Apply and Pay
for Med School
Submitting medical school applications occurs in June - one year before you want to start the program. Some steps take more time to complete than others, so plan ahead! Before applying, applicants will need to take the MCAT and gather all of the other information below before submitting. See the following steps below.
Take the MCAT
- Prepare and Practice
- Take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
- MCAT Study Plan/Schedule
- Reddit Pre-Med FAQs & Strategies
- 2022 MCAT Testing Calendar
- 2022 MCAT Essentials Guide
Write Your Personal Essay
- Why medicine? What experiences have you had that are compelling you to pursue medicine?
- Medical schools may also evaluate "distance traveled"
- What obstacles have you overcome?
- How have you demonstrated resiliency?
- 5300 character limit
- What is motivating you to pursue osteopathic medicine?
- Be sure to understand the philosophy of a DO
- 5300 character limit
- Personal statements should be a general statement indicating the student’s development for a career in the podiatric medical profession, not directed at a specific school
- 4500 character limit
Collect Letters of Evaluation
- AMCAS Letters of Evaluation: FAQ
- AMCAS Letter Writer Application
- AAMC Guidelines for letter writers
- Letters of Recommendation (Resource from Undergraduate Research)
- Note: UC San Diego does not currently have a health professions committee, so we don’t provide committee letters, composite letters or do letter packets. Applicants will need to get individual letters. Some medical schools may require a committee letter but this only applies to applicants that attended a university which has a committee.
Apply for Financial Aid
Select Schools & Programs
Use the links below to identify programs with the curriculum, clinical training options and student services that match your needs. Consider your likelihood of admission and cost.
- Find Allopathic (MD), Osteopathic(DO), and Podiatric (DPM) medical schools
- MSAR Database for MD programs: Medical School Admissions Requirements (select medical schools)
- The Choose DO Explorer for DO Programs
- Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR) Database: Includes GPA & MCAT score ranges and means, state residency preferences, mission, and other MD school specific information ($28/annually)
- MEDICAL SCHOOLS THAT ACCEPT <510 MCAT
- Identify MD/PhD programs and Medical Scientist Training Programs (MSTP)
- Consider international medical training: California-Recognized schools, Australia, Ireland, and others listed in the WDOMS Directory
- UC San Diego School of Medicine
How to Submit and Apply
Carefully prepare and submit:
- Primary Applications - centralized services that compile and standardize your information
- Work & Activities Section
- You can highlight up to 15 work or extra-curricular activities
- Select 3 experiences as most meaningful
- 700 characters to describe the activity
- 1325 to explain why it is most meaningful
- Secondary Applications - school-specific supplemental information including additional essays
- Apply directly on schools’ websites for international medical schools
An online, video-based situational judement test (SJT) that screens for people skills.
- 12 sections; 1 score
- 8 Video-based scenarios
- 4 text based scenarios
- 3 open-ended questions
- 5 minutes to answer
- 60-90 minutes
For more detailed webinar, check out the CASPer webinar for the 2020-2021 Admissions Cycle
Schools and Programs using CASPer
Snapshot: 10-minute one-way video interview with standardized questions
Duet: 15-minute value-alignment assessment
Medical School Interview Resources
Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Med Programs
What if you are not competitive enough for medical school? Post baccalaureate pre-med programs are designed to help strengthen an application through additional coursework, MCAT prep, and overall support.
The national average for acceptance into USMD schools is an overall 3.70 GPA. The national average for science GPA is 3.65. If your overall GPA is below a 3.4 and your science GPA is below a 3.3 consider post-baccalaureate course work to demonstrate your competence in college-level science course work.
Not feeling academically prepared? Learn about Post-Bac Options and see the various types of Post-Bac Programs, including Osteopathic programs
UC Post-Baccalaureate Consortium is for economically and educationally disadvantaged students and includes UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, and UCSF. UC Post-Bac Consortium FAQ's and website information for all four programs.
There are multiple types of post-baccs:
|Post-Bacc||For Whom?||Length of study|
Special Master’s Programs (SMP’s)>
Many of these are structured for students on the cusp of being competitive or applied to medical school, but did not get in; serves as a direct bridge to medical school; generally MOST competitive post-bacc
(SMP in Physiology at Georgetown)
Academic Record Enhancers
Students with < 3.4 GPA
Students who need to take most of the pre-reqs required for med school
Minority underrepresented in medicine or health professions
Educationally and economically disadvantaged
First-generation, low-income students
Additional Application Information
Click here for more info and resources on applying: personal essay, interview tips, letters of evaluation, and taking a gap year.