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An Official Web Site of the United States Government
Friday, December 13, 2019

Become a PMF

Eligibility

Education Completed Outside of the United States

Education completed outside of the United States must be deemed equivalent, by an accrediting body recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, to that gained in conventional/accredited U.S. educational programs to be acceptable for Federal employment. Most foreign education is not accredited by an accrediting body that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. A few medical schools are accredited under country standards that have been determined to be "comparable" to U.S. standards by the U.S. Department of Education's National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation.

Applicants from foreign schools may be asked to submit all necessary documents to a private U.S. organization that specializes in interpreting foreign educational credentials, commonly called a credential evaluation service. To be acceptable, the foreign credential evaluation must include/describe:

  • The type of education received by the applicant,
  • The level of education in relation to the U.S. education system, and
  • A statement that its comparability recommendations follow the general guidelines of the International Evaluation Standards Council (formerly known as the U.S. National Council for the Evaluation of Foreign Educational Credentials).
  • The content of the applicant's educational program earned abroad and the standards obtained,
  • The status of the awarding foreign school's recognition and legitimacy in its home country's education system, and
  • Any other information of interest, such as:
    • What the evaluation service did to obtain this information,
    • The qualifications of the evaluator, and
    • Any indications as to other problems such as forgery.

This documentation is only required from applicants using foreign education to establish eligibility. The PMF Program Office will review applications and contact applicants if documentation is required. Such applicants selected as Finalists will be contacted for documentation and may have their eligibility revoked if documentation is not timely received and favorably adjudicated.

For further information on the evaluation of foreign education, refer to the U.S. Department of Education's website at www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html.

UPDATED: 12-09-2019