UC Davis

Cracking UC Davis Medical School Admissions: Insider Tips to Get Accepted

Hi premeds! This page serves as a high-yield resource for UC Davis Medical School. The information from this page is a GOLDEN resource. We’ve compiled it from UC Davis medical school acceptance rate data, UC Davis medical school admissions statistics, the UC Davis Med School website, and most importantly, from UC Davis med students themselves! We’ll give you facts such as admissions statistics, but you’ll get an insider perspective about the curriculum.

Skip below for:

  1. UC Davis Secondary Application Tips
  2. UC Davis MMI Interview Tips

Our friends and advisees who have attended UC Davis Med School loved their experiences! 

Whether you’re comparing medical schools that you have been accepted to, preparing for an interview, or wanting to learn more about UC Davis Med School, keep reading!


The most common reasons we’ve heard from students:

  • Emphasis on research and primary care.
  • In Sacramento – near a city but not a huge city.
  • Great farm-to-table food.
  • Collaborative culture.
  • UC Davis’ PRIME program.
  • Great mentorship from UC Davis Medical School faculty members.


UC Davis School of Medicine is picky about who it sends a UC Davis secondary application to. Each year, we get asked by several students, “Does UC Davis have a secondary?” Our answer: yes! The UC Davis secondary application is short and easy to completely.

UC Davis highly prefer people who have connections to northern California, particularly the Sacramento area. Our team advises our students to put any connections they have with Northern California in their applications!

Cracking UC Davis Medical School Admissions

UC Davis Medical School Secondary Application Essay Prompts:

UC Davis Medical School Secondary Application MD Essay Prompts:

Essay 1) If you answered ‘yes’ to having a connection to Northern or Central California, please explain below. If you answered ‘no’ type ‘not applicable’

Essay 2) At UC Davis School of Medicine, we realize that each applicant brings diversity and perspective from a broad range of experiences. In this section, we give you the opportunity to describe in detail the 3 extracurricular activities or experiences that have been most influential in leading you to a career in medicine. We realize that many applicants have identified key experiences in the main application. However, some do not and others identify less than 3. We apologize for any redundancy – feel free to reproduce the comments from your Primary application and expand on them as appropriate. (500 Characters)

Essay 3) Please list the activities you would like to be considered in your application to UC Davis. You may use your activities listed in your initial AMCAS application or select/add others that may be relevant to UC Davis. Please only list three. Briefly describe this activity and its significance. How did it prepare you for a medical career? Include any supporting information (e.g. your contribution to the project or accomplishment as well as links to any publication, etc). (500 characters)

UC Davis Medical School PRIME Secondary Essay Prompts:

  1. Are you interested in applying to the Rural-PRIME (Rural Program in Medical Education) Program?
    If “Yes” :
    Please describe how your experiences with rural communities make you a good fit for the Rural-PRIME program. (500 characters max)
    1. Describe your future plans to serve a rural underserved community. (500 characters max)
  2. Are you interested in applying to the TEACH-MS (Transforming Education and Community Health for Medical Students) Program?
    If “Yes”: Please tell us what experiences have shaped your desire to be a primary care physician in urban underserved communities. (500 characters max)
  3. Are you interested in applying to the ACE-PC (Accelerated Competency-based Education in Primary Care) Program?
    If “Yes”: Please tell us what attributes or experiences would make you a good fit for an accelerated program in primary care. (500 characters max)
  4. Are you interested in applying to the REACH (Reimagining Education to Advance central California Health) Program in Medical Education?
    If “Yes”: Please tell us about your ties to Central California and what you have done, or plan to do, to make a positive change in Central California. (500 characters max)
  5. Are you interested in applying to ARC-MD (Academic Research Careers for Medical Doctors)?
    If “Yes”: The UC Davis School of Medicine has an honors pathway, Academic Research Careers for Medical Doctors (ARC-MD), to encourage the development of the next generation of school of medicine faculty. These faculty will be drawn from diverse backgrounds, many committed to research as a foundational aspect of their career. Tell us about how you could see yourself as a faculty of the future and how biomedical research might play a role in your career development. (500 characters max)

If you have questions about UC Davis secondaries, email us at info@crackingmedadmissions.com or contact us.


Get the Cracking Med School Admissions team’s expertise through our secondary essay editing packages. If you have questions, email us at info@crackingmedadmissions.com or contact us.

UC Davis Medical School
Interview Format

How to Get Into UC Davis Medical School – Ace Your UC Davis MMI Interview

One important component to getting accepted into UC Davis School of Medicine is to ace your multiple mini interview! UC Davis was one of the first medical schools to have multiple mini interviews. In fact, the school used to have paid actors and medical school applicants would have to act out scenarios! 

The best way to practice for your Multiple Mini Interview is through our Mastering the Multiple Mini Interview course


UC Davis MMI Interview Tips
  • Study medical ethics and incorporate medical ethics principles in your responses. Common topics touched upon medical ethics types of questions include: patient confidentiality, informed decision making, and end-of-life decisions. Read more about the 4 pillars of medical ethics.
  • Have a solid understanding of healthcare issues in Northern California. Northern California includes the rural areas of Northern California (not just SF / Bay Area!)
  • Relay ideas about how you want to improve Northern California health.
  • Have an answer prepared for why you want to attend UC Davis School of Medicine.
  • Prepare for questions that ask how you would approach patient encounters, including how you would respond in a stressful situation.
Read our 3 popular MMI blog posts here:
  1. The Multiple Mini Interview: What it is, and How to do Well
  2. 252 MMI Practice Questions
  3. How to Answer Ethical Questions and Scenarios

download your interview guide

If you are prepared, the interview gives you the perfect opportunity to standout and shine by sharing with people what you are passionate about.

Med School Admissions Interview Guide eBook Cover
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UC Davis Medical School Acceptance Rate

Admit Rate

UC Davis Medical School Admissions Statistics:

  • UC Davis Medical School Average GPA: 3.63
  • UC Davis Med School New MCAT: 510 (128 chemical & physical / 126 critical analysis / 128 biological & biochemical / 128 psychological, social)

How did UC Davis Med Students Do on Their USMLE Step Exams?

  • Average UC Davis Medical School USMLE Step 1 Score: 219
  • Average UC Davis Medical School USMLE Step 2 Score: 238

Source: U.S. News Graduate School Rankings 2021

Your medical school application Coaches, Mentors, & Cheerleaders

We Personally Advise Every Student We Work With

Dr. Rachel Rizal

Rachel Rizal, M.D.

Changing the trajectory of people’s lives

Princeton University

Medical School
Stanford School of Medicine

Harvard, Emergency Medicine

Awards & Scholarships
Fulbright Scholar
USA Today Academic First Team
Tylenol Scholarship

Rishi Mediratta, MD, MSc, MA

Rishi Mediratta, M.D., M.Sc., M.A.

Advising students to attend their dream schools

Johns Hopkins University

Medical School
Stanford School of Medicine

Stanford, Pediatrics

Awards & Scholarships
Marshall Scholar
Tylenol Scholarship
Global Health Scholar

Each year, the Cracking Med School Admissions team
helps students get accepted to top medical schools.
We can help you get accepted!

Contact us today.

The Insider’s View on UC DAVIS Medical School's Pre-clinical years

How to Get Into UC Davis Medical School – Know the Curriculum:

Curriculum Overview:

As a UC Davis Medical School student, your first two years are spent as a pre-clinical student, mainly learning through lectures. There is also a longitudinal Doctoring course where you learn basic clinical skills.  The 3rd and 4th years are spent in clinical rotations.

Pre-Clinical Years:

The first year at UC Davis School of Medicine focuses on basic science, molecular biology, and pathophysiology courses. The second year at UC Davis Medical School focuses on pathology and pharmacology.

The blocks during the second year are:

  • Brain and behavior (Neuroscience, psychiatry, ethics)
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cardiology
  • Pulmonology
  • Nephrology
  • Gastroenterology

To check out more details about the UC Davis Medical School curriculum:


Unique Programs at UC Davis Medical School:

ACE-PC (Accelerated Competency-based Education in Primary Care): Students can finish medical school in 3 years. This is a pathway for students who want to pursue a primary care career. Learn more: http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/mdprogram/ACE-PC/about.html

Rural-PRIME: This pathway focuses on rural health. Students become strong in: rural outreach, primary care, public health, and tele-medicine.

Teach-MS: This program is tailored for students who are interested in primary care in urban settings. In between your first and second years, you will be in the Summer Institute of Race and Health.


Taking Time Off:

Most MD candidates at UC Davis graduate within 4 years. There is less flexibility in the curriculum to take time off, even in the 4th year, because of the large work-load of clinical requirements.

Unique highlights about pre-clinical years:

  • Tests and reviews help prepare students for Step 1. This allows students to be familiar with USMLE- and Step 1-style questions.
  • UC Davis has eight student-run clinics
  • You can be a delegate for the American Medical Association and California Medical Association. It’s a great opportunity to meet government officials in health policy.

Learn more about UC Davis:

Why choose UC Davis School of Medicine? Check it out!

What students are saying about UC DAVIS Medical School

The Insider’s View on UC Davis Medical School's clinical years

Clinical Years:

During the 3rd and 4th years of medical school, students are in clinical rotations.

The third year curriculum consists of:

  • Internal Medicine (8 weeks)
  • Surgery (8 weeks)
  • Pediatrics (8 weeks)
  • OB-GYN (8 weeks)
  • Psychiatry (8 weeks)
  • Family Medicine (4 weeks)
  • Elective (4 weeks)
  • Longitudinal primary care clinical experience (throughout the year)

The fourth year curriculum consists of 32 weeks minimum of clinical courses + 4 weeks of an independent study or scholarly project.

Unique highlights about clinical years:

  • Longitudinal Primary Care Clinical Exposure: During 3rd year, you work at one of the community sites every other week. Additionally, at the end of the year, you submit a quality improvement project to their site.
  • School places emphasis on primary care. As a result, there are several types of opportunities related to primary care.
  • 4th year has 18 weeks of unscheduled time for electives, residency interviews, research, or vacation.

Main Clinical Rotation Sites:

  • Davis Medical Center

What students are saying about clinical rotations at UC Davis


Where do students live?

Students can apply for graduate housing during medical school, however most students find off-campus housing. Most students live in rented houses near the medical school.

Getting around:

You will need a car to get around, preferably all 4 years of medical school. And be prepared for traffic! Although, when you are doing your clinical rotations, you often commute during non-rush hours. So the commute times don’t have to be too bad :).



Financial Considerations:

  • You can apply for grants and financial aid with UC Davis’ financial aid office.
  • UC Davis Medical School Tuition: ~$38,000 in-state and $51,000 out-of-state plus room and board
  • Average indebtedness of graduates: ~$159,000

Source: U.S. News Graduate School Rankings 2021


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