University of California San Francisco Leads Global Medical Education

December 23, 2013
Donna McGill

Imagine the San Francisco Bay as your backdrop, a number of Nobel laureates leading your medical education and a
community that welcomes each new class of medical students, all with the same goal of becoming the best of the best. For more than a century, the University of California San Francisco has introduced the world to some of the finest medical minds in the world.

UCSF by the Numbers

  • Each UCSF class admits about 150 students. It should be noted, too, that most are from California.
  • Genetics, which is yielding incredible finds in our contemporary society, is one of the most sought after specialties at UCSF. That, along with obstetrics and research, are a few of the draws for students wishing to specialize in those areas. There’s another area the school is known for; and if statistics hold true, it’s going to remain a very important specialty. With the statistics show drug and alcohol abuse on the rise again, those who opt to pursue this as a specialty are sure to find many opportunities after graduation.
  • Of course, everyone is interested in exactly how much it costs for them to attend UCSF Medical School. For instate students, you can expect to pay $31,134 and if you’re not a resident of California, your costs will hover around $43,379. That includes all fees except the $200 processing fee that’s required if a student is accepted and decides to attend. This goes to UC Regents.
  • Finding salary expectations were a bit challenging; in fact, the prestigious school’s website explains it this way, “All academics…should be based on the academic merits and expectations, not on salary requirements.”
  • UCSF has a great way of assisting graduating students with their job searches. Each department has its own faculty member that works alongside the career counselors to ensure students are getting the best advice for navigating those career waters.
  • Many students are drawn to UCSF because of its research opportunities. Drug and alcohol specialties are also a favorite.
  • The average MCAT score for acceptance into the University of California San Francisco is 35 and the average GPA is 3.79. Because the acceptance rate is less than 4%, would-be students are encouraged to prepare for their MCAT with a reputable program, such as Kaplan Prep Test services.

Campus Sights and Sounds

Life on UCSF campus is always energetic. Because there is so much within the university’s grounds, there’s an “around the clock” buzz that most students can appreciate. Late dinners or a quick trip to the library will likely mean you’re running into dorm mates or classmates.

For students accepted in 2015, they’ll enjoy the brand new campus on Mission Bay. Imagine the salt air coming off of the Pacific as you’re preparing for graduation, along with everyone else who is either learning the latest in technological advances in medicine or who are in need of those advances.

The medical school is located on the Parnassus Heights Campus and is part of the entire UCSF Medical Center.

What Students Soon Discover

Students expect – and are rarely disappointed – a world class educational opportunity. Remember, this is an institute that boasts many Nobel winners. Many students and educators are involved in the school’s green initiative, too.

Of course, the work is hard and there is no way to “skate” through it. In the end, however, those who do graduate find themselves prepared for the future and with an education that can change the world once a graduate puts it to use.

The UCSF Campus as a Whole

There are twenty restaurants on the collective campus and several retail shops allow you to fill prescriptions, courtesy of Walgreen’s and even retail flower shops help define the campus (not to mention it’s always good to have a florist nearby for a forgotten birthday or a last minute dinner date).

Most recently, the campus “go to” site for unwinding and good food announced it would be offering grilled lunch specials on Fridays beginning in June 2013. Makes the rest of us “non-doctors” wonder if maybe they’d let us sneak on campus each Friday. Eh…but then there are those pesky restraining orders and the police might not be so nice next time we’re caught.

Did we mention the full service gym on campus? No matter how soothing that salt air is off the Pacific, the fact is, you’re going to need to shake off that nervous energy before finals and to that end, fitness and recreational opportunities are easily found. They include cardio training, group fitness classes and even massages – and all help define the gym.

As you might imagine, the weather is absolutely incredible. The sounds and scents of the bay, the energetic charge in the air and the incredible folks who define the school come together to ensure an experience no medical student will ever forget.

Defining Your Career

As mentioned, UCSF offers an impressive method of counseling students on their career options. The Associate Dean for Students, Dr. Maxine Papadakis, oversees the department and is always ready to provide assistance in any way she can. There are “match resources” programs and several job fairs, as well.

Clearly, UCSF offers a total experience for students. While getting accepted might be a bit challenging, remember it’s all about raising the bar and aiming for nothing less than excellence. And by the way – if you are accepted, we’d sure appreciate an invitation for one of those Friday grills.


Donna McGill For this particular role, I bring to the table years of writing experience, including a series of more than 100 articles and blog posts on education; specifically, law school reviews and feature columns on law school deans, career specialists and professors. I take my job very seriously and I feel my versatile writing style/voice is what has allowed me to accept and successfully complete a number of writing contracts over the years - from the technical manuals to web content to creative writing projects. I'm confident that I can add value to the Kaplan online presence by creating conversational, though professional, posts that will benefit the reader looking for information and insight.

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