MD Program Application Process
Application Process Overview
Thank you for your interest in applying to the UCSF School of Medicine!
Applying to the UCSF School of Medicine is asix-step process. Use the tabs below to guide you through your application journey.
- Step 1: Am I Eligible?
Understand Admissions Prerequisites and Requirements
- Step 2: AMCAS Application
Complete the AMCAS Application by October 15
- Step 3: Secondary Application (Mid-July to November)
Invited applicants complete the UCSF School of Medicine secondary application
- Step 4: Interview (Late September to early February)
Invited applicants participate in an Interview
- Step 5: Post-Interview Decisions (February to April)
UCSF sends post-interview decisions between February and March
- Step 6: Congratulations!
Congratulations on completing the application process! Learn important information for new medical students.
Step One: Am I Eligible to Apply?
UCSF School of Medicine does not accept transfer students at any level.
Premedical students should pursue a four-year undergraduate curriculum and obtain a baccalaureate degree before entering medical school. A maximum of 105 quarter units can be transferred from a community college.
Applicants must complete all course requirements for admissions to the UCSF School of Medicine by June of the year of entry.
- One academic year (2 semesters or 3 quarters) of college-level Biology with laboratory. This may include Biochemistry.
- One academic year (2 semesters or 3 quarters) of college-level Chemistry, including at least one semester of Organic Chemistry with laboratory. This may include Biochemistry.
- semester or 1 quarter of college-level Biochemistry
- semester of 2 quarters of Physics
Advanced Placement (AP) credit will be accepted for the Chemistry and Physics prerequisites if the credit is verified on your college transcript.
We will accept coursework taken from accredited institutions, including accredited community colleges. Online coursework and courses taken pass/no pass will also be accepted.
The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), required of all applicants, is administered multiple times per year. We encourage applicants to take the MCAT in the spring rather than the summer. This approach allows you to take the test again if you feel that your initial test scores do not reflect your ability. For applicants who decide to take the MCAT more than once, the committee looks at the most recent scores. The MCAT must be taken within three years of the date you plan to enter medical school and, at the latest, by September of the preceding year. We will accept scores from 2021, 2022, and 2023 for applications submitted by October 15, 2023.
Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Belonging, and Anti-Oppression
The School of Medicine welcomes all applicants without discrimination. The School of Medicine has a long-standing commitment to increasing the number of physicians from disadvantaged and historically underrepresented populations. As a result, over the last 35 years, UCSF has had one of the highest enrollment and graduation rates of underrepresented medical students in the U.S. UCSF’s commitment to diversifying the physician workforce also includes LGBT populations, socio-economically disadvantaged populations, and individuals with disabilities.
All applications will be considered but preference is given to U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, and applicants with DACA.
A complete list of admissions policies is available on the Admissions Policies webpage
Step Two: AMCAS Application
American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS)
All applicants to the UCSF School of Medicine must complete the application available through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS).
AMCAS will be available to applicants in May of the year prior to the year you want to enter medical school. You are encouraged to submit your application as early as possible to facilitate processing and evaluation. Only applications submitted to AMCAS by October 15 will be considered. Extensions to this deadline are not granted.
UCSF offers three programs for obtaining an MD degree:
- The MD
- The MD/PhD – Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) Applicants to this program must apply by December 1.
- The MS/MD – UC Berkeley/UCSF Joint Medical Program
UCSF Admissions Committee Review
Starting at the end of June, AMCAS forwards applications to all medical schools. AMCAS applications are reviewed for a possible secondary application.
Possible Outcomes After the UCSF Admissions Committee Reviews Your AMCAS Application
- Invited to submit a “secondary application” (proceed to Step 3). You will receive an email from the UCSF Office of Admissions informing you that you have been invited to submit a secondary application. Typically, you will be notified about submitting a secondary application approximately 3-10 weeks after UCSF receives your verified AMCAS application.
- Not invited to submit a secondary application. Applicants not invited to submit a secondary application will be notified via email that they are no longer under consideration.
Learn more about the free UCSF School of Medicine Admissions Workshop for potential applicants hosted by UCSF Post Baccalaureate Office.
Step Three: Secondary Application (Mid-July to November)
All invitations to submit secondary applications are sent by email. All communication about admissions is through email. Please add the UCSF domain (ucsf.edu) to your safe list and make sure you regularly check your junk and spam mail as the secondary application is time sensitive.
The earliest an applicant can access the Applicant Portal is at the secondary application. You will be provided with log-in information for the Applicant Portal when you are invited to submit a secondary application.
All applicants to the UCSF School of Medicine must submit an AMCAS application by no later than October 15, 2023. Applicants may access the application in early May, but will not be able to submit until the end of May. Deadline extensions cannot be granted for submission of this application.
Fee Waiver Information
Applicants approved for the AMCAS Fee Assistance Program should have the secondary application fee waived. If you received the AMCAS fee waiver and are still being prompted to provide payment, please email the Admissions Office at email@example.com.
Materials Needed for Secondary Application
- Fee ($80 for US citizens and permanent residents, $100 for international students) payable by credit card
- Completed forms
- Statement of Access to Letters of Recommendation
- Statement of Authenticity
- Applicants interested in applying to any of the following programs should indicate their interest in these programs on the secondary application. Note that additional information may be required for these programs.
- UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program (JMP)
- Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)
- Program in Medical Education for the Underserved (PRIME-US)
- San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education (SJV PRIME)
Letters of Recommendation
Do not send any letters of recommendation directly to the UCSF Admissions Office. UCSF participates in the AMCAS Letters Service and applicants are required to submit their letters of recommendation via AMCAS. Please visit AMCAS to learn more about the AMCAS Letters Service. Letters will not be considered until applicants are invited to complete a secondary application.
As part of your secondary application, you must provide between three and five letters of recommendation, including at least two from your instructors. Letters should provide a well-considered evaluation of your qualifications for the medical profession. The letters should tell us about you, your contributions, and your potential.
- If available, we prefer to receive a committee letter or letter packet. Committee letters will satisfy our letter of recommendation requirement.
- Letters from instructors of upper division courses who know you well will tell the admissions committee the most about you.
- Letters that document your contributions to research or other work related to science or health care are of particular interest to the admissions committee.
- Character references and recommendations from family, friends, or associates are not recommended.
Statement of Authenticity
As part of your secondary application, you must submit a Statement of Authenticity. This statement confirms that you have provided full and accurate information in completing all application materials and in submitting any additional information, either orally or in writing. Please note that false statements or misrepresentations may result in the withdrawal of your application and notification to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
Possible Outcomes After the UCSF Admissions Committee Reviews Your Secondary Application
- Invited to interview at UCSF (proceed to Step 4).
- Not invited to interview. Applicants who are not invited to interview will be notified by email that they are no longer under consideration. This notification can occur at any time during the application cycle.
Step Four: Interview (Late September to Early February)
For the 2023-2024 cycle, we will conduct all interviews "virtually" and will not be hosting applicants on campus.
If you have been invited to interview at UCSF, your email invitation will include instructions for scheduling your interview. Should interviewees have any question about the interview process, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interviews take place between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm Pacific Time, your individual interview times will vary.
You will receive Zoom meeting information the business day before your interview and will receive the schedule for the day by no later than 8:30 am Pacific Time on your interview day.
Whenever possible, you will be scheduled for two interviews. Interviewers will include either two faculty members or one faculty member and one medical student. The average interview lasts 40 minutes but varies according to individual interviewers and applicants. Interviews are conducted without prior review of your application. This means that the interviewers do not have any information about your past performance or activities.
Possible Outcomes After the Interview
Starting in February, applicants will be contacted regarding one of three possible outcomes:
- An email with an offer of acceptance.
- An email notification that they have been place on the “Alternate List”. The Alternate List is unranked. For further details, see Step 5.
- An email notification that their application is no longer being considered.
Step Five: Post-Interview Decisions (February to April)
Accepted Applicants will initially be asked to indicate they accept the offer of admission via our online application portal.
Per AAMC, applicants may hold acceptances at an unlimited number of schools until April 15. On or before April 15, applicants can only hold three acceptances, and on or before April 30, applicants can only hold one acceptance.
If you are undecided between two or more offers, you can say yes to all schools until you are prepared to make a decision or until these AAMC deadlines arrive. As a courtesy to other applicants, it is recommended that you notify any school as soon as you are certain you will not be going there.
If you are still holding an acceptance after April 30, you are asked to select Plan to Enroll. Prior to the Commit to Enroll deadline (July 1), applicants may remain on waitlists at other institutions but are asked to withdraw from all waitlist positions once they have selected Commit to Enroll.
UCSF will offer some acceptances to applicants who are initially placed on the “Alternate List”. The number of acceptances from the Alternate List varies widely each year. Most of these offers of acceptance will be extended after May 1 each year.
In special circumstances, we will review requests for deferred admission. Written requests for deferral must be received by May 1 of the year of expected entry. We typically consider deferrals that permit applicants to participate in time-limited, once-in-a-lifetime academic opportunities that will significantly enhance their medical education and training.
While we understand that you may wish to spend a year between undergraduate college and the rigors of medical school for financial reasons, personal development, or family needs, we are unlikely to grant deferrals for these reasons.
Step Six: Congratulations! You've completed the application process!
Accepted applicants will have several items to take care of prior to matriculation. To be sure you don’t miss any important deadlines, please keep your contact information current with us and check your email often.
Tuition & Costs
We know that meeting the costs of medical school is a major investment. Yet with careful planning, a UCSF medical school education is affordable. Most students rely on a combination of personal or family contributions, loans, and scholarships to pay for medical school.
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the average loan indebtedness of all medical school graduates in 2022 was $182,699. The average loan debt for a UCSF graduate in 2022 was $141,523
To view a typical student budget please visit UCSF Student Financial Aid.
The mission of our financial aid program is to help students marshal the resources they will need to attend the UCSF School of Medicine. In other words, we're here to help. On average, 85 percent of our students receive some form of financial aid.
To learn more about the process of applying for financial aid, eligibility requirements, types of financial aid, and key deadlines and dates, please visit UCSF Student Financial Aid.