How to Get Into UC San Diego Medical School

Hey pre-meds!

This page serves as a high-yield resource for UC San Diego Medical School. The information from this page is a GOLDEN resource. We’ve compiled it from UCSD Medical School admissions data, the UC San Diego Medical School website, and most importantly, from UCSD med students themselves! You will have facts such as admissions statistics, and you’ll get an insider perspective about the curriculum & student life.

UCSD is one of the top medical schools in California. The combination of perfect weather, rigorous curriculum, and ample research opportunities (particularly in biotechnology) make this a great medical school in California!

Whether you’re comparing medical schools that you have been accepted to, preparing for an interview, or wanting to learn more about UCSD med school, this keep reading!


Need help getting accepted to UCSD Medical School? Get the Cracking Med School Admissions team’s expertise. Several of our students get accepted into UCSD each year. If you have questions, email us at or contact us.

How to get into UC San Diego School of Medicine
UCSD Medical School Secondary Application

1. Autobiographical Sketch (6000 character max)

This should be a true autobiographical statement. Topics to be included are family, childhood, primary and secondary school years, undergraduate years, and, if applicable, what you’ve done since completing your bachelor’s degree. You should also discuss the motivational factors which led you to a career in medicine including any disadvantages or obstacles which might put your accomplishments into context. A repeat of your AMCAS statement will not be acceptable.

Please note: if you are applying to the MD/PhD program, please include why you are seeking the MD/PhD training at UCSD.

2. Optional Essay for Applicants Interested in PRIME-HEq, PRIME-Heq-Program in Medical Education-Health Equities. (4800 character max)

The goals of PRIME – HEq are: To increase the number of clinicians, research scientists, and advocates addressing minority health and health disparities; to create a diverse community of scholars that develop, transmit, and apply new knowledge in minority health and health disparities; and to promote a multidisciplinary community/university partnership bradley martyn height to eliminate health disparities. The program utilizes existing opportunities to allow enrollees to obtain a master’s degree emphasizing minority health and health disparities, tailored to student’s interest (MPH, MBA, MAS, MS).

Applicants indicating an interest in PRIME are required to write an additional essay detailing their qualifications and reasons for interest in the program.

Please describe your interest in the PRIME-HEq program. Topics to include are longitudinal experiences that you’ve had with underserved communities, including the type of community that you’ve worked with and your level of involvement. Additionally, you should discuss the length of time that you’ve spent working in these communities.


Need help with editing your UCSD secondary application essays? Get the Cracking Med School Admissions team’s expertise through our secondary essay edit package. If you have questions, email us at or contact us.

Secondary Essay Editing
How to Get Into UC San Diego Medical School – Interview Guide:

UC San Diego medical School have Multiple Mini Interviews, Closed file interview (interviewers do not read your application before interviewing you).

Want to learn more about how to prepare for the the UCSD MMI? Read our two popular blogs and schedule a mock interview with us today! We’ve gotten students into UC San Diego Medical School every year since 2012.

Read our 2 popular MMI blogs here:

  1. The Multiple Mini Interview: What it is, and How to do Well
  2. 5 Tips to Ace the MMI Interview
Mock Interview Help
Admissions Stats







Admit Rate


UC San Diego Medical School Median GPA: 3.82

UC San Diego Medical School Median Old MCAT: 34 Total (11 Verbal / 11 Physical Science / 12 Biological Science)

UC San Diego Medical School Median New MCAT: 517 (128 chemical & physical / 129 critical analysis / 130 biological & biochemical / 129 psychological, social)

How do UCSD students do when they apply to residency?

% getting into 1st choice residency


% getting into top 3 choice residency


Your UCSD Medical School Admissions Advisers

Rachel Rizal, MD

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
Rishi Mediratta, MD, MSc, MA

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 UCSD Medical School

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



As a UC San Diego medical school student, your first two years are spent as a pre-clinical student, mainly learning through lectures. Then, you are in clinical rotations your last two years of medical school.

Pre-Clinical Curriculum:

You start learning physical exam techniques with during some of your classes but also spend one day a week with a physician longitudinally through “Ambulatory Care Apprenticeship.” Most of the classes during your first two years are basic sciences courses, covering everything from human anatomy to physiology. Additionally, there are ample opportunities to do research throughout UCSD School of Medicine. The University of California San Diego is top-notch in biotechnology research.

Your third and fourth years of medical school are spent in clinical rotations. During your third year, you rotate through internal medicine (12 weeks); surgery (8 weeks); pediatrics (8 weeks); reproductive medicine (6 weeks); psychiatry (6 weeks); neurology (4 weeks); primary care (1 afternoon per week); and two 2-week clinical selectives.  During your fourth year, you spend a majority of your time in various clinical rotations. You get to choose which clinical rotations to rotate through.

View the curriculum on UCSD’s website here:


During the first two pre-clinical years, grades are Pass/Fail.

For the most part, most core clerkships are graded: Honors, Near Honors; Pass; and Fail. Third year selective courses are Pass / Fail. Fourth year clerkship rotations are Honors/Pass/Fail.

What students are saying about UC San Diego Med School

There are endless research opportunities.

I spent a lot of my free time volunteering at free clinics and at Tijuana.

I appreciated having a longitudinal clinic where I can improve on my clinical skills with the same physician over several years.

Unique highlights about pre-clinical years:

  • Problem-based learning
  • One day a week, you participate in “Ambulatory Care Apprenticeship” in which you work with one faculty member in clinic. This allows students to see a wide array of primary care issues. Additionally, students improve and practice their clinical techniques with one physician over years.

Main Clinical Rotation Sites:

  • Jacobs Medical Center
  • Rady Childrens Hospital
  • San Diego Naval Regional Medical Center
  • San Diego VA Medical Center
  • Scripps Mercy Hospital
  • UCSD Medical Center – Hillcrest
  • UCSD Medical Center – Thornton

Students have a wide variety of clinical sites they can choose from for each rotation. This allows students a wide breadth of experience across different types of hospital settings and patient populations.

What students are saying about clinical rotations at UCSD Med School

I took advantage of the large selection of 4th year rotations and did rotations I wanted more knowledge in, such as geropsychiatry and cardiology.

The patient population and diversity is awesome! We take care of lots of immigrants from Mexico.

As an athlete in college, I was interested in ortho and took electives such as sports medicine. Great experience!


Where do students live?

Students tend to live on-campus during their first two years in medical school and then live in nearby off-campus apartments their last two years.


Financial Considerations:

  • You can apply for grants and financial aid with UCSD’s financial aid office.
  • UCSD Medical School Tuition: ~$33,000 in-state and ~$45,000 out-of-state
  • Average indebtedness of graduates: ~$98,000

Want to learn more about other medical schools?

Read our other popular school blogs here:

Get In
Dr. Rachel Rizal

Author Dr. Rachel Rizal

More posts by Dr. Rachel Rizal