How To Get Into UCLA Medical School - Acceptance Rate + Tips

March 21, 2024
10 min read


Reviewed by:

Jonathan Preminger

Former Admissions Committee Member, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine

Reviewed: 11/27/23

Planning to become a doctor? Want to study in sunny Los Angeles? Read on to learn how to get into UCLA medical school! 

As one of the country’s top medical schools, the David Geffen School of Medicine (DGSOM) at UCLA is also among the most competitive. If you’re interested in becoming one of the lucky few to get accepted to DGSOM but aren’t sure where to start, here’s your guide!

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UCLA Medical School MD Programs Offered

There are several different programs available at UCLA. Requirements for each can vary:

MD Programs Offered Length of
Key Information
MD Program Four years Provides students with the skills necessary for careers in clinical practice, teaching, research, and public service.
Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) Eight years Specializes in educating and training individuals seeking a biomedical sciences career.
UCLA Prime Program in Medical Education Five years It is a dual degree program, during which you complete an MD and a master’s degree.
CDU/UCLA Medical Education Program Four Years Focuses on education in community engagement and training physician leaders who promote wellness in diverse and underserved communities.

All candidates must apply through the David Geffen School of Medicine. Once DGSOM accepts you, you’ll need to apply to the program you want, submit letters of recommendation, and undergo an interview process. 

UCLA Medical School Acceptance Rate: 1.32%

The UCLA Medical School acceptance rate is 1.32%. For the past admission cycle, UCLA Medical School had 13,122 applicants and 173 enrolled. As you can see the UCLA Medical School is extremely competitive to get into, so ensure you have a competitive application! 

Now let’s see the past few years' acceptance rate for the UCLA Medical School. 

Year Number of Applicants Number of Accepted Students Acceptance Rate
2023 13,122 173 1.32%
2022 14,357 320 2.23%
2021 13,101 311 2.37%

The acceptance rate for UCLA Medical School has drastically decreased, making it more competitive than it already was. 

How Hard Is It to Get Into UCLA Medical School?

UCLA Medical School is highly selective, with an acceptance rate of 1.32%. For context, this translates to for every 10 people applying to UCLA Medical School, only one person is accepted. 

UCLA Medical School Admissions Statistics

To help give you a better idea of what UCLA Medical School expects from its applicants, here are the average GPA and MCAT scores of admitted students. 

UCLA Medical School Average GPA: 3.8

The average GPA for admitted applicants to UCLA Medical School is 3.8. Although UCLA doesn’t have a minimum GPA requirement, make sure you aim for around 3.8 to 4.0 when applying. 

UCLA Medical School Average MCAT Score: 514

The average MCAT score of admitted students at UCLA Medical School is 514, which is very competitive. Aim for an MCAT score higher than 514 to be considered a competitive applicant.

UCLA Medical School Admissions Requirements

To apply to UCLA Medical School, you must use the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). Before filling out the $95 application, you must meet all UCLA medical school requirements. Here are the minimum qualifications and materials you’ll need for your AMCAS application

  • Undergraduate record

Now that you know how to get into UCLA Medical School, note that failure to provide any of these materials will delay your application review or lead to rejection.

UCLA Medical School Course Requirements

UCLA Medical School doesn’t require specific coursework prerequisites. Although the school has no course requirements, DGSOM recommends applicants demonstrate key competencies in college-level coursework and abilities.

Here are the recommended UCLA Medical School prerequisites.  

Number of Required Semester Hours
Biological Sciences and Physiology N/A
Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Physical Sciences N/A
Humanities N/A
Mathematics and Statistics N/A

Try to weave these competencies into your application: DGSOM seeks these qualities in students.

How Are UCLA Medical School Applications Evaluated?

UCLA Medical School is looking for applicants who performed well in their undergraduate studies and have the personality and character essential to succeed in medicine. The school also closely looks at the following:

All of these are assessed to see if an applicant is mature, intellectual, and culturally aware.

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting Into UCLA Medical School

If you’re interested in attending medical school at UCLA, here are some tips to help you get accepted.

Pursue Diverse Clinical Experiences

One thing that will make you stand out from the other applicants is if you have solid, tangible working experience shown throughout your application. UCLA classifies working experience in four different ways:

  • Working in medical environments
  • Working in community service
  • Working in research
  • Working in leadership

Gaining clinical experience in the areas highlighted above will prove to the admissions committee that you possess the soft skills needed to be a successful doctor, alongside your technical skills and understanding of medicine. 

Start Your Application Early

Your application to medical school is one of the most important documents you’ll have to prepare in your medical career. That’s why former Associate Dean for Admissions, Dr. Theodore Hall, recommended starting your application at least two years before you intend to apply.

“As you're planning for your career in medicine, you should be documenting your extracurricular activities and research projects, people to ask for letters of recommendation and any other evidence [that] you'd be a good candidate,” he said. 

Keeping track of everything as you go can make the application process much smoother! 

Show You Possess the Core Competencies UCLA Seeks 

Since UCLA doesn’t have specific course requirements, you need to demonstrate your fit through the competencies the admissions committee searches for. In terms of knowledge, ensure your transcript shows you’ve taken science, math, and humanities courses. 

The admissions committee also seeks candidates with varied clinical and research experiences, effective communicators, and strong interpersonal skills. 

If you’re having trouble choosing a medical school to attend, check out this Medical School Comparison tool to help you make the right decision! 

UCLA campus

UCLA Medical School Secondary Application

Once you’ve completed all aspects of the primary application, the DGSOM admissions committee will review it. Afterward, the school may send secondary applications (including essays) to candidates they want to see in the admissions process. 

These secondary essay prompts allow the admissions committee to get to know you better. The goal is to understand your interests, experiences, achievements, and hardships that provide a clearer picture of who you are. 

UCLA Medical School Interview Format

You may be invited to interview once the admissions committee reviews your secondary application. The one-on-one virtual interview is your final requirement for UCLA Medical School. UCLA interviews are held between August and January or until the class is full. 

You’ll want to stress your abilities, why you want to attend DGSOM, and how you’ll contribute to the program. After a comprehensive review of your application, the admissions committee determines a final offer.

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UCLA Medical School Tuition and Scholarships

The recent tuition fee for in-state UCLA Medical School students is $43,843 per year. For out-of-state students, they’ll need to pay an additional $12,245, totaling $56,088 per year.

Expense California Resident Non-Resident
Tuition $43,843 $56,088
Food and Housing $26,270 $26,270
Books and Supplies $3,510 $3,510

At the end of your first year, UCLA recommends establishing a residency in California to reduce tuition costs at UCLA Medical School. 

How Much Is UCLA Medical School For 4 Years?

The four-year tuition at UCLA Medical School is approximately $310,252 for in-state students. For out-of-state students, tuition for four years is around $359,232. This tuition cost is rather high, but don’t worry, UCLA Medical School has plenty of scholarships available to help cut the cost! 


UCLA Medical School offers scholarships, grants, and loans to help assist students with high cost of attendance. Here are some of the scholarships and grants that the school offers. 

  • The David Geffen Medical Scholarship provides financial support for the four-year cost of attendance. The scholarship includes in-state tuition and fees plus an annual living stipend. Out-of-state tuition is covered only for the first year.
  • The LA Care Scholarship pays in-state tuition and fees plus an annual living stipend. Out-of-state tuition is covered only through the first year.
  • The Leaders of Tomorrow Scholars Program pays full tuition and fees and a one-time $5,000 research stipend.

The DGSOM Financial Aid Office emails information regarding financial aid to entering students. Furthermore, many external scholarships are available to medical students in the U.S. Do your research and apply because money is waiting for you! 

UCLA Medical School Application Timeline

The David Geffen School of Medicine uses a rolling admission schedule. While application deadlines are mid-October, aim to submit earlier. You can see the admissions timeline below:

Dates & Deadlines Application Stage
Early October AMCAS Application Deadline
Two weeks from the date and time of invitation. Secondary Application Deadline
July to November Screening of Completed Applications
August to March Interviews
Mid-October Offers of Admission

If you receive an offer of admission, you’ll have 15 days to respond. 


Still have questions about how to get into UCLA med school? We’ve got you covered.

1. How Many Letters of Recommendation for UCLA Med School Do I Need? 

You’ll need to submit three to five letters of recommendation. Your letters should come from professors or professionals who know you well and can speak to your qualifications. 

2. What Are the UCLA Medical School Prerequisites?

The UCLA med school application requirements don’t include any specific prerequisite courses. However, you should have significant knowledge in the following areas:

  • Biological Sciences and Physiology
  • Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Physical Sciences
  • Humanities
  • Math and Statistics

You should also have good writing and communication skills and clinical and research experience.  

3. What Score Do I Need on the MCAT for UCLA Medical School?

Although no specified minimum MCAT score is required for DGSOM, aiming for a score around or above 514 is a good idea. This will give you a competitive advantage at many programs, including UCLA. 

4. What GPA is Required for UCLA Medical School? 

There are no GPA cutoffs at UCLA Medical School, but a GPA of 3.8 or higher can help you become a more competitive applicant. 

5. Is UCLA a Good Medical School? 

UCLA is one of the nation's best medical schools. U.S. News ranks DGSOM as #10 in primary care and #18 in research. UCLA is a good medical school for research or primary care applicants. 

6. What Extracurricular Activities Should I Participate in to Improve My Chances of Getting into UCLA Medical School?

You should participate in varied extracurriculars unrelated to the medical field to add differentiation to your profile. Clinical and research experience, in particular, are two competencies that UCLA seeks. 

7. How Important Is Research Experience for UCLA Medical School Admissions?

Research experience is important – according to the MSAR, 96% of a recent incoming class had research experience. 

8. Does UCLA Medical School Have a Preference for In-State Applicants?

According to data from the MSAR, UCLA offered more interviews to in-state students than out-of-state, despite more out-of-state students applying. Additionally, the incoming class comprised 100 in-state students and 67 out-of-state students. Therefore, it seems UCLA medical school does have a preference for in-state applicants. 

Final Thoughts

While the process is competitive and time-sensitive, getting admitted into the David Geffen School of Medicine is possible. Now that you know how to get into UCLA Medical School, the most important thing to remember is to ensure you submit all materials before the deadline.

There are excellent resources available to assist you when applying. With this guide and tailored admissions consulting, becoming a student at DGSOM is within your reach!

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