UCLA Medical School – Insider Info from a Former Admissions Committee Member

UCLA Medical School – Insider Info from a Former Admissions Committee Member

My Alma Mater! UCLA Medical School is one of the best medical schools in the United States, ranking number 13 in the 2011 US World and News Report medical school rankings for research.

ucla medical school

  • Basic Information

    • Name: David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA (DGSOM)
    • Location: Los Angeles, CA (near Beverly Hills/ Bel Air)
    • Public or Private: Public
    • School Website: Click here


  • Admissions

    • Very Competitive.As with any of the higher ranked medical schools, UCLA admissions are competitive. The average MCAT score is 11.5 per section, meaning a 34.5 overall score for admitted students. There were 8,756 applications sent in for 187 spots in the class!

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Simply put, you need insider help to get accepted to UCLA. You can get that on my admissions page and in my eBook.


  • Average MCAT: 34.5
  • Average GPA: 3.81
  • Can you get in if your MCAT and GPA are lower? Find out in my eBook!
  • Most students are California residents. The site officially says that state of residence is not considered a factor, but 85% of the class is from California.
  • Spanish recommended. The site gives all the required classes, but they recommend Spanish. I speak Spanish and it may have helped me get admitted and has definitely helped me in my clinical rotations at UCLA. Save 20% Off Rosetta Stone here.
  • Multiple programs available. UCLA medical school has several different programs for which you may apply. The UCLA Drew program focuses on serving the underserved population. The PRIME program students also earn a Master’s Degree during their training. UC Riverside/UCLA students spend their first two years at the UC Riverside campus and their clinical years at the UCLA campus. More information for each of these programs is available on the site below.
  • For full information from the admissions website, click here
    • Financial

      • Tuition: UCLA medical school tuition is $0 for California residents, $12,245 for non-CA residents. Don’t get too excited if you are a California resident, though. Fees for everyone attending the school are $32,781. Also, if you are accepted as a non-California resident, you can apply for residency after your first year and pay in-state tuition for the remaining three years of medical school. That’s not done at every school and is a nice benefit of UCLA medical school.
      • Loans: Federal loans are available as with other US medical schools.
      • Scholarships: UCLA medical school has multiple scholarships available based on financial need, a few merit scholarships, and other somewhat random scholarships. The financial aid office is wonderful about finding scholarships available for you to apply for.
      • Cost of Living: The cost of living is ridiculous. You will be paying AT LEAST $1000 in rent monthly just for one room. If you have a family (like I do), be ready to pay $1600 or more a month. For the official school budget for cost of attendance, click here.
    • Insider Information

    • UCLA medical school is a pass/fail school. This means that your grades are only pass or fail. Students are not ranked based on their test scores. There are no letter grades or honors. In the third year, you can gain a “Letter of Distinction” for different rotations, which is a way to distinguish yourself from your peers. This has been great for me as I feel more encouraged to learn the material in order to help patients and not just score well on a test. It also helps students be more cooperative with each other.
    • The anatomy cadavers are prosected. This means that you won’t spend nearly as much time in the anatomy lab as you would at a school where you do your own dissection. Prosected means that the cadavers have been dissected to show the relevant part of anatomy being studied. You can spend your time memorizing the structures, how they look, how they are connected, etc. instead of spending your time cutting. A definite plus for me, but maybe a minus if you are interested in surgery. However, there is an option to participate in dissection during the summer between 1st and 2nd years if you are interested.
    • The curriculum is organ-system based and includes PBL. This means that you study, for example, the musculoskeletal system for 5 weeks, including the anatomy, physiology and pharmacology of that system. PBL is Problem Based Learning, which is where you get a patient case to review with a group on Monday. You stop halfway through the case and decide on things you want to learn about, called “learning issues.” You write a one page report on this issue and post it by Thursday
      for others to review. On Friday you finish the case and talk about your learning issues. It’s a good system in that it helps you to think about what you are learning in a way that applies to patients, which is what you will be doing during your career.
    • The culture is relaxed and cooperative. Since the grading system does not rank students, there is little incentive to try to upstage other students. Students for the most part work together and are more than happy to help each other.
    • Lectures not required. The lectures are not required and are recorded with sound synced with the slides. You are really only required to be at the school about 10-15 hours per week for labs.
    • Residency match. UCLA graduates match into essentially all fields. If you go to UCLA, you will have the opportunity to match into your residency of choice (if, of course, you are a competitive applicant!). This is true for most of the best medical schools/ highest ranked medical schools. The student affairs office will help you to make yourself a good applicant for the residency of your choice. Talk to them early if you have a specific specialty in mind.
    • As you can see, UCLA is a great medical school for many reasons. Learn how to get accepted on my admissions page and in my eBook!

    Get Accepted to UCLA Medical School

    The medical school admissions process can be very difficult. Getting into your best medical school is not something that you should leave to chance! This site is designed to help you get into the school of your choice, maybe that’s UCLA medical school like me!

    My experience on the UCLA admissions committee makes the information on my admissions page and eBook especially useful if you want to get into UCLA.

    Get this insider information for a price anyone can afford in my eBook!

    10 Steps


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    Some students find it useful to employ a service to help them with getting into medical school. For a school as competitive as UCLA, I would highly recommend coaching.

    If you’re looking for something that’s more than a book, but less expensive than 1 on 1 advising and editing
    services, check out my new members only site,Medical School Inside Track.

    Inside you’ll find:

    • Videos describing the entire admissions process, from choosing to apply to choosing between multiple acceptances
    • A custom tool to know your chances based on MCAT, GPA and race
    • A custom tool to know exactly where to apply based on MCAT, GPA and state of residence
    • Examples from successful applicants of AMCAS activities, personal statements, secondary essays, descriptions of hardship and descriptions of disciplinary actions
    • 4 hours of recorded interview prep to learn what it takes to ace an interview

    And much more! All for less than the cost of 1 hour of one on one advising. You can check it out here.

    If you’re looking for one-on-one advising, there are many companies that will help you with this, but my recommendation is MedSchoolCoach.

    MedSchoolCoach is run by doctors with experience on admissions committees. This makes a big difference as many companies are run by business people or others without this essential experience.

    They also have an excellent track record, placing 100% of students in an MD or DO program and 85% in an MD program for those who sign up for their gold package. They also offer help with personal statements , interviews and help on choosing which schools to apply to. They are the company I recommend.

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    Remember, about 60% of applicants are not accepted to any medical school! Don’t be one of the 60%! The cost of reapplying could easily be as much as getting help the first time around to help you get accepted. Make your dream of UCLA medical school acceptance a reality! Click here to visit MedSchoolCoach


    See other UCLA medical school questions and comments here!

    Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page…

    Wara Qasim 
    Hello! My name is Wara Qasim and I’m from Pakistan. I’ve never been in US. Am I eligible for applying in UCLA. My grades have always been more than 95% …

    Need more info about UCLA Med School 
    Hi — I attend medical school in Europe (it is taught in English) however I really want to stay home in L.A. and thinking about returning to the states, …

    applying for med school 
    i am licensed nurse and planning to pursue my med school , but i don’t know if most of my subject will be considered for the requirement to get in , do …

    Parent of a daughter who wants to attend UCLA Med. School 
    Hello there, how are the budget cuts affecting UCLA Med. School? Are the classes too full? Are the students struggling to take classes they need in order …

    bachelor surgical 
    My name is eiman. I got my degree from the University of Iran. I wanted to know what is the university entrance requirements for the degree of bachelor …

    Prospective Med Student 
    I plan to attend Arizona State University for my BS in biology before apply for med school in California. Is premed undergraduate school a factor in UCLA …

    So a California resident would have to pay $30,000+ for tuition excluding financial aid.

    Personal Questions 
    If possible, will you be able to share how much UCLA weighs on GPA, Extracurriculars, Research? Can you tell us with what GPA (science and cumulative), …

    Opportunity for foreign student 
    I’m an Asian student. Are there any chances for students like me to go to a medical school in the United States?

    Non-trad medical school applicant 
    Hi, I am a non-CA resident and graduated from college in 1997, completed all of the necessary pre-med pre-reqs, but decided at the time to go for my …

    I want to eventually go to UCLA
    Hello, My name is Ylse and I am going back to school for pre-med this August in Chicago. I have two years to finish my BS. I am 21 years old and I decided …

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