The University Of California San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine is ranked in the top 15 medical schools in California. Not only does  UCSF School of Medicine offer an exemplary academic education, but a diverse working environment, adaptable application requirements, and excellent conditions for students of all backgrounds. In this blog, you will learn all about UCSF medical school admission requirements, statistics, and tips for how to get in!


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Article Contents
6 min read

Mission Statement Available Programs Academic Curriculum Application Timeline Admissions Statistics & Eligibility Recommended Courses Tuition and Debt Funding Opportunities Selection Factors Interview Formats Acceptance and Waitlist Information Contact information FAQs

Mission Statement

The UCSF School of Medicine strives to advance human health through a four-fold mission of education, research, patient care, and public service.

Available Programs

The institution offers a wide range of programs, including Post Baccalaureate programs, as well as MD-Ph.D. and research programs. This includes four fields of focus with specialized programs that are meant to both educate students with the latest advancements in medical science and technology and to prepare them for the work in their desired field. The programs are:

  • MD/Masters in Advanced Studies
  • MD with Dissertation
  • MD/Masters of Public Health (MPH)
  • MD/PhD in History of Health Sciences

For more information please see the UCSF programs website.

Academic Curriculum

The UCSF School of Medicine educates MD graduates to excel as modern doctors and physicians. The MD program objectives consist of seven core MD competencies: patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, systems-based practice, and interprofessional collaboration.

As noted above there are several program options for MD students at UCSF. These include unique options like the MD with dissertation, which allows students who are interested in research to pursue 12-month research projects. Programs like this are good alternatives to those who are interested in research but do not want to commit to an intensive MD/PhD program. See the list of programs at UCSF Medical School for more information.

Grading system

Pass/Fail is used for pre-clerkship courses and non-required clerkships. You can earn “Pass with Distinction” in required clerkships.

Application Timeline

UCSF Medical School uses AMCAS for all primary application materials. 

Admissions Statistics and Eligibility

UCSF School of Medicine is one of the most competitive institutions of higher learning in the nation. Roughly 6% of applicants are interviewed, with a ~1.95% matriculation rate overall.

  • Overall Acceptance Rate: 1.95%
  • In-State Acceptance Rate: 2.86%
  • Out-of-State Acceptance Rate: 1.13%
  • Average MCAT Total Score: 517
  • Average GPA: 3.89

Eligibility

UCSF medical school welcomes applicants from all the United States, including US residents with a valid visa as well as individuals who’ve been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). UCSF School of Medicine doesn’t accept international students, including Canadian students.

Students must have completed a Bachelor’s degree at the time of matriculation. The MCAT is required and your MCAT must be written within two years of applying.

Prerequisites and Recommended Courses

The UCSF School of Medicine requires the following prerequisites from all applicants:

This formal course requirement is considered a basic foundation for all applicants, with successful applicants surpassing the prerequisites. This means taking advanced-level courses in biology and chemistry as well as a breadth of courses that may contribute to your success as a practicing physician (i.e. ethics, communication, foreign languages). 

Tuition

Cost of Attendance for In-State Students:

  • Tuition and Fees: $39,900
  • Other: $35,095
  • Health Insurance: $7,415
  • TOTAL: $82,410

Cost of Attendance for Out-of-State Students:

  • Tuition and Fees: $52,145
  • Other: $35,095
  • Health Insurance: $7,415
  • TOTAL: $94,655

According to the LCME Student Financial Aid Questionnaire from, the percentage of students attending the UCSF School of Medicine that are receiving some kind of financial aid is 86%. The average indebtedness of graduates is $135,487.

Funding Opportunities

The UCSF medical school offers several grants either through the Student Financial Aid Office (SFAO) or via private grants, loans, and medical school scholarships. Eligible students are also welcome to take subsidized and unsubsidized federal loans, as well as other means of financing that may be available to them.

For some courses, the UCSF School of Medicine will forgo tuition fees for exemplary students that engage in classes that are proven to benefit the institution, the community, or the medical sciences in general.

For more information see the UCSF financial aid website.

Selection Factors

The UCSF medical school prides on not solely admitting students based on academic achievement but personal characteristics that the admissions committee deems as desirable for future physicians.

Both the academic and other factors such as the applicant's medical school personal statement, extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation will contribute to the selection process.

The selection process will be conducted on the following principles:

  • To ensure that all accepted students have convincingly demonstrated the capacity to meet the academic challenges they will encounter at UCSF, based on their undergraduate or graduate school record, and/or MCAT performance.
  • To value personal qualities that contribute to outstanding performance during a career in medicine including, but not limited to: intelligence, judgment, humility, maturity, selflessness, collaboration, etc.
  • To value applicants who demonstrate the capacity and preparedness to take advantage of the many opportunities at UCSF to delve deeply into co-curricular activities such as research, collaborative programs, and community service.
  • To value outstanding performance in the humanities as well as the ability to communicate in languages that are commonly used by non-English speaking populations in the United States.
  • To uphold UCSF’s commitment to increasing the number of physicians from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic populations. 
  • To uphold UCSF’s commitment to diversifying the physician workforce in all domains of diversity.

MCAT and GPA

All applicants must complete the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) no later than three years of matriculation at the point of admission. This means that the applicant’s MCAT score must not be more than two years old at the moment of application.

The test needs to be completed by September 15th of the application year.

According to the latest data, the average MCAT of accepted applicants is 517and the average GPA of accepted applicants is 3.89. USCF Medical School does not set a minimum cut off, so if you fall slightly below this you can still apply. However, as it is a very competitive medical school you should make sure all other aspects of your application are stellar.

Technical Standards

All students entering the UCSF School of Medicine must meet the UCSF Technical Standards, including categories like motor function and ethics, with reasonable accommodation if necessary. Applicants will be expected to be able to certify that they meet this standard.

Recommendation Letters

The applicant is expected to supply between three and five letters of recommendation, with the committee letters and letter packets being preferred, but also accepting individual letters of recommendation from a singular author.

Applicants are encouraged to request letters from committees in the prior academic institutions or other entities where they might have obtained practical or cognitive competencies that would be beneficial for their application. When deciding who to pick as your letter writers, consider the principles of admission above and try to pick writers who can speak to how you meet one or more of these criteria.

Extracurriculars

The UCSF medical school has a goal of making an energetic, inspiring, and diverse community of students that would benefit not only from the Academic rigor of UCSF but also take advantage of the many unique programs and initiatives they offer. One way to showcase you will be a good fit at UCSF medical school is by having a wide range of extracurriculars. Note that above all else research experience is in high demand at UCSF.

The most common premedical experiences for first-year students are:

Interview Format

The interview format for all applicants consists of two blind interviews, each with a duration of forty minutes to one hour. A blind interview means they are conducted without a prior review from the interviewers of the applicant’s file. This means your interview preparation is vital; you need to make sure you hit all the strongest points of your application, and address potential weaknesses, without prompting from the interviewers.

One of the interviewers will be a member of the faculty with the other often being a medical student at the UCSF School of Medicine. Given the short time span of the interview and the blind format, make sure you prepare your med school interview questions beforehand.

Acceptance and Waitlist Information

UCSF medical school acceptance letters are sent out as early as January and as late as July. Students who received an acceptance have up to two weeks to acknowledge receipt of the offer of admission through the electronic system. You can defer entrance requests.

Every year, the UCSF School of Medicine has approximately 150 waitlist positions of which 50 spots are usually opened. Generally, offers of admissions are sent out from the waitlist to acceptable candidates in late April until the class size is filled. Don’t stress if you’re on the waitlist, there are ways to get off of it and enter your program of choice.

Contact information

Official website

Email: [email protected]

FAQs

1. WHAT KIND OF UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE DO I NEED TO GET INTO UCSF SCHOOL OF MEDICINE?

While no degree is specified, all applicants must have finished foundational courses in biology, chemistry, and physics. Applicants should have a breadth of other courses including upper year biology and chemistry courses and courses in the humanities or foreign languages.

2. DOES UCSF SCHOOL OF MEDICINE ACCEPT INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS?

No. The UCSF School of Medicine only accepts applicants from the US, including those with resident and DACA status.

3. ARE UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS ELIGIBLE FOR FINANCIAL AID?

Undocumented students without a resolved DACA status are not eligible to apply for the UCSF School of Medicine.

4. WHAT IS THE INTERVIEW FORMAT?

The interview consists of two blind interviews which last 40-60 minutes. Blind interviews mean that the interviewers don’t have access to the applicants information and only work from what is presented by the interviewee.

5. WHAT EXTRACURRICULARS DO I NEED TO GET INTO UCSF?

There are no required extracurriculars but the vast majority of successful applicants have research experience, with most also having solid experience in community service and/or leadership.

6. WHAT GPA DO I NEED TO GET INTO UCSF?

There is technically no minimum GPA, however with an average of 3.89 you should aim for as high a GPA as possible. If you fall below the average make sure you make a compelling case in other areas of your application.

7. WHY IS UCSF SO HARD TO GET INTO?

UCSF is one of the top medical schools in the US and provides both a rigorous academic curriculum with an emphasis on community service and practical experience.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

Disclaimer: BeMo does not endorse or affiliate with any universities, colleges, or official test administrators. The content has been developed based on the most recent publicly available data provided from the official university website. However, you should always check the statistics/requirements with the official school website for the most up to date information. You are responsible for your own results.


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1 Comments

Lovelas Flaure-Marie

How can I apply for a scholarship in Stanford medical school please!?

Reply

BeMo Academic Consulting

Hello Lovelas! Thanks for your question. Please visit Stanford's official website to see what scholarships and financial aid you qualify for. You will find all the instructions for applications there as well.

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