Since the 1980s, China has been working on improving the quality of education in the country. While there are lots of challenges in running the largest educational system on the planet, the Chinese government has successfully managed to overcome them – and even outdo themselves. In fact, two of its institutions have managed to place 23rd and 24th respectively in the World University Rankings.
With its excellent educational system and state-of-the-art facilities, more and more aspiring doctors are setting their sights on Chinese universities. If you are interested in studying in the world’s most populous countries, then you should consider any of these 10 best medical schools in China.
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What are the requirements to study Medicine in China?
Chinese universities offer an MBBS degree or a Bachelor in Medicine and a Bachelor in Surgery. This is an undergraduate course, and as such, this degree is open to high school graduates aged 18 years old and above.
An applicant should be in good mental and physical health. He/she should have good grades, as well as good proficiency in the English language.
How long does it take to complete a medical degree in medical schools in China?
It takes a minimum of 6 years to complete the undergraduate MBBS degree in China. The first year covers the foundations, while the second and third years are devoted to basic medicine. The fourth and fifth years are for clinical medicine. The last year is intended for an internship, which can be done in China or another country.
Top Medical Schools in China
1. Tsinghua University – School of Medicine
As the top Chinese university according to the World University Rankings, Tsinghua houses one of the most selective medical schools in the country. While it was only established in 2001, it takes after one of the most elite institutions in China: the Peking Union Medical College (PUMC). Established in 1917, PUMC is fashion after the US Medical school system.
Acceptance into the School of Medicine is highly competitive, as this top medical school in China only admits about 90 students per year. Compared to other schools, Tsinghua runs an 8-year program. It follows a 3+2+3 model, where there first 3 years are spent developing a knowledge foundation. The next 2 years follow a double tutorial system, while the last 3 years engage in the rigors of clinical medicine.
2. Peking University – Health Science Center (HSC)
The university’s medical school is under the domain of the Peking University HSC. It is governed alongside other health-oriented institutions, as well as the university’s numerous hospitals. Based in Beijing, the former Imperial University of Peking is a distinguished member of the C9 League, a Chinese version of the US Ivy League.
Established in 1902, it is the first medical school in China to adopt the British medical school system. As such, it was the first in the country to teach contemporary Western medicine to its students.
With the school’s 6-year clinical medicine degree, HSC students can intern in any (or all) of the eight hospitals affiliated with the university. They are also encouraged to dabble in research, given the school’s 19 research institutes and 38 research centers.
3. Fudan University – Shanghai Medical College (SMC)
Shanghai Medical College traces back its roots to Dr. Fuqing Yan, who established the school in 1927. It continues to be one of the top medical schools in China, especially with the government-mandated merger with Fudan University in the year 2000.
Presently, the school offers two types of Clinical Medicine degrees that can be finished in 6 and 8 years. The 6-year degree is well-suited for international students since the curriculum is taught in English.
The 8-year course, on the other hand, is granted to those who can hone their clinical and research skills simultaneously. Students get the chance to collaborate with colleagues from renowned universities such as Harvard and Columbia.
The SMC campus is currently located in the 1900-square-meter campus at Fenlin. The school is affiliated with 10 hospitals where students can hold their clinical internships.
4. Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) – School of Medicine
The school is the product of the 2005 merger between the Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Shanghai Second Medical University, the latter of which was established way back in 1952.
The SJTU School of Medicine remains to be one of two schools that have been awarded an A+ grade for Clinical Medicine by the Chinese Ministry of Education. From 2009 to 2018, the ministry consistently ranked it first amongst all the Clinical Medicine programs in the country.
Apart from delivering world-class medical education, the school aims to make its students good clinical researchers as well. This is well-reflected in its rankings with US News, where the university placed 17th in publications and 37th in regional research reputation.
To date, the school is affiliated with 12 hospitals.
5. Zhejiang University – School of Medicine
The School of Medicine started in 1912 as the Chekiang College of Medicine. A few changes later, it was formally called Zhejiang University School of Medicine in 1999.
With that being said, the university is considered one of the more elite schools in China, as it is a member of the well-respected C9 league. It is also named as one of the 36 Double First-Class Universities in China.
Located in the Zijinjang campus, Zhejiang is one of the finest medical schools in China. It has 7 affiliated hospitals, as well as several other research institutes.
For these, the school is known for its excellent academic achievements and impressive international reputation. To wit, the university is ranked 10th and 14th in terms of conferences and publications, according to the US News listing.
6. Nanjing Medical University (NMU) – School of Medicine
Next on our list of best medical schools in China is Nanjing Medical University. Founded in 1934 as the Jiangsu Provincial College of Health Policy and Management, it was renamed Nanjing Medical College when it moved to its current location in 1957.
The NMU School of Medicine was one of the first to offer an English-taught MBBS degree in 2005. It is also one of the most selective, accepting only 100 students every year.
NMU has two campuses, with much of the clinical teaching and research being done in the 8-hectare main Wutai campus.
NMU has four schools of Clinical Medicine, with the first one housed with the First Affiliated Hospital, which specializes in Cardiology. The second school is considered the home of 14 teaching and research sections. The third school specializes in Cardiovascular surgery, while the fourth school is focused on Pediatrics.
7. Sun Yat-Sen University (SYSU) – Zhongshan School of Medicine
The Zhongshan School of Medicine, formerly called the Medical School of Preclinical Studies, is located on the Guangzhou campus of SYSU. It was founded in 1866 as the Boji Medical School, which makes it the oldest school of Western Medicine in the country. Fun fact: it is where the namesake Dr. Sun Yat-Sen studied medicine.
A few name changes and mergers later, the SYSU-Zhongshan School of Medicine came to be in 1985. Like most schools, it offers an 8-year Clinical Medicine degree, as well as a 6-year MBBS track.
With over a century of excellence under its belt, the school is considered one of the best in the country. This can be seen in its US News listing, with the school ranking 34th in Clinical Medicine publications and 37th in regional research reputation.
8. Central South University (CSU) – Xiangya School of Medicine
The CSU – Xiangya School of Medicine humbly started as the Xiangya Medical School. It was founded in 1914 and was one of the few schools that offered Western medicine to students in China. It was then merged into CSU, which was just founded in 2000.
Located in Hunan, this medical school in China is considered one of the country’s Double-A First Class universities.
CSU students spend most of their time on two campuses. Medical undergraduates are stationed on the old campus, where the Third Xiangya Hospital is located. Post-graduates, on the other hand, study on the new campus. It also serves as the home of the Xiangya hospital and the State Key Laboratory of Medical Genetics.
9. Sichuan University – West China College of Medicine (WCCM)
Formerly known as West China Union College, the school was founded in 1914 by Western physicians and missionaries. After a few name changes, the institution was merged with Sichuan University to form the WCCM.
WCCM offers a 6-year MBBS program that is taught in English. Students get to do their clinical trials in West China Hospital, which is the largest in the country. With its 4,300 bed capacity, it is considered as one of the top 3 medical centers in China.
As one of the best medical schools in the country, WCCM is affiliated with the only evidence-based medical center in Asia. This distinction is shared by WCCM with only 14 institutions worldwide.
10. Southern Medical University (SMU) – School of Clinical Medicine
We end our list of top Chinese medical schools with Southern Medical University. Located in the Baiyun Mountain region of Guangzhou, the school was founded in 1951 as the First Military Medical University. Through the approval of the State Council and the Central Military Commission, the school was eventually named SMU.
The university is famous for its School of Clinical Medicine, which offers an 8-year program for aspiring doctors. Students are taught through a variety of methods, including classroom teaching, problem-based learning, grouped learning, and autonomous learning. For the clinical rotation, SMU students can apply their learnings at any of the school’s 7 affiliated hospitals.
I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the China Scholarships Page!