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Medical Schools In California: Rankings & Information

Attending med school in California is something many medical school applicants dream of. Why? First of all, for in state California residents, the tuition is much lower at state funded schools. Even for out of state students, California medical schools have lower tuition than most private medical schools. All of the medical schools in California have great reputations that help medical students earn top residencies. In fact, some of the best medical schools in the country are in California. Finally, the beautiful state of California is a desirable place to live!

Rankings: The Best Medical Schools in California

Stanford, University of California San Francisco, and University of California Los Angeles are all ranked in the top ten for research by US News and World Report.

Because California medical schools are so desirable, they receive huge numbers of applications each year making California medical school acceptance rates very low.

Here are the rankings for medical schools in California:

    1. Stanford
    2. University of California – San Francisco
    3. University of California – Los Angeles
    4. University of California – San Diego
    5. University of California – Davis
    6. University of Southern California (Keck)
    7. University of California – Riverside
    8. Touro University of California
    9. Western University of Health Sciences

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Practice Type

Osteopathic Schools

  • California Health Sciences University
  • Touro University of California
  • Western University of Health Sciences

Allopathic Schools

  • California Northstate University
  • California University of Science and Medicine
  • Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
  • Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine
  • Loma Linda University
  • Stanford
  • University of California – Davis
  • University of California – Irvine
  • University of California – Los Angeles
  • University of California – San Diego
  • University of California – San Francisco
  • University of California – Riverside
  • University of Southern California (Keck)

School Type

Public Schools

  • University of California – Davis
  • University of California – Irvine
  • University of California – Los Angeles
  • University of California – San Diego
  • University of California – San Francisco
  • University of California – Riverside

Private Schools

  • Charles R. Drew
  • California Health Sciences University
  • California Northstate University
  • California University of Science and Medicine
  • Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine
  • Keck School of Medicine of Southern California
  • Loma Linda University School of Medicine
  • Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Touro University of California
  • Western University of Health Sciences

By Region

Northern California

  • California Health Sciences University (Clovis, CA)
  • University of California – Davis (Davis, CA)
  • University of California – San Francisco (San Francisco, CA)
  • California Northstate University (Elk Grove, CA)
  • California University of Science and Medicine (San Bernardino, CA)
  • Stanford University School of Medicine (Stanford, CA)
  • Touro University of California (Vallejo, CA)

Southern California

  • Charles R. Drew (Los Angeles, CA)
  • University of California – Irvine (Irvine, CA)
  • University of California – Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
  • University of California – Riverside (Riverside, CA)
  • University of California – San Diego (San Diego, CA)
  • Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine (Pasadena, CA)
  • Keck School of Medicine of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Loma Linda University School of Medicine (Loma Linda, CA)
  • Western University of Health Sciences (Pomona, CA)

How Competitive Are You for Medical School Admissions in California?

To determine your competitiveness for a California medical school you must review the average MCATs and GPAs for accepted students as well as the California medical school acceptance rates. For out of state students, it is important to pay attention to how many out of state students are interviewed and what percentage of out of state students matriculate each year.

So, how difficult is it to get accepted to a California medical school? Let’s review the data. Below are the average MCAT scores and college GPAs, interview rates for in state and out of state applicants, acceptance rates, percent of entering class that is in state, and tuition for all medical schools in California.

Information & Data For Each School

California Health Sciences University

Practice Type Osteopathic
Location Clovis, CA (Northern California)
School Type Private
Average GPA NA
Average MCAT Score NA
Acceptance Rate NA
Percent of Class In State NA
Tuition NA

Touro University of California

Practice Type Osteopathic
Location Vallejo, CA (Northern California)
School Type Private
Average GPA 3.52
Average MCAT Score 507
Acceptance Rate NA
Percent of Class In State 79%
Tuition $55,000 (all)

Western University of Health Sciences

Practice Type Osteopathic
Location Pomona, CA (Southern California)
School Type Private
Average GPA 3.63
Average MCAT Score 506
Acceptance Rate 6.9%
Percent of Class In State 11.7%
Tuition $56,000 (all)

California Northstate University

Practice Type Allopathic
Location Elk Grove, CA (Northern California)
School Type Private
Average GPA 3.67
Average MCAT Score 512
Acceptance Rate NA
Percent of Class In State NA
Tuition $59,000 (all)

California University of Science and Medicine

Practice Type Allopathic
Location San Bernardino, CA (Northern California)
School Type Private
Average GPA 3.65
Average MCAT Score 512
Acceptance Rate NA
Percent of Class In State NA
Tuition $58,500 (all)

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science

Practice Type Allopathic
Location Los Angeles, CA (Southern California)
School Type Private
Average GPA 3.64
Average MCAT Score 511
Acceptance Rate 3.2%
Percent of Class In State NA
Tuition $58,000 (all)

Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine

Practice Type Allopathic
Location Pasadena, CA (Southern California)
School Type Private
Average GPA NA
Average MCAT Score NA
Acceptance Rate NA
Percent of Class In State NA
Tuition Tuition Free

Loma Linda University

Practice Type Allopathic
Location Loma Linda, CA (Southern California)
School Type Private
Average GPA 3.83
Average MCAT Score 508
Acceptance Rate N/A
Percent of Class In State 46%
Tuition $56,000 (all)

Stanford

Practice Type Allopathic
Location Stanford, CA (Northern California)
School Type Private
Average GPA 3.82
Average MCAT Score 519
Acceptance Rate 2.3%
Percent of Class In State 43%
Tuition $56,000 (all)

University of California – Davis

Practice Type Allopathic
Location Davis, CA (Northern California)
School Type Public
Average GPA 3.65
Average MCAT Score 510
Acceptance Rate 2.9%
Percent of Class In State 97%
Tuition $37,092 (in-state) and $49,337 (out-of-state)

University of California – Irvine

Practice Type Allopathic
Location Irvine, CA (Southern California)
School Type Public
Average GPA 3.78
Average MCAT Score 514.5
Acceptance Rate 4.3%
Percent of Class In State 96%
Tuition $33,258 (in-state) and $45,503 (out-of-state)

University of California – Los Angeles

Practice Type Allopathic
Location Los Angeles, CA (Southern California)
School Type Public
Average GPA 3.85
Average MCAT Score 517
Acceptance Rate 3.2%
Percent of Class In State 70%
Tuition $34,116 (in-state) and $46,361 (out-of-state)

University of California – San Diego

Practice Type Allopathic
Location San Diego, CA (Southern California)
School Type Public
Average GPA 3.8
Average MCAT Score 517
Acceptance Rate 3.2%
Percent of Class In State 82%
Tuition $33,258 (in-state) and $45,503 (out-of-state)

University of California – San Francisco

Practice Type Allopathic
Location San Francisco, CA (Northern California)
School Type Public
Average GPA 3.85
Average MCAT Score 517
Acceptance Rate 3.3%
Percent of Class In State 79%
Tuition $34,386 (in-state) and $46,631 (out-of-state)

University of Southern California (Keck)

Practice Type Allopathic
Location Los Angeles, CA (Southern California)
School Type Private
Average GPA 3.7
Average MCAT Score 517
Acceptance Rate 5%
Percent of Class In State 77%
Tuition $63,000 (all)

University of California – Riverside

Practice Type Allopathic
Location Riverside, CA (Southern California)
School Type Public
Average GPA 3.64
Average MCAT Score 508
Acceptance Rate 4.3%
Percent of Class In State 100%
Tuition $33,262 (in-state) and $45,507 (out-of-state)

California Medical School Acceptance: Increase Your Chances

So, what can you do to increase your chances of getting accepted to a California medical school?

1) Be realistic about your competitiveness and do what you need to improve your chances. When deciding when to apply to medical, you should consider how your average GPA and MCAT compares to the school’s average GPA and MCAT for accepted students. If your GPA and/or MCAT are lower than the California medical schools you would like to attend, consider boosting your GPA or MCAT to make yourself more competitive. You must also consider your state residency; many California medical schools admit the majority of students from within the state.

2) When you complete secondary essays, do so thoughtfully and considerately. The majority of UC medical schools screen applications so only a certain percentage of applicants receive secondary applications. Therefore, it is important to make sure your secondary essays distinguish you and highlight what you will bring to the medical school community.

3) Don’t try to spin your documents, secondary essays, or interview responses to “fit” a certain medical school. All medical schools are looking for diverse medical school entering classes. No medical school, for example, wants a class full of students who have NIH funded research or a an entire class of students who have been community service leaders. Always be true to yourself, your ideals, and your interests. If you have the stats to be a competitive applicant for a California medical school, what is most important is to address every secondary essay, every interview question and every MMI scenario authentically and honestly. Trying to “tell them what you think they want to hear” can actually undermine how you are perceived and decrease your chances of success.

About MedEdits

MedEdits helps students get admitted to medical school and residency programs. Our consultants have years of experience serving on medical school admissions committees, and as faculty members at the top medical schools in the country.

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