UCSF School of Medicine Requirements, Tuition, and More

We’re covering everything you need to know as you consider applying to University of California San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine. You’ll learn about acceptance rates, application deadlines, average MCAT scores, tuition, curriculum, and more.

Enrollment, Acceptance, Tuition, and more

UCSF School of Medicine is incredibly selective. For the Class of 2023, the school received 7846 applications. Of those, just 468 applicants were granted an interview (5.96% interview rate). Ultimately, 155 MD students enrolled.

What is the acceptance rate for UCSF School of Medicine?

The school does not publish its acceptance rate, but for the Class of 2023, the enrollment rate was about 1.98%.

How expensive is tuition for UCSF School of Medicine?

For California residents, tuition is $39,671 per year. Out-of-state residents pay $51,916 per year. About 90% of students receive some form of financial aid and the average debt students have upon graduation is about 17.5% below the national average of $169,182 for medical school graduates. 

When is the application deadline for UCSF School of Medicine?

Here is the application cycle for UCSF School of Medicine:

  • Early June: AMCAS applications open
  • Early July: UCSF Admissions Committee begins the application review process
  • Selected applicants are invited to complete a secondary application 3-10 weeks after the AMCAS application is received
  • After secondary applications are reviewed, applicants moving on to an interview are identified
  • October 15: Application deadline
  • December 15 – April 30: Decisions are delivered

UCSF School of Medicine recruits on a rolling basis, so applications are reviewed as soon as they are received. Since decisions are delivered as early as mid-December, students are encouraged to submit their application as early as possible once the cycle begins.

Average MCAT Scores for UCSF School of Medicine

For the Class of 2023, the average percentile rank for MCAT total score was 94, or about 516. The mean undergraduate GPA for the class was 3.8. 

All About the UCSF School of Medicine

The UCSF School of Medicine is located in San Francisco, California and is the medical school of the University of California San Francisco. The school was founded in 1864 as Toland Medical College and joined the UC system in 1873. It’s affiliated with UCSF Medical Center, and students train at the seven hospitals that make up UCSF Health. Students are also able to take advantage of opportunities at 12 affiliated hospitals and organizations in the Bay Area and Fresno, including Children’s Hospital Oakland, the Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, and the San Francisco VA Medical Center. UCSF School of Medicine is the oldest medical school in California.
With a total enrollment of 633 MD students and 2706 faculty, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine has an absolutely amazing 4:1 faculty-student ratio. Dedicated to diversity, the school highlights that 30% of its medical students come from racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in medicine. The UCSF School of Medicine faculty is highly lauded. Among them, there are four Nobel laureates, 84 National Academy of Medicine members, 64 Academy of Arts and Sciences members, 42 National Academy of Sciences members, and 18 Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators. 
In addition to training medical professionals, UCSF School of Medicine holds at its core a large focus on research, discovery, and technology development. Notably, the school has been credited with the co-discovery of HIV/AIDS in 1983 and today, it is the top recipient of funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). With a total of $578 million in NIH funding, it is ranked #1 for NIH funding nationally in Internal Medicine, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Orthopedics, Otolaryngology, and Urology. According to UCSF School of Medicine, it is “rapidly emerging as the nexus of a new Bio-Silicon Valley and leader in Precision Medicine.”

The Curriculum at UCSF School of Medicine

Students can apply to three programs at UCSF from AMCAS: the MD, the MD/PhD Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), or the MS/MD UC Berkeley/UCSF Joint Medical Program (JMP). 
MSTP admits just 12 students a year who have already identified a physician-scientist career path. MSTP students receive full tuition support with funding from the NIH, as well as a stipend. 17% of MSTP students graduate in seven years with both MD and PhD degrees, 27% graduate in eight, and 44% graduate in nine. The UC Berkeley/UCSF Joint Medical Program is a five-year program that accepts 16 students per year who graduate with both an MS and MD degree.
The bulk of UCSF School of Medicine students are on the MD track and complete the school’s Bridges Curriculum, which was launched in August 2016. Unlike traditional medical school training which separates foundational science learning and practical clinical experience, the Bridges Curriculum integrates foundational science concepts with clinical skills and scientific methods throughout the entire four years. Rather than spending two years in classroom learning before heading into their clinical training, UCSF School of Medicine students start their clinical rotations at the top of Year 1, integrating what they learn in the classroom throughout the entirety of their medical school education. 
In the latter half of the curriculum, students can enroll in short clinical electives beyond their core clerkships. The Bridges Curriculum culminates in an individualized phase called the “Career Launch,” during which students get to choose clinical experiences and a scholarly project that is aligned with their newly identified specialty interests and career goals.
MD students also have the opportunity to pursue a second degree during their time at the school. They can opt to tack on an additional year to their training by pursuing a Masters in Advanced Studies. This option is intended for students that intend to pursue an independent research career. 
63% of UCSF School of Medicine MD students graduate in 4 years, and 33% graduate in 5.

How has UCSF School of Medicine made an impact?

With research at its core, UCSF School of Medicine has many notable accomplishments, discoveries, and innovations to its name. Among them are:

  • The first successful genome editing inside the human body (2018)
  • The Nobel Prize was awarded to UCSF School of Medicine’s Shinya Yamanaka for the discovery of how to transform adult skin cells into stem cells (2012)
  • The Nobel Prize was awarded to UCSF School of Medicine’s Elizabeth Blackburn for the discovery of telomerase, a vital enzyme involved in aging and cancer (2010)
  • Major insights into how the body experiences pain (2002)
  • The classification of chronic pain as a medical condition (2001)
  • The identification of oral lesions as a marker of AIDS (1984)
  • The co-discovery of HIV/AIDS (1983)
  • The first successful fetal surgery (1981)
  • The development of the cochlear implant (1979)
  • The first successful DNA splicing (1973)
  • The discovery of Vitamin E (1923)

Notable Programs at UCSF School of Medicine

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Top Medical School Residency Program Match Rates and Locations

In UCSF School of Medicine’s Class of 2019, 169 students placed into a residency program. 69 of these students matched with a primary care program and 100 students went on to programs in other specialties.
Geographically, the Class of 2019 matched with programs across the U.S.:

  • 54 students matched with a program at UCSF Health 
  • 50 matched with a program in California
  • 14 matched with a program in the West
  • 13 matched with a program in the Midwest
  • 28 matched with a program in the Northeast
  • 10 matched with a program in the South

UCSF School of Medicine Notable Alumni

The school has an impressive 11,595 MD program graduates. Each year, UCSF awards one distinguished alum with their Alumni of the Year Award.

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