We’re covering everything you need to know as you consider applying to the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. You’ll learn about enrollment rates, application deadlines, average MCAT scores, tuition, curriculum, and more.
All About David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
The David Geffen School of Medicine is one of the youngest elite medical schools in the United States, founded in 1951. It is the second medical school in the University of California system—the first was UCSF School of Medicine. The school’s reputation relative to its age is a testament to its strength as an institution.
There are 713 full-time students at the school, and about 120 enroll each year in the MD program (the school also houses a PhD program). With 2723 full-time faculty, David Geffen School of Medicine’s faculty-student ratio is 3.8:1.
Located in Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine is directly adjacent to the UCLA campus and is integrated with the university’s activities, so med students can take advantage of UCLA’s main campus life. Med students train at one of 21 affiliated hospitals in the L.A. area including Cedars-Sinai, UCLA Medical Center, and Kaiser hospitals.
A focus on community dominates many aspects of student life at the school. Upon matriculation, first-year students can opt into the Big Sib Lil Sib program, which creates small families of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th-years who share similar interests and hobbies. The program creates a bond between all of the classes and acts as a built-in support system at the start of medical school. First-years who participate are matched with a 2nd-year student who then introduces them to their Big Sib Lil Sib family, and events are held quarterly for the families. Outside of the Big Sib Lil Sib program, the school enriches the med school experience through annual events including a 2nd Year Banquet, a 4th Year Banquet, and an annual talent show. The school also publishes an annual journal each spring, UCLA BEAT, that showcases literary and visual art created by students and faculty.
“Classes are divided between labs, small learning groups, and lectures during your first two years. Although the material is challenging, it is taught well. There are also lots of resources for anyone who needs them, including small group and individual tutoring and an education counselor you can meet with. The lecturers also make themselves available for any questions, and many are well-known researchers on the topic they are teaching and love to chat about their research too!
Cliche, but my favorite part about UCLA DGSOM are the people! I’ve found fellow classmates that I trade kombucha starter with and others that will go horseback riding with me on a beach in Baja California. They are also the ones that will make study guides to share with the whole class. The camaraderie among my class is unbelievable here.”
The Curriculum at David Geffen School of Medicine
David Geffen School of Medicine has been redesigning is medical curriculum since 2017. Now in its final phase, the redesign is expected to launch with the entering class in 2020.
The current curriculum is divided into three phases. In Phase 1—Human Biology and Disease—students learn foundational science and disease through a block-based curriculum, studying parts of the human body in isolation. Throughout the entirety of this phase, which lasts for the first two years, students also take classes in anatomy, biochemistry, clinical reasoning, clinical skills, ophthalmology, pharmacology, preceptorship, genetics, and doctoring.
Phase II of the curriculum takes place during the third year and comprises of students’ core clinical clerkships.
In the fourth year, students complete Phase III of the curriculum—4th Year Colleges. Students and faculty are grouped into academic colleges based on career and specialty interests. These colleges are Academic Medicine College, Acute Care College, Applied Anatomy College, Primary Care College, and Drew Urban Underserved College. Within a 4th Year College, clinical skills are honed by specialty faculty and students are able to select electives that closely align with their interests.
Though most students complete their med school curriculum in four years, the school does allow students the option to take a year off from their education and training to pursue research with a mentor at UCLA or with an external program. Travel grants of up to $600 are also available to students whose abstracts are accepted at a national conference to cover travel costs.
Students applying to David Geffen School of Medicine who have already identified a career path that necessitates a second degree in addition to an MD can apply directly into the following dual-degree programs:
- MD-PhD: Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)
- MD-DDS: UCLA Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Program
- MD-MBA with UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management
- MD-MPH with UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
- MD-MPP with UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
How has David Geffen School of Medicine Made an Impact
David Geffen School of Medicine has been at the center of many notable medical discoveries, advancements, and breakthroughs, including:
- 1981: Reporting on the first cases of AIDS
- 1983: Identifying a genetic target crucial to the development of a landmark leukemia drug
- 1990: The development of a brain aneurysm treatment
- 2004-2010: The development of a drug to battle castration-resistant prostate cancer
- 2015: Curing “Bubble Baby” disease, which caused children to be born without a functioning immune system
Notable Programs at David Geffen School of Medicine
- Cardiothoracic Surgery
- Primary Care
UCLA Medical School Enrollment, Acceptance, Tuition, and more
David Geffen School of Medicine is extremely selective. The school received over 14,500 applications in 2019 for about 175 spots. As of 2019, the school instituted a new GPA cutoff of 3.4 and an MCAT cutoff of 512.
The enrollment rate is around 1.2%.
In-state tuition is $35,187 per year, while out-of-state students pay $47,432 a year. The school states that the majority of its applicants are from California, but that residency is not considered when assessing applicants.
When is the application deadline for David Geffen School of Medicine?
Here is the annual application cycle for UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine:
- Early June: AMCAS application opens
- July – Nov.: Screening of completed applications and invitations for interviews
- Aug. – Nov.: Interviews conducted
- September 1: David Geffen School of Medicine’s recommended deadline for AMCAS submission
- October 1: AMCAS Application Deadline
- October 15: Supplemental Application Deadline
- October 15: Offers of admission begin
Offers continue until the class is filled. Like most medical schools, David Geffen School of Medicine has rolling admissions, so students are encouraged to complete their applications as early in the cycle as possible.
Average MCAT Scores for UCLA Medical School
Unfortunately, UCLA DGSOM does not publish the average MCAT scores for its accepted students. With an enrollment rate of under 2%, you’ll likely need top MCAT scores to remain competitive. The school instituted a new GPA cutoff of 3.4 and a new MCAT cutoff of 512 in 2019 for propsective applicants.
After Graduating from David Geffen School of Medicine
Students in the Class of 2019 matched to residency programs in the following specialties:
- Primary Care, including internal/family medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics/gynecology (60%)
- Surgery (15%)
- Psychiatry (12%)
- Emergency Medicine (6%)
- Anesthesiology (3%)
- Dermatology (3%)
75% of the class matched with a residency program in California, and 30% of the class matched with a hospital in the UC system. Almost a quarter of the class matched a UCLA or affiliated hospital.