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How Many Years to Study Medicine in Nigeria?

Nigerian medical students

Medicine as a career choice is one of the hottest, the most prestigious and most sought-after in Nigeria right now.

Try asking a primary school kid what his goal or ambition is in life, you won't be stunned that becoming a medical doctor is one of the most likely responses you would get.

But, as the sayings go, look before you leap. That entails knowing some of the specificities that come with one's decision in selecting as a career choice.

And one of such is this question that often comes up from young aspiring Nigerians who dream of appearing in the long white robe:
Related: List of industries in Nigeria

How many years to study medicine in Nigeria?


Now, if that seems like a question you would want to ask, then this post is meant to address that once and for all.

So let's kick right off the bat...

Medicine as a course takes 6 years to complete in Nigeria - excluding the compulsory one year of housemanship. The six years are split into two phases.

The preclinical phase - Where students are introduced and taught basic sciences.

The pre-clinical period in medical schools takes 3 years. The subjects taught at the preclinical level includes Anatomy, Physiology, and Biochemistry.

The Clinical phase - At this point, medical students are introduced to the clinics. This is the last phase of the Medical school before induction and housemanship.

The clinics start at the end of year 3 and span for extra 3 years in Nigerian universities.

What degrees are medical doctors in Nigeria offered?


Medicine and surgery is a course in the faculty of clinical sciences in most Nigerian universities.

Most universities in Nigeria like the prestigious University of Ibadan offer Medicine as MBBS, while a handful of other universities like the great Obafemi Awolowo University in Ife offer their medical degree as MBCHB.

Whatever the difference?
We bet it's in the name. Both are doctors who wear the long white robe after all.

How to enter for Medicine in Nigeria?


To be admitted to Medicine in Nigeria, a candidate must have a WASSCE result with at least a credit in English and Mathematics and three other relevant subjects like Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

Special Admission Requirements for Direct Entry

  • UNILORIN accepts a minimum of 240 UTME scores to be considered
  • ANSU, ANSU, BENIN, BOWEN, EBSU, IBADAN, UNILORIN and UNIOSUN requires at least 5 O level credits - all in one sitting
  • UDU and MAIDUGURI accept Mathematics instead of Physics for UTME subject combination

UTME Entry Qualification for Medicine in Nigeria


A candidate that has already passed the minimum qualification requirements for WASCE is required to sit for Nigeria's Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination ( UTME ).

UTME is a unified entrance examination conducted by the Joint Admission and Matriculation for every candidate who seeks to be admitted into various Nigeria's tertiary institutions.

The subject combination required to sit for in the UTME include:
  • Use of English Language
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Biology

In most cases, a candidate who sat for UTME is expected to see her result latest a week after sitting for the examination.

The minimum UTME entry score needed to enter for medicine is not determined by JAMB. It is a decision that lies solely with a candidate's university of choice.

Medicine as a course is the most competitive to enter in any Nigerian university.

It is even far more critical for the top generation universities in Nigeria like the Universities of Ibadan and Lagos and the Obafemi Awolowo University where the minimum UTME score requirement reaching up to 290 in some instances.

Direct Entry Qualification for Medicine - How to enter Medicine in Nigeria through Direct Entry


In most Nigerian universities, the Direct entry is another medium of entry for Medicine. Candidates who enter for Medicine through this medium are admitted straight into the second year i.e 200 LEVEL of their medical program.

The qualification required to enter for Medicine through Direct entry include:

  1. A-LEVEL passes in Chemistry, Biology, and Physics together with the WASCE minimum subject requirements.
  2. A Bachelor of science degree in any relevant course.

Due to the competition, many Nigerian medical schools only admit first class and second class holders into their medical programs through direct entry.

Special Admission Requirements for Direct Entry


  • BINGHAM, NDU, and BHC do not accept direct entry students into Medicine
  • Unilag accepts Dentistry Direct Entry into Medicine
  • EBSU, UDU, and MAIDUGURI accept 'A' LEVEL pass in Mathematics instead of Physics
  • CALABAR and BENIN do not accept a degree below Second class upper division
  • UNILORIN accepts BSC in Zoology, Physiology, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Anatomy and at least 13-grade points in "A" LEVEL
  • BENIN accepts at least 12-grade points for Direct entry into medicine through "A" LEVEL.

Best universities for medicine in Nigeria


If you want to know what are the top universities that offer medicine in Nigeria. We have compiled a list of the 10 best medical schools in Nigeria.

These universities have over the years proven themselves to have a track record of influence in the Nigerian healthcare system. Not only that, they also have more adequately equipped facilities at their teaching hospitals.

Obviously, that is indispensable as far as medical training is concerned.

Note that the Universities on this list are not specifically listed in their ranking order.

Best universities for medicine in Nigeria


  1. University of Ibadan
  2. Obafemi Awolowo University, (OAU)
  3. Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (ABU)
  4. University of Lagos (UNILAG)
  5. Lagos State University Teaching Hospital(LASUTH)
  6. The University Of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN)
  7. University of Benin (UNIBEN)
  8. University of Ilorin (UI)
  9. Niger Delta University (NDU)

Final Thoughts


Medicine as a career choice has always been a top priority among the young Nigerian school leavers.

But, it's a course that is definitely worth it.

So, for someone who's really passionate about the medical field, what matters most is not the competition it takes to get into a medical school, or the rigorous academic pressure or even the number of years it takes to get your Medical degree.

Like other career choices, what matters is the passion you have for your choice of Career.

So, if becoming a Medical practitioner defines your choice of career fulfillment. Then, all you need is just a word: Go for it!

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