Medical Schools in California: How to Get Accepted & School Profiles

By April 1, 2019April 16th, 2019Announcements

Medical schools in California

How to Get Accepted and school Profiles

Sunny California! As former Stanford Medical School students, we loved our time in the San Francisco Bay Area! California universities and jobs are described as having amazing work / life / school balance, and we would definitely agree.

At Stanford Medical School, we did several joint medical school projects with several other California medical schools, including UCSF, UCI, UC Davis, UCLA, and Western medical schools. We know a wealth of information about each medical school. 

Other than the weather and culture, California medical schools draw thousands of applicants each year. In 2020, the U.S. News and World Report reported that 3 of the top 10 medical schools were located in California: #3 Stanford School of Medicine; #5 University of California San Francisco; #6 University of California Los Angeles. Several of the state schools offer lower tuition for in-state residencies, making these great medical schools more affordable. 

Given the strength in research and scholarship, getting accepted into medical schools in California is difficult. 

Our goal in this blog is to give you information and tips about how to get into medical schools in California. We will give you our insights about what makes each California med school unique.

  1. List of Med Schools in California
  2. What Makes Each California Med School Unique
  3. Tips for Getting Accepted to Medical Schools in California
  4. California Medical School Rankings and Information

For several California medical school, we made an expanded school profile. Check them out!

If you need help getting accepted to medical schools in California, get help with the best experts out there: The Cracking Med School Admissions team. Contact us at info@crackingmedadmissions.com or fill out the contact forms on this page. 

Each year, we get several students into California medical schools!

Check out our school profiles for each medical school. You can click each school’s hyperlink!

MD (Allopathic) Schools in California

DO (Osteopathic) Schools in California

  • Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Western University of Health Sciences – College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific


By location, the medical schools in Northern California are: California Northstate University College of Medicine; Stanford University School of Medicine; UC Davis School of Medicine; UC San Francisco School of Medicine; Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine

By location, the medical schools in Southern California are: California University of Science and Medicine; Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science; Kaiser Permanente Medical School; Keck School of Medicine of USC; Loma Linda University School of Medicine; UC Irvine School of Medicine; UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine; UC Riverside School of Medicine; UC San Diego School of Medicine; Western University of Health Sciences – College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

Medical Schools in California

Each medical school in California treats a diverse patient population and has several resources and opportunities for medical school students. There are several unique attributes for each med school, but based on medical school students and faculty we know, we highlight some unique characteristics that can help guide you when 1) choosing which California medical schools to apply to and 2) completing your secondary applications.

Kaiser: We don’t know too much about this medical school yet because it’s new, but as a medical student, you’ll learn a lot from being part of the Kaiser healthcare system
Keck / USC: Strong ties with its global health school and public health schools
Loma Linda: As a Jesuit school, Loma Linda cares a lot about its mission, “continue the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ as we educate future medical professionals to excel in their chosen field.”
Stanford: Innovation, especially with it’s relationship to Silicon Valley; diversity in all shapes and forms; cutting-edge research; interdisciplinary opportunities; flexible curriculum with many students graduating in 4+ years
UC Davis: Located in Sacramento, many students get involved with public policy; Has a rural PRIME program
UC Irvine: On the forefront of medical education – one of the first medical schools to teach all its students about ultrasound; Has PRIME-LC (Latino Community)
UC Los Angeles: Research; medical student interest groups for almost every specialty; near Los Angeles beaches; UCLA PRIME with Charles R. Drew, which focuses on the under-served & urban health
UC San Diego: biotechnology and research; near San Diego beaches (several students we know take up surfing)
UC San Francisco: community health, its location in Silicon Valley fosters innovation and medical tech; strength in global health and public health


Study What Makes Each Medical School Unique:

Above, we listed some of the characteristics of each California medical school. But, do your homework by looking at each school’s website and speaking to medical school students. If you live in California or are visiting, you can shadow a doctor at one of the many medical schools in California. 

Apply to Medical Schools That Are In Your GPA / MCAT Range:

Most importantly for out-of-state applicants, learn which medical schools accept out-of-state students. Some California state schools are notorious for not admitting out-of-state or international pre-meds. You can learn out-of-state versus in-state admissions rates in the MSAR or U.S. News. We listed some of the admissions statistics below! Additionally, we support our mentees to apply to reach schools, but it’s important to apply to a majority of your schools where your GPA / MCAT scores are within the range in which students typically gets accepted. 

Get to Know Medical Students at Each School:

There’s no better way to learn about the culture and nuances of each medical school without getting to know med students! Reach out to your undergrad’s alumni network, friends, and relatives to learn more about each medical school. We learned the details about each medical school largely by talking to med students.

Tailor Each Secondary Application Towards the Opportunities and Culture of Each Medical School:

Secondaries can be exhausting but you have to make each secondary unique. Envision yourself at each medical school and describe to the admissions committee why you are a good fit, what you can contribute to the school, and how you will excel at the medical school. 

Cracking Med School Admissions AMCAS Work and Activities

Get Accepted to California Medical Schools with Our Team!

Medical Schools In Northern California:


California Northstate University College of Medicine

  • Location: Elk Grove, CA
  • Public or Private: Private

  • California Northstate University College of Medicine Tuition: $58,000-$60,000 (in-state and out-of-state)

Stanford University School of Medicine

UC Davis School of Medicine

UC San Francisco School of Medicine

Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Location: Vallejo, CA
  • Public or Private: Private

  • Touro Medical School Tuition: ~$56,000 (in-state and out-of-state)
  • Average GPA: 3.51

  • Average MCAT: Not available

  • Interview rate: 21.4% (in-state) | 4.8% (out-of-state)

  • Touro Med School Website: https://tourocom.touro.edu/



Medical Schools In Southern California:


California University of Science and Medicine

  • Location: San Bernadino, CA
  • Public or Private: Private

  • California University of Science and Medicine Tuition: ~$58,000 (in-state and out-of-state)
  • California University of Science Med School Website: https://www.calmedu.org/

Keck School of Medicine of USC

  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Public or Private: Private

  • USC Medical School Tuition: ~$63,000 (in-state and out-of-state)
  • Average GPA: 3.73

  • Average MCAT: 516

  • Interview rate: 12.6% (in-state) | 4.4% (out-of-state)

  • Keck USC Med School Website: https://keck.usc.edu/education/md-program/

Loma Linda University School of Medicine

  • Location: Loma Linda, CA
  • Public or Private: Private

  • Loma Linda Medical School Tuition: ~$37,000-$46,000 depending on the year (in-state and out-of-state)
  • Loma Linda Med School Website: https://medicine.llu.edu/

UC Irvine School of Medicine

UC Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine

UC Riverside School of Medicine

  • Location: Riverside, CA
  • Public or Private: Public

  • UCR Medical School Tuition: ~$35,000 (in-state) | ~$47,000 (out-of-state)
  • Average GPA: 3.74

  • Average MCAT: 508

  • Interview rate: 9.6% (in-state) | 0% (out-of-state)

  • UCR Med School Website: https://medschool.ucr.edu/

UC San Diego School of Medicine

Western University of Health Sciences – College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific