University of California, Riverside

School of Medicine


Admission to Medical School

The UCR School of Medicine seeks students with diverse intellectual and life experiences. We value broad academic backgrounds that include humanities, foreign language, social sciences and the arts to help prepare future physicians for interacting with increasingly diverse patient populations, health care professionals and colleagues. Each applicant’s complete portfolio will be reviewed carefully in order to select students who are not only academically qualified but who have the breadth of volunteer/community and personal experiences to ensure that they will become physicians well prepared to care for the diverse population in our communities.

Inquiries Regarding Admission:

Tammy Clawson
Tel: (951) 827-7353


Julie Lakatos
Tel: (951) 827-7359



Check your status

How to Apply

 Applications for admission to the UCR School of Medicine for the class enrolling in August 2018 may be submitted beginning June 1, 2017. Applicants should submit applications through the American Medical College Application Service® (AMCAS®).

Prior to submitting an application, you must request that a complete set of official transcripts be forwarded directly to AMCAS by the registrar of each school you have attended. Official transcripts are not required for work you have taken the previous term (e.g. if application is submitted in summer, previous spring official transcripts are not required). No processing of your application will be performed until both the application and all required official transcripts are received by AMCAS. The application deadline is November 1, 2017.

School of Medicine Mission

The mission of the UCR School of Medicine is to improve the health of the people of California and, especially, to serve Inland Southern California by training a diverse workforce of physicians and by developing innovative research and health care delivery programs that will improve the health of the medically underserved in the region and become models to be emulated throughout the state and nation.

In recognition of this charge, the UCR medical school has the following goals for its faculty:

  • Provide students in the program with extensive personal advising by medical school faculty to assist them in evaluating their career aspirations,
  • Deliver basic science and clinical instruction in a small group learning environment with intensive instructor-student interaction,
  • Give highly qualified undergraduate and medical students the opportunity to participate in biomedical and community-based research experiences, and
  • Offer opportunities for experiences in community medicine for both undergraduate and medical students.

Faculty and students will actively collaborate to build a strong foundation for:

  • An enthusiasm for life-long, discerning, self-education;
  • A commitment to humanistic, compassionate, and ethical care of the individual and family;
  • An ongoing development of a broad foundation of knowledge and skills that integrates basic, clinical, social and behavioral sciences with the art of medicine;
  • An understanding of the scientific method, an appreciation of its role in basic and clinical research, and the development and application of these habits of inquiry to address real problems;
  • An active concern for the promotion of the health and well-being of the community with sensitivity to its diversity, and an understanding of the special challenges and requirements of a pluralistic society;
  • Skills in effective communication, including the teaching of students, colleagues, patients and the community; and
  • The ability to provide flexible, creative leadership in the setting of rapidly changing technology and societal needs through a systematic, multidisciplinary, and collaborative approach.


The following statement on diversity has been adopted by the medical school faculty.

We, the faculty, students and staff of the UCR School of Medicine believe that a diverse student body, faculty and staff are essential to achievement of academic excellence. We are committed to recruiting students, faculty and staff responsive to our mission whose diversity contributes to an optimal learning environment. People of varied backgrounds, by which we mean those with a variety of personal experiences, values and worldviews arising from differences of culture and circumstance, bring added value to the education of students, research, and service to the community. In building a diverse medical school, those differences that can add to the value of our educational environment include, but are not limited to: gender, race, ethnicity, age, religious affiliation, abilities/disabilities, educational or socio-economic disadvantage (distance traveled), first in family to attend an institution of higher learning, personal or family experience of having limited access to health care, unique or challenging life experiences, and sexual orientation.

We are committed to recognizing and nurturing merit, talent and achievement by supporting diversity and equal opportunity in our education, services and administration, as well as research and creative activity. We will endeavor to remove barriers to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of talented students, faculty and staff from historically excluded populations who are currently underrepresented in medical education and the practice of medicine. Recruitment efforts and resources will be aligned with the goal to recruit individuals from groups underrepresented in medicine into faculty positions, recognizing that faculty, in particular, serve as role models to attract a diverse student body. Given the mission of the UCR School of Medicine and the desire to see the faculty, as well as the student body, reflect the cultural, socioeconomic, and ethnic diversity of the region that we serve, searches will endeavor to recruit faculty with these diverse characteristics.

Program Prerequisites

Pre-medical Education

Although students must complete the required pre-medical coursework listed below, students are not required to be science majors to do so. We value broad academic backgrounds that include humanities, foreign language, social sciences and the arts to help prepare future physicians for interacting with increasingly diverse patient populations, health care professionals and colleagues.

Required Courses
  • Mathematics (12 quarter units) to include introductory calculus and statistics.
  • English (12 quarter units) to include the study of English composition.
  • General college physics with laboratory (12 quarter units).
  • College chemistry with laboratory to include inorganic and organic chemistry (24 quarter units).
  • General biology with laboratory (12 quarter units).
Recommended Courses
  • A one-quarter course in biochemistry
  • Spanish
  • Humanities
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

The MCAT must be taken not later than fall of the year preceding admission to the School of Medicine. If more than one MCAT was taken, all the test grades must be included when making an application.

The test must be repeated if, at the time of application, more than three years have elapsed since it was taken. Requests for test reports and all other correspondence and requests for information concerning the administration, processing, and scoring of the MCAT should be directed to the MCAT Program Office.

Completion of Requirements

Students must complete all premedical requirements before beginning the first year of medical study, although these requirements need not be completed at the time application for admission is filed. AP credit with a score of 4 or 5 (or International Baccalaureate score of 6 or 7) can be used to satisfy one quarter or one semester of English and one quarter or one semester of mathematics. AP (or IB) credit can NOT be used to satisfy the physics, chemistry or biology requirements.

Application Process

The UCR School of Medicine admissions committee seeks students with diverse intellectual and life experiences. The admissions process will use a holistic review of applicants, meaning that each applicant's non-academic credentials will be considered as carefully as his or her academic record. The committee will also consider the "distance traveled" by each applicant to arrive at this stage of his or her career, recognizing that not all applicants have equal access to resources, mentorship, and strong high school preparation before arriving at college. The committee will review each applicant's complete portfolio carefully in order to select students who are not only academically qualified but who have the breadth of volunteer/community and personal experiences to ensure that they will become physicians well prepared to care for the diverse population in our communities.

Key Attributes

A subset of qualified applicants will be invited to visit the UCR School of Medicine and to take part in a series of interviews. Selection will be based on:

  • The academic competitiveness of the applicants, specifically their performance in upper level courses, both in science and non-science disciplines,
  • The strength of their letters of recommendation, specifically regarding character traits such as leadership, integrity, commitment to hard work, and communication skills (see personal core attributes described below),
  • The applicants' achievements and honors received,
  • The quality and duration of their extracurricular activities in areas such as research, teaching, work experience, and special talents,
  • The demonstrated commitment to community service, particularly to underserved populations, and
  • The extent and quality of their clinical experiences, demonstrating their motivation and commitment for a career in medicine.

The admissions committee also values the core personal attributes for entering medical school endorsed on November 29, 2011 by the Group on Student Affairs Committee on Admissions of the Association of American Medical Colleges. This core set of attributes includes the following characteristics:

  • Integrity and Ethics
  • Reliability and Dependability
  • Service Orientation
  • Social and Interpersonal Skills
  • Capacity for Improvement
  • Resilience and Adaptability
  • Cultural Competence
  • Oral Communication
  • Teamwork
Application Procedure

Applicants to the UCR School of Medicine must submit an application through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) no later than Nov. 1, 2017. A complete set of official transcripts must be forwarded to AMCAS by the registrar of all the higher education institutions attended.

Three to five individual letters of recommendation are required. These letters may be written by a premedical advisor, undergraduate faculty, mentors or any individual of your choice. UCR will participate in the AMCAS Letters Service for the 2015-16 application year. Please visit their website for more details about this service. Letters must be original, signed documents on institutional letterhead, and be submitted by Nov. 15, 2017.

Applicants will be notified by e-mail if approved for a secondary application. If approved, you will be able to access the secondary applications through the link on the status-check page on AMCAS. All communication will be through e-mail. To that end, please add the UCR School of Medicine domain ( to your "safe" list (particularly Hotmail and Yahoo users) and make sure to regularly check your junk mail as the second application is time-sensitive.

Students are offered an interview based on their AMCAS application and their secondary application. Candidates selected for interviews will be notified by e-mail. At this stage, only those candidates who have been interviewed can be considered for admission. Interviews will be scheduled on selected weekends from September through March and will be conducted in the Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI) format. Information about the MMI process can be found in the article Eva et al., "An Admissions OSCE: the Multiple Mini-Interview", Medical Education 38: 314-326, 2004.

Decisions for admissions are made on a rolling basis. Acceptances will continue until the class is full. Admission is provisional until cleared by the criminal background check process. Admission decisions are final and thus are not subject to appeal. A student not admitted as a result of the first application may file a second application the following year, however a third application cycle is strongly discouraged. An applicant may request a deferral for up to one year by writing to the Admissions Office. The decision to grant the deferral is made on an individual basis.

Important Dates and Deadlines

MCAT: No later than Fall 2017
AMCAS application: Nov. 1, 2017
Letters of recommendation: Nov. 15, 2017
Interviews: September 2017 through March 2018


The University of California, in accordance with applicable federal and state law and university policy, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy,1 physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer related or genetic characteristics), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or service in the uniformed services.2 The university also prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, access, and treatment in university programs and activities.

1Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.
2Service in the uniformed services includes membership, application for membership, performance of service, application for service, or obligation for service in the uniformed services.

Technical, Non-Academic Standards

University of California, Riverside School of Medicine Technical, Non-Academic, Standards
Essential Abilities and Characteristics Required for Completion of the M.D. Degree

The M.D. degree is a broad undifferentiated degree attesting to general knowledge in medicine and the basic skills required for the practice of medicine. Essential abilities and characteristics required for completion of the M.D. degree consist of certain minimum physical and cognitive abilities and sufficient mental and emotional stability to assure that candidates for admission, promotion, and graduation are able to complete the entire course of study and participate fully in all aspects of medical training. The School of Medicine intends for its graduates to become competent and compassionate physicians who are capable of pursuing and completing graduate medical education, passing licensing exams and obtaining and maintaining medical licensure. The avowed intention of an individual student to practice only a narrow part of clinical medicine, or to pursue a non-clinical career, does not alter the requirement that all medical students take and achieve competence in the full curriculum required by the faculty. For purposes of this document and unless otherwise defined, the term "candidate" means candidates for admission to medical school as well as enrolled medical students who are candidates for promotion and graduation.

The School of Medicine has an ethical responsibility for the safety of patients with whom students and graduates will come in contact. Although students learn and work under the supervision of the faculty, students interact with patients throughout their medical school education. Patient safety and well-being are therefore major factors in establishing requirements involving the physical, cognitive, and emotional abilities of candidates for admission, promotion, and graduation. The essential abilities and characteristics described herein are also referred to as technical (or non-academic) standards. They are described below in several broad categories including: observation; communication; motor function; intellectual-conceptual, integrative, and quantitative abilities; and social and behavioral skills. In addition to these, candidates must have the physical stamina and emotional stability to function in a competent manner in settings that may involve heavy workloads and stressful situations. Individuals who constitute a direct threat to the health and safety of others or are currently impaired by alcohol or other substance abuse are not suitable candidates for admission, promotion or graduation.

Delineation of technical standards is required for the accreditation of U.S. medical schools by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). The following abilities and characteristics are defined as technical standards, which in conjunction with academic standards established by the faculty, are requirements for admission, promotion, and graduation. A student who has or develops a chronic disease or condition will be expected to seek and continue under the care of a qualified health care provider.


Candidates must be able to observe demonstrations and participate in experiments of science, including but not limited to such things as dissection of cadavers; examination of specimens in anatomy, pathology, and neuroanatomy laboratories; and microscopic study of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states. Candidates must be able to accurately observe patients and assess findings. They must be able to obtain a complete or focused medical history and perform a complete physical examination in order to integrate findings based on these observations and to develop an appropriate diagnostic and treatment plan. These skills require the use of vision, hearing, touch or the functional equivalent.


Candidates must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently with patients, their families, and members of the health care team. They must be able to obtain a medical history in a timely fashion, interpret non-verbal aspects of communication, and establish therapeutic relationships with patients. Candidates must be able to record information accurately and clearly; and communicate effectively in English with other health care professionals in a variety of patient settings.

Motor Function:

Candidates must possess the capacity to perform physical examinations and diagnostic maneuvers. They must be able to respond to emergency situations in a timely manner and provide general and emergency care. Such activities require physical mobility, coordination of both gross and fine motor neuromuscular function, and balance and equilibrium.

Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities:

Candidates must have sufficient cognitive (mental) abilities and effective learning techniques to assimilate the detailed and complex information presented in the medical student curriculum. They must be able to learn through a variety of modalities including, but not limited to, classroom instruction; small group, team and collaborative activities; individual study; preparation and presentation of reports; and use of computer and information technology. Candidates must be able to memorize, measure, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize, and transmit information by multiple mechanisms. They must recognize and draw conclusions about three-dimensional spatial relationships and logical sequential relationships among events. They must be able to formulate and test hypotheses that enable effective and timely problem-solving.

Behavioral and Social Attributes:

Candidates must demonstrate the maturity and emotional stability required for full use of their intellectual abilities. They must accept responsibility for learning, exercising good judgment, and promptly completing all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients. They must understand the legal and ethical aspects of the practice of medicine and function within both the law and ethical standards of the medical profession. Candidates must be able to interact with patients, their families, and health care personnel in a courteous, professional, and respectful manner. They must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and long work hours, to function effectively under stress, and to display flexibility and adaptability to changing environments. Candidates must be able to contribute to collaborative, constructive learning environments; accept constructive feedback from others; and take personal responsibility for making appropriate positive changes. They must adhere to universal precaution measures and meet safety standards applicable to inpatient and outpatient settings and other clinical activities.

Ethical and Legal Standards:

Candidates must meet the legal standards to be licensed to practice medicine in the State of California. As such, candidates for admission must acknowledge and provide written explanation of any felony or misdemeanor offense(s) action taken against them prior to matriculation at the School of Medicine. In addition, should the student be convicted of any felony or misdemeanor offense(s) while in medical school, they agree to immediately notify the senior associate dean for student affairs as to the nature of the conviction. Students must be of the highest ethical and moral behavior. Felony conviction or failure to disclose prior or new offenses can lead to disciplinary action by the school that may include dismissal.

Ability to Meet the School of Medicine's Technical Standards

The School of Medicine intends for its students and graduates to become competent and compassionate physicians who are capable of entering residency training (graduate medical education) and meeting all requirements for medical licensure.

Equal Access to the School of Medicine's Educational Program

The University of California does not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities who apply for admission to the M.D. degree program or who are enrolled as medical students. Otherwise qualified individuals shall not be excluded from admission or participation in the School of Medicine's educational programs and activities solely by reason of their disability or medical condition. The School of Medicine provides reasonable accommodation in its academic programs to qualified individuals with disabilities. A reasonable accommodation is one that does not require substantial program modification or lower academic standards. Documented learning disabilities are included under this policy.

Should a candidate have or develop a condition that would place patients or others at risk or that would jeopardize his or her ability to complete medical student education and pursue residency training and licensure, the candidate may be denied admission or may be dismissed from school. Should a candidate have or develop a disability that poses a significant risk to health and safety of patients, self, or others that cannot be eliminated with a reasonable accommodation, the candidate may be denied admission or may be dismissed from school.

Students with a disability must meet these technical standards, with or without accommodation.  It is the responsibility of an admitted or continuing student with a disability, or a student who develops a disability, and who needs an accommodation to notify the Office of Student Special Services of the disability and provide adequate documentation of the general nature and extent of the disability and the functional limitations to be accommodated. A student who has or develops any chronic disease or condition will be expected to seek and continue in the care of a qualified health care provider, if the disease or condition could place patients or others at risk.  Evaluating and facilitating accommodation requests is a collaborative effort between the admitted or continuing student, the Office of Student Special Services and the Senior Associate Dean for SOM Student Affairs. The UCR SOM reserves the right to request new or additional information.

Should an admitted or continuing student have or develop a condition that would place patients, the student, or others at risk or that may affect his/her need for accommodation, an evaluation with the Office of Student Special Services may be necessary. As in initial assessments, a complete and careful reconsideration of all the skills, attitudes, and attributes of each candidate will be performed. This includes an assessment of his/her willingness, desire and ability to complete the medical curriculum and fulfill all requirements for medical licensure, and will be informed by the knowledge that students with varied types of disabilities have the ability to become successful medical professionals.

Information for Undocumented Applicants to UC Riverside

Undocumented students of all ethnicities and nationalities can find a safe and supportive community at the University of California. UC campuses offer a range of support services and various programs to help undocumented students transition to and succeed at UC. There are also a number of opportunities available after graduating from college, including applying to graduate school. The University of California offers more than 600 graduate degree programs across 10 campuses, which includes educational programs at six UC medical schools.

UC is committed to fostering diversity by recruiting qualified and diverse candidates seeking a medical education, including students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration status, those who are DACA-eligible, or those who are otherwise undocumented. Applications from undocumented applicants are considered under the same admissions standards as for any other applicant.

Important Facts for Prospective Applicants to UC Medical Schools

Undocumented students, who would like to apply to a UC medical school, should note some important facts:

  • There are no restrictions to prevent undocumented students from attending public graduate or professional schools in California.
  • Applicants are not required to have a Social Security Number to apply.
  • Those who qualify for the Association of American Medical College (AAMC) Fee Assistance Program (FAP) may be eligible for fee waivers for supplemental applications.
  • Under a federal law called FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act), universities cannot release a student’s information to a third party without their permission, including the fact that they are undocumented, except under very limited specific circumstances, such as a court order.
  • Applicants offered admission may be eligible to apply for some forms of financial aid and scholarships (see details below). UC medical schools will work actively to explore mechanisms for financial aid for all students. However, there is no guarantee that sufficient funding from the University of California will be available to meet the financial needs of a student with limited options for aid.
  • Applicants who enroll in a UC medical education program may have limitations on some curricular experiences (e.g., participating in clinical rotations at certain training sites) as a result of their citizenship status.
  • Beginning in 2016, the Medical Board of California, which is the state entity that licenses physicians in California, will consider applicants regardless of immigration status, however, an applicant must have an individual taxpayer identification number or a social security number to obtain licensure. See Sections 30 and 135.5 of the Business and Professions Code.
  • Entering students should be advised that there is no guarantee of admission to a graduate medical education program in the state of California. The status of licensure in other states is uncertain at this time. Students will need to seek information about applicable rules and regulations in states in which they are considering applying for residency training, licensure or future practice.
  • Under DACA, students receive work authorization and a temporary Social Security Number from the federal government.
  • DACA is an executive order and not law. It will remain in effect unless rescinded.
Applying to Medical School at the University of California
  • Individuals with DACA status applying to a UC medical school can refer to “Section Three: Biographical Information” of the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) Instructions Manual for guidance on disclosing information about their immigration status on their AMCAS application. 
Financial Aid Opportunities
  • All students, regardless of immigration status, are required to pay tuition and other mandatory fees.  All students have the responsibility to obtain funding for tuition, other required fees and associated costs of attendance (e.g., housing, books, etc.).
  • Undocumented graduate students at UC are not eligible for funding from federal sources. However, depending on their AB540 status, they may be eligible to receive aid from state, institutional and/or private sources.
  • Undocumented students who do not have AB 540 status cannot receive institutional fellowships from either the University of California or from private donor funds administered through the University of California. Private loans and private scholarships or fellowships through a non-university based entity, or external entity are the only financial aid options for students who do not have AB 540 status.
  • Individuals with DACA and AB 540 status qualify for in-state tuition. These students also qualify for financial assistance under AB131 and AB130, which allow students to apply for and receive scholarships derived from non-state funds and California state aid.
  • Some UC medical schools offer merit-based scholarships to individuals who matriculate at one of our campuses. All applicants, including DACA students with AB 540 status, are considered for these scholarships through the application and interview process.
Additional Resources

UC and Government Websites

Other Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is the UCR School of Medicine accepting applications from only UCR bachelor's degree recipients?

A: No. While a portion of each medical school class will be comprised of students who complete their undergraduate degrees at UC Riverside, applications will also be accepted from students who complete their undergraduate work elsewhere.

Q: Who can I contact if I have questions about the admissions requirements or application process?

A: You may telephone the medical school's Admissions Office at (951) 827-7353 or e-mail

Q: Does the UCR medical school have a postbaccalaureate program?

A: Yes. The Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program is designed to assist educationally and/or socio-economically disadvantaged applicants in gaining acceptance to medical school. You can learn more by visiting the postbaccalaureate program website.

Q: What are your course requirements?

A: A complete list of prerequisites and admissions requirements, as well as the application process can be viewed here.

Q: Do you have a combined bachelor's degree/M.D. program?

A: In addition to the M.D. program offered by the UCR School of Medicine, UC Riverside offers a broad range of undergraduate degree programs that serve as an excellent platform to prepare for medical school. Visit UCR's Undergraduate Programs web page to learn more about undergraduate degree programs. There is not a joint application process for undergraduate study and the M.D. program at UCR.

Q: How big is the class size?

A: The current incoming class size at the UCR School of Medicine is 60 students.

Q: Where will medical students do their rotations?

A: Clinical rotations will take place in a variety of community-based inpatient and outpatient healthcare settings, including public and private hospitals, county clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers and multi-specialty group practices. Visit the educational program portion of the website to learn more about the M.D. curriculum.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

School Information

School of Medicine
2608 School of Medicine Education Building

Admissions Inquiries: (951) 827-7353

General Inquiries: (951) 827-4568

Related Links