Welcome!

Welcome to the Medical School for International Health's Returned Peace Corps Volunteer page. 

For the past sixteen years, the MSIH has attracted applicants who have demonstrated an interest in global health, through their volunteer and community activities.  The student body at the Medical School for International Health medical students is diverse, with more than 30% entering with a non-science major, and with more than 3% of the current and graduated student body represented by returned Peace Corps volunteers.

The MSIH offers a four year, American-style MD degree, with a focus on global health. 

What is global health? Global Health education prepares physicians to achieve optimal health by addressing the cultural, economic, political and enviromental factors that impact the health of individuals and populations.  This training in global health issues increases sensitivity towards the culturally diverse populations in one's own community and prepares physicians to work in international settings during times of disaster or war.  In addition, physicians are prepared to work with limited resources and learn to optimize their resources.

The Medical School for International Health incorporates global health into all four years of the medical school curriculum through specialized lectures, modules, workshops and clerkships.  The capstone experience is an eight-week global health clinical clerkship in the spring of the fourth year, in supervised sites throughout the world.  This global health training prepares MSIH graduates to work in cross-cultural settings, familiarize themselves with other healthcare systems and to work with medically-underserved communities.

Do you have the necessary coursework needed to apply?

Applicants must complete a four-year undergraduate degree from an accredited institution.


We require one year of physics, one year of biology, and two years of chemistry, one of which must be organic chemistry with labs and lectures. 


Applicants must submit MCAT scores obtained within the preceding four years, along with their AAMC number.

The student profile for the entering class of 2013 had an MCAT average of 31, and an average GPA of 3.49.


Students who have completed a master’s degree in public health (MPH) are encouraged to apply.
Applications are also accepted from students who have completed a bachelor’s degree in a non-science major if they have completed the necessary prerequisites for the study of medicine. (see above)


Students who lack the required premedical courses may consider applying to Columbia University’s Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program.


The MSIH welcomes returned Peace Corps volunteers as applicants, as RPCV's have demonstrated, through their service in the Peace Corps, their interest in working with underserved populations. Zach Morrison, (seen in photo at top) a member of the entering class of 2012, is one of two scholarship recipients and a returned Peace Corps volunteer who spent three years in Burkina Faso before applying to the MSIH.

Scholarships are available; you must submit your completed application, including all transcripts, MCAT score, and letters of recommendation, by February 1, 2014, in order to be eligible for a scholarship. 

Want more information on the curriculum?  Click here to visit the curriculum pages for each year.

Graduates place in highly-regarded medical institutions in residency programs in the United States and Canada, and are expected to make significant contributions to global health through clinical work, policy development and medical education.  You can view the residency placments from 2002-2013 by clicking here.


Need more information? Email us at bgcu-md@columbia.edu or call 212-305-9587 to speak to an Admissions coordinator.

  • Global Health Curriculum
  • Chart your course
  • Global Health Clinical Clerkships
  • About MSIH