School Foundation
Eligibility Criteria for MBBS in the Philippines
The admission in the Philippines is provided on a first come first serve basis. However, every applicant must ensure that they fulfill the required eligibility criteria before submitting the applications.
Education Criteria –
- Minimum qualifying marks in the higher secondary stream is 60% aggregate
- Major subjects in higher secondary should be Physics, Chemistry, and Biology
- The applicant must have studied the English language till 10+2 or equivalent level of education
- The applicant must have qualified the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) before submitting their application
- The applicant also needs to qualify the National Medical Admission Test (NMAT), a nationwide entrance examination for any medical school in the Philippine
Age Criteria – As per the guidelines, a student applying for MBBS in the Philippines must have completed 17 Years of age on or before 31 December of the year of application
Additional Requirements –
- Applicants must be able to produce all certificates of qualifications including certificates, marksheets, school leaving certificates and any other supporting documents
- Medical examination certificate
- Authentic proof of financial support in order to cover education and accommodation expenses
- Police Clearance certificate by the national authority of student’s home country
- Birth Certificate attested by a deemed authority
Apart from the above-mentioned criteria, students are advised to refer to the eligibility guidelines for particular universities and institutes in order to note any university-specific instructions.
Documents Required for Admission and VISA process
- Passport with appropriate validity for the entire education period
- Completed application form for the student visa
- Three recent passport size photographs of the applicant
- Medical health certificate of the applicant, including verified laboratory reports and chest x-ray
- Notice of Acceptance (NoA) in the original form
- Police Clearance Certificate duly verified and legitimized by the Philippine Embassy
- Appropriate visa fee (as per the recent visa office guidelines)
Students must note that the admission procedure may differ on the basis of changed guidelines and specific university regulations. Thus, students are advised to verify details with guidelines or notifications issued for the particular admission year. A broad-spectrum procedure is mentioned here for reference and immediate comprehension.
Step 1 –
- Contact the University Registrar’s Office for the latest application form, which often includes admission and preliminary form for applicant’s basic details
- Complete the forms with required details
- Submit the form with stipulated documents within the last date of submission
- Make the specified payment of application fee, often non-refundable, as per the available mode of payments
Step 2 –
- Evaluation of the application form, documents, and other specified details by the admission officer
- Appear for the admission interview as and when informed
- Attend counseling sessions to evaluate the academic requirements to enlist subjects to be taken in the course semester
- Get admission confirmation after due evaluation
Step 3 –
- Reach out to the college Registrar’s Office to get confirmation on approved subjects for your semester
- Submit the Preliminary Form
Step 4 –
- Pay the necessary fee at the accounting office/cashier
- Receive confirmation of enlisted subjects and admission
Once the payment is completed and admission confirmation is received, it is a formal confirmation of your enrolment into college.
Students must acquire a copy of the registration from the admission office, which should clearly indicate course, subjects, and year of study along with your accurate personal details.
Fee Structure for MBBS – Hostels and Tuition
The average fee of pursuing MBBS in the Philippines in 2019 would start somewhere from INR 18, 00,000, depending on the currency exchange rates at the time. Below is the fee structure of the top medical colleges in the Philippines at current exchange rates:
Our Lady of Fatima University – INR 25, 41,000
Emilio Aguinaldo College of Medicine – INR 19, 00, 000
Apart from the general tuition fees, there are several other costs associated with the total expense of education in the case of foreign students. Below is an estimate of various cost heads for better understanding.
Visa Processing Fee – Admission and Visa processing would be around INR 4, 21,850 (subject to change)
The break-up of visa processing fee –
- Application fee – INR 32, 500
- Visa Documentation, Student Visa Conversion in Manila and others – INR 3, 25,000
- Additional applicable taxes, as per the current rates
Living Expense –
- Hostel/Accommodation – INR 1, 77,450 on an average per year, always payable in advance
- Food – INR 26,000 for the duration of three months. Note – Indian food easily is available in the Philippines
- Visa Renewal – INR 175 per semester
Important information regarding expenses –
- Although no fee will be hiked during the course, students must note the admission notification for latest fee and expenses
- No donation and no hidden costs
Scholarships You Can Avail in the Philippines for MBBS
High tuition fees, associated education costs, and accommodation expenses are amongst some of the most intimidating factors while moving to a foreign destination to pursue higher education. Medical schools are no different when it comes to these factors. Therefore, many students while planning their MBBS in countries like the Philippines also look at the available options of financial assistance.
Here are some of the reliable scholarship options available for international students to study MBBS in the Philippines –
- Bailon Dela Rama Scholarship, University of the Philippines, Manila
- DOH Medical Scholarship Program
- Luke’s College of Medicine
- Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila College of Medicine
- Romeo P. Ariniego Scholarship for Medical Education
- Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center, Inc. Scholarship Programs
Aspirants hoping to get admitted in a reputed medical institute in the Philippines through a scholarship program must display proven academic records and the right attitude.
For more information on university-specific grants and international student scholarship programs, please refer the university or medical school website.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Getting MBBS from the Philippines
- 5 years for complete MBBS degree
- Get a Dual Degree (BS and MD), if interested
- Upon graduation, students can apply for a medical license in more than 180 countries across the world
- Internationally accepted medical degree, recognized by various international agencies including the World Health Organization (WHO), IMED of ECFMG – USA, MCI, FAIMER, USMLE and others
- The Medical Council of India accredits MD from the Philippines equivalent to MBBS from India
- Ideal student-patient ratio
- MCI passing percentage is better than many other foreign destinations including Russia, China, and Nepal
- The Philippines offer an affordable cost of education as compared to other foreign education destinations such as the USA, Europe, Australia, and China
- No heavy donations are required as a prerequisite for admission
- Reasonably priced accommodation facility for international students
- The US-based education system and PBL Curriculum carves a path for the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) for students interested in pursuing higher medical education in the United States of America
- The rapidly increasing number of international students opting for higher education in the Philippines provides immense international exposure by studying alongside students from different nationalities
- Qualifying English language proficiency exams such as TOEFL or IELTS scores are not mandatory
- As the 3rd highest English-speaking nation, language and communication is a non-issue
- Medical schools are included in the World Top University Rankings
- Contemporary teaching techniques with state-of-the-art facilities, well-equipped to render sophisticated training with a much-needed practical approach
- Option to settle down in the Philippines for further medical research or high paying job in the country’s well-structured medical industry
- Easy accessibility with daily flights across the globe with proximity to Asian countries
- Relatable climate for Indian Students
- Climate is one of the toughest challenges in the Philippines; located in the Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire, the nation is prone to flood and earthquakes
- Indian students must apply for pre-medical courses before applying to MBBS in the Philippines
- International students must qualify the Philippines medical school entrance examination – NMAT – to secure a seat in a university of their choice
- Less exposure to clinical training during the course
Career Scope after Getting MBBS in the Philippines
There are various advantageous prospects available after completing MBBS degree from a recognized Philippines’ university. Let’s discuss some of the most popular and significant career paths available for international students.
First option is to settle down in the Philippines to practice medicine professionally. After completing MBBS from a recognized Philippine university, students need to clear the licensure exam in order to start medicine practice in the Philippines
Some other options in the Philippines are:
- MBBS graduates can also seek admission in the postgraduate medical course in the Philippines, and further choose a career in medicinal research
- Stay in the Philippines and enroll in the Master of Health Service, or Master of Administration or Master of Public Health
- Student can also go for clinical research jobs in various government or recognized agencies in the Philippines
Medical Career in the USA – Medical graduates from the Philippines can pursue USMLE as a stepping stone to legally practice medicine in the United States of America. The United States Medical Licensing Examination is the licensing examination conducted regularly to grant medical practice license in the USA. Since the education system followed in the Philippines is similar to the US education system, it is easier for the Philippines medical graduates to qualify USMLE.
Pursue MD from Germany or the USA – Students can also go for postgraduate level (MD/MS) from USA/Germany after completing their MBBS degree from the Philippines. This can be done without clearing the MCI screening test. The USA or Germany’s degree is internationally recognized. Moreover, it is noteworthy that MD/MS students in the United States of America are given a monthly stipend as a support fund for higher education.
Move back home to practice medicine – After completing their MBBS degrees, students can skilfully move back to their home country and practice medicine locally. MBBS Graduates can even work with a reputed national hospital or clinic. However, students need to qualify for the local licensing examination of their home country in order to be eligible for medical practice.
Q1: What is the duration of the MBBS course in the Philippines for International students?
Answer: MBBS degree in the Philippines, which is formally known as Doctor of Medicine, is usually 5 years and 10 months. This includes 16 months of Bachelor of Science and the next 4 years of core clinical training. (May differ depending on particular university program schedule)
Q2: What category of visa would be applicable to study MBBS in the Philippines?
Answer: There are two categories of student’s visas applicable for international students to study MBBS in the Philippines, which includes the Student Visa issued in the Philippines Embassy of their home country and Exchange Student Visas issued by authorized exchange professors or researchers.
Q3: What is the semester calendar followed by universities and colleges in the Philippines for MBBS degree?
Answer: The regular semester calendars followed in the Philippines, as per the authorized guidelines by country’s education ministry, are from June to October and November to March. This is similar for most of the universities and colleges, however, students are advised to refer their admission year calendar for specific dates.
Q4: What is the usual deadline for submitting an application for MBBS in the Philippines?
Answer: Universities and colleges in the Philippines have three/four intakes in a year, which are primarily offered in the months of September, October, November, and January. Rounds of intakes depend on the number of applications received. It is important to note that applications are accepted through authorized agencies only.
Q5: What is NMAT and why is it necessary for MBBS in the Philippines?
Answer: NMAT, the National Medical Admission Test, is the national entrance examination conducted each year in the Philippines to shortlist students for admission in medical school. It is mandatory in order to get admission into the MBBS course in the Philippines’ medical schools.
Q6: What type of financial assistance or loan financing is available for international students?
Answer: Apart from multiple scholarship programs, students from other countries can always get financial assistance from recognized banks in the form of education loans at lower or subsidized interest rates.