Ross University

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Ross University
Ross University School of Medicine Logo.png
Motto Dedita Scientiae Medendi (Latin)
Motto in English
Dedicated to the Science of Healing[1]
Established 1978
Type Private , For-Profit
Location Dominica
St. Kitts

Ross University, founded in 1978, is a for-profit college offering the Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees. The School of Medicine is located in Dominica, with clinical education centers in Miramar, Florida and Saginaw, Michigan. The School of Veterinary Medicine is located in St. Kitts.[2]

Ross University was founded by Robert Ross, who sold the school to private equity firms Leeds Equity Partners and J.W. Childs Associates in 2000.[3] It is currently owned by DeVry, Inc., which acquired the school in 2003 for $310 million.[4][5] The administrative offices are located in North Brunswick, New Jersey, United States. Students of Ross University are almost all citizens or permanent residents of the United States, who are eligible for financial assistance under Title IV of the Higher Education Act.[4] Ross' curricula follow the models used in U.S. medical and veterinary schools.

DeVry Inc, the parent organization that owns RUSM, is a publicly traded company that owns many universities, including the American University of the Caribbean (AUC), another for-profit medical school in the Caribbean. DeVry Inc. is currently being investigated by the offices of the attorneys general of Illinois and Massachusetts for its use of student loans, its compensation practices, and accounting malpractice.[6]

School of Medicine[edit]

The university's medical school, the Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM), was founded in 1978 by Robert Ross.[7][8] It is located in Portsmouth on the Caribbean island of Dominica. The university confers upon its graduates the Doctor of Medicine degree.

Based on published reports by DeVry Inc., Ross University School of Medicine's attrition rate is about 10 times (27% vs. 3%) that of medical schools operating in the US.[9] Of the students who do graduate, about half do not graduate on time.[10] According to Ross University, 52 percent of Ross University School of Medicine students finished their program on-time.[10]

In an open letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) noted that foreign medical schools that are not accredited by approved U.S. accrediting bodies are still eligible for federal Title IV funds due to a 1992 loophole that allows a small number of these schools to qualify for federal funding under lower standards than other foreign medical schools. Senator Durbin has requested that Secretary Duncan investigate reports that "DeVry-owned foreign medical schools, American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine and Ross University School of Medicine, prey on students who have been rejected by traditional U.S. medical schools. These students are lured into massive amounts of debt – much higher than traditional schools – and receive very little to show for it by way of a useful degree. What’s more, it is reported that these schools actually pay U.S. hospitals for slots in training hospitals – a practice the American Medical Association worries will disrupt medical education in the United States."[11]

Furthermore, two members of the House of Representatives introduced a companion bill to Senate legislation this month that would cut millions of dollars in federal aid to Caribbean medical schools that have been criticized for the debt burden their U.S. students bear and the training that they receive.[12] Reps. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) and Carol Shea-Porter (D-New Hampshire) said their bill, the House version of Dick Durbin's (D-Illinois) Senate bill, would close a loophole that allows for-profit colleges to operate medical schools off-shore with federal funds.

In 2012, the school had a 96 percent first-time pass rate on the United States Medical Licensing Examination, which was certified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates.[13] Ross alumni are eligible to and practice in all 50 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and Canada.[14] While the majority of Ross graduates enter residencies in Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, and General surgery, some graduates obtain positions in historically competitive residency programs including Orthopedic Surgery, Neurosurgery, Anesthesiology and Radiology.[15] However, only about 80% of Ross graduates obtain residencies through the National Residency Match Program (NRMP). The other students attempt to obtain positions with programs directly or through re-application.[16]

The School of Medicine is accredited by the Dominica Medical Board. The U.S. Department of Education has found the accreditation standards used by the Dominica Medical Board to be comparable to those used by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education to evaluate accredited U.S. medical schools.[17] Four states in the United States (California,[18] Florida,[19] New Jersey,[20] New York[21]) have a formal process to evaluate, accredit, and approve an international medical school's academic program for the purpose of either licensing its graduates and/or clinical and residency training in those states.

School of Veterinary Medicine[edit]

Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM) is located on the island of St. Kitts. As of 2009, the school had graduated more than 2,200 veterinarians.[22] More than 95 percent of its students are American or Canadian citizens. RUSVM's curriculum covers seven semesters in St. Kitts followed by a year of clinical education at one of the more than 20 AVMA-accredited veterinary schools in the United States or at the AVMA-accredited Atlantic Veterinary College in Canada.[23] The Pre-clinical program includes a series of "introduction to clinics" courses that provide small-group instruction and hands-on animal experience through community practice, ambulatory practice, or working with University-owned-and-maintained herds of cattle, horses, donkeys, and sheep.[22]

The percentage of students who begin studies at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine but do not graduate is around 20%.[24] The average attrition rate of veterinary schools located in the United States is 0.94%.[25] Of the students who do graduate from RUSVM, 28% do not graduate on time.[26]

Controversy exists concerning the amount of student loan debt accrued by RUSVM graduates. Students have reported graduating with 6-figure debt, while facing an over-saturated market for veterinary positions in the United States, that average a payout of $45,000 per year once obtained. Dr. James Wilson (who was asked not to return to teach at RUSVM in 2010) confessed that he believes RUSVM practices in "predatory lending." [27]

Ross University students must pass the same licensing exams as graduates of United States schools. Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine’s program has been recognized by the following:

Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine graduates are eligible for licensure in all 50 U.S. states, Canada, and Puerto Rico.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ross University Seal". Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Academic Catalog 2013-2014, VOL. 6" (PDF). Ross University School of Medicine. 
  3. ^ Greene, Jay (June 26, 2000). "Ross med school sold; no Wyoming campus now". American Medical News. 
  4. ^ a b DeVry Inc. to Acquire Leading Medical and Veterinary School; Acquisition Expands Education Platform into Medicine and Health Sciences, DeVry press release, March 19, 2003. Published by
  5. ^ About Us: History, DeVry Inc. website, accessed January 19, 2011.
  6. ^ Tribune Staff Report (April 16, 2013). "Illinois, Massachusetts issue subpoenas to DeVry". Chicago Tribune. 
  7. ^[dead link]
  8. ^ Hundley, Kris (December 25, 2009). "Investigators want to know if the quality of offshore medical schools justifies the cost". Tampa Bay. 
  9. ^ Lorin, Janet (September 11, 2013). "DeVry Lures Medical School Rejects as Taxpayers Fund Debt". Businessweek. 
  10. ^ a b "Gainful Employment Disclosures". Ross University SChool of Medicine. Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "House Bill Seeks to Cut Loans to Off-Shore Med Schools". 2014-01-28. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  13. ^ "University Profile". Ross University. Retrieved 2014-03-20. 
  14. ^ "Medical School Facts". Retrieved 2013-07-08. 
  15. ^ "2013 Ross University Residency". 2013-03-25. Retrieved 2013-07-08. 
  16. ^ Kris Hundley (27 December 2009). "Investigators want to know if the quality of offshore medical schools justifies the cost". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  17. ^ National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation (NCFMEA), US Department of Education website, accessed June 6, 2010
  18. ^ "Welcome to the Medical Board of California - Medical Schools Recognized by the Medical Board of California". Retrieved 2013-07-08. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ "New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners". Retrieved 2013-07-08. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ a b c d Ross University website, accessed April 14, 2009
  23. ^ Piekunka, Joseph M. Get Into Veterinary School: Insights by an Admissions Expert. Morrissville, N.C.: Lulu, 2007. ISBN 1-4303-2489-9
  24. ^ Segal, Dave (February 23, 2013). "High Debt and Falling Demand Trap New Vets". New York Times. 
  25. ^ AAVMC. "Annual Data Report: 2012-13" (PDF). Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. Retrieved March 25, 2013. 
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ Larkin, Malinda. "2 schools receive AVMA COE approval", "JAVMA News", March 8, 2011, accessed March 24, 2011.
  29. ^ Ross University 2010-2011 Financial Planning Guide, Ross University 2010-2011 Financial Planning Guide, retrieved from, March 7, 2011

External links[edit]