Overview of the Profession

Admission Statistics

Medical School Admission Statistics for UCLA Applicants

Medical School Admission Statistics for Applicants – Compare UCLA applicant and admissions data to national data.  Review admissions data based on GPA, overall MCAT score, and race

Medical School Admission Statistics by Location of Medical Program – See the rates at which UCLA graduates have been admitted to various medical programs.

Medical School Admission Statistics by MCAT Section Scores – View how the MCAT scores of UCLA applicants to medical school correlate with admissions.

Course Requirements

Visit the Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR) to see the course requirements at your schools of interest, as they vary slightly for each medical school.

To see which UCLA courses satisfy the most common course requirements, refer to the UCLA Pre-Health Requirements Worksheet, found here.

Meet with an academic advisor at UCLA for advice on course planning for medical school.

Centralized Application System

The American Medical College Application Service® (AMCAS®) is the centralized medical school application processing service, administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

Although most medical schools utilize the AMCAS for students to apply, there are some exceptions.  View the list of schools not participating in AMCAS.  To apply to an MD program at a public medical school in Texas, apply using the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service (TMDSAS).

Helpful External Links (not affiliated with UCLA):

A guide to writing the AMCAS Work and Activities section

Application Timeline

4+ Years Before You Plan to Attend Medical School

  • Make an appointment with an academic counselor to introduce yourself, finalize your classes, and discuss how to sequence your classes moving forward to ensure you can meet your major requirements and fulfill as many pre-requisite courses as possible prior to graduation.
  • Learn about campus resources and organizations for prehealth students.  See UCLA Pre-Health Services for more information.
  • Attend prehealth events, join student organizations of interest, subscribe to campus newsletters and social media updates.
    • Follow the Pre-Health at UCLA Facebook page for updates on events, deadlines, student org information, and more.  Subscribe to the bi-weekly Pre-Health at UCLA Newsletter by indicating “Healthcare” as an Industry Interest in your Handshake profile.
  • Develop relationships with faculty, advisors, and mentors on campus. This will be helpful for finding volunteer, shadow, and research opportunities and for your letters of evaluation.
  • Learn about healthcare-related internships and employment opportunities by searching on Handshake as well as by visiting the Gain Experience page.  Gain medically related work or volunteer experiences during the school year and/or summer.
  • Search for opportunities to shadow a doctor or other health care professional.
  • If interested, identify potential research opportunities.
  • Keep a journal about your experiences to refer to later for essays and interviews.
  • Consider participating in summer enrichment or summer undergraduate research programs.
  • Explore the AAMC’s Aspiring Docs program.
  • Follow @AAMCPreMed on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Subscribe to the AAMC’s Premed Navigator newsletter.

3 Years Before You Plan to Attend Medical School

  • Continue to take advantage of all resources mentioned above.
  • Continue to develop relationships with faculty, advisors, and mentors.
  • Pursue or continue meaningful medically related activities, including volunteer roles, paid work, research positions, and/or leadership opportunities in health organizations.  Visit the Gain Experience page for helpful links.
  • Consider participating in summer enrichment or summer undergraduate research programs such as the Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP).
  • Begin to learn about:
    • The medical school application process (aamc.org/students/applying).
    • Medical College Admission Test® (MCAT®) (aamc.org/mcat).
    • Fee Assistance Program (aamc.org/fap).

2 Years Before You Plan to Attend Medical School

  • Schedule a Pre-Health Advising appointment at the Career Center to:
    • Strategize about your application timeline
    • Determine if you’ll apply to enroll immediately following graduation or after one or more gap years
    • Discuss whether a post-bacc program makes sense for you
    • Consider when it’s best for you to take the MCAT exam; visit the MCAT website to find test dates and locations (aamc.org/mcat)
    • Discuss letters of evaluation.  Please note that UCLA does not offer committee letters
  • If you are considering a gap year (students-residents.aamc.org/gap-year), investigate a meaningful paid or volunteer medically related experience to complete during that time.
  • Meet with an academic counselor to discuss your schedule for completing remaining premedical coursework and other school-specific degree requirements.
  • Identify, pursue, or continue leadership opportunities within the prehealth organizations on your campus.
  • Think about which faculty, advisors, and mentors you’ll approach to write letters of evaluation for your applications.  Ask them at least 3 months in advance, but earlier is better.  See Prepare to Apply for more tips.
  • Continue participating in meaningful clinical experiences, other medically related activities, volunteer work, research, and/or leadership roles on campus; if possible, take on a more substantial role.
  • When you’re prepared and ready, register for and take the MCAT exam.
  • Develop a list of medical schools you’re interested in using the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) tool.  If available, apply to your favorite schools’ premed pipeline programs.
  • Interact with admissions representatives and medical students at your schools of interest by attending the Health School Fair at UCLA (typically each April), attending the Career Center’s JumpStart programs, other pre-med workshops and networking events, as well as information sessions.  See Handshake for current schedule.
  • Sign up for and attend campus visit days for local medical schools of interest.
  • Get information on groups underrepresented in medicine: Minorities in Medicine (aamc.org/students/minorities).
  • Learn more about the centralized medical school application services:
    • American Medical College Application Service® (AMCAS®) (aamc.org/amcas)
    • Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service (TMDSAS) (utsystem.edu)

1 Year Before You Plan to Attend Medical School

The medical school application process begins in June about 14 months before matriculation into medical school.  For example, if you plan to begin medical school directly after graduating from UCLA, you must submit your application at the end of your junior year.

This timeline is meant to provide a general idea of what to expect during the medical school selection process, but is not exact and some schools may differ.  For specific application dates and deadlines, visit the Medical School Admission Requirements, the AMCAS website, and the websites of your potential medical schools.

  • May: AMCAS opens.  Students can start begin entering their information into the medical school application.
  • June: First week of June, AMCAS submission begins.  Since medical schools review and applicants on a rolling basis, it is advisable to submit your application as early in the cycle as possible.  
  • June-August: A few weeks after you have submitted your AMCAS application, individual medical schools will begin sending secondary applications to the applicants they wish to consider.  Aim to complete and submit within two weeks of receiving them.
  • August-March: Interviews.  
  • February: Can anonymously indicate which school you are planning to enroll in using the Choose Your Medical School (CYMS) tool, but may continue to interview and hold your acceptances at other schools.
  • April 30: Your “Plan to Enroll” indication in CYMS will no longer be anonymous.  Beginning on April 30 you must hold an acceptance at only one institution, though you may remain on multiple alternate lists.
  • April-July: Acceptance, waitlist, and rejection notifications will be sent up until the beginning of medical school. As soon as you receive an offer from your preferred institution, withdraw your application from all other institutions and select “Commit to Enroll” in CYMS.  Become familiar with Application and Acceptance Protocols for admission officers and applicants.
  • August – Begin Medical School!

Helpful External Links (not affiliated with UCLA)

The medical school application timeline and key deadlines

Entrance Exam

The Medical College Admission Test® (MCAT®) is a standardized, multiple-choice examination designed to assess your problem solving, critical thinking, and knowledge of natural, behavioral, and social science concepts and principles prerequisite to the study of medicine.  The MCAT exam tests content found in introductory-level courses at most undergraduate institutions, including biology, general and organic chemistry, and physics, as well as first-semester biochemistry, psychology, and sociology.  

Financially disadvantaged applicants can apply for the MCAT Fee Reduction Program.

Medical School Admission Statistics by MCAT Section Scores – View how UCLA students’ and graduates’ MCAT scores correlate with admission to medical schools.

When should I take the MCAT?

At the latest, the MCAT should be taken by May of the year you apply to medical school.  It is recommended to take the MCAT even earlier (fall or winter before applying) so that you have time to take the exam again if you would like to try to improve your score.  Medical schools will see your scores from every time you have taken the MCAT and each program views and considers the scores differently.  For this reason, it is important not to take the MCAT until you are fully prepared and as comfortable with the content as possible.  Most medical schools only accept MCAT scores within two years of the exam date, though some accept them for three years.

Helpful External Links (not affiliated with UCLA):

Gather Transcripts

AMCAS requires one official transcript from each U.S., U.S. Territorial, or Canadian post-secondary institution at which you have attempted coursework, regardless of whether credit was earned. To determine whether or not an official transcript is required for one of your undergraduate institutions, consult the AMCAS Applicant Guide. Transcripts must be sent directly from the registrar’s office.

For additional information on transcript submission please visit https://students-residents.aamc.org/applying-medical-school/article/section-4-course-work/ and https://students-residents.aamc.org/applying-medical-school/faq/amcas-faq/.

Letters of Recommendation

In most cases, medical schools request a minimum of three recommendations: two from science professors and one from a non-science professor or an extracurricular supervisor. Unless specifically instructed not to send additional letters , competitive applicants commonly send as many as five to six recommendations, including those from additional academic sources, clinical mentors, supervisors in extracurricular activities, and research sources.

AMCAS accepts applicants’ letters of evaluation via the AMCAS Letter Service and distributes them to participating medical schools electronically. This service enables letter authors to send their letters to AMCAS rather than to each individual school. Letter writers may submit letters through the AMCAS Letter Writer Application, Interfolio, or by mail.

Some schools request a Committee Letter.  UCLA does not provide a Committee Letter and, therefore, it is not required as part of your application.

For additional guidance and UCLA resources for asking for letters of recommendation, please visit the Prepare to Apply section of this website. 

Personal Statement

In the AMCAS Personal Comments Essay you will have 5300 characters in which to explain why you want to attend medical school.  To get started, please read 7 Tips for Writing Your AMCAS Personal Comments Essay – Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).  The medical school application will offer the following opportunities to write in narrative form about your qualifications, motivations, and personal attributes as they relate to your candidacy: Personal Comments Essay, up to 15 Activities Descriptions, 3 Most Meaningful Experiences, and various essay questions as part of the secondary applications.

For additional guidance and UCLA resources for writing a personal statement, please visit the Prepare to Apply section of this website.

Helpful External Links (not affiliated with UCLA):

Numerous personal statement examples for medical school

A guide to writing the AMCAS Work and Activities section

Choosing Schools & Programs

Deciding which medical schools to apply to and attend is a complex and highly individualized process. Review AAMC’s Deciding to Where to Apply articles and resources for considerations to guide you through the process.

Medical School Admission Statistics by Location of Medical Program – See the rates at which UCLA graduates have been admitted to various medical programs.

Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR)

The Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) is the official online database that allows you to browse, search, sort, and compare profiles for every MD-granting, LCME-accredited medical school in the U.S. and Canada.  The information contained in the MSAR will help you make informed decisions about where to apply and will equip you with valuable context for your supplemental applications and interviews.  Limited information is available without a subscription, but a small fee will grant you full access to the following : 

  • Demographics on first-year students (age, ethnicity, where they are from geographically, etc.)
  • Score data from the MCAT exam
  • Data and policies on the waitlist procedures
  • Details about what to expect on interview day
  • Information about clinical rotations
  • Diversity policies and initiatives
  • Favorites and Notes tools to help keep track of questions and your preferences
  • Premedical coursework charts to compare your coursework to each school’s requirements
  • Ability for students to become state residents after matriculation
  • Number of students entering from post-bacc programs
  • When medical students begin patient interaction
  • And more

Unlike other resources, the MSAR content comes directly from the sources — the medical schools , the AMCAS application, and the MCAT exam — so you know the information is the most accurate for each program.

(Content adapted from AAMC.org)

Gain Experience

See the Gain Experience page for ideas on how to gain clinical, research, leadership, and/or community service experience that can help you clarify your goals, develop your skills, and demonstrate your commitment to healthcare.