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St. Helen University School of Medicine (SHU) - Ranking, Tuition, Campus & Environment | ValueMD

General Information

  • Location: Saint Lucia, Caribbean
  • Pre-Clinical Sciences: US$4900
  • Clinical Sciences (hospital fees are included): US$8000
  • Pre-Med Program: US$3500
  • BSc in Nursing: US$3000
  • Time Required for MD Degree: 4 years
  • Year Founded: 2012
  • Scholarship: Yes
  • Email: Email SHU

A Brief History of Saint Lucia

Flag of Saint LuciaThe island, with its fine natural harbor at Castries, was contested between England and France throughout the 17th and early 18th centuries (changing possession 14 times); it was finally ceded to the UK in 1814. Even after the abolition of slavery on its plantations in 1834, Saint Lucia remained an agricultural island, dedicated to producing tropical commodity crops. Self-government was granted in 1967 and independence in 1979. Read More...

Map of Saint Lucia

About Us

St. Helen University (SHU) was established in February 2012, offering MD (Doctor of Medicine) degrees, in accordance with the preferred credentials in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. SHU also offers Pre-Med courses to prepare students to enter the MD program. SHU will begin its first classes on January 7th, 2013.

SHU's future plans include programs in other Health disciplines like Nursing and Pharmacy as well as Business, Technology, etc.

Established on the beautiful Caribbean island of Saint Lucia, SHU is located in the southern town of Vieux Fort, minutes from the island's Hewanorra International Airport.

SHU offers an innovative program in modern, technologically equipped classrooms and facilities in a warm atmosphere with the best environment the Caribbean can offer, where students will be surrounded by a diverse community of local and international students and faculty.

SHU's student body will be truly international, with students being drawn from St. Lucia, the Caribbean, North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.

Corporate Social Responsibility

SHU takes its corporate social responsibility seriously. Long before its doors opened, SHU has been sponsoring various activities aimed at encouraging social development, including being the main sponsor of the 2012 Sir Vivian Richards Charity Golf Tournament, an annual event which raises funds for young golfers and cricketers on the island.

SHU also donated 100,000 surgical gloves to the Government of Saint Lucia through the Ministry of Health for distribution to public and private medical institutions on the island.

SHU offers the best possibilities to local (St. Lucian) students. Local Students who qualify will have access full tuition scholarships. Those who do not receive the full scholarship can enjoy a 50% tuition scholarship.

In addition, SHU is also offering partial scholarships to Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nationals.

Statement of equal educational opportunity

All enrolled students shall have equal access to and participation in all programs and activities sponsored or conducted by St. Helen University and none shall be discriminated against on any basis prohibited under the Laws of Saint Lucia, including, but not limited to, race, national origin, religion, sex or physical disabilities.


The Mission of St. Helen University School (SHU) of Medicine is: to offer students a high quality, 21st Century education; aligned with international standards, taught by competent, recognized local and international faculty; preparing them to become competent, caring physicians, who can lead and serve successfully wherever in the world they choose to live and work.

SHU's focus on continuous involvement with the community, health centres and hospitals will contribute to health care in St. Lucia, giving students maximum possible real life exposure and breadth of practical experience while in University.

Charter & Accreditation

St. Helen University School of Medicine is an independent medical institution established in February, 2012 and is accredited by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health of the Government of Saint Lucia. St. Helen University is also accredited by the International Medical Education Directory (IMED) which is maintained by the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER). SHU has also applied for recognition by the World Health Organization's AVENCINA for listing as an accredited medical university operating under charter by the Government of Saint Lucia.


SHU is introducing the Doctor of Medicine and Pre-Med programs as the start of a strategy to create a complete high quality 21st Century University, with additional programs in Health, Business, Technology, etc.

Please see the sections bellow for more info about our programs.


The Pre Med Year is a unique 1-year programme which articulates directly as the required foundation for the Pre Clinical years of the four year MD programme. The Pre Med programme has been developed for students who would have performed very well in a minimum of five subjects inclusive of three of the subjects being in Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Physics and English at the GCE O levels, CXC examinations and Grade 12 high school graduation diploma. It is also relevant to students who also have allied health qualifications but would require some additional strengthening in certain areas so that they may be prepared for the Pre Clinical years.

Key Benefits

Taught over one academic year (September-June), this programme is designed for student nurses and other allied professionals together with students who may not have completed A-Levels (or an equivalent) CAPE, Advanced Placement, Advanced Standing Examination or the International Baccalaureate. The programme gives the foundation needed for direct articulation into the first year of the Pre Clinical Years at St. Helen School of Medicine.

  • It gives students an alternative route to medical school that actually guarantees a sound foundation throughout the remaining four years of the medical programme.
  • Core modules are taught from a clinical perspective which provides students with the theory and experience found among first year courses at medical or dental school. This includes an introduction to subjects such as Anatomy, Physiology coupled with a deepening of their knowledge in Molecular Biology, Chemistry/Biochemistry, Statistics Fundamentals of English and Medical Terminology and Behavioural Science.

During the Pre-Med year students will pursue studies in the following courses:

  1. Introduction to Anatomy
  2. Introduction to Physiology
  3. Chemistry and Biochemistry
  4. Molecular Biology
  5. Fundamentals of English and Medical Terminology
  6. Statistics
  7. Behavioural Sciences

Course Highlights

The course offers students a strong understanding of medical science taught at the first year of university degree level. Taught to a strong foundation of theoretical knowledge and real-world application through a range of teaching methodologies, such as lectures, small group tutorial sessions, one-to-one personal tutoring, seminars, practicals and personal assessments. Here are some of the course highlights:

  • Cellular Biology offers students the ability to learn about different types of cells and their features and connect these to disease processes.
  • Neuroscience provides students with an understanding of the nervous system and bodily responses.
  • Organic Chemistry/ Biochemistry helps students become familiar with the structure and function of key organic molecules at the cellular level.
  • Endocrine and Reproductive System offers students an introduction to the action of various hormones in relation to the endocrine and reproduction systems set of positive and negative feedback mechanisms.
  • Circulatory and Respiratory System delivers a study of the anatomy and function of these systems also in terms of related pathologies that may occur when not functioning.
  • Musculoskeletal System provides students with an understanding of the movement of the human body through the aid of dissection videos and theoretical study.
  • Gastrointestinal System teaches students about the GI tract and how it functions as well as offers insight into various pathologies.
  • Renal System teaches students about the exocrine and endocrine functions of the kidney as well as some common pathologies about the renal system and their impact on the body.
  • Clinical Simulation & Ethics focuses on ethics and its central role in the field of biological and human research as well as medical science and patient care
  • Fundamentals of English and Medical Terminology focuses on the use of language and the relevant medical terminology as it pertains to the biological systems being studied.
  • Behavioural Science focuses on the psychosocial aspects of human behaviour which will be further deepened in the courses of Arts and Science of Medicine and the Determinants of Community health of the Preclinical Years

Students successfully completing the course are automatically admitted into the first year of the 4 year MD Programme.

Doctor of Medicine

The Doctor of Medicine (MD) program is a 4 year program comprising of 2 years of pre-clinical study and 2 years of clinical rotations. The learning model integrates real life experience with communities, Health Centres and Hospitals, starting in year 1.

Students are prepared for the USMLE, and provided assistance with placements for rotations.

Pre-clinical Curriculum

The duration of the Pre-clinical Programme will be five semesters or 75 weeks which will cover the basic sciences. The goal of the Pre-clinical curriculum is to orient and help students learn the necessary biomedical and humanistic knowledge, skills and competencies, and to develop the appropriate professional attitudes, that they will need in order to have a successful experience in their Clinical Rotations beyond.

Students will be attached to Community Health centres where they will learn a number of defined clinical skills and at the same time be able to be oriented to the Determinants of Health which will support the curative, preventive and rehabilitative components for the health and wellbeing of the individual and the population at large.

During this period students will be exposed to lectures, group discussions and laboratory experience and will also be required to be involved in a research project while being attached to the Community Health Centre.

Clinical Curriculum

Clinical Observerships

This model offers students the opportunity, starting in year 1, to observe, do research and participate in 'real life health care' with patients as part of teams in local communities, health centres and hospitals.

This approach will give SHU students the advantage of relating course work to the patient, and start developing sound skills under the mentorship of physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals.  This will help the learning process for students and help prepare them for clinical rotations later in the program.

Clinical Program

The clinical program begins on successful completion of the USMLE Step 1. This will be done after completing Semesters 1 to 5.

BSc in Nursing

The nursing programme is oriented towards a competency based curriculum guided by the required competencies of the International Nursing Council. The curriculum is a Primary Health Care Curriculum of four years duration consisting of Academic and Nursing courses. Clinical experience will be obtained in a variety of settings at the primary, secondary and tertiary level institutions. Additionally students will also have access to a cutting edge Simulation laboratory which will provide students the opportunity to sharpen their clinical skills as they enter the live environments. The content of the curriculum will reflect trends in Health and Nursing as they pertain to the realities of  St. Lucia, the Caribbean region and the Global  environment. During the course students are prepared for the Pre-Registration BSCN degree. Graduates will be prepared to write the Regional Examination for Nurse Registration (RENR) and on successful completion of the RENR graduates are eligible for registration and licensing in St. Lucia, other Caribbean countries and other global jurisdictions.

The duration of the course will be 10 semesters each being of 15 weeks.

  • Year 1: Two Semesters
  • Year 2: Three Semesters
  • Year 3: Three Semesters
  • Year  4: Two Semester


The admissions process at St. Helen University identifies the best possible candidates for medical school through assessing the overall achievements of each applicant, including those in academic and non-academic areas. Academic excellence is necessary, but not sufficient, to ensure success as a physician. Hence the process will include a number of other factors which will also be considered to determine candidates selected.

The study of Medical Science requires individuals with a good grounding in the social sciences, humanities, physical sciences and life sciences.

The ideal candidate will have completed a rigorous and coherent course of study, which will provide evidence of an independent, self-directed, and mature learning style. The ideal candidate will also have evidence of outstanding achievement in non-academic areas.

This will be judged by review of the applicant's essay, which should inclue an autobiographical sketch of the applicant and as well as duration and impact of non-academic achievements, supported by reference letters.

The admissions committee assesses non-academic qualities, including altruism, reliability, responsibility, perseverance, creativity, and leadership, through this process. The interview may also be used to assess these qualities.

Futher Information

St. Helen University School of Medicine (SHU) welcomes you to request additional details and have your questions answered about by our attentive and knowledgeable staff.

For detailed information, please contact us.

Page Info

Create Date: 06-18-2013

Last Modification: 06-18-2013

Source: St. Helen University School of Medicine (SHU)

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