Introduction: The Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR), like almost all countries, is faced with a shortage of qualified health workers in rural and remote areas. The situation has worsened due to the unbalanced distribution of the health workforce, resulting from a tendency to gravitate to more central areas. Methods: This cross-sectional study aimed to assess the proportion and associated factors affecting intention to work in a rural area among health science students in Vientiane, Lao PDR. All 403 final-year undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Health Sciences (UHS) in Vientiane - the only tertiary education facility that produces medical, family medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, medical technology, and nursing students - were asked to fill out self-administered questionnaires. In total, 356 respondents returned the completed questionnaires, yielding a response rate of 88.3%. Results: Of the respondents, 40.7% (145/356) reported an intention to work in a rural area; 90.0% (131/145) preferred to work at district level; 21.3% reported high self-efficacy, whereas 79.8% reported low perceived social support for working in a rural area. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed four variables were associated with intention to work in a rural area: hometown in a rural area; moderate/high self-efficacy; father having a secondary/high school education; and being a medical, family medicine/dentistry/pharmacy student. Conclusions: To increase the proportion of UHS graduates intending to work in a rural area, improved recruitment of students from rural areas, and enhanced self-efficacy and social support, are required.