Med Schools By The Beach (15 Amazing Options)

Maybe there’s nothing better than going to med school by the beach. Having a cool spot to unwind or start the day is something we could all do with. 

In this article we’ll cover:

  • Great med schools situated by the beach
  • If it’s worth going to med school by the beach
  • If med students have enough free time to enjoy beach-based activities

If you’re a beach-bum who wants to stay that way while becoming a doctor, maybe some of these options are for you.

Let’s take a look.


UCSD is probably one of the best med schools for surfing and other beach-based fun in all of America. With the med school situated less than a mile from Blacks beach, you couldn’t get any closer. 

The downside? UCSD typically takes about 100 med students per cohort. So it’s tough to get into.

Here’s a nice primer on the school…

Further up the California coast you have a couple of other options too. The Keck School of Medicine at the University of South California is a freeway ride away from Long Beach. While Stanford is about a half-hour drive from Half Moon Bay.


The John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) could have one of the most beautiful settings of all, situated on the Hawaian island of O’ahu. Its 9-acre campus is sandwiched neatly between mountains and the sea and has a solid reputation (ranked 56th) among U.S. med school rankings in primary care. 

With only a handful places for out-of-state students however, it’s notoriously hard to get into.

This vid shows off the pure beauty that is JABSOM…


Florida’s got some pretty epic coastline for med students to enjoy when they’re not busy with the books. Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami is one such school, located in sunny Coral Gables about a half hour from the city’s famous South Beach. What it might lack in surf it makes up for in spectacle.

Here’s how Miami meds like to get down…

Elsewhere in Florida, beach lovers have got more options in schools like FAU, FIU and Nova Southeastern (DO). Generally these schools have more openings for out-of-state applicants.

Related: Med Schools That Like Non-Traditional Students (9 Great Examples)

The Caribbean

Caribbean med schools might be frowned upon by some students but they’re nothing short of breathtaking when it comes to sun, sea and surf.

There’s a wide bunch to choose from – and they’re well known for being easier to get into – meaning that it makes sense to do your research first before setting your sights on any one of them.

The top picks are usually St George’s University based in tropical Grenada, and the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine based in Sint Maarten. 

UK-based doctor Ali Abdaal made a pretty cool video showing off some of these options…

South Carolina

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston might be a less obvious option when it comes to top med schools by the beach but it definitely qualifies. Founded in 1894, it’s also one of the older schools on the list – although it’s student body back then probably wasn’t as quite into surfing as they are now!

MUSC is another med school that’s hard to get into if you’re not from Carolina.

Here’s a round-up of some of the beaches on your doorstep if you do get lucky enough to go to this school…

University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (Maine)

UNECOM might not have the sun of some of the options on this list but it’s still plenty close to a beach if you don’t mind your water chilly. Situated in pretty Biddeford, it’s beaches and piers are striking beauty spots that can definitely help you unwind and recharge in between heavy study sessions.

Just check out this breathtaking stretch of coastline for example…

Outside of America: Other English-Speaking Beach-Based Med Schools

Outside of the U.S. med students have a lot of other options also. Head over to Europe and you’ve got plenty of other cool coastal towns and cities.

Here’s a bunch of awesome suggestions:

  • University of Barcelona: Spain has several top-tier med schools accepting international students on to their English-speaking programs. University of Barcelona, situated in quite possibly Europe’s best and most fun city, is one of those. Barceloneta beach is only a short-walk from the main campus. 
  • European University of Cyprus: sunny cyprus, an island south of Turkey, actually has two well-renowned international med schools; European University and the University of Nicosia. Students here are spoiled for beaches; they’ve got Larnaca, Paphos, Protaras and Ayia Napa all within short driving distance.
  • MU Varna: situated on Bulgaria’s Black Sea, Medical University Varna is a nice little spot to study medicine. In the summer the whole city opens up, while there’s lots of cool bars, clubs and restaurants to explore down on the beachfront. Did I mention I go here?
  • Brighton and Sussex Medical School: another school I’m affiliated with as an alumni is Sussex. Located on England’s trendy south coast, this med school definitely knows how to party. The beach isn’t the best in winter though!

Australia is probably the better nation to head to however for golden beaches and excellent surf. The University of Sydney’s Medical School is a cross-town ride away from Bondi beach while The University of Queensland has a ton of beaches on its Brisbane doorstep.

What Are The Advantages of Going To A Med School Near A Beach?

Studying medicine can be stressful. Anything that can take you out of school – if only for a couple of hours or so – can help. Being by the sea and gazing out into the ocean is one way to forget the overwhelm for a while and give the brain a break.

Being a med student near a beach myself, I’m glad I made the choice. Doing so puts a lot of options at my door; including sports (beach volleyball, beach games etc), a chilled meeting place to catch up with friends and a nice spot to grab a beer or two.

Another plus is that you don’t need to spend any money to be at the beach!

Related: How Do Medical Students Pay For Living Expenses (Crucial Money Saving Tips)

Do Med Students Get Enough Free Time to Enjoy the Beach?

As for whether med students get enough time to enjoy the beach, the answer is yes. As long as they study efficiently and make good use of their time, there’s definitely opportunity to get out onto the sand. 

The trick is to be disciplined enough to know when’s time to study and when’s time to kick back. 

Related: Do Medical Students Have Free Time?


How do you feel about studying medicine next to the beach?

Did I miss any other good spots?

Let me know!

Image Credit – @quinoal at Unsplash