California Medical Schools

California medical schools are some of the best in the nation. Many of the medical schools in California are in the top 10 medical schools, top 20 medical schools, and top 50 medical schools.

And of course, you can't beat the weather! 

If you are a California resident, you are in luck! You have six public California medical schools that will likely prefer you over out-of-state medical school applicants and will definitely give you a tuition break. To learn more about public vs private medical schools, click here.

If you want to be accepted to one of the California medical schools, you'll need to study hard for the MCAT and get good grades in your required classes. However, it takes a lot more than that to get accepted to one of the medical schools in California.

Click here to find out what California medical schools are looking for from an applicant.

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Since California medical schools are very competitive, you may benefit from using professional services to help you make your dream of acceptance to a California medical school a reality.

The company I recommend is MedSchoolCoach.

This is a team of former medical school admissions committee members who are dedicated to helping you succeed as an applicant. They understand what medical schools are looking for and how to make you stand out. They're so good, in fact, that I joined them! They have a number of programs available to fit your needs.

The MedSchoolCoach Gold Package has an amazing record of success, placing 100% of their students in an MD or DO school and 85% of their students in an MD school. It doesn't get better than that! Also, click here for current discounts from MedSchoolCoach.

Coaching can be expensive, but think of it as an investment. For whatever, you spend, you'll get 30+ years of $150,000 to $500,000 as a doctor. That's a great return on investment! Click here to check out MedSchoolCoach.

Now on to what you came to this page for! Medical schools in California are listed below with the 2011 research rank by US World and News Report. Not all schools are ranked. If you notice differences between the GPA listed here and the GPA listed on the Top 100 Medical Schools page, that's because the GPA here is an average given by the school and the GPA on the Top 100 page is a median GPA for this year.

Public Schools

  • UCLA Medical School
    • US World and News Report Rank: #13
    • Location: Los Angeles, CA
    • Average MCAT: 31
    • Average GPA: 3.81
    • Tuition:   $30,083 for CA residents/$42,328 for non-CA
    • Accepts International Students: Yes
    • Insider Info: My Alma Mater! UCLA is a great medical school and in the Top 20 medical schools in the country! I have a full page about my home school here that has all the insider information that I think you would find useful.
  • UC Davis Medical School
    • US World and News Report Rank: #42
    • Location: Sacramento, CA
    • Average MCAT: 31
    • Average GPA: 3.66
    • Tuition: $32,521 for CA residents/$44,766 for non-CA
    • Accepts International Students: Yes
    • Insider Info: UC Davis offers several different degree opportunities. These include a rural medicine track )PRIME), MD/MBA, MD/MPH, MD/PhD and MD/Health Informatics. UC Davis also has seven student-run clinics, which will be very useful to you in improving your diagnostic and physical exam skills early on in your training. Students can also participate in "Saturday Academy," where medical students mentor high school students interested in medicine. This is unique to this one of the medical schools in California. UC Davis a well-respected California medical school and you would be very happy to end up here. It is one of the Top 50 medical schools. For more specific information, use the MSAR.
    • School website: Click here
  • UC San Diego School of Medicine
    • US World and News Report Rank: #15
    • Location: La Jolla, CA
    • Average MCAT: 35
    • Average GPA: 3.86
    • Tuition: $30,083 for CA residents/$42,328 for non-CA
    • Accepts International Students: No
    • Insider Info: UC San Diego is a California medical school that has the MD/PhD training program, as well as a student run free clinic for students to improve their diagnostic and exam skills. You can't beat the weather at this location and it is super close to the beach. I just went there for a residency interview and really enjoyed the school. San Diego is one of the well respected California medical schools, particularly for its research. If you are interested in research, San Diego would be a great choice. It is one of the Top 20 medical schools. For more specific information, use the MSAR.
    • School website: Click here
  • UC Irvine Medical School
    • US World and News Report Rank: #42
    • Location: Irvine, CA
    • Average MCAT: 33
    • Average GPA: 3.66
    • Tuition: $28,604 for CA residents/$40,849 for non-CA
    • Accepts International Students: No
    • Insider Info: UC Irvine has an initiative to provide a "completely digital learning environment" for their students. This is different from the other medical schools in California. As such, medical students receive iPads at their entrance ceremony to the school (called the white coat ceremony)! UC Irvine has a reputation for being a little more laid back than other medical schools in California, which is a good thing if that fits your personality. It's also in a great location in Orange County, which is a very family friendly and safe place. They have some of the best schools in the nation if that's an important factor for you. It's also one of the Top 50 Medical Schools in the country. For more specific information, use the MSAR.
    • School website: Click  here
  •  University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine
    • US World and News Report Rank: #5
    • Location: San Francisco, CA
    • Average MCAT: 11 Verbal, 12 Physical Science, 12 Biological Science
    • Average GPA: 3.71, 3.73 science
    • Tuition: $28,005 CA Residents/$40,250 Non-CA
    • Accepts International Students: Yes
    • Insider Info: UCSF is regarded as one of the best medical schools in the United States, and obviously one of the best medical schools in California. I would call this a "wow factor" school. If you come from here, people are impressed! It is one of the Top 10 Medical Schools. The program offers an organ-systems based curriculum during the first two years. The website is very useful with great information and videos from students. UCSF is often regarded as a research institution, so make sure to emphasize this to get accepted. UCSF offers the MSTP program, combined MD/MS, MD/MPH, and a PRIME program for those interested in underserved populations. For more specific information, use the MSAR.
    • School website: Click  here
  • UC Riverside School of Medicine
    • Click here for school site
    • UC Riverside is in the process of building their own medical school, adding to the medical schools in California. Currently, students can attend the first two years of medical school at UC Riverside and the second two years at UCLA. Click here for more information about this program.

Private Schools

There are also several California medical schools that are private. Private medical schools have the advantage of not giving favor to people from a certain state of residence. They are also some of the most respected schools in the nation. However, they are more expensive. Although, recently the tuition for public California medical schools has gone up and is now approaching the cost of private medical schools in California. A lot of this is due to the budget issues in California currently. Here are the private schools:

  • Stanford Medical School
    • US World and News Report Rank: #5
    • Location: Stanford, CA
    • Average MCAT: 34.2
    • Average GPA: 3.81
    • Public/Private: Private
    • Tuition: $44,196
    • Accepts International Students: Yes
    • Insider Info: Stanford University is a research-heavy institution with several research requirements for all students applying. This is similar to UCSF, as they are both highly ranked medical schools in California for research. You will again find this in the Top 10 medical schools in the country. This is another "wow factor" school with a great reputation throughout California, the country and the world. Getting accepted here would be a great accomplishment. If you are interested in research and have good experience in research, this would be a good school for you.  For more specific information, use the MSAR.
    • School website: Click  here
  • USC Medical School
  • US World and News Report Rank: #36
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Average MCAT: 34.2
  • Average GPA: 3.6
  • Tuition: $47,072
  • Public/Private: Private
  • Accepts International Students: Yes
  • Insider Info: USC is a California medical school that also offers several combined degree programs including MD/PhD, MD/MS in medical education. It is one of the Top 50 medical schools. This school is associated with County Hospitals mainly. What this means is that the patients you will see here are lower income patients. The area has serious gang problems and hence gang violence. What this means for you is that you will see trauma that you will not see in other places. It also means that you will probably see more serious disease than you will see at other places. UCLA also has an associated county program (Harbor), but you may or may not rotate there during your time at UCLA. I only had one rotation there. USC and UCLA is one of the biggest rivalries in California medical schools and particularly the undergrad campuses, so obviously I favor UCLA! However, the county-based training at USC offers a great opportunity for you to get a lot of experience, particularly with procedures. This is because the patient population at USC is generally more open to having medical students help them. For more specific information, use the MSAR.
  • School website: Click  here
  • Loma Linda University School of Medicine
    • US World and News Report Rank: Not ranked
    • Location: Loma Linda, CA
    • Average MCAT: 30
    • Average GPA: 3.8
    • Tuition: $41,876
    • Accepts International Students: Yes
    • Insider Info: Loma Linda is a Seventh Day Adventist school and is focused on Christian principles. It is located in Loma Linda, CA, which is in the Inland Empire. The benefit to this location is that the cost of living is FAR less expensive than any of the other medical schools in California, particularly Southern California. While Loma Linda is a Christian school, you do not have to be Chrisitan to attend. You will learn more about spirituality and its influence on medicine here than you will at other schools. Students learn how to take a "spiritual history" from patients, which basically just means learning about the person's faith. Faith often influences people's perception of illness so in my opinion it's a great asset to have this training in your medical education. The school library and other services close on Saturdays. For more specific information, use the MSAR.
    • School website: Click  here

Osteopathic Schools

Another option for California medical schools are the osteopathic schools. Osteopathic schools award the DO degree, vs the MD degree from allopathic schools. Osteopathic schools have more of a "holistic" focus, thinking about the whole person in treating disease. These schools also train in osteopathic manipulative medicine, which involves manipulating the body in order to treat disease. These schools are all private schools and generally have lower average GPA and MCAT scores for entering students than allopathic schools, although as you can see, they're not that much lower. 

  • Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine
    • US News and World Report: Not ranked
    • Location: Vallejo, CA
    • Average MCAT: 28.9
    • Average GPA: 3.45
    • Tuition: $42,000
    • Accepts International Students: Yes, but must hold either US Citizenship or US Permanent Resident Status. Also do not accept foreign transcripts.
    • Insider Info: Touro is a California medical school that lists the following attributes for what they are looking for in an applicant: Acadmie competence, personal/professional acheivements, demonstrated leadership skills, creative abilities, experience in health care and likelihood to practice in under served primary care areas. This means that the school is looking for students who have shown that they are interested in serving lower income populations. So, if you are applying to this California medical school, make sure that you have volunteered in places or done things that show that you are interested in working in under served areas. Also make sure this comes out in your personal statement.
    • Click here for school site
  • Western University of Health Sciences
    • US News and World Report: Not ranked
    • Location: Pomona, CA
    • Average MCAT: 28
    • Average GPA: 3.53 (3.47 science)
    • Tuition: $47,515
    • Accepts International Students: Yes. Requires F-1 Student visa.
    • Insider Info: Western is the other one of the Osteopathic California medical schools. They list academic preparation, diverse experiences, interest and involvement in the community, commitment to compassionate health care, a good understanding of the profession and WesternU, and excellent verbal and written communication skills as selection factors for their school. Again, you will need to show that you have these skills in your personal statement and your interview. I was able to work with several students from Western during my rotations. They seemed to enjoy their school and felt prepared for their rotations and prospective residencies.
    • Click here for school site

As you can see, you have several California medical schools to choose from. Whether you want to stay close to home or come out to the West Coast, California is a great place to live. If you are a California resident, you do have an advantage as there are several public schools to choose from. However, as you can tell, all of the California medical schools are very competitive. MCAT and GPA are part of what will get you into medical school, but there's a lot more you need to do.

Click here to find out what medical schools are looking for from an applicant.

Good luck to you as you apply and come back often for more information about medical schools in California and applying to and succeeding in medical school!

Get Accepted to your favorite California Medical School

The medical school admissions process can is very difficult. Getting into your best medical school is not something that you should leave to chance!  This site is designed to help you get into the school of your choice, maybe that's a California medical school! Check out my admissions page for understanding the admissions process.  

Some students find it useful to employ a service to help them with getting into medical school. For a school as competitive as these, I would highly recommend coaching.  There are many companies that will help you with this, but my recommendation is MedSchoolCoach.  

MedSchoolCoach is run by doctors with experience on admissions committees. This makes a big difference as many companies are run by business people or others without this essential experience. They also have an excellent track record, placing 100% of students in an MD or DO program and 87% in an MD program for those who sign up for their gold package They also offer help with personal statements , interviews and help on choosing which schools to apply to. They are the company I recommend.

I also like them because their prices are very affordable compared to other companies you could choose. Also, click here for current discounts from MedSchoolCoach. Remember, about 60% of applicants are not accepted to any medical school! Don't be one of the 60%! The cost of reapplying could easily be as much as getting help the first time around to help you get accepted. You can also specifically request that I work with you on your application if you wish. I served on the UCLA admissions and work particularly with essays, AMCAS applications, general advising, and have experience with California and Texas schools. I'd be happy to help you get into the school of your choice! Click here to visit MedSchoolCoach

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