University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of medicine

  University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of medicine  


The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of medicine is a part of the The University of California education system. In this article, we will give you a detailed Insight into the medical program (MD) at USCF School of Medicine. You will get to know all about the application and admission procedure, campus life, and financial aid procedure of the program.

About The University of California

The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is one of the leading universities of San Francisco, California. It is a public research Institution and is exclusively devoted to health sciences. Moreover, it is the main hub of medical and biological research and education. The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of medicine is ranked as one of the top universities in the biomedical field not only in the country but around the world.


Overall, there are ten campuses of the University of California. Nine of these campuses offer undergraduate and graduate programs. However, only the UCSF campus offers the graduate/professional degrees. The campuses are:

  1. UC Berkeley
  2. UC Davis
  3. UC Irvine
  4. UCLA
  5. UC Merced
  6. UC Riverside
  7. UC San Diego
  8. UC San Francisco
  9. UC Santa Barbara
  10. UC Santa Cruz

About the UCSF School of Medicine

In the Western United States, the UCSF School of Medicine is the oldest medical schools. In 1864, it was founded as Toland Medical, and in 1873 it became affiliated with the University of California. The UCSF School of Medicine is one of the most selective medical schools in the U.S.A. Ranking wise; UCSF School of Medicine is at the 3rd position among research-oriented medical schools in the U.S. Moreover, according to U.S. News and World Report, it is also 3rd for primary care in the whole nation. This implies that UCSF School of Medicine is the only medical school in the U.S.A to achieve a top-5 ranking in both categories. In addition to that, globally speaking UCSF is ranked 3rd among all medical schools in the world (Academic Ranking of World Universities).

About the UCSF Medical Center

The UCSF Medical Center is in U.S.A’s top 5 hospitals. Also, it is the highest-ranked hospital according to U.S. News & World Report. Moreover, the school is prominent for being the physician training institution in the country. Also, it is the second major employer in the San Francisco Bay area as it has a total of 25,398 employees.


Overall, there are 4 schools in the University of California. They are: School of Nursing, School of Pharmacy, School of Medicine, and School of Dentistry. A brief introduction about the other three schools is given below (School of Medicine is discussed above).

    University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Dentistry

    The School of Dentistry is the oldest dental school in the state of California as it was founded in 1881, and in the Western United States. The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Dentistry is accredited by the American Dental Association. Moreover, it offers the following degrees/ programs:

  • Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)
  • MS in Dental Hygiene degrees
  • PhD in Oral and Craniofacial Sciences
  • MS in Oral and Craniofacial Sciences

    University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Pharmacy

    The oldest pharmacy school of the western United States was founded in 1872.  It has been the top pharmacy school in the U.S.A for 37 consecutive years. In 2015, the UCSF School of Pharmacy was listed third in the “America’s Best Graduate Schools” edition of U.S. News & World. Moreover, the School of Pharmacy is also first in getting the funding from NIH research funding among all American pharmacy schools, receiving a total funding of $31.8 million.

    University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Nursing

    The School of Nursing was established in 1907. It is one of the premier nursing schools in the U.S.A. The school is always enjoying the top positions in the school rankings of the country. In 2016, the U.S. News & World Report puts the UCSF School of Nursing on 2nd position in the whole country. The school is also in the top 10 schools of America for all six of its nursing specialties, including ranking first for its psychiatric nurse practitioner program, and second for its family nurse practitioner program.

Medical at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of medicine

    Admission Process

    Application for University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of medicine

    All the applicants should apply to the MD program through the . On the AMCAS website, the application form as well as the guidelines for completing and submitting the application is present. Generally, the applications are available in May and can be submitted till June 1. An applicant must make sure that they have submitted their application and official transcripts to AMCAS before the deadline.

    Review of Application

    Once the submission process is over, the AMCAS forwards applications to all UCSF. Then, the admissions committee reviews all the applications.  The admissions committee at UCSF is made up of faculty members as well as the medical students. Therefore, there is a variety of perspectives to the selection procedure.

    Secondary Application

    After UCSF application committee reviews all the candidate’s applications, the selected ones are asked to submit a secondary application. Usually, the college notifies candidates about submitting the secondary application roughly 3-10 weeks after it receives the verified AMCAS data of these candidates. Also, note that the purpose of the secondary applications is to identify candidates who should be invited to UCSF for interviews.

    Selection Process of University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of medicine

    The admission committee elects the candidates on the basis of those intellectual and personal qualities that it regards as desirable for prospective medical students and healthcare professionals. The committee considers the cognitive (academic) factors as much as it does non-cognitive factors. Therefore, the applicant’s statement and extracurricular activities have an essential impact on the selection process. Based on such an elaborate analysis, the number of selected applicants for the interview is quite limited i.e. roughly around 500. 

    Interviews at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of medicine

    On the whole, the Interview process gives a chance to the admission committee to know the candidate better. Moreover, it also gives the applicants a chance to interview the college team, or ask some questions that they might have. Also, the applicants can sit-in on a class, and meet the students, staff and faculty to get to know about the school better.

    Entry Test for University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of medicine

    Any candidate interested in applying to UCSF School of medicine should make sure that they have taken the MCAT. The MCAT, the basic requirement for all applicants, is conducted multiple times a year. However, we advise the applicants to take the MCAT in the spring instead of the summer. This way, a candidate gets a chance to take the test again if they think that their first test scores are not a reflection of their ability. However, the committee only considers the most recent scores of the applicants who take multiple tests. Moreover, applicants should take the test by September of one year before which they intend to enter the medical school.

    MD Course Requirements for University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of medicine

    Interested students from pre-medical background will have to pursue a four-year undergraduate curriculum and obtain a baccalaureate degree before applying to medical school.

    Required courses

  • Biology (one year with laboratory)
  • Chemistry (one year, should include at least one semester of organic chemistry with lab)
  • Biochemistry (minimum of one course is required)
  • Physics (one semester)

    The requirements are formal; they show the basic (or minimum) of what is expected from students. However, most successful candidates go far beyond these. Having a high academic background and distinctions automatically adds to your chance of getting selected. In short, the kind and level of courses taken, the academic achievements, and the applicant’s MCAT scores are the main factors that influence the selection decision.

    Transfer students

    The school does allow transfer students. However, only 105 acceptable quarter units can be transferred from a junior or community college.


    The School of Medicine considers all applicants without prejudice of any sort. The School has a long-standing commitment to improve the number of physicians from the populations that are underrepresented, for racial or ethnic reasons. As a result, over the last 3 decades, the school of medicine has had one of the highest numbers of medical students from the underrepresented backgrounds.

    Acceptance letters

    The School of Medicine has a rolling admissions policy. So, applicants can receive an acceptance letter any time between December and April. Moreover, the applicants who are placed on the alternate list will be notified by May 1 and may receive notification of acceptance between May and August.

    Tuition and Costs

    Generally, the expenses of medical school are a major investment for most people. But with careful planning, the medical education at UCSF is definitely affordable. Most of the students manage their fee through a combination of personal or family contributions, loans, and financial aids to pay for the school. You can view the estimated budget of an average student at the School of Medicine.

    Average Debt

    The average amount borrowed by a 2016 graduate was $139,457 as compared to $169,182, which is the average loan taken by all other medical school graduates.

    Financial Aid

    UCSF Student Financial Aid program works to help students marshal the funds they will need to attend the UCSF School of Medicine. In other words, the school is always ready to help. For the year 2015-2016, 88 percent of the students received some kind of financial aid.


UCSF Health has affiliations with several Bay Area health systems. All of these affiliations are a great place to learn for the students of the School of Medicine. The most prominent ones are:


    UCSF Housing Services

    The school provides quality and affordable on-campus accommodation to students, post-docs, residents, clinical fellows, and faculty. Click here to apply for the hotel.  Alternatively, you can also drop an email to However, before applying for the accommodation, have a look at the Eligibility Requirements to see if you qualify for on-campus housing.


    UCSF also has a Fitness Center, which was opened in 2005. At Mission Bay, the center is a dynamic, airy environment and bright, building with contemporary art and architecture. The Fitness Center features state-of-the-art equipment, a Pilates studio, two swimming pools, and a climbing wall. There are three floors for various activities, an NBA gym, and a sunny rooftop pool.


    The UCSF has a brilliant and large library. It is situated in Parnassus and has a total of 5 floors. The library is regarded as one of the world’s foremost libraries in the health sciences because of its exceptional collection of books and other educational resources. Basically, the library is a multipurpose building. It features a conversational space with three group study areas having large whiteboard walls. Also, a café offering is present with a variety of coffee, pastries, sandwiches, and salads. Computers and printers are available for thee for UCSF students and staff.  The library has comfortable seating and a relaxed atmosphere to study. The reading collection of the library is noteworthy. Moreover, you can use the online library services here.

Campus Life

    Campus Organizations

    Registered Campus Organizations (RCOs) are an essential part of campus life. At UCSF, there are more than 180 registered campus organizations. The total number of activities and events that these organizations sponsor every year are more than 1,200. All of these events are immensely diverse in their nature. The organizations cover a wide variety of interests, including learning and education, social, cultural, artistic, literary, recreational, political and spiritual. The best way to find an organization of your interest is to browse the currently Registered Campus Organizations in OrgSync. Also, if your interests aren’t addressed by existing RCOs, then you can create a new one. And it’s so easy. Just visit the RCO Registration page for all the guidelines and information that you will need to register your new club.

    You should definitely join or form an RCO to have a rewarding out-of-classroom time. These are not only great for having a good time but also in meeting a lot of new people. There are many departments in an organization that you can join. Usually, the departments in an organization are:

  • Registration
  • Organization recruitment & management
  • Program logistics
  • Marketing & website assistance
  • Meeting & event supplies
  • Transition planning
  • Fundraising ideas and advice
  • Assistance with locating on-campus funding sources
  • Meeting space
  • General administrative support, including copy card privileges

    By being a member of any of the department, students can have a hands-on experience.


    Synapse is the student paper at UCSF. It started in 1957, and since 1997 the newspaper has been coming out in both print and online version. Synapse serves as the communication forum for the campus community. Generally, it covers campus news and events, recreation, and eatery reviews, and a wide variety of feature stories, editorials, and weekly columns. However, there is special emphasis on science and health, national news, and opinion articles.

    Dr. Najeeb Lectures

    There are times in medical schools when students find it really hard to keep up with the syllabus. Besides asking the teaching assistants for help, another great option is to video lectures by Dr. Najeeb. Today, students from almost 190 countries use his video in medical schools. Moreover, they are also very popular in U.S.A’s medical schools. Dr. Najeeb is a great teacher as students usually find that he teaches all the medical concepts effortlessly. Also, his style is basic yet useful. Moreover, he makes sure that a student’s who is watching his video lecture is on the same page with him. To enhance the learning process, Dr. Najeeb draws illustrations step by step. Also, this learning method gives flexibility to your schedule as you can watch and learn with them whenever and wherever you want.

    Additionally, the video lectures on Dr. Najeeb Lectures cover all topics of medical and clinical science. The video library has over 800 lectures. Gross Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Pharmacology, Microbiology, Neuroanatomy, Embryology, Histology, Immunology and Pathology related videos in details are available in the library. You can have a look at the video library. So subscribe today if you want to end your struggle with tough concepts.  However, before signing up for subscription, you can also try video lecture for free. Additionally, check out the reviews of students from other medical universities about Dr. Najeeb’s lectures.

More Information About MD Program

For more information about the MD Program, contact:

UCSF School of Medicine Office of Admissions, Box 0408
533 Parnassus Avenue, Room U-426
San Francisco, CA 94143
(415) 476-4044
Office Hours: M-F 8 a.m.-5 p.m.


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