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Blog / Medical Schools In California Everything You Need To Know

Medical Schools in California: Everything You Need to Know

Written by Jack Westin on Feb 3, 2023

Medical Schools in California: Everything You Need to Know

Medical schools in California are some of the highest-rated in the country. Plus, their tuition rates are lower at public schools, they set students up for excellent residency opportunities, and California itself is filled with wonderful weather, diversity, and beautiful coastlines.

For all of these reasons, it’s not surprising why so many medical school students look to California for their medical training.

California State Medical Schools

California is known for having some of the top medical schools nationwide. According to a 2019 US News & World Report on the 15 best medical schools in the United States, three Californian schools were featured on the list. UCLA tied for 6th, UCSF placed 5th, and Stanford tied for 3rd. 

Choosing a school is a monumental decision for prospective medical students, and there are a number of factors to consider if you’re California dreamin’. 

California Medical School Tuition

In addition to having some of the country’s best schools, residents of California enjoy significantly reduced tuition from public medical schools (UC schools). Even out-of-state students can experience lower tuition rates at state-funded schools, although applicants who are residents of California will be preferred over out-of-state applicants at the 6 public medical schools. 

Medical Schools In California Requirements

The acceptance rates in California for both their private and public schools are very competitive. A student’s GPA and MCAT score must both be exceptional to warrant consideration. Stanford is regarded as being the best medical school in California, and among the top three in the United States. The average GPA and MCAT scores of applicants accepted to Stanford is 3.89 and 518, respectively. 

Those averages are able to be so high partly because of the vast number of students who apply to medical school programs in California. 

If going to medical school in California sounds appealing to you, just know that it sounds appealing to just about everyone else too. 

Public vs. Private Medical Schools In California

California has both public and private medical schools. Out-of-state students can still attend the public medical school programs, but preference will always be given to applicants who are residents of California. While tuition costs are generally lower than private schools, private schools are not required to accept a certain quota of Californians, so out-of-state applicants stand a better chance of acceptance. 

Being a Student in California

California is one of the largest states in the US. The state boasts beautiful, temperate climates year-round, a highly diverse and inclusive-minded population, and incredible food. There are 28 national parks in California, including The Joshua Tree and Yosemite, and Los Angeles has approximately 263 sunny days per year. And don’t forget about Hollywood.  

There’s a lot of room for students to explore in California, not that your studies won’t keep you very busy. 

California also has a higher cost of living, which will almost certainly be a serious consideration for any student. 

How Many Medical Schools Are There In California?

There are a total of 16 medical schools located in California.

What Medical Schools Are In California?

Our list of medical schools is divided between schools that reside in Southern California and Northern California. Osteopathic Schools are listed at the bottom. 

Medical Schools In Southern California

California University of Science and Medicine 

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science 

Kaiser Permanente Medical School

Keck School of Medicine of USC 

Loma Linda University School of Medicine 

UC Irvine School of Medicine 

UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine 

UC Riverside School of Medicine 

UC San Diego School of Medicine 

Medical Schools In Northern California

California Northstate University College of Medicine 

Stanford University School of Medicine

UC Davis School of Medicine

UC San Francisco School of Medicine

DO Medical Schools in California

California Health Sciences University (Northern California

Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine (Northern California)

Western University of Health Science – College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (Southern California)


Ensure Your California Med School Application Stands Out

It’s no small feat getting accepted into medical school, and California has some of the highest-rated schools in the country. 

The subjective nature of the medical school application makes the whole process confusing, tedious, and time-consuming. Students are often left feeling frustrated and overwhelmed with all of the many moving parts.

Whether it’s choosing which schools are the best fit for you, writing a personal statement, or preparing to take the MCAT, we will guide you through the entire application process. We help our students reach their full potential on every aspect of their medical school application.

Our team of editors and advisors (including Jack) have years of experience and are ready to help you overcome any challenges that may stand in your way.

Join the Waitlist for Medical School Admissions with Jack Westin.

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