Medicine | Undergraduate | Study Here | Riga Stradiņš University


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6 years (12 semesters)

Credit points:

360 ECTS


Full-time studies

Teaching language:


Degree conferred:

Medical Doctor (MD)

Course places:



See Tuition Fees and Scholarships

Start dates:

September & February, for more see Academic Calendar

Application procedure:



Faculty of Medicine


Why study medicine in Latvia? Our Medical programme is specifically designed to teach students the core competencies that are required in order to become highly skilled doctors who upon graduation are capable to pursue a wide variety of careers.

This programme is characterised by student cooperation and active engagement in group work. Studies involve working on a series of patient-centred problems, revealing the basic principles that influence human health and disease. The medical knowledge and practical clinical skills are obtained by giving students the opportunity to work with patients as early as in the 3rd year.

The Faculty of Medicine offers professional education, and the opportunity to study medicine under the guidance of professors from Latvian universities and hospitals, as well as from abroad. As a student of the “Medicine” programme, you will acquire up-to-date knowledge and skills, which are competitive in Europe and the rest of the world.

Studying medicine at RSU means hard work, but it is also great fun, especially knowing this is also a part of realising one’s dream becoming a good doctor.


– Caroline Sepp


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Aims & Structure

Aim of the programme

The aim of the programme is to prepare academically educated and professionally qualified doctors, who can provide the society with a high level of modern medical care.

Course structure

The study programme is comprised of compulsory and elective courses. Studies in medicine take place in small groups, and the studies are divided into three blocks:

  • (1) Basic subjects (year 1 to 2) – theoretical disciplines, which comprise subjects from different fields of sciences – anatomy, histology, physiology, medical chemistry and biochemistry, as well as the humanities – philosophy, psychology, languages.

  • (2) Preclinical subjects (year 3) – disciplines regarding pathological conditions and processes, which already include basic clinical disciplines.

  • (3) Clinical subjects (year 4 to 6) – disciplines that transform the knowledge gained in the previous years into clinical skills – a competence that is needed by every modern doctor.

The programme is based on the following principles:

  • Basic, clinical, biological and social sciences are taught simultaneously, with communication skills being an important part of the curriculum.

  • Dissection of cadaver is carried out when studying anatomy of the human body. This draws the study environment closer to real life situations, since, unlike with study models, each cadaver has its unique anatomical features.

  • A significant part of study time (~30%) is devoted to the understanding of disease prevention – how a GP supervised family health service team works and how it promotes patient engagement in healthcare and supports use of preventive measures, thus noticeably reducing the number of hospitalised patients.

  • Part of the study process is organsed at RSU Medical Education Technology Centre to provide clinical training on various medical simulators.  
  • Technological advances are fostered by systematic usage of information technology and development of students’ computing skills.

  • Professional development and ethics is an integral part of the programme.

  • Lifelong learning skills are acquired by systematically using diverse learning approaches.

For more information on Latvian Education System, please see the homepage of Academic Information Centre.


Below you can read examples of courses, which you will study over the course of your degree. For more detailed information on the study plan of the medical programme for 2015/2016, which includes course category, ECTS and assessment form, please see the study plan:

You can read the self-evaluation of the programme here.

Typical Year One
Compulsory coursesPlus one of the following elective courses
  • Molecular Biology
  • Human Anatomy, incl. Prosection Course
  • Medical Cell Biology
  • Histology
  • The History of Medicine and Life Sciences
  • First Aid
  • Information Literacy
  • Medical Philosophy and Bioethics
  • Medical Terminology in Latin
  • Medical Terminology in Latvian
  • Medical Chemistry
  • Medical Physics
  • Human Homeostasis
  • Biochemistry
  • Introduction to Ecology
  • Medicinal Plants and their Use
  • Personality Psychology
  • Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy
  • Research Ethics
  • Philosophical Anthropology
  • Nordic Walking
  • Medical Terminology in Latvian
  • Medical Terminology in Russian


Typical Year Two
Compulsory coursesPlus one of the following elective courses
  • Human Anatomy
  • Histology and Medical Cell Biology
  • Embryology
  • Medical Terminology in Latvian
  • Human Homeostasis
  • Physiology
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Medical Genetics
  • Parasitology
  • Pathology and Biopsy
  • Introduction to Clinical Medicine
  • Communication Psychology
  • Introduction to Clinical Medicine (Propedeutics)
  • Medical Sociology
  • Personality Psychology
  • Functional Morphology
  • Functional Histology
  • Extended Course in Anatomy
  • Basics of Topographical Anatomy
  • Adaptation of Bodily Functions
  • Medical Terminology in Latvian
  • Medical Terminology in Russian
  • Functional Morphology
  • Functional Embryology
  • Extended Course in Anatomy
  • Physical Anthropology
  • Nordic Walking
  • Communication Psychology
  • Horizontal Gene Transfer
  • Cell Metabolism


Typical Year Three
Compulsory coursesPlus one of the following elective courses
  • Basics of Radiology
  • Introduction to Internal Diseases and Clinical Pharmacology
  • Internal Diseases (Cardiology)
  • Rheumatology
  • Clinical Pharmacology
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Pathology and Biopsy Course
  • Introduction to Surgery
  • Placement of Clinical Care
  • Basics of Clinical Care
  • Basics of Rehabilitation
  • Environmental Medicine
  • Medical Terminology in Russian
  • Nordic Walking
  • Medical Terminology in Latvian
  • Preclinical Dismetabolism
  • Topical Issues in Medical Ethics
  • Topical Issues in Clinical Immunology and Genetics Tumour Immunology
  • Allergy and Immunity Metabolism and Immunity
  • Extended course in Tumour Pathology and Morphological Diagnostics
  • Clinical Microbiology and Control of Hospital Infections


Typical Year Four
Compulsory coursesPlus one of the following elective courses
  • Basics of Radiology
  • Internal Diseases I (Gastroenterology, Nephrology, Endocrinology)
  • Occupational and Environmental Medicine
  • Surgical Diseases I (Emergency and Planned Abdominal, Breast and Endocrine Surgery)
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Basics of Paediatrics (Digestive, Urinary, Respiratory, Skeletal and Muscular system)
  • Psychiatry
  • Infectious Diseases I
  • Orthopaedics
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Extreme and Wilderness Medicine
  • Topical Issues in Gastroenterology and Nephrology
  • Psychosomatic Medicine (Theories of Personality and Personality Disorders)
  • Extended Course in Pathology of Infectious Diseases
  • Molecular Diagnostics and its Application in Clinical Medicine
  • Medical Terminology in Latvian


Typical Year Five
Compulsory coursesPlus one of the following elective courses
  • Basics of Radiology
  • Infectious Diseases and Dermatology
  • Internal Diseases II (Pneumonology, Haematology, Pharmacotherapy, Oncology)
  • Surgical Diseases II (Emergency and Planned Abdominal, Blood Vessel Surgery)
  • Urology
  • Intensive Care and Toxicology
  • Anaesthesiology and Resuscitation
  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Medical Statistics and Epidemiology
  • Paediatric Surgery
  • Paediatric Infectious Diseases
  • Basics of Paediatrics
  • Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Rehabilitation
  • Ophthalmology
  • Internal Diseases
  • Surgery
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Orthopaedics
  • Summer Clinical Placement
  • Topical Issues in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Dermatovenerology (Pathology Visualisation, Modern Diagnostics, Therapy Possibilities)
  • Topical Issues in Cardiology and Pulmonology
  • Recent Developments in Diagnostic Radiology in Diagnosing Neurological, Muscolosceletal, Abdominal and Urological Disorders and Polytrauma
  • Psychodynamic Processes in a Group
  • Trauma Pathomorphology and Methanogenesis
  • Body Culture and Aesthetic Medicine
  • Basics of Conventional, Video-Assisted and Minimally Invasive Surgery and Equipment
  • Topical Issues and the Latest Achievements in Abdominal Surgery
  • Topical Issues in Paediatric Surgery
  • Statistical Processing of Research Data and Work Report Execution
  • Topical Issues in Ophthalmology
  • Extended Course of Forensic Toxicology
  • Extended Course in Pulmonary Diseases
  • Pathology (Pathomorphology and Pathological Physiology)
  • Special Issues in Infectology (Prion, Tropical, Pandemic, Newly Developed Infections)
  • Psychological Disorders in Infectology Practice
  • Psychological Disorders in Internal Disease Clinics
  • Diagnosis and Treatment of Psychological and Behavioural Disorders in Children and Adolescents


Typical Year Six
Compulsory coursesPlus one of the following elective courses
  • Basics of Radiology
  • Internal Diseases III (Rheumatology, Differential Diagnosis in Internal Diseases)
  • Radiology II
  • Haematology
  • Contemporary Diagnostic Imaging
  • Clinical Immunology
  • Clinical Genetics
  • Basics of Family Medicine
  • Psychotherapy
  • Public Health
  • Paediatric Diseases  
  • Infectious Diseases II
  • Surgical Diseases III
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Research Paper
  • State Examination
  • Electrocardiography
  • Diagnostics and Treatment of Psychical Disorders in Primary Care
  • Psychological Disorders in Infectology Practice
  • Psychological Disorders in Internal Disease Clinics
  • Diagnosis and Treatment of Psychological and Behavioural Disorders in Children and Adolescents
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Topical Issues in Angiology, Thoracic Surgery, Transplantology and Urology
  • Special Issues in Family Medicine
  • Topical Issues in Differential Diagnostics of Internal Diseases
  • Pain Medicine
  • Biochemistry of Different Pathologies
  • Cytogenetic Diagnostics of Congenital and Acquired Diseases
  • Therapeutic and Ethical Aspects of Doctor - Patient Relationships
  • Topical Issues in Clinical Pharmacology
  • Topical Problems in Neurology
  • Practical Neurosurgery
  • Statistical Processing of Research Data
  • Problematic Issues in Infectology and Haepatology
  • Extended Course in Pathology of Gastrointestinal Diseases
  • Extended Course in Pathology of Infectious Diseases
  • Extended Course in Pulmonary Diseases
  • Pathology (Pathomorphology and Pathological Physiology)


Upon graduation

Upon a successful completion of the six year undergraduate course you will receive your Medical Doctor (MD) degree, which is a primary medical qualification. The MD degree entitles you to continue your professional and academic growth in residency programmes in Latvia, as well as in other countries to train to become a doctor/specialist.

Our graduates have successfully continued their education and professional pursuits in the UK and other EU/EEA member states, as well as in the US (passing, e.g., the ECFMG exams), Australia, Sri Lanka, India, Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Jordan etc. Each country has its own requirements for foreign medical graduates before they can start practicing medicine, or even continue their education in residency programmes, therefore make sure you check the requirements with your country's Medical Council.

The 6 year programme also grants access to doctoral degree programmes.

* Diploma is a document that atttests that you have fulfilled all the requirements of the programme, and it is issued along with Diploma Supplement, which includes infromation on the content of your studies as well as your academic performance.


Additional information on accreditation

There is no centralised EU accreditation for Universities in Europe. The Universities, including Rīga Stradiņš University, are accredited locally by the Ministry of Education and Science with international experts present. RSU study programmes receive official accreditation every 6 years. In addition, all RSU study programmes in regulated professions, including Medicine and Dentistry, are developed according to EU directives on regulated professions.

Secondly, given that Latvia has been an EU member state since 2004, The Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region, usually referred to as the Lisbon Convention, applies also to Latvian universities, including RSU. Besides, many others, the main point of the Lisbon Convention is as follows: holders of qualifications issued in one EU member state shall have adequate access to an assessment of these qualifications in another EU member state.

EC Directives to be considered are as follows:

In short, the Lisbon Convention, and the fact that RSU is an officially accredited state University, ensures that qualifications obtained at Rīga Stradiņš University are recognised in all EU and EEA member states. 

Entry criteria

1. Completed secondary education

To apply, you must have completed secondary education (secondary/high-school diploma). This usually grants university entrance qualification, which qualifies you for university study - this basically means that you have acquired a secondary-school certificate that makes you eligible to continue your studies at a university in your home country or abroad.

We require that you have studied at least two semesters, and acquired a passing grade in Biology and/or Chemistry, and preferably also Mathematics and/or Physics. Please note that we accept both - exam grades or final semester grades.

Please see minimum requirements for secondary education (pages 22-26).

2. English language requirements

All applicants, except native English speakers, must demonstrate their English language proficiency by submitting documents that testify their knowledge of English. Preferably you should submit one of the following certificates with a minimum score of:

GCSE (or GCE) C level
Cambridge First Certificate in English Level B2 (CEFR)

Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English

Level B2 (CEFR)


NB! International English proficiency certificates and corresponding test results are valid for 2 years.

If none of the above applies, you may submit a substitute certificate or other proof of English language proficiency; e.g., if you have studied English at Secondary School, the grade from the Secondary School Official Transcript may also be accepted, provided that the grade received is very good or excellent; however, in case of any doubts, RSU reserves the rights to ask for an official language certificate as listed above.

3. Age restriction

There is no age restriction to apply for studies at RSU. However, please note medical studies in general, and at RSU in particular, are very demanding and rigorous. The study process will require your full attention at all times, individual studies on everyday basis, excellent memory and determination.

If during the RSU application period and before coming to Riga to start your studies you are under age (you have not turned 18 yet), in accordance with Latvian law you need a legal guardian in Latvia until you come of age, i.e., turn 18.

The guardian can be:

  • a citizen of the Republic of Latvia, who is at least 18 years old,
  • a citizen of an EU/EEA state that can legally reside in Latvia, and who is at least 18 years old,
  • other residents of Latvia with a permanent residence permit or a temporary residence permit that covers full duration of your planned stay in Latvia, and are at least 18 years old.

Your parents need to sign a document prepared and issued by a notary which states that your parents authorise (full name, personal code, passport No. or your guardian’s residence card number and validity period) a certain person to be your legal guardian in Latvia until you come of age. For further details please contact the notary offices of your country.


YearAdmitted studentsApplicationsCompetition
(Applicants/study place)
2016 486 1114 2.48
2015 505 1008 2.14
2014 354 800 2.29
2013 340 840 2.47
2012 333 671 2.02
2011 243 467 1.92
2010 130 207 1.59

Rīga Stradiņš University, 16 Dzirciema Street, Rīga, LV-1007, Latvia, +371 67409261 (UTC +2),