What You Need to Know About Studying Medicine and Law in Europe

The following is a guest post by Kevin Newton who specializes in helping students apply to college in Europe. 

medical student representing studying medicine and law in EurporeFor many people, the chance to get a degree in three years by studying in Europe is already a considerable savings of time and money. However, for those students interested in a career in law or medicine, a European degree can mean even greater savings. This is because, unlike in the United States, there isn’t any separate  undergraduate degree requirement.

In Europe, things are different. Students can study to become doctors or lawyers right out of high school. Total time required before practice is also shorter–a law degree can be earned in three years in Europe (with an extra year of professional training), while a medical degree requires only six. Best of all, these degrees can often transfer back to the United States.

The European Medical Degree

For aspiring doctors, studying in Europe offers a chance to get a world-class education without any of the pressures of being a pre-med. There’s no need to stress over the MCAT, worry about another round of admissions, or (perhaps best of all) have to face an organic chemistry professor who views it as a life goal to keep you from being a doctor.

Instead, you start studying medicine right out of high school, typically spending three years as a pre-clinical student (equivalent to the first two years of medical school), with three more years of clinical time (analogous to the last two years of medical school).  Afterwards, you can return to the United States for your residency and further practice, or stay in Europe.

Medical programs do cost a bit more than typical degrees in Europe. However, since they are completed in less time, they still often represent an overall financial savings.

The European Law Degree

Aspiring lawyers have it even better. Law degrees typically cost the same and are completed in three years. Depending on the country, most students then go on to a professional training course before beginning practice.

As most of our clients study in the UK, it is worth noting that there are often two routes for practice in England (Scotland is different). Barristers are lawyers who are admitted to speak in a court, while solicitors are those who create the case for a client. While this is slowly changing, it is nonetheless the reality now.

For those interested in returning to the United States, the process is not as straight-forward as medicine. Not every state accepts foreign-trained lawyers, and many require an LL.M, a year-long Master’s degree as prep for the bar exam. If you are studying law to be a family lawyer, perhaps the international option is not for you. However, if you are studying law to pursue a degree in international or corporate law, a European degree would be ideal, as all the major legal centers in the US (California, New York, Massachusetts, and Washington, DC) smile on foreign-trained lawyers.


If you’re interested in getting your degree in Europe, email Kevin and mention DIYCollegeRankings and get the following discounts:

1.  One hour planning conversation (split across two calls, if desired) for $99, a savings of $150 over my usual rate (until Friday)

2.  10% off any quarterly or yearly package

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An undergraduate degree is not required to study medicine in Europe.

About Kevin Newton

After pursuing his dream master's degree at the University of London, Kevin Newton found himself spending as much time helping friends find ways to pursue degrees in Europe as he did working. To that end, he founded An Education Abroad to help other American high school students realize the advantages of earning degrees in Europe. To learn more, follow him on Twitter @BA_abroad or visit www.aneducationabroad.com.

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