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.

See Also: Cheap Universities in Greece

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.

6. University of Peloponnese – School of Health Sciences

With excellent criteria for both national and international scope, the University of the Peloponnese, founded in 2000, is an innovative contribution to the growth of higher education worldwide. It provides courses for all levels of education, including undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate programs, as well as opportunities for lifelong learning. The university’s school of health sciences houses the physical therapy department. Physiotherapists are specialized healthcare providers who can evaluate human body malfunctions and actively take part in the treatment and rehabilitation of congenital and acquired diseases, as well as in the prevention of these diseases, with the goal of functional rehabilitation and improved life quality in individuals. In this outstanding medical school in Greece, students of the department take an active part in all of the department’s instructional, experiential, inter-professional, and clinical activities.

A new department has been added to the School of Health Sciences: the Department of Nutrition Science and Dietetics. The goal of this department is to develop young scientists who have received the necessary training in areas connected to nutrition, the dietary requirements of specific population groups, people with particular nutritional needs, and the improvement of general population eating habits. The department’s coursework encompasses a wide range of topics, including nutrition, food science, biochemistry, molecular biology, and metabolism, and combines theoretical instruction with laboratory and practical training in order to meet the goals of the department.

7. University of Thessaly – Faculty of Medicine

One of the top 1000 educational institutions in the world, the University of Thessaly was established in 1984 and is a constantly growing higher education institution. The largest of the 17 faculties, the Faculty of Medicine was the first one to be founded following the founding of the School of Health Sciences at the University of Thessaly. The purpose of the Faculty of Medicine is to educate students, award bachelors, masters, and PhD degrees in accordance with that aim, and simultaneously contribute to the advancement of speech and the arts as well as the scientific knowledge base through research. In order to accomplish its aims, the school works to develop a learning atmosphere that encourages independent thought, creativity, openness to criticism, and adherence to liberal values.

The laboratories for anatomy, biology, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, and many other disciplines make up the new facilities on the school campus. As one of the top-performing Greek medical schools, it offers students the opportunity to not only enhance their academic experience but to also widen their cultural horizons and grow their career qualities.

8. University of Western Macedonia – School of Health Sciences

Seven schools and 21 departments are operated by the University of Western Macedonia, which was established in Kozani in 2003. Midwifery and occupational therapy are two of the departments of the Health Sciences School. The occupational therapy department is one of only two of its sort in Greece. It offers students the chance to receive an education in the theory and practice of occupational therapy as well as to gain the skills and information required for a career in practice or research.

The midwifery department offers comprehensive training in obstetrics, gynecology, neonatology, professional ethics, family planning, sexual education, research, prevention, and health education to its alumni. The goal of this top medical school in Greece is to ensure that students receive a top-notch education and prepare them for successful careers in science and the workforce by fostering the growth and transmission of knowledge in the technology and science of midwifery through teaching and practical research.

9. Democritus University of Thrace – Department of Medicine

Since its establishment in 1977, the Department of Medicine at Democritus University of Thrace has successfully developed an exceptional path by offering its graduates teaching and training that perfectly align with the current standards for undergraduate training as well as top-notch graduate specialization. The department promotes quality by conducting highly regarded and internationally recognized research and by giving the local people access to high-quality medical care.

Reputable scientists and researchers, both from inside Greece and outside, have begun to flock to the Department. Several important conventions and meetings have taken place there, and the department has also boosted research, education, and the local community’s cultural life. In addition to providing the people of the larger, most remote region with high-quality medical care, it has also been successful in drawing patients from other regions of the nation for treatment and therapy. It is important to emphasize the department’s significant contribution to the cultural and intellectual life of the area, which is evidenced by the lively and active participation of its members.

10. Harokopio University – School of Health Sciences & Education

The 18th public university in Greece was founded as Harokopio University. The Department of Nutrition and Dietetics is a part of the School of Health Science and Education, which was established in 2013. Through research, instruction, and leadership in human nutrition—including fundamental nutritional sciences and clinical, sociocultural, and community aspects of nutrition—the school seeks to enhance health. The seamless collaboration between the students and the scientific and administrative personnel in a top-notch academic atmosphere ensures the school’s ability to provide high-quality education at each level. The curriculum offered in the department covers a broad spectrum of nutrition and dietetics topics, integrating academic instruction with hands-on training and staying up to date with new scientific findings.

With ongoing partnerships with more than 160 universities and research institutions worldwide, this best medical school in Greece also conducts highly regarded multidisciplinary research that is recognized internationally. The graduates could provide nutritional advice for the prevention and management of degenerative diseases in the private sector, public health services, or as independent contractors.

Greece is well-known for its medical schools in addition to its rich history and culture. You might be asking if it’s possible to enroll in a medical school in Greece if you want to pursue a medical degree overseas. This article explores the top medical schools in Greece in terms of their clinical capabilities, acumen, and academic standing. Overall, for international students seeking a top-notch education in a stunning nation, studying medicine in Greece is a fantastic choice.

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.


We 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!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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