Medical Schools in California

Medical Schools in California: Tips to Get Accepted, Acceptance Rates

From sunny beaches to beautiful redwoods, California has something for everyone. If you are considering going to medical school in California, you can’t go wrong. California has top-ranked medical schools in some of the best locations in the country. With beautiful weather year-round and an abundance of things to do, it is the ideal place to spend your four (or more) years of medical education.

This post will provide you with detailed information about each California school and tips on how to get in. Whether you are wondering where to apply to medical school, or just interested in learning more, keep reading!

Learn About California Medical Schools: 

  1. List of Medical Schools in California
  2. California Medical School Admissions Statistics and Information
  3. Tips to Get Into Medical Schools in California
  4. Frequently Asked Questions

Getting into California medical schools is tough! There is no better medical school application adviser than Dr. Rachel Rizal and Dr. Rishi Mediratta from Cracking Med School Admissions. Send us a question below.  We can help you shine on your medical school applications, secondary essays, and interviews!

List of Medical Schools in California

California has 16 medical schools (13 MD, 3 DO). That’s a lot! How can we narrow down where to apply? Below we will list the facts and statistics of each medical school, along with some insider information on what life is like as a medical student.

Click on the school links in the medical school list to jump to the school details, including specific location, acceptance rates, and medical school tuition costs. 

California MD vs DO medical schools
Northern California vs Southern California Medical Schools

California Medical School Admissions Statistics

We collected the admissions statistics for all California Med Schools. We listed the medical schools in order of U.S. News rankings

In additional to admissions statistics, our Cracking Med School Admissions team also gave some highlights about each medical school. For detailed school profiles, check out all our school profiles here where we list secondary essay prompts, interview tips, medical school curriculum details, clinical rotations, student life, and financial aide.

Check Out: All Cracking Med School Admissions Profiles

MD Medical Schools in California

Stanford University Medical School | Stanford, CA
  • School Type: Private
  • Stanford Median MCAT: 519
  • Stanford Median GPA: 3.89
  • Campus type: Suburban
  • Stanford Medical School Tuition: ~ $61,000
  • Stanford Medical School Acceptance Rate: 2%

One of the world’s most renowned medical schools, Stanford is known for its cutting-edge research, innovation in biotech and entrepreneurship, and top-of-the-line clinical training. Stanford is a powerhouse in many areas of medical education. No matter what your career goals are, Stanford is an unparalleled springboard into whatever field you may choose.

Stanford has a unique, flexible curriculum that allows students to pursue their passions. Students are able to “split” their second-year, meaning that they have the opportunity to take half the usual load of academic credits in order to spend the other half of time pursuing some scholarly project or personal endeavor. Students who opt into this program graduate in 5 years instead of 4. This is just one example of the many opportunities Stanford provides to students who want to take charge of their education and carve out their own path.

It is worth mentioning that Stanford is located in the heart of Silicon Valley, one of the most expensive places to live in California. Cost of living can be a barrier for students.  However, Stanford is very generous with financial aid, and there is also graduate housing available for students. From our experiences living there, you can find affordable on-campus and off-campus housing.

Medical Schools in California - UCSF Medical School
University of California San Francisco (UCSF) | San Francisco, CA
  • School Type: Public
  • UCSF Median MCAT: 518
  • UCSF Median GPA: 3.85
  • Campus type: Urban
  • UCSF Medical School Tuition: ~ $36,000 (in-state), ~$48,000 (out-of-state)
  • UCSF Medical School Acceptance Rate: 3.8%

UCSF resides in one of the best cities in California – San Francisco. Whether you are a foodie, or a theatre fanatic, or a museum-goer – you name it – San Francisco is the perfect city to start your medical career.

UCSF has a unique commitment to community service and social justice. They promote equal healthcare access to all populations. As a student at UCSF, you have the humbling opportunity to work with disadvantaged populations and make a great impact on their lives.

Because UCSF is located near Silicon Valley, many med students have an entrepreneurial mindset. Several students work on innovative projects and start-up companies, like mobile health app development. UCSF recently opened UCSF Innovation Ventures.

UCSF also provides world-class clinical training and research opportunities. Faculty at UCSF are well-known in their field and are eager to help students. Students who attend UCSF match for residency at top-notch institutions around the nation

Medical Schools in California - UCSF Medical School
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) | Los Angeles, CA
  • School Type: Public
  • UCLA Median MCAT: 517
  • UCLA Median GPA: 3.85
  • Campus type: Urban (Los Angeles sprawl)
  • UCLA Medical School Tuition: ~ $38,000 (in-state), ~$50,000 (out-of-state)
  • UCLA Medical School Acceptance Rate: 2.4%

UCLA is one of the most prestigious schools in the country and is one of the most sought-out locations in the country. Who doesn’t want to live in Los Angeles? UCLA is located in Westwood, a cute college town on the west-side of L.A. Compared to the other medical schools in the Los Angeles area, UCLA is closest to the beach. Many students live around campus, but some opt to live a more urban life in downtown L.A.

Some things to do in L.A. include: hiking to the Hollywood sign, spending a day in Griffith Park, surfing at Malibu Beach, driving through the beautiful Topanga Canyon, and more. You can achieve an ideal work-life balance living in L.A. and attending UCLA for medical school. Granted, L.A. can get expensive, but UCLA has graduate housing that is much more affordable than an apartment in the area.  

Of course, you will receive an excellent medical education at UCLA. Students are exposed to clinical work very early on and learn to interact with patients within the first weeks of their first year. UCLA has a pass/fail pre-clinical curriculum, eliminating competition and reducing stress. The patient population you serve is extremely diverse, both from an ethnic and also a socio-economic status perspective.

Other than clinical training, UCLA’s strength includes research. There are several opportunities for research at the medical school, but many students also pursue research through other UCLA departments, including the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and UCLA AIDS Institute. 

Med Schools in California - UCLA David Geffen and University of Southern California Medical School
University of California San Diego (UCSD) | La Jolla, CA
  • School Type: Public
  • UCSD Median MCAT: 517
  • UCSD Median GPA: 3.85
  • Campus type: Suburban
  • UCSD Medical School Tuition: ~ $37,000 (in-state), ~$49,000 (out-of-state)
  • UCSD Medical School Acceptance Rate: 3.8%

UCSD School of Medicine is highly ranked and it has earned that ranking through outstanding clinical training and strong research. Being the only major academic center in San Diego, UCSD students have access to diverse patient populations from all over the city. UCSD has several free clinics for underinsured or uninsured patients.

People come from all over the country just to spend a few vacation days in San Diego. It is sunny year-round with beautiful beaches. It is hard to not be happy when you can walk out of your front door in the morning and breathe in the ocean air. This is one of the many things that draw prospective students to UCSD.

Students interested in research are not confined to UCSD Medical School (although students have no trouble finding an outstanding lab on their campus). Med students also work with faculty at Scripps and other surrounding areas.  UCSD’s research strength includes basic science and biotechnology. In addition to conducting medical research through the university, other students pursue summer internships or work on medical devices in the booming San Diego biotech hub.

UCSD is located very close to the border between the US and Mexico. This creates a unique political and social climate, and it provides students with the opportunity to work with high-need, immigrant populations. Many students volunteer in predominantly Spanish-speaking communities, including trips to Tijuana, Mexico.

University of Southern California (USC) | Los Angeles, CA
  • School Type: Private
  • USC Median MCAT: 517
  • USC Median GPA: 3.81
  • Campus type: Urban
  • USC Medical School Tuition: ~ $65,000
  • USC Medical School Acceptance Rate: 4.6%

USC Keck School of Medicine is known for its vibrant student life, early clinical exposure, and top-notch medical education. The school spirit is palpable, and students have a great work-life balance. Being in Los Angeles, there are so many opportunities for getting out in the city and enjoying whatever it is that you are passionate about. Interested in seeing a Broadway musical? Head on over to the Pantages. Want to explore a unique, crazy food scene? Try the Bazaar in West Hollywood! There are endless things to do for people from all walks of life, whether you are raising a family or living it up in your early 20’s.

USC Keck Medical School is located in East Los Angeles, which is one of the most underserved parts of the city. It is affiliated with L.A. County Hospital, which is the safety-net hospital of the city and sees some of the most difficult cases. Having said that, the clinical training at USC is excellent. Students not only get to work in the hospital early on, but they get hands-on opportunities with complex cases that you won’t see in most other parts of the country because many patients at the county hospital suffer from un-treated chronic conditions.

Med Schools in California - UCLA David Geffen and University of Southern California Medical School
University of California, Davis | Sacramento, CA
  • School Type: Public
  • UC Davis Median MCAT: 512
  • UC Davis Median GPA: 3.7
  • Campus type: Urban (Sacramento area)
  • UC Davis Medical School Tuition: ~ $41,000 (in-state), ~$53,000 (out-of-state)
  • UC Davis Medical School Acceptance Rate: 3.2%

UC Davis Medical School is located in the diverse Sacramento area. The school is known for its multi-faceted instruction style, innovative technology, and commitment to community service. Many med students rave about the mentorship they receive at UC Davis School of Medicine.

UC Davis School of Medicine is strong in primary care specialties like emergency medicine, internal medicine, family medicine, and pediatrics. The school is affiliated with numerous hospitals around the Northern California area, providing diverse clinical training and many opportunities to work with various medical professionals and patients.

Sacramento is the capital of California, and UC Davis students get involved with state-level health policy. Med students can work with the UC Davis Center for Healthcare Policy and Research, which is dedicated to improving healthcare access, delivery, costs, quality, and outcomes. Health policy involvement not only includes research, but med students also lobby at the state capitol and educate the public or legislatures about important health topics.

The Sacramento area is a very approachable city while also having many of the benefits of an urban setting, including a vibrant night-life and all sorts of recreation. You are very close to the state’s capital, which has great historical significance and makes it a very interesting place to live. You are also close to some of the most beautiful parts of the state. The area is surrounded by lakes, wildlife reserves, and tall forests. If you love the nature and outdoors, UC Davis is the ideal place to go to medical school. Grab your camping bag and tent and take a short over-night trip!

Medical Schools in California - UC Davis School of Medicine and Cal Northstate Medical School
University of California, Irvine (UCI) | Irvine, CA
  • School Type: Public
  • UC Irvine Median MCAT: 517
  • UC Irvine Median GPA: 3.83
  • Campus type: Suburban
  • UC Irvine Medical School Tuition: ~ $36,000 (in-state), ~ 48,000 (out-of-state)
  • UC Irvine Medical School Acceptance Rate: 4%

UCI School of Medicine is known for outstanding research and world-class physicians. UCI and affiliated hospitals have made big strides in innovation with some of the nation’s leading experts in fields such as Urology, Cardiology, and Audiology. Interested in seeing the first-of-its-kind MRI guided prostate cancer resection? Or a trans-aortic valve replacement? UCI has been a leader in its field for many years, and they continue to innovate every day. In terms of innovation in medical education, it was the first school to pioneer giving all its med students a hand-held ultrasound!

UC Irvine is in the famous Orange County, California. Irvine is well-known for being safe and a great place to start a family and career. It is just minutes away from the beach. You can easily take a day to take the ferry over to Balboa Island and grab an ice cream. Or, get yourself a Disneyland pass and make beautiful memories at the happiest place on Earth. In the summer, enjoy a fried Twinkie at the Orange County Fair. There are simply so many things to do, all within short driving distance. Orange County is very approachable with little traffic and provides a very comfortable lifestyle.

Students who attend UCI Medical School are prepared to not only tackle the technical skills, but also to foster humanistic qualities that will make them better doctors. It is no doubt that you will receive a world-class education at UCI.

University of California, Riverside (UCR) | Riverside, CA
  • School Type: Public
  • UCR Median MCAT: 510
  • UCR Median Median GPA: 3.72
  • Campus type: Suburban
  • UCR Median Medical School Tuition: ~$37,000 (in-state) & ~$50,000 (out-of-state)
  • UCR Median Medical School Acceptance Rate: 5.5%

UC Riverside School of Medicine and its affiliated hospitals are the leading hospital of the Inland Empire, approximately 60 miles east of Los Angeles. Students at UCR have the unique opportunity to participate in the Longitudinal Ambulatory Care Experience (LACE) where they see patients very early on with a physician-mentor. It spans the first three years, bridging the gap between pre-clinical training and clinical core clerkships. The focus on UCR’s medical school is in primary care, especially among Spanish-speaking and underserved populations.

The region surrounding Riverside is growing every day, with all sorts of recreation and exciting things to do. It is located near the San Bernardino National Forest, numerous lakes, and several mountain ranges, making it the ideal location for people looking to spend time in nature. Even if you are not a nature person, the Inland Empire has an urban scene with vibrant city-life.

It is noteworthy that UCR has a significant bias towards students from the Inland Empire. Its mission is primarily to serve the underserved patients of the region. If you are an out-of-state applicant, it may be difficult to get a seat in UCR’s class. However, if you resonate with their mission and can communicate about it, do not feel limited.

Where is UCR medical school
California Northstate University | Elk Grove, CA
  • School Type: Private
  • Cal Northstate Median MCAT: 512
  • Cal Northstate Median GPA: 3.69
  • Campus type: Suburban
  • Cal Northstate Medical School Tuition: ~$60,000
  • Cal Northstate Medical School Acceptance Rate: 8.8%

Founded in 2015, California Northstate is one of California’s newer medical schools. Similarly to UC Davis School of Medicine, California Northstate is located in the Sacramento area, which is a wonderful region to start your medical training. At California Northstate, you will not only garner your basic science knowledge, but you will also learn extensively about medical ethics and work in hands-on clinical settings.

California Northstate is blooming as an great research and medical institution. It is being awarded numerous NIH grants for conducting innovative research in the field. It is committed to community service and research; Students are required to participate in service-learning and scholarly projects during their medical school career. Match rates sit at about 98%, so you can rest assured that you will find great success as a student here.

Medical Schools in California - UC Davis School of Medicine and Cal Northstate Medical School
California University of Science and Medicine | Colton, CA
  • School Type: Private
  • California University of Science and Medicine Median MCAT: 513
  • California University of Science and Medicine Median GPA: 3.69
  • Campus type: Suburban
  • California University of Science and Medicine Medical School Tuition: ~$60,000
  • California University of Science and Medicine Medical School Acceptance Rate: not available

California University of Science and Medicine was founded in 2015, so it is a relatively new medical school. CUSM-SOM is in between the mountains and cities of the Inland Empire, with Palm Springs, Los Angeles and local beaches within just a short driving distance. Whatever you are interested in, whether it is sports, restaurants, or arts, this region offers it all. Students have the opportunity to experience the rich, vibrant environment of Southern California through local events. This area is so unique in that there is an abundance of totally disparate things to do. You can visit a local winery in Temecula, or go hiking in a national park, or go skiing in Big Bear.

Being such a new school, there is so much room to carve out your own path. You can start student interest groups that are the first of its kind. You get to grow and have an influence on the school, such as serving on curriculum committees to have a say in the future of the institution.

Note that, similarly to University of California, Riverside, there is a preference for applicants from the Inland Empire. Do not let this detract you, however, if you are very interested in the school.

Where is UCR medical school
Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science | Los Angeles, CA
  • School Type: Private
  • Charles Drew Median MCAT: 508
  • Charles Drew Median GPA: 3.4
  • Campus type: Urban

Charles Drew has all of the perks of having a small class size in the context of a large, vibrant city. And, by small class size, we mean really small. The entering 2020 class was made up of a mere 26 students. This makes it easy to form close relationships with fellow peers and faculty. Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science is proud to be one of the most diverse medical schools in the country, with a huge emphasis on social justice and caring for underserved populations. The curriculum focuses on significant topics in medicine, such as research, health policy, and health disparities. It is located just East of the I-110, making it an easy commute to anywhere in Los Angeles.

As a student at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, you will experience the rigor of medical school, alongside immersive community service with underserved patients and early, hands-on clinical experience.

Med Schools in California - UCLA David Geffen and University of Southern California Medical School
Loma Linda University School of Medicine | Loma Linda, CA
  • School Type: Private
  • Loma Linda University School of Medicine Median MCAT: 509
  • Loma Linda University School of Medicine Median GPA: 3.8
  • Campus type: Suburban
  • Loma Linda University School of Medicine Tuition: ~$48,000
  • Loma Linda University School of Medicine Acceptance Rate: 5%

Loma Linda’s medical school is a religious institution, with the primary mission being to study holistic healthcare in the context of Christianity. In their words, their aim is to “continue the healing and teaching ministry of Jesus Christ to make man whole.” With religion as an inspiration, students are expected to conduct research and engage in service learning (there is a community service requirement for all students).

Students have the opportunity to rotate through diverse hospitals, from the VA, to urban hospitals, to county hospitals. You will have the chance to see many cases in all sorts of contexts.

Being in the Inland Empire of Southern California, Loma Linda is perfectly located between everything you could ask for. You’ve got the beaches an hour away, Los Angeles just a short drive to the west, the San Bernardino mountains (perfect for winter and summer excursions), and the relaxing city of Palm Springs.

Overall, if you fit in with their mission, Loma Linda School of Medicine is an extremely supportive place to start your medical training. The school’s abundant resources and wellness initiatives ensure the success of each and every student. 

Where is UCR medical school
Kaiser Permanente Tyson School of Medicine | Pasadena, CA
  • School Type: Private
  • Kaiser Median MCAT: 515
  • Kaiser Median GPA: 3.85
  • Campus type: Suburban
  • Kaiser Tuition: tuition free first 5 years

Kaiser was founded most recently in 2019. Even so, it has made immense strides in terms of prestige in such a short time. The clinical training at Kaiser is unlike any other. Being affiliated with Kaiser Permanente hospitals, there is no shortage of interesting, diverse cases to see.

Kaiser has a commitment to primary care. They believe that student loan debt is a big reason that medical students choose to not take the internal medicine route, instead looking for something that will pay more, like surgery. Kaiser has responded to this by offering completely free tuition to their first few classes. They also offer abundant amenities to their students, such as laptops, iPads, cell phones, and more. They do not want cost to be a barrier in pursuing what you love.

Pasadena is a wonderful place to live. It has the perfect blend of historical landscape and modern excitement. Not to mention, the weather is perfect year-round. If you like the idea of living in Los Angeles, but do not want to live a bustling city life, Pasadena is perfect for you. It has a suburban feel, filled with nature and outdoor activities, yet it is just a short drive way from downtown LA. You get the best of both worlds.

Medical Schools in California - Kaiser Medical School Location

DO Medical Schools in California

Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine | Vallejo, CA
  • School Type: Private
  • Touro University California Median MCAT: 510
  • Touro University California Median GPA: 3.68
  • Campus type: Suburban
  • Touro University California School of Medicine Tuition: ~$48,000
  • Touro University California Acceptance Rate: 8%

Touro University has a fantastic osteopathic program with an emphasis on outstanding training in holistic healthcare. Touro focuses strongly on preventative healthcare. They believe that many of the ailments that people develop are preventative and should be treated as such. Clinical training is fantastic here, especially if you want to train as a physician with these values.

Touro is also very strong in research and community outreach.  Many students benefit from the exceptional research facilities and faculty. And, as a student here, you get the rewarding benefit of treating underserved populations.

From art galleries, to farmer’s markets, to Six Flags, to beautiful bike trails, there is an abundance of things to do in Vallejo. You are also just a short ferry ride to San Francisco, which is notoriously one of the most exciting cities in the country. Vallejo is not that well-known, but it is a wonderful city. If you are considering applying to Touro, rest assured that you will be in a fantastic location.

California - Touro Osteopathic School of Medicine Location
Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine | Pomona, CA
  • School Type: Private
  • Western University of Health Sciences Median MCAT: 510
  • Western University of Health Sciences California Median GPA: 3.68
  • Campus type: Suburban
  • Western University of Health Sciences Tuition: ~$59,000
  • Western University of Health Sciences Acceptance Rate: 6%

Western University in Pomona strongly emphasizes treatment of the patient as an individual, rather than as a set of symptoms. They also strongly encourage community outreach. As a student, you have the opportunity to even earn degree credits for participating in community service. There are ample opportunities to get involved in all sorts of interests, from student government to the arts.

As a student here, your clinical training is fantastic. Not only do you rotate through all of the usual specialties that most schools require for clerkships, but you also do an Osteopathic Manipulative rotation. This emphasizes the core principles of osteopathic medicine and how to treat the body from a different lens. While there are so many affiliated hospitals to rotate through, students also have the opportunity to rotate through hospitals all over the country! If you have a location or school you’ve been wanting to train at, you may have the opportunity to do so.

Pomona is uniquely nestled around the Orange County-Los Angeles area and has the benefits of both locations. Want to head to West Hollywood to see a Broadway musical? Go for it. Want to go to Disneyland in Anaheim? Also go for it! But, you don’t even have to leave Pomona to enjoy life as a medical student. Western University hosts all sorts of fun events, such as ice cream socials, Halloween costume contests, and musicals. Students at Western University are immersed in rich, diverse experiences and have a great work-life balance.

Where is UCR medical school
California Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine | Clovis, CA
  • School Type: Private
  • California Health Sciences University of Osteopathic Medicine Median MCAT: 505
  • California Health Sciences University of Osteopathic Medicine Median GPA: 3.4
  • Campus type: Suburban
  • California Health Sciences University of Osteopathic Medicine Tuition: ~$53,000
  • California Health Sciences University of Osteopathic Medicine Acceptance Rate: 5%

California Health Sciences University of Osteopathic Medicine (CHSU-COM) is a brand new medical school – the inaugurating class matriculated in 2020. The primary mission of CHSU is to train physicians who aim to stay and serve the underserved communities in the Central Valley of California. Being so new, there is so much opportunity to help shape the future of the institution. Not to mention, all of the facilities are brand new and intentionally designed for the purpose of optimizing medical education. Classroom learning is supplemented with interactive simulations with manikins. Anatomy labs have state-of-the-art equipment, just waiting for new students to come and use it. Interestingly, CHSU focuses on culinary medicine and teaching in depth about nutrition. This is unique. A common complaint is that not enough medical schools emphasize the effect of nutrition on health.

Clovis is an ideal place to live because, compared to much of California, cost of living is affordable. Yet, you are not compromising on quality of life. You are nearby beautiful national parks, such as Yosemite and Sequoia, and just a short drive away from beautiful destinations such as Carmel and Monterey. Art and culture thrive in Clovis, and foodies will not be disappointed here.

There are boundless opportunities, and by coming here, so you carve your own path as a medical student. And, with such a small class size, you will make friends and relationships that will last a lifetime.

Where is UCR medical school

Tips On How To Get Into California Medical Schools

Tip #1: Study what makes each school unique

Some of these schools have a very particular mission or have a strong in-state bias. You need to look into where is a good fit for you and where you have the best chance of getting in.

Read our synopses and school profiles carefully to see whether you are a good fit for each medical school. Additionally, look at each medical school’s website for additional resources and information. 

Tip #2: Stand out by conveying your “X” factor

California schools are notoriously competitive. Sometimes, it is not enough to just check all of the boxes on the application and call it a day. You need to find what makes you unique and what makes you stand out. If you can find that “x-factor” and write well about it, it will be received very well by these medical schools. Maybe you’re a competitive baker or love teaching people piano. Whatever it may be, even it is not medically-related, that is the type of thing that will help you stand out.

Read more tips: AMCAS Applicant Guide

Tip #3: Apply to medical schools in your MCAT and GPA 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. 

Apply to several medical schools. If you are set on living in California, you need to increase your chances of getting into a school there. If you have the financial means, you should consider applying to multiple California schools. Cast a wide net, and you are more likely to be successful.  Ideally, we suggest California students to still apply to several out-of-state schools. 

Additional Resource: How to Use MSAR Effectively: 4 Tips to Apply to Medical Schools Right For You

Tip #4: Talk to current medical school students

There are so many California schools, it can be hard to distinguish them. One great way to get to know the school more is by talking to current students. They will have great insider information that you cannot get from just reading the school’s brochure online. The more you know about the school, the more excited you get about it and the better your writing will be when you explain why you want to go there.

Tip #5: Tailor each secondary towards each medical school

While almost all California medical schools are great research universities, the medical schools do have a some specific niches. We’ll put some examples below:

  • Stanford – research, changing healthcare through innovation, leadership
  • UCSF – clinical excellence, changing healthcare through innovation, leadership, strong primary care (although they recruit students who are also strong in specialty fields), diversity
  • UCLA – research
  • UCSD – research, specifically in biotechnology and basic sciences
  • Kaiser – interdisciplinary interests in medicine (ex: arts and medicine), ability to leverage Kaiser’s HMO network and databases to conduct research
  • Loma Linda – Jesuit tradition, community medicine
  • UC Davis – primary care, public policy interests (located in Sacramento), rural health – specifically in Spanish-speaking areas in California
  • UCR – primary care, healthcare for LatinX populations

Additional Resource: Why this Medical School? Secondary Essay Example

Frequently Asked Questions

There are 16 medical schools in California. There are 13 allopathic (M.D.) medical schools and 3 osteopathic (D.O) medical schools. For a complete list of medical schools, click here

Medical school tuition and cost of living varies throughout the medical schools in California. Currently, Kaiser's medical school is tuition free, with some students getting scholarships for living expenses too. The most expensive schools are the private medical schools like Stanford University School of Medicine and Keck University of Southern California Medical School. However, these medical schools still give many students grants and excellent financial aid packages. In our opinion, it's important to first get into medical school and then look at costs once you get accepted. Financial aid packages from medical schools can be very generous. 

California does not have its own in-state medical school application portal, like Texas does. Applicants to California medical schools need to submit an AMCAS and then a secondary application for each school. Read our complete blog post about AMCAS tips: 

Yes, there are 3 osteopathic medical schools in California. 

We'll answer any and all your questions about medical school!

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