Requirements to study medicine in Kenya in 2020/2021

So, what grades do you need to study medicine in Kenya and how easy is it to join medical schools locally?

Well, the truth is that it’s extremely competitive and exceedingly unlikely for you to get admission into medicine courses in Kenya if you missed out on the required grades.

That’s because only a few seats exist to study prestigious medical courses like the bachelor of medicine and surgery in Kenya.

To find out if you qualify, let’s look at the stringent requirements to study medicine in Kenya.

Requirements to study medicine in Kenya

We look at the requirements for medicine and surgery (bachelor’s degree level) first.

Requirements for bachelor of medicine and surgery in Kenya

The Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree programme (MBCHB) remains one of the most marketable medical courses in Kenya making it attractive to hordes of young Kenyans.

Now, the entry grades are uniform across the institutions offering the course.

Here are the minimum indexing requirements for medicine and surgery in MKU and other universities:

KCSE holders

For KCSE holders, the minimum university admission grade is C+.

Besides, you must have scored an average of B in each of these cluster subjects:

  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Physics/Mathematics
  • English/Kiswahili

KACE holders

For KACE (Kenya Advanced Certificate of Education) holders, a minimum of two (2) principal passes in Chemistry and Biology, along with a subsidiary pass in Mathematics/Physics are required.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

For IB holders, grade 5 or above is required in Chemistry, Biology, Physics/Mathematics, and English/Kiswahili.

Diploma holders (medical related)

If you hold a Diploma in Medical Sciences, you must satisfy the following entry requirements:

  • A C+ mean grade (or a minimum of Division II pass at O level) together with a credit pass (C+) in the previously stated cluster subjects in your K.C.S.E.
  • A credit pass in your 3-year diploma (or above) is needed. Note that your Diploma must have been awarded by a recognized medical training institution.

Holders of degrees in Biological Sciences

You could still take the course if you hold a degree in Biological Sciences or any equivalent qualification from a recognized institution as long as you have passed the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Other requirements to pursue MBCHB

  • Proficiency in English (for International students).

Medicine and surgery universities in Kenya

Here now are the universities approved to admit students in the Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery program by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council.

  • JKUAT School of medicine.
  • Moi University School of medicine.
  • MKU School of medicine.
  • Egerton University School of medicine.
  • Uzima University School of medicine.
  • Methodist University School of medicine.
  • Maseno University School of medicine.
  • University of Nairobi School of medicine

Entry requirements for clinical medicine

Another alternative for those who want to build a career in medicine is clinical medicine.

For this course, you’re required to meet the following minimum grades in the respective institutions (the qualifications vary a bit here):

Jomo Kenyatta University (JKUAT)

  • Mean grade of C plus and a C+ in (Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics/Physics, and English/Kiswahili).
  • Have a Diploma in clinical medicine (with a Credit pass) or higher national diploma (HND) in clinical medicine

Egerton University

  • KCSE mean grade of B- (minus) and
  • At least a B- (Minus) grade in Biology, Chemistry, and English/Kiswahili and
  • Have a mean grade of B plain (minimum) in Mathematics/Physics.

Uzima University

  • Regular program- a mean grade of C+ plus (KCSE) and C+ (plus) in the English/Kiswahili, Chemistry, Biology, and Math/Physics.
  • Upgrading course- Hold at least a Diploma in Clinical Medicine and Surgery (from an accredited institution) and be registered with the Clinical Officers Council (COC).

MKU

  • A mean grade of C+ plus (KCSE) and C+ (plus) in the English/Kiswahili, Chemistry, Biology, and Math/Physics.
  • You may qualify with a C plain mean grade (minimum) in your KCSE plus an HND in Clinical Medicine & Surgery from an accredited institution.
  • Be registered with the COC (Clinical Officers Council).

Kenya Methodist University

  • A mean grade of C+ plus (KCSE) and C+ (plus) in the English/Kiswahili, Chemistry, Biology, and Math/Physics.

Next, we look at the requirements to study nursing in Kenya

 

Requirements to study nursing in Kenya

Nursing is not pure medicine: nurses are more involved in patient’s health care rather than diagnosis and cure like it is for doctors and clinical officers.

Here is what it takes to be admitted into an accredited nursing course in Kenya (degree level).

Bachelor of Science (Bsc.N) in Nursing requirements

Direct entry: The entry requirements (minimum) are a KCSE mean grade of C+ with C+ in each of English, Chemistry, Biology/Biological Sciences, and Mathematics/Physics.

Registered Nurse to BScN Upgrading: KCSE mean grade of C plain and a Diploma in Nursing OR KCE/EACE Div. 2 plus a Diploma in Nursing (Kenya Registered Nursing).

The following diplomas are also accepted by some institutions for the upgrading program:

  • Nursing and Midwifery Diploma
  • Public Health Diploma
  • KRCHN -Kenya Registered Community Health Nursing Diploma

Those considering upgrading must additionally have practiced for a minimum of 2 years as nurses after attaining their Diploma in Nursing.

Besides, you must be a bonafide member of the NCK (Nursing Council of Kenya) or any other institution recognized by the NCK.

And where can you study a Bsc.N in Kenya?

You can check out the following schools:

  • Kenyatta university school of nursing
  • JKUAT School of medicine
  • Dedan Kimathi University etc.

Question: Are you extremely passionate about dentistry?

Good….

You’ll learn what you need to study a dental surgery course and related programs in local Universities next.

 

Requirements to study dentistry in Kenya

The requirements are as follows:

1.      Bachelor of dental surgery in Kenya

The most popular destinations for dental surgery students are the University of Nairobi and Moi University.

Now, all students intending to enroll for the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (B.D.S) program have to meet the following indexing requirements:

KCSE Holders

  • C+ (plus) mean grade.
  • Additionally, a B plain grade is needed in each of:
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics/Mathematics
  • English/Kiswahili

Lastly, KCSE holders must meet the set dental surgery cluster points (check the KUCCPS portal).

KACE holders

For KACE (Kenya Advanced Certificate of Education) holders, a minimum of two (2) principal passes in Chemistry and Biology along with a subsidiary pass in either Mathematics/Physics will be required.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

For IB holders, grade 5 or above in Chemistry, Biology, Physics/Mathematics, and English/Kiswahili subject is required.

Diploma holders (medical related)

If you hold a Diploma in Medical Sciences, you must satisfy the following entry requirements:

  • A minimum of Division II pass at O level or a C+ mean grade together with a credit pass (C+) in the previously stated cluster subjects in your K.C.S.E.
  • Besides, a credit pass in your 3-year diploma (or above) is needed. Note that your Diploma must have been awarded by a recognized medical training institution.

Here are some of the eligible 3-year Diplomas:

  1. Dental technology
  2. Dental hygiene
  3. Dental surgery assistant
  4. Community oral health
  5. Laboratory technology
  6. Clinical medicine
  7. Radiography
  8. Pharmaceutical technology
  9. Nursing

Holders of degrees in Biological Sciences

You could still take the course if you hold a degree in Biological Sciences or any equivalent qualification from a recognized institution, as long as you have passed the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Other requirements to pursue BDS

  • Proficiency in English (for International students), a TOEFL certificate may be required.
  • Other qualifications judged to be equal to those highlighted in the paragraphs above by the various institutions’ Senates.

2. Bachelor of Science in Dental Technology

Mount Kenya University was the 1st private University to receive the nod to offer dental courses in Kenya.

You will be asked for the following grades to join the Bsc. in Dental Technology course:

  • KCSE mean grade of C+
  • A C+ (or above) in each of Mathematics/Physics, Biology/Biological Science, Chemistry/Physical sciences, and English/Kiswahili.

Some colleges accept any Bsc. (Bachelors of Science) Degree in a health-related course or a health-related Diploma from an institution recognized by the senate.

Requirements to study medicine in Kenya

Requirements to study medicine in Kenya: Diploma Courses in Medicine

Below we explain the requirements to study various Diploma courses in Medicine.

Of course, some of the recognized medical diploma courses in Kenya have tougher requirements than others.

Read on to discover where your grade can take you:

Diploma in clinical medicine qualification

This is one of the medical courses you can pursue with a C plain.

Specifically, you must have:

  • A KCSE mean grade of C plain.
  • You will also have a C (minimum) in English/Kiswahili and Biology/Biological Sciences. At the same time, a C- grade is required in Chemistry/Physical Sciences and Mathematics (or Physics/Physical sciences) for anyone willing to pursue a diploma in medicine.

Diploma in dental surgery

You can as well qualify for a dental surgery diploma with a C plain.

To be granted entrance, you must fulfill the following:

  • KCSE mean grade C plain.
  • You will also have a C plain (minimum) in English, Mathematics/Physical sciences/Physics, and a C- grade in one of Biology/Metal Work/Mathematics/Chemistry/General Science.

This applies for courses like the Diploma in dental surgery in MKU.

Requirements to study medicine in Kenya: Certificate Courses in Medicine

Very few certificate courses in medicine are recognized in Kenya and it would be unwise to pursue the following programs (Does anyone really offer them in Kenya?)

  • Certificate in clinical medicine in Kenya
  • Certificate in dental technology
  • Certificate in dentistry
  • Certificate in Clinical Medicine & Surgery

Our advice? Don’t throw away your hard earned resources taking such programs.

Fields that are related to medicine or alternative  include:

Here are other courses you could consider pursuing if you haven’t met the grades for the leading medical courses:

  1. Biological sciences.
  2. Public Health.
  3. Medical Research.
  4. Nutrition and dietetics.
  5. Pharmacy (we recommend the Kenyatta University School Of Pharmacy for this program).
  6. Biomedical engineering.
  7. Optical Sciences.
  8. Diagnostic Imaging.

Again available enrollments in these disciplines could still be limited depending on the institution.

You might also need licensure and additional training to be allowed to work in most of these professions.

Please check with the institution you have in mind directly to learn more.

Requirements to study medicine in Kenya [frequently asked questions]

Where can I study medicine in Kenya?

You can go for studies in various public and private universities. There’s also a significant number of colleges (private and public) licensed to teach medical students in Kenya including KMTC.

The most important thing is to ensure that the institution you choose is approved to teach your course by the relevant boards.

How long does it take to study medicine in Kenya?

Duration varies from one course to the next.

But on average, courses such as Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree can take 6-7 years while the dental surgery degree can take 5-8 years to complete.

Most of the Diplomas take about 3 years.

 

What is the best medical course to study?

Well, that’s a tough one.

However, we must say that there are plenty of opportunities for holders of a medicine and surgery degree and graduates of clinical medicine too.

On the converse, you could tarmac a bit if you take courses such as biomedical engineering and Nutrition and dietetics (this is a bit flooded).

Do your research well before settling on a course.

 

What grades do you need to study medicine?

Overall, a C plain grade will suffice for Diplomas and C+ (and above) for a degree in medicine and surgery or clinical medicine.

Refer to the in-depth explanation above to know the specific requirements to study medicine in Kenya for every available course.

 

Is it hard to study medicine?

Well, we hate to use the word hard- nothing is impossible in this World if you’re determined and ready to make the necessary sacrifices to achieve your goals.

Nevertheless, medicine is involving and you must be ready to put in the hours to graduate.

After all, you’re studying how to diagnose and handle the extraordinarily complicated human biological system!

Can I study medicine without chemistry?

Yes!

For courses like dental technology, physics and physical sciences is accepted in place of chemistry.

But for the pure medicine courses (think of clinical medicine and surgery programs), you must have studied chemistry in high school and passed with at least a credit.

 

Final thoughts

We have just looked at the requirements to study medicine in Kenya and I hope that you now know where you stand.

Make sure you make the right decision- consider your passions, career goals, and abilities before going for a course.

With respect to the institution to attend, it’s crucial that you check if the institution has gotten the approval to teach your preferred course.

You don’t want to spend years studying for a worthless paper.

As always, drop us your comments and opinions in the comments section below.

ALSO READ:

Nursing course in Kenya

KMTC Certificate Courses Qualifications, Intakes, Applying

 

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CPA John Gitahi is a former college lecturer and has been involved in education all his life. He's passionate about helping young people make great career choices. He studied Commerce and ICT at the University and runs several successful online entreprises. He is also an avid traveller.

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