Student Selection Admissions Policy


To outline the criteria, procedures and policy for student selection to the UCSF School of Medicine undergraduate program.


UCSF prides itself in considering the unique qualifications of each individual applicant.  Consistent with this philosophy, UCSF accepts students with a wide range of undergraduate pursuits and accomplishments. Student selection is based on an appraisal of those intellectual and personal characteristics that the admissions committee regards as desirable for prospective medical students and physicians. Both cognitive (primarily academic) and non-cognitive factors, such as the applicant's statement, extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation play an important part in the selection process. Based on the evaluation of these factors, a limited number of applicants (500) are selected for interview.

Related LCME Standards

10.3: Policies Regarding Student Selection/Progress and their Dissemination 



  1. To insure that all accepted students have convincingly demonstrated the capacity to meet the academic challenges they will encounter at UCSF, based on their undergraduate or graduate school record, post-bac training, and/or MCAT performance.
  2. To value personal qualities that contribute to outstanding performance during a career in medicine including, but not limited to, intelligence, judgment, humility, maturity, selflessness, collaboration, etc.
  3. To value applicants who demonstrate the capacity and preparedness to take advantage of the many opportunities at UCSF to delve deeply into co-curricular activities such as research, an additional degree, and community service.
  4. To value outstanding performance in the humanities as well as the ability to communicate in languages that are commonly used by non-English speaking populations in the United States.
  5. To uphold UCSF’s commitment to increasing the number of physicians from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic populations.  
  6. To uphold UCSF’s commitment to diversifying the physician workforce in all domains of diversity.


UCSF requires applicants to meet the following pre-requisites prior to applying to medical school.

Course Requirements:

1. UCSF requires the following coursework for all applicants:

  • Biology, one year with laboratory work
  • Chemistry, one year, including at least one semester of organic chemistry with lab
  • Biochemistry (may be included within the Biology or Chemistry courses)
  • Physics, one semester

2. The formal course requirements constitute the basic foundation for all applicants, but most successful applicants will have gone beyond these prerequisites and will have demonstrated the ability to perform at a higher level academically.  Accordingly, the UCSF admissions committee evaluates academic preparedness in the context of the type and level of courses taken, the academic performance and trajectory, and the applicant’s scores on the MCAT exam.  Although UCSF does not explicitly require more than one year of biology and one year of chemistry, most successful applicants will have taken at least one upper level biology course (e.g., biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, immunology, etc.) as well as a full year of organic chemistry.

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT):

  1. All applicants are required to complete the Medical College Admission Test within three years of matriculation.
  2. The MCAT must be completed by September of the year before intended entry into medical school.

Technical Standards:

  1. All entering students in the UCSF School of Medicine must meet all of the technical standards, with reasonable accommodation if necessary, and each student will be expected to certify that each student meets these standards.

Accountable Dean or Director:  Associate Dean for Admissions


  1. Potential applicants should review the UCSF SOM Medical Education website prior to applying to UCSF to learn more about the program, learning environment and educational opportunities.
  2. Applicants must visit the AMCAS site to submit their applications and create transcript request forms to send to the registrars of all colleges the applicant has attended.
  3. Applicants must complete all course requirements for admission to the UCSF School of Medicine by June of the year of entry.

Related Policies

1. UCSF Technical Standards

Last Updated: May 9, 2018