UCLA School of Medicine – UCLA School of Medicine Secondary Essay Prompt 2017:

UCLA School of Medicine MD Program Essay Prompts:

The UCLA School of Medicine secondary is one of the most daunting in the nation. Why? There are at least 8 essays to write in any given year.

Email our team at if you want advice on how to tackle UCLA’s secondary!

Essay 1) Describe your involvement in the one most important non-academic activity that has been important in your life.

Essay 2) What has been the one most unique leadership, entrepreneurial or creative activity in which you participated?

Essay 3) What has been the one most important volunteer work you have done and why was it meaningful?

Essay 4) Has there been of will there be a gap between achieving your last degree (baccalaureate or other degrees post baccalaureate) and the expected time of medical school matriculation? (Yes or no). If yes, please explain.

Essay 5) What is the one most important honor you have received? Why do you view this as important?

Essay 6) What has been your most scholarly project (thesis, research or field of study in basic or clinical science or in the humanities)? Describe one and give number of hours, dates, and adviser.

Essay 7) Describe a problem in your life. Include how you dealt with it and how it influenced your growth.

Essay 8) List major paid work experience during (or since) college. Give dates, description, approximate hours worked (list the most recent first).

Essay 9) Please list any major paid work experience during or since college. Include: Company Name, Hours Worked, Start Date, End Date

Describe your work experience: (4000 characters for each experience)

Essay 10) Where do you see yourself in 10 years? What experiences have led you to this goal?

UCLA School of Medicine – Interview Style:

Interviews at UCLA School of Medicine are multiple mini interviews (MMIs).

According to UCLA’s website, “for the 2017 entering freshman class, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA interviewed approximately 900 applicants to fill a class of 175 students. Interviews are conducted from September through March of the entering year.”

Get tips and tricks to ace multiple mini interviews. Read our blog on 5 tips to ace MMIs!

Click here to read our blog about how to prepare for medical school interviews

Admission Stats







Admit Rate


UCLA School of Medicine Median GPA: 3.70

UCLA School of Medicine Median Old MCAT: 33 Total (10 Verbal / 11 Physical Science / 11 Biological Science)

UCLA School of Medicine New MCAT: 511 (127 chemical & physical / 128 critical analysis / 128 biological & biochemical / 128 psychological, social)


Your UCLA School of Medicine Admissions Advisers

Rachel Rizal, M.D.

Changing the trajectory of people’s lives

Undergraduate: Princeton University
Medical School: Stanford School of Medicine
Residency: Harvard, Emergency Medicine
What I did After College:
• Improved vaccine distribution in developing countries
• Worked with the World Health Organization in the Philippines
• Launched a national HIV Awareness Campaign in the Philippines
• Produced an HIV awareness commercial for MTV
• Worked full-time at a healthcare consulting firm, advising pharmaceutical companies
• Created a public health program in Stanford’s Emergency Department

Devin Nambiar

Helping students reach their full potential

Hometown: San Francisco Bay Area, California
Undergraduate: Columbia University
What I did after I graduated:
• Worked at two education non-profits, improving public & charter schools across the U.S.
• Coached students to master interview, debate, and speech techniques in the U.S. and Asia
• Advised students in China, Korea, and Japan with college applications to American Universities
• Developed mobile education content for iPhone apps
• Worked in investment banking, conducting industry analysis and advising technology companies

Rishi Mediratta, M.D., M.P.H., M.A.

Advising students to attend their dream schools

Undergraduate: Johns Hopkins University
Medical School: Stanford School of Medicine
Residency: Pediatrics, Stanford
Masters: Masters in Medical Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies; Masters of Science in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
What I did after I graduated:
• Interned with the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland
• Founded and launched an NGO to improve the health and education of Ethiopian
• World Bank consultant who helped implement Ethiopia’s national nutrition program
• Partnered with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health to study child health practices in communities

The Insider’s View on How to Get Into UCLA School of Medicine

How to Get Into UCLA School of Medicine – Know the Curriculum:


As a UCLA School of Medicine student, your first two years are spent as a pre-clinical student, mainly learning through lectures.

Pre-Clinical Years:

The first two years are pre-clinical years, divided into various blocks, based on organ system. Aside from classroom learning, you also have a class on “doctoring & clinical skills.”

The first year consists of the following blocks:

  • Foundations of Medicine
  • Cardiovascular
  • Renal & Respiratory
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Endocrine
  • Reproductive
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Neuroscience

The second year consists of the blocks organized by organ system, similar to the first year. However, you go more in-depth with each organ system.

Clinical Years:

During the 3rd and 4th years of medical school, students are in clinical rotations. While there is ample time to pursue electives during your fourth year of medical school, there is less time (compared to other medical schools) for free time to pursue non-clinical related activities and travel.

The third year curriculum consists of:

  • Surgery (12 weeks)
  • Pediatrics (6 weeks)
  • OB/GYN (6 weeks)
  • Internal Medicine (8 weeks)
  • Psych/Neurology (8 weeks)
  • Ambulatory/Family Medicine (8 weeks)

The fourth year curriculum consists of 30 weeks minimum of electives.

To check out more details about the UCLA School of Medicine curriculum:


Grades for pre-clinical years are pass/fail.

Grades for clinical years are Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail (basically like grades).

Taking Time Off:

Most MD candidates at UCLA 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. Additionally, because you are placed in a cohort of students in your 3rd and 4th year, there is less flexibility to take 1-2 months off during your 3rd and 4th years.

Learn more about UCLA:

Why choose UCLA? Check it out!

What students are saying about UCLA School of Medicine

You are in the heart of Los Angeles and can live close to the beach if you choose. You can't beat this quality of life!

The curriculum is very structured and thorough. I feel like I received a great medical education at UCLA.

UCLA has one of the larger medical school classes, but there is a great sense of community. Everyone is friendly, and easy to find a great group of close friends.

Several students do clinical research projects during their pre-clinical years. There are numerous professors to work with - both at UCLA and at the hospitals. Opportunities are endless! There is also a large group of students who are interested in public health and community-based research.

Unique highlights about pre-clinical years:


UCLA med students are collaborative and work together to learn the pre-clinical program.

Although the campus and the UCLA community is spread out, there are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of through UCLA (partnerships with both the undergraduate students and other graduate schools). For example, UCLA’s mobile clinic serves the poorer communities in Los Angeles; students from the undergraduate school, medical school, law school, and public health schools all get involved.

Watch more about UCLA’s walk-in and mobile clinic around downtown Los Angeles.

Unique highlights about clinical years:

  • Students have the opportunity to work at several hospitals and through different types of hospital systems.
  • Advanced clinical electives are a requirement and are a large bulk of your 4th year (30 weeks); as a results, there are plenty to choose from.

Main Clinical Rotation Sites:

  • UCLA Olive View Hospital
  • Cedars Sinai Medical Center
  • Harbor UCLA
  • Kaiser Sunset
  • Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital
  • Ronald Regan Medical Center at UCLA
  • Santa Monica – UCLA Orthopedic Medical Center
  • St. Mary’s Medical Center
  • West Los Angeles Veteran’s Affairs

What students are saying about clinics at UCLA School of Medicine

I loved rotating through different hospital systems. I saw various patient populations and allowed me to think about what type of clinical setting I want to practice in one day.

With the Longitudinal Preceptorship, I was able to work with one awesome attending over 2 years. She really fine-tuned my clinical presentations and physical exam skills.

I continued to do research and volunteer in the greater-Los Angeles community during my clinical rotations. It was a great complement to my training.

I always felt a sense of purpose at UCLA. Every day of medical school, I was surrounded by inspirational physicians and students who wanted to improve the patients' lives and communities around them.


Where do students live?

Students can apply for graduate housing during medical school, however most students find off-campus housing.

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 UCLA”s financial aid office.
  • Full-time Tuition:
    • $32,757 in-state and $45,002 out-of-state
    • Average indebtedness of graduates: ~$118,000

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