Some Facts

Duration of the Program

Four years

Awarded Degree

Doctor of Medicine (MD)

Starting Date

August 2017

Language of Instruction


Medical Students

Applicants Must Meet the Following Criteria To Be Eligible to Enroll in the MD Program:
1. A bachelor’s degree and/or master’s degree (or equivalent).
2. A minimum grade point average of 3.00, based on a 4.00 point scale (or equivalent on a 5.00 point scale).
3. A mandatory level of English language proficiency equal to an IELTS score of 7.0 with no individual component falling below a 6.0 or a TOEFL score of 250 for Computer-Based Test (CBT), 600 for Paper-Based Test (PBT), or 100 for Internet-Based Test (IBT). Any applicant, at the discretion of the Admissions Committee, can be exempted from submitting the language proficiency test report if: 
  - one of their earlier academic degrees was earned in a country with English as the language of official communication, academic instruction and daily life; 
  - an undergraduate or graduate degree was earned in a program which was officially taught in English;
  - the applicant is a graduate of Nazarbayev University.
4. MCAT score of 491 is required in order to be invited to an interview.

Every Applicant Must Submit an Application Package That Consists of the Following Documents
1. Completed Application Form that can be accessed after registration at
2. Two (minimum) to four (maximum) confidential letters of recommendation in English from senior faculty who taught the applicant in the course designated on his/her Application Form. At least two letters must be from faculty in science departments.
3. Notarized copy(s) of bachelor’s and (if available) master’s degree diploma(s) with transcript(s) (or equivalent) with a notarized English translation.  Applicants who obtained bachelor’s and/or master’s degree diplomas (or their equivalents) from foreign educational institutions must request their official transcript(s) to be sent directly to the Graduate Admissions Department.
4. IELTS or TOEFL test report/certificate. In order for the score to be valid, the submitted IELTS/TOEFL score must be for a test taken no more than two years prior to application.
5. MCAT score. In order for the score to be valid, the submitted MCAT scores must be for a test taken no more than two years prior to application.
6. Valid written certification of the absence of a criminal record, issued by the Citizen Service Center.
7. Medical certificate (086у form). 
8. Notarized scanned copy of the applicant’s identity card (with notarized English translation) or passport.

The application package should be marked “NUSOM” and mailed or delivered to the following address: Graduate Admissions Department, Office #1127, Nazarbayev University, 53 Kabanbay Batyr Avenue 010000, Astana, Kazakhstan.


A Brief Description of the MD Program

Nazarbayev University School of Medicine (NUSOM), which admitted its first group of medical students in August 2015, is being developed in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine to serve as the academic hub of the Republic of Kazakhstan’s first true integrated academic health system. NUSOM offers the Republic’s first US-style curriculum, which is taught in English by a diverse faculty of clinicians and biomedical scientists recruited from around the globe.

A Brief Description of the Curriculum

Nazarbayev University School of Medicine (NUSOM) offers a four-year curriculum based on the United States model designed to prepare physicians to become the leaders of a new era of medicine and health care in the Republic of Kazakhstan. The NUSOM curriculum emphasizes both the science and the humanity of medicine throughout the students’ four years of study. The carefully designed curriculum structure features active and participatory learning, problem and team-based approaches, an early introduction to the patient and the community, and the integration of a rigorous foundation in basic and clinical biomedical sciences with the behavioral and social aspects of medicine. Key subject matter is longitudinally integrated throughout the curriculum, building upon a foundation of prior learning while providing a progressive introduction of new content. 

Scheduled instructional time in the first two years of the curriculum is approximately one-third lectures; one-third small group learning, including demonstrations, problem-solving exercises, and skill-practice sessions; and one third activities, including observation of patient care, laboratory exercises, and high-fidelity simulation experiences. Topics are organized in thematic blocks that are built longitudinally. 

The patient focus of the NUSOM curriculum begins on day one of the program with the Introduction to Being a Physician course. Medical interviewing and physical examination courses follow, along with exercises examining the many facets of physician life – at the patient’s bedside, in the community, and in society as a whole. Throughout the first two years, students apply their new skills at National Medical Holding (NMH) hospitals one afternoon per week. The Basic Science block runs through three-fourths of the first year and provides language and concepts that underlie the scientific basis of medical practice. Organ System block courses integrate physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and introduction to medicine, with concurrent courses in the Patient Care and Patient, Physician, and Society blocks. Weekly discussions, patient interviews, and examination of hospitalized patients reinforce essential clinical skills. 

The third-year curriculum consists of eight required clerkships designed to optimize the balance between inpatient and out-of-hospital learning opportunities. The fourth year includes an active internship, additional required and elective clerkships, and an integrated life sciences experience that revisits some aspect of basic science after students have several years of clinical experience.