Saba University School of Medicine (SABA) - Ranking, Tuition, Campus & Environment | ValueMD
Saba University School of Medicine

General Information

Saba University School of Medicine

A Brief History of Netherland by The World Factbook

The Dutch United Provinces declared their independence from Spain in 1579; during the 17th century, they became a leading seafaring and commercial power, with settlements and colonies around the world. After a 20-year French occupation, a Kingdom of the Netherlands was formed in 1815. In 1830, Belgium seceded and formed a separate kingdom. The Netherlands remained neutral in World War I, but suffered German invasion and occupation in World War II. A modern, industrialized nation, the Netherlands is also a large exporter of agricultural products. The country was a founding member of NATO and the EEC (now the EU) and participated in the introduction of the euro in 1999. In October 2010, the former Netherlands Antilles was dissolved and the three smallest islands - Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba - became special municipalities in the Netherlands administrative structure. The larger islands of Sint Maarten and Curacao joined the Netherlands and Aruba as constituent countries forming the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Read More »

About Saba University

Saba University School of Medicine was founded in 1992 with a bold mission:  to establish an international alternative to U.S. and Canadian medical schools that would not only provide an excellent medical education and  expansive career opportunities but also maintain an affordable tuition.

More than 25 years and 2,500 successful graduates later, we're proud to say that Saba University has lived up to that mission.

A Record of Success

Saba graduates have achieved a record of success unmatched by graduates of other international medical schools.  In recent years, 99% of our students have passed the USMLE Step 1 exam on their first attempt (in 2017, 100% of Saba students passed the USMLE Step 1 exam on their first attempt)—and they've attained residency placements in the U.S. and Canada at a rate that's on par with graduates of U.S. schools, and much higher than graduates of other international schools.

Practice Across the U.S. or Canada

Saba is one of the few international medical schools approved by the key licensing boards of New York, California and Florida, meaning its graduates can practice across the U.S. and Canada.

Low Student Debt Load

Our tuition and fees are substantially lower than those at other medical schools—30% to 40% less than those of international medical schools with comparable programs and recognition. That means Saba doctors can start their careers carrying less debt than graduates of most other medical schools.

Financial Aid Programs

Saba has been approved by the U.S. Department of Education to participate in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, meaning Saba's U.S. students are eligible for U.S. Federal Direct student loans.  Canadian students are eligible for federal loans through the Ministry of Education in their province of residence.

Distinguished Faculty

Saba faculty have exceptional qualifications. All faculty members are experienced teachers holding an advanced degree or doctorate in the field they teach – either MD, MBBS or PhD. Their personal commitment to your education is another part of Saba's unique character: All faculty are full-time and live on Saba.

Small, Intimate Class Sizes

Unlike medical schools committed to the ever-increasing class sizes of 500 and more, Saba is committed to providing a uniquely close relationship between student and teacher through small classes with approximately 90 students.

A Technologically Advanced Campus

Saba is a truly contemporary campus. We offer a modern anatomy lab and a full complement of classrooms and auditoriums boasting the latest multimedia equipment, a fully equipped library, student lounges and a dedicated test center. And, of course, the entire campus is wireless.

The Dutch Island of Saba

Saba is a safe, pristine Dutch island conveniently located 28 miles south of St Maarten, a major point of entry to the Caribbean

"A Student-Centered Environment"

Hear Saba President Joseph Chu and our academic deans describe what makes Saba different—and how that difference helps Saba students excel.

Why Saba?

More than 2,500 Saba doctors are in practice today, and all of them were once where you are now, asking themselves the key question: Why Saba? What is it about this school that can make my dream of becoming a doctor more likely?

Here are the facts that set Saba apart:

  • Excellent residency placements: Saba's residency placements are on par with U.S. schools and are significantly higher than most other international schools.
  • 100% USMLE Step 1 first-time pass rate: Preparation leads to perfection and Saba's results are comparable with the results at top medical school programs in the country.
  • Practice anywhere in the U.S. and Canada: Saba is one of the few international schools approved by the key states of New York, California and Florida—meaning our students are eligible to practice in all 50 states.
  • Eligible for U.S. and Canadian loans: Saba is one of a small handful of Caribbean medical schools approved for participation in the U.S. William D. Ford Direct Loan Program.
  • Affordable tuition: We believe a top-quality medical education needn't come with crushing debt, and have worked hard to maintain a tuition that's 30% to 40% lower than that at comparable schools.
  • European accreditation: Because Saba is a Dutch island, Saba University is accredited by the Netherlands—making it the only medical school in the Caribbean held to high European standards.
Modern curriculum: In line with contemporary trends in medical education, Saba's curriculum emphasizes greater integration between case-based learning and clinical skills development.

Accreditation and Approvals

Saba University is located on a Dutch island and is a legally recognized entity of higher education in the Netherlands. The school has gone through a rigorous accreditation process by the NVAO (in Dutch: Nederlands-Vlaamse Accreditatieorganisatie), the Accreditation Organization of the Netherlands and Flanders. This organization was established by international treaty and ensures the utmost quality of higher education in the Netherlands and Flanders.

Approved by New York, California and Florida

Saba University School of Medicine is one of the few international medical schools approved by the key licensing boards of New York, California and Florida. Saba University School of Medicine students who successfully complete the requisite licensing examinations are eligible to practice medicine in Canada, Puerto Rico and all 50 U.S. states.
Specifically, the following states have approved, recognized or licensed Saba University School of Medicine:

  • Approved by the New York State Education Department
  • Recognized by the Division of Licensing of the Medical Board of California
  • Licensed by the Commission for Independent Education, Florida Department of Education
  • Approved by the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts

Approved for U.S. Federal Loans

Saba University School of Medicine is one of the select international medical schools approved to participate in U.S. Federal Student Aid programs.

History of Success

For more than 25 years, Saba University School of Medicine has been turning dedicated students into Saba doctors. More than 2,500 Saba graduates now practice medicine across the U.S. and Canada, and their ongoing success has helped cement Saba's reputation as a leading medical school.

In recent years, Saba University students have achieved a 99% USMLE Step One first-time pass rate. In 2017, this rate was a perfect 100%, placing Saba's results in the top echelon of medical schools in the country.

Saba University grads are extremely successful in the U.S. residency matching program, achieving residencies on a par with U.S. medical schools, higher than U.S. osteopathic schools and significantly higher than other international medical schools.

In Canada, where access to medical school is even more competitive than in the U.S., Saba has earned an equally strong reputation through large numbers of placements in the CaRMS. (To learn more, please see our Canadian Applicants section.)

Exceptional Value

The extraordinary performance of our students year after year is reason enough to consider Saba a smart choice in medical schools.  But Saba is also unique in the value that it brings to students.

Since its founding more than 25 years ago, Saba has worked aggressively to maintain an affordable tuition.  Thanks to those ongoing efforts, Saba is able to offer its education at a tuition that's 30% to 40% lower than that of comparable medical schools.

That means you'll graduate from Saba not only with an incomparable medical education, but with less debt than graduates of most other medical schools.

The chart below shows how Saba's tuition compares with U.S. medical schools and with other Caribbean medical schools that qualify for the U.S. William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program.

Saba University School of Medicine

The #1 Choice of Canadian Students

Saba University is the school of choice for Canadians seeking a medical education outside of Canada.

Making up a significant portion of our student body, Canadian students are attracted to Saba for all the same reasons that draw students from the U.S. and other countries—but these reasons stand out:

  • Saba's incredibly strong track record of securing clinical rotations and residency placements in Canada
  • Saba's tuition structure, which fits in with the financial resources available to Canadian students, both for provincial loans and private sources of funding

Clinical Rotations in Canada

Saba has been working with Canadian students for many years securing clinical rotations all across Canada. These rotations take place during the elective phase of their education. The process and timing in some ways mirrors that in the U.S., but there are nuances, and Saba works closely with its Canadian students to ensure that each is aware of the process and is able to target rotations appropriate to his or her line of study.

  • Documentation: Saba's familiarity with the documentation process at the various Canadian university-affiliated programs ensures an efficient path toward garnering electives of choice.
  • Historical Data: Saba students are aware of both the programs and the rotations in which previous Canadian students have participated.
  • Guidance: While electives are chosen by the students, a Saba clinical advisor will actively counsel students about appropriate selections.
  • U.S. and Canadian Options: Canadian students have the option to pursue electives in the U.S. or Canada—or both.
  • Reputation: Saba and its students have a strong reputation throughout the Canadian affiliate system, which assists in securing rotations.

Residency and Licensure

Saba has been among the most successful international medical schools in placing Canadian students into residencies in Canada.

Canadian students are eligible to participate in both the U.S. National Resident Matching Program (NRMP)* and the Canadian Residency Matching Service (CaRMS), which take place on different schedules.

Specific rules on matching in Canada do vary from province to province. Please visit the CaRMS website for more detail. 

Recent Canadian Residencies

Below is a snapshot of recent Saba graduate residency locations and programs:

  • University of Ottawa — Neurosurgery, Pediatrics, Anesthesiology
  • University of Toronto — General Surgery, Neurology, Emergency Medicine, Obstetrics/Gyn, Urology
  • Windsor Regional Hospital — Family Medicine
  • Hamilton General Hospital — Family Medicine, Physical Med/Rehab
  • McMaster University Med Center — Orthopedic Surgery
  • University of Manitoba — Internal Medicine
  • University of Saskatchewan — General Surgery
  • University of Ottawa — Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Anesthesiology
  • McGill/Jewish General Hospital — Family Medicine
  • UWO-London Health Sciences — Orthopedic Surgery, Pediatrics, Neurology
  • University of W. Ontario — Anesthesiology
  • Queens University — Family Medicine
  • Dalhousie University — Anesthesiology, Urology, Psychiatry
  • Calgary Refugee Health Program — Family Medicine
  • University of Manitoba — Family Medicine
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland — Neurology, Psychiatry
  • Northern Ontario School of Medicine — General Surgery

Financial Aid Options:

Saba's Canadian students are approved to apply for financial aid through their provinces. In addition, numerous banks provide student lines of credit to supplement or substitute for the provincial loan alternative. Some of these banks include RBC, TD and BOM, among others.
Saba has a dedicated resource focused on assisting applicants in this process. Please contact us for further information.

*Eligible U.S. residency programs must accept H-1 and J-1 visas.


Saba University operates on a year-round schedule, with incoming classes starting in January, May and September. We accept applications at any time throughout the year. Approximately 90 students are admitted to each class.

The three-semester schedule not only makes it more convenient to get started, it also allows you to complete your studies more quickly. Instead of a single summer break, you'll have shorter breaks of two to three weeks between each semester. That means you will complete your five semesters of Basic Sciences in just 20 months, and then return home to do your clinical rotations at ACGME-approved teaching hospitals in the U.S. and Canada that are affiliated with Saba University.

We encourage you to submit your application and all required documents six to eight months prior to your desired start date, and certainly no later than three months prior. Since the number of students in each class is limited and the application pool is competitive, early applicants will have a better chance of securing a place in the semester of their choice.

Review Process

Completed applications are first reviewed and evaluated by the Pre-Screening Committee. Those with incomplete applications will be notified, as will unqualified applicants.

Remaining applicants will be given close attention by the Admissions Committee, and if appropriate will be invited to interview to further ascertain admission eligibility.

Decisions regarding admissions are normally made within one week post interview. Applicants will be notified of the Admissions Committee's decision via e-mail and the postal service.


Students who have applied previously to Saba University may reapply. Application materials are maintained on file for one year, and students may reapply within that year at no additional charge. Beyond that time, students must submit a new application.

Financial Aid

Students attending Saba University School of Medicine can take advantage of a range of public and private options to help finance their medical education:

  • In the U.S., Saba has been approved to participate in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford and Grad PLUS Loan programs, which are both administered by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Canadian students are eligible for Federal Loans through the Ministry of Education Student Support Branch in the province of residence.
In addition, students may also be eligible for private student loans.

Further Information

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need anything else.

Create Date: 04-27-2003
Last Modification: 08-08-2018
Saba University School of Medicine (SABA), Netherlands