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School of Medicine

School of Medicine

The Doctor of Medicine degree requires the satisfactory completion of a four-year course of study composed of 15 consecutive quarters. Course work is conducted on the Sacramento campus, at the UC Davis Medical Center and in nearby affiliated hospitals.

Preparing for the Study of Medicine

When you apply to the School of Medicine, you must submit the results from the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), so it is recommended that you take the MCAT by the spring before application. Information can be obtained at your undergraduate institution or directly from MCAT Program, Box 4056, Iowa City, IA 52243; 319-337-1357. To be acceptable for the fall entering class, the MCAT must be taken no later than the previous fall. No scores older than three years from June of the year you apply will be accepted. Applicants must also meet the following academic requirements.

  • Completed at least three years of study in an accredited college or university in the United States. A minimum of 90 semester hours or 135 quarter units of college-level work is required. Courses in highly specialized fields are acceptable only at the discretion of the medical school.
  • Physicians should have a broad college level education in the natural, social, and behavioral sciences and the humanities. We require the MCAT and three years (90 semester hours or 135 quarter hours) in an accredited college or university that include the specific requirements listed below.
  • Required college-level courses (verified by AMCAS):
    • Biological Sciences: 1 year
    • Chemistry, general and organic sequence: 2 years
    • Physics: 1 year

Technical, Non-Academic Standards are also required. For
more information, see http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/mdprogram/admissions/requirements.html .

For additional information, contact the School of Medicine Admissions Office at 916-734-4800.

Admissions Process

The UC Davis School of Medicine admissions cycle starts in July and ends the following July. Upon applying through AMCAS, you receive information on how to enter and use the Applicant Portal. All communications and updates related to your application are managed through the Applicant Portal. For your convenience, please communicate through the Message Center, which is checked regularly. The UCDSOM admissions process consists of four major steps:

STEP 1: Complete your AMCAS Application

June 1 is the first day students may submit applications to the American Medical College Application Service. It is a good idea to submit your AMCAS application no later than August 1. October 1 is our deadline to submit all application materials to AMCAS. Extensions will not be considered.

STEP 2: Secondary Application (by invitation only)

After applying, your application is reviewed and qualified applicants are invited to complete our UC Davis School of Medicine secondary application. The secondary application consists of:

  • Supplementary activities and essays including possible interest in special Programs in Medical Education (PRIME) tracks and research pathways
  • Letters of recommendation (3-6 LORs allowed)
  • Complete pre-requisite information
  • Non-refundable application fee: $90

Completed secondary applications are forwarded to the admissions committee who perform a holistic review of applications and invite select applicants for an interview. Interview invitations are on a rolling basis-July through January.

STEP 3: Interview Day (by invitation only)

Our interviews are always held on Fridays starting in mid-August and ending in February/March.

STEP 4: Acceptance Decision

Upon completion of your interview, your application is forwarded to Admissions Committee. Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis starting on October 15 through July 15 the following year. Decisions are made within 30-45 days post-interview after review of your entire application packet. Categories of decision are:

  • Acceptance: Starting October 15 and through July 15
  • Wait list: Applicant informed of wait list status with final decision staring April 30 through July 15
  • Not Accepted

Admissions Criteria

The UC Davis School of Medicine Admissions Committee reviews each applicant's experiences, attributes, and metrics as related to our core student physician competencies:

  • Patient care
  • Knowledge
  • Interpersonal and communications skills
  • Professionalism
  • System-based practice (working within the health care system to enhance care)
  • Life-long learning

The Admissions Committee determines whether the applicant will be granted a secondary application, interview, and ultimately acceptance to the UC Davis School of Medicine. Committee members attempt to do a holistic assessment of each applicant that includes, but is not limited to, the following experiences, attributes, and metrics (in no particular order of importance):


  • Healthcare experience
  • Research experience
  • Leadership experience
  • Community service
  • Educational background
  • Experience working in inter-professional teams
  • Life experiences (e.g. obstacles overcome)


  • Geographic origin (e.g. rural or medically underserved area)
  • Resilience
  • Motivation for a medical career
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Communication skills, including listening and empathy
  • Languages spoken, particularly by underserved patient populations
  • Critical thinking skills including problem solving
  • Professional responsibility and accountability
  • Values and ethical beliefs
  • Self-assessment and improvement skills
  • Altruism and compassion
  • Appreciation for diverse perspectives
  • Ability to work in inter-professional teams
  • Honesty and integrity


  • Undergraduate grades, grade trends, and course load
  • Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) score
  • Performance in a post-baccalaureate and/or graduate degree program

Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) and residents of participating states will be considered as residents for the purposes of admission. For more information submit inquiries to WICHE at http://wiche.edu/askWICHE/submit or call 303-541-0200.

Transfer with Advanced Standing

We do not accept transfer students.

Program of Study

Doctor of Medicine. The curriculum for the M.D. degree is normally a four-year program that provides comprehensive training for the practice of medicine and provides a blend of basic sciences training and clinical experience. The emphasis during the first two years is on the basic-science foundations of medicine. Medical students are introduced to patient care during their very first quarter of study, reflecting the school’s commitment to the training of highly skilled clinicians. Several volunteer clinics, largely staffed by UC Davis medical students, provide an ideal setting for hands-on clinical experience.

Tailored Clinical Tracks. We offer tailored clinical training for students interested in providing care for rural communities, urban underserved communities, and communities in the San Joaquin Valley. Our newest track, offered in collaboration with Kaiser Permanente Northern California, is a three-year pathway through medical school for students committed to Primary Care careers.

Combined Degree Program. In addition to the Doctor of Medicine degree, the School of Medicine at UC Davis offers a variety of dual-degree programs through coordination with other graduate groups and divisions. These advanced degrees can couple the M.D. degree with the M.P.H., Ph.D., and M.B.A. that train physicians to meet, respond to and solve the broad diversity of problems and dilemmas facing current and future health care.

Meeting this challenge requires those capable of advancing our biological sciences knowledge base and others who can recognize and solve the ethical, political and humanitarian issues that confront the broad delivery of health care to all. Hence, the field for the Ph.D. in the joint degree program at UC Davis can be any graduate program offered on the UC Davis campus, extending beyond the traditional biological sciences boundaries, and strongly encouraging candidates to seek degrees in social sciences and humanities. All requirements for both degrees are met in a course of study that usually lasts seven years. To be admitted, and be concurrently enrolled in both degree programs, students must apply for separate admission to both the M.D. and Ph.D. programs and obtain permission of the School of Medicine M.D./Ph.D. Advisory Committee. Funding for two competitive fellowships is awarded annually to students enrolled in the M.D./Ph.D. program.

Advisory Committee. Inquiries about admission to graduate education should be directed to the Dean of Graduate Studies, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616. For more information concerning the combined-degree programs, contact Joanna Garcia, Office of Admissions, School of Medicine, University of California, 4610 X Street, Sacramento, CA 95817.

Master of Public Health (MPH) Degree. The Department of Public Health Sciences (PHS) offers the MPH degree. The MPH degree is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. Students apply for admission through the Office of Graduate Studies. The MPH program is designed for people interested in disease prevention and community health. The program includes instruction in epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental and occupational health, health services and administration, and social and behavioral science, and prepares students for an expanding range of professional opportunities and roles in public health and medicine. The MPH program runs on the main campus quarter system. The majority of courses are taught on the Davis campus. For more information, see http://mph.ucdavis.edu/. For course information, see Master of Public Health (MPH).

Academic Calendar

The School of Medicine operates on a different schedule from the rest of the UC Davis campus. The program is a continuous four-year academic experience. The first year curriculum commences in mid-summer and extends through mid-spring of the following year. There is a five week break between the first and second year for electives, research, and remediation. The second year curriculum begins in early summer and extends through mid-spring of the following year. This is followed by a six-week academic period for preparation for USMLE Step 1. The third year clinical clerkships start in the spring and extend for 48 weeks. The fourth year curriculum begins immediately thereafter and extends through spring of the following year, with graduation in May.


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Updated: November 21, 2017 12:17 PM