3. Career Path

Educational commitment to become a cardiologist

Many students start working toward their goal of becoming a cardiologist as early as their undergraduate studies. You can take classes or complete internships to learn about cardiac imaging and other job responsibilities as you start your cardiology training.

A traditional cardiology education timeline may look like:

Bachelor’s degree

You do not need to complete a pre-med track, or even earn a science degree, during your undergraduate education to pursue medicine. Of course, you need to complete the education eventually, but it’s possible to get into good programs with a non-traditional background.

Medical school

Med school combines coursework and clinical training. It lasts four years in total, split evenly between the two parts.

Residency in internal medicine

After med school, you’ll complete a residency, which lasts three years. During residency, you work at a healthcare facility and provide basic supervised care. This also is where you decide which specialization to pursue. Cardiologists choose internal medicine.

Cardiology fellowship

After residency, you’ll pursue a cardiology fellowship, which typically lasts three years, though it could be longer. The Columbia University fellowship, which lasts between three and four years, focuses on both patient care and research.

Medical school requirements include:


Remember, you don’t need to be a science or pre-med major, but you do need to complete relevant coursework. This includes lab and coursework in biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, and physics. You also need coursework in humanities and mathematics, typically calculus or statistics. Relevant coursework should be completed at the undergraduate level.

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