St. Matthew's University

St. Matthew's University (SMU) is a for-profit university located in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands in the Caribbean. SMU has a School of Medicine and a School of Veterinary Medicine, which confer M.D. and D.V.M. degrees, respectively. St. Matthew's University is owned by R3 Education, Inc.[3]

St. Matthew's University
MottoImproving Life by Degrees
Established1997[1] / 2002[2]
ChancellorJohn Marvin, MBA
West Bay Road, Seven Mile Beach
, ,
ColorsPurple, sea green and yellow


SMU was founded in Belize in 1997 by Dr. Michael Harris and other medical doctors. In 2001, the board of directors changed the university's administration. In 2002, the school moved to the Cayman Islands under interim president Dr. B. D. Owens.[4] Dr. Michael Harris was named President in 2003 and the Medical University gained full accreditation.

The School of Veterinary Medicine was established in 2005 under the direction of Dr. Scott Harris, DVM .[5] The school was acquired by Greenwich, Connecticut-based Equinox Capital in conjunction with Chicago-based Prairie Capital in 2005.[6]


School of Medicine

SMU is chartered by the government of the Cayman Islands.[2]

SMU School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Commission of Colleges of Medicine, an accrediting agency listed in the FAIMER Directory of Organizations that Recognize/Accredit Medical Schools (DORA).[7][8] The School of Medicine has been accredited since 2001 with accreditation extending until June 30, 2025.[9] Since 2002 the United States Department of Education’s National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation (NCFMEA) has recognized SMU’s accreditor as using standards that are comparable to the standards used to accredit medical schools in the United States.[10]

St. Matthew's University School of Medicine is approved by the New York State Education Department (NYSED)[11] to allow students to complete more than 12 weeks of clinical clerkships in New York State. SMU is one of only seven Caribbean medical schools so approved by NYSED.[12]

St. Matthew's University School of Medicine is licensed by the Florida Department of Education's Commission for Independent Education (CIE) for the purpose of providing clinical rotations in Florida. SMU is one of only seven Caribbean medical schools so approved by the CIE.

The University is listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools.[13]

In June 2018, access to the Federal Direct Student Loan Program was granted to students at SMU School of Medicine, who are either American citizens or permanent residents.

Medical School curriculum

The MD program at SMU is a 10-semester course of study that consists of 3 semesters per calendar year. Semesters 1-5 are basic science semesters that are completed at the university’s Grand Cayman (Cayman Islands) campus. Semesters 6-10 consist of 72 weeks of clinical training at rural hospitals in United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom.

Licensure restrictions

On February 8, 2005, the Division of Licensing, Medical Board of California reviewed, and determined that St. Matthew's University graduates are ineligible for licensure. This was due to attrition rates above 80%, low USMLE pass rate, and unorganized clinical rotations in remote locations.

In the United States, the medical boards of the following states have banned St. Matthew's University graduates from obtaining licensure::

A future approval would still bar physicians from obtaining a licensure, unless if they start basic sciences after the approval date.

In the United Kingdom, the General Medical Council has listed St. Matthew's University as an institution whose graduates from the Belize campus are ineligible for licensure. Graduates from the current Cayman Islands campus are eligible for licensure.[18]

Residence Hall

The residence hall is an old Sleep hotel. The rent for a small room is $4245–4800 for almost 4 months. The high speed internet provided is 3.25 Mbps. Students who plan on studying with contemporary media standards usually buy a high speed modem on their own, or use the hotspot from their smart phones. This is by far the cheapest housing available on the island.

School of Veterinary Medicine

St. Matthew's University School of Veterinary Medicine (SMUSVM) is listed by the American Veterinary Medical Association, and its graduates qualify for entrance into the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG) or the Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence (PAVE) certification programs.

The PAVE program is a foreign licensing program that allows students to qualify to take the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE).[19] The PAVE qualifying exam is written or online and intended to test the knowledge of students in foreign veterinary schools. It covers material learned in the first three (pre-clinical) years of AVMA-accredited veterinary schools.[20] The PAVE program is recognized in 39 states currently, as well as Australia and New Zealand.[19]

The ECFVG is a program that assesses the overall knowledge of veterinary students from non-AVMA-accredited schools to ensure they have sufficient knowledge to practice veterinary medicine within the United States.[21] The program contains four steps and is recognized by all 50 states to allow those that receive a certificate the ability to practice within those states.[21]

The Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine is Karen Rosenthal, DVM.[22] Dr. Rosenthal has received awards in her work as an advocate for exotic animals and her dedication toward advancing the field of companion exotic animal medicine. Dr. Rosenthal has received the Oxbow Exotic Mammal Health Award for her work in the field of exotic companion animal medicine on October 24, 2012.

Dr. Rosenthal has also been an associate professor and section chief of special species medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, where she also served as the medical director of University of Pennsylvania's veterinary hospital; and previously, she was the founding and national director of Avian and Exotic Animal Services for Antech Diagnostics and a staff member for five years on the Avian and Exotic Service at New York City's Animal Medical Center.[22]

Students at the School of Veterinary Medicine complete their pre-clinical education in 28 months (7 semesters), with three more semesters (12 months) completed in either the United States or Canada as the clinical year.[23] The incoming class size is limited to 35 students and the faculty to student ratio is 1:5.[23]

The requirements for applying to St. Matthew's University School of Veterinary Medicine are: 8 credits (and lab) of General Biology and General Chemistry, 4 credits (and lab) of Organic Chemistry, 3 credits of Biochemistry, 6 credits of Language Arts (English), 3 credits of College Math or Computer Science, 4 credits of Physics (Recommended), and 6 credits of Social Science (Recommended).[23]

There is a concurrent dual degree program available for students to receive their Master of Business Administration degree from Davenport University, which is offered completely online.[24] Members of the dual degree program receive benefits that include qualification for Title IV federal student aid (for U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens), receiving partnership tuition rates for the entire program, advancing the student's career with two degrees as a doctor of veterinary medicine and an MBA, and the ability to apply up to 15 transferable graduate credits.[24]

SMUSVM has clinical year programs with Purdue University,[25] University of Pennsylvania,[26] University of Minnesota,[27] North Carolina State University,[28] Oklahoma State University,[29] and University of Illinois.[30]

Notable alumni

See also


  1. "IMED - FAIMER International Medical Education Directory - School Details". Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  2. "IMED - FAIMER International Medical Education Directory - School Details". Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  3. "R3 Education Inc.: Private Company Information - Businessweek". Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  4. "St. Matthew's changes administration, San Pedro Sun, Belize News". Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  5. "St. Matthew's University | About St Matthew's University | History of St. Matthew's University". 1 September 2005. Archived from the original on 23 March 2008. Retrieved 16 March 2010.
  6. "Equinox Capital, Inc. - News". Archived from the original on 31 May 2007. Retrieved 16 March 2010.
  7. "Directory of Organizations that Recognize/Accredit Medical Schools (DORA)". FAIMER. 12 February 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  8. "Welcome to ACCM - The Accreditation Commission on Colleges of Medicine". Retrieved 16 March 2010.
  10. "National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation (NCFMEA) - U.S. Department of Education". Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  11. "NYS Medicine:Application Forms". Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  12. " Office of the Professions".
  13. St. Matthew's University WDMS. Retrieved on November 3, 2016
  14. "Medical Board of California - International Medical Schools Disapproved by the State of California". Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  15. "PLA: Approved/Disapproved Foreign Medical Schools". Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  16. "Medical Schools that have been disapproved by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts". Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  17. "North Dakota Board of Medical Examiners - Disapproved Medical Schools". 22 November 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  18. "GMC | Acceptable overseas medical qualifications". 16 February 2007. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  19. "Foreign Veterinary Graduates | Veterinary License America | International | PAVE | Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence". Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  20. "PAVE Qualifying Examination | QE". Archived from the original on 23 July 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  21. "ECFVG - About Us". Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  22. "St. Matthew's gets new dean". 1 January 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  23. "St. Matthew?s University Descriptor Page". Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  24. "Medical Partner MBA | Davenport University". Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  25. "Clinical Year Programs". Archived from the original on 10 March 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  26. "Penn Vet | Clinical Year at Penn Vet". Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  27. "Foreign Graduate Information". 1 August 2008. Archived from the original on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  28. "Academic Affairs :: North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine". Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  29. "Center for Veterinary Health Sciences | Healthy Animals - Healthy People". Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  30. "News - Veterinary Medicine at Illinois" (PDF). Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  31. Markoff, Alan (3 May 2005). "Caymanian med student excels". Caymanian Compass. Archived from the original on 28 July 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
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