Some of the widely known aspects of Greece are its history, culture, and philosophy. When people think of philosophy, it is almost always associated with Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Greece also started the Olympic games and gave birth to democracy. Moreover, the country is also home to magnificent ancient temples such as Parthenon in Athens. Just these alone helps attract international students around the world to study in Greece. On a less popular note, Greek universities are all under state subsidy and thus free of charge, even those providing medical education. In this article, we will be looking at the best medical schools in Greece.

Can international students enroll in medical schools in Greece?

The answer is yes. Several medical schools in the country even have a high population of international students. National and Kapodistrian University of Athens alone has around 7,600 registered international students. All foreign national application to the six medical universities in Greece such as the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, the University of Patras, and the University of Crete, passes through the Ministry of Education Research and Religious Affairs. The application procedure is as follows:

  1. If you’re from countries member of the Hague Convention, your documents shall have a stamp of the Apostille Convention. Check the list of all the requirements here.
  2. Take the documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Greek Embassy in your own country for approval.
  3. Get your documents translated into Greek through the Translation Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or a lawyer certified for translations.
  4. Have your documents certified by the embassy of your country in Greece.
  5. Submit all your documents on the website of the Greece Ministry of Education.
  6. Select the departments you are interested in (max of 20 for the non-European country)
  7. Also, send all the requirements to the specified address, which will appear on the Ministry of Education Research and Religious Affairs website after application.
  8. Wait for the announcement of results.

Once approved by the Ministry of Education Research and Religious Affairs in Greece, you can now reach out to the Secretary of your chosen university to be oriented about specific information about the medical program and provide documents for your VISA application.

Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students

What is the medical curriculum like in medical schools in Greece?

Most medical programs in Greece will be in the Greek language, so medical schools are least likely to accept international students with no Greek language certificates. However, a few establishments like the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki allow zero Greek language until the 7th semester. Here is what the medical curriculum in Greece looks like from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki:

Greek medical schools offer a six-year which only varies on duration allocation. Some schools divide the first two and a half years in pre-clinical, another two and a half in clinical, and one year in an internship. During the first two and a half years, which consist of six semesters, basic medical sciences are taught along with the Greek language. With this, the student will eventually reach the B2 level in Greek before the 7th semester, where they will be communicating with patients in their obligatory clinic rotations. Core medical courses are also in the clinical cycle.

The internship year involves three months in internal medicine, three months in surgery, and several weeks in obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, neurology and psychiatry, and lastly in primary care. After the 12 semesters, the student is granted a Medical Degree and does not need to take any licensure examinations. The degree holder can practice in public and private sectors or continue education or specialization.

Best Medical Schools in Greece

1. University of Athens

In 1837, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens is the best medical school in Greece and began operating after Greece gained its independence. It was formerly named Othonian University before it was renamed in 1932 as National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) after the first governor of modern Greece, Ioannis Kapodistrias. Medical education at the university had also undergone several transformations from initially as a three-year course, which was extended to four years in 1842, five years in 1911, and six years in 1922. The university has humble beginnings from only having four students when it first operated in 1837 to around 68,000 in the present with 7,600 international students.

2. University of Thessaloniki

The School of Medicine in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki finds its roots during the German occupation in Greece in 1942. The university’s goals for its medical students are two-fold: the first is to educate future physicians with excellence; the second is to encourage them to be involved in modern scientific research. For high-quality assurance, the academic staffs at this top medical school in Greece are also workers from the National Health system. An academic advisor is assigned to every student on the first day of enrollment which will guide them throughout the medical program.

3. University of Crete

The beginning of the University of Crete dates back to 1983. Only a few years later, this top medical school in Greece moved to its new campus in 1989. The new campus is near to its University hospital and the University Hospital of Heraklion. These two medical facilities provided access to medical students to cutting-edge facilities and technologies during their clinical training. Over the years, the University of Crete Schools of Medicine expanded. It is now one of the largest medical and research complexes in Greece. The university is also a center of excellence in biomedical sciences.

4. University of Ioannina

The University of Ioannina Faculty of Medicine, one of the best Greek medical schools, is one of the first schools in the north-western region of Greece. Its construction in 1977 is close to the Ioannina University Hospital, which had served to be an excellent training ground for medical students in expanding their knowledge and skills in the pathogenesis, onset, and therapeutic interventions of diseases. The university is smaller than the previous ones having only 1,433 undergraduate students, of which 200 are foreign nationals.

5. University of Patras

Like the University of Ioannina, the University of Patras Faculty of Medicine also has its establishment in 1977. Both schools also share a similar campus structure with the lecture building close to the University hospital. The pre-clinical years of medical students are spent in the lecture building. On the other hand, students conduct their clinical units in the 750-bed University Teaching Hospital of Patras. This top medical university in Greece aims to build both the medical knowledge and skills of its students and their character and values as medical professionals.


Greece had pioneered much of the knowledge and practice in medicine, law, or philosophy that are still applicable today. And despite the rise and fall of Greece in several millennia, it remains one of the best countries to pursue medical education and reminisce about the history in the present.


I hope that this article on the best medical schools in Greece was helpful. If you are interested in knowing more, check out the Programs in Europe for International Students!