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COVID-19 Impact on Admissions

Joint Statement from the Admissions Deans of California Medical Schools (April 6, 2020)

The purpose of this message is to address concerns from prospective applicants who are experiencing unprecedented educational upheaval during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Applicants for the upcoming application cycle can count on our common commitment to the following principles:

Pass/Fail Grades – Our schools will accept pass/fail grades, without prejudice, for courses taken during the COVID-19 pandemic.  It has always been our practice to consider grades in the context of numerous other aspects of the application, and an international crisis certainly provides a unique and compelling context.  In making this statement, we are cognizant of the fact that some undergraduate schools are providing an option for students to take courses either for grades or on a Pass/Fail basis.   We therefore want to be explicit that applicants should not feel pressured by us to choose the graded option.  Students and their families are facing many challenges at the moment – maybe even life and death challenges.  The pressure for grades need not be one of them.

MCAT Tests – We will accept applications from individuals who were unable to take the MCAT due to COVID-related test cancellations.  For these candidates, we will base secondary application decisions on the information that is available to us at the time of the application. We will require applicants to have taken the MCAT before we make admissions decisions for the Class of 2026.  Accordingly, applicants should not delay applying simply because an MCAT score is not yet available.

Raquel Arias, MD
Associate Dean of Admissions
Keck School of Medicine at USC
John Balmes, MD
Director, Joint Medical Program
UC Berkeley/UC San Francisco
Clarence Braddock III, MD, MPH
Vice Dean for Education
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Daphne Calmes, MD
Associate Dean for Medical Education
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine
Iris C. Gibbs, MD
Associate Dean of MD Admissions
Stanford University School of Medicine
Kama Guluma, MD
Associate Dean of Admissions and Student Affairs
UC San Diego School of Medicine
Mark Henderson, MD
Associate Dean for Admissions
University of California Davis
Megan Osborn, MD, MHPE
Associate Dean for Students
University of California Irvine
Sarah Roddy, MD
Associate Dean for Admissions
Loma Linda University School of Medicine
Emma M. Simmons, MD, MPH
Senior Associate Dean, Student Affairs
University of California Riverside
Lindia Willies-Jacobo, MD
Associate Dean for Admissions
Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson
School of Medicine
David Wofsy, MD
Associate Dean for Admissions
University of California San Francisco

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission into the UCI School of Medicine, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • All applicants must complete the American Medical Colleges Application Service (AMCAS) application between June 1-Nov. 1, of the application year for the following year’s entering class.

  • A minimum of three years (90 semester units) of undergraduate coursework, including a minimum of one full-time year at an accredited U.S. college or university. Applicants must receive an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university by the time of matriculation.

  • Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) must have been taken within the three years preceding June 1 of the application year and no later than Sept. 30 of the application year.

  • For purposes of evaluation, letter or numerical grades are preferred for course work, particularly for the required subjects listed below.

  • All prerequisite courses listed as "in progress" on the AMCAS application and UCI School of Medicine Secondary Application must be successfully completed by matriculation.

  • Three to six current letters are suggested. Applicants are advised to obtain letters of recommendation from individuals (e.g., attending MD, PI, Director, etc.) involved with their major activities.

  • All entering students in the UCI School of Medicine must meet all of the technical standards, with reasonable accommodation if necessary, and each student will be expected to certify that he/she meets these standards.

The table below contains information regarding course prerequisites. These courses must be completed by July 15th of the matriculation year. If you are unsure if a course satisfies a prerequisite, please email the course name, number, description, and institution to





1.5 years, which includes one upper-division biology** course.

**Please note this course must be upper-division at your undergraduate institution. We do not consider psychobiology or behavioral-based science courses to meet the upper-division biology requirement.

Applicants are encouraged to gain lab experience either through laboratory courses or research.
Chemistry 2 years, to include general/inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry and biochemistry.
Physics 1 Year
1 semester or 1 quater.

Advanced Placement credit will be accepted for chemistry and physics requirements. The AP credit must be reflected on the applicant’s undergraduate transcript. Alternatively we will accept AP exam scores of >3 and will require an official transcript from the College Board (

Applicants are strongly encouraged to have completed their basic science requirements by the time they submit their application.

No specific major is required. However, demonstrated ability in the sciences is of great importance. In addition, applicants are advised to take advantage of the intellectual maturation afforded by a well-rounded liberal arts education. English, the humanities and the social and behavioral sciences are considered particularly important.

The following courses are recommended, but not required: 
  • Anatomy
  • Biostatistics
  • Biology/Chemistry Laboratory experience
  • Cell Biology
  • Calculus
  • English Composition
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology
  • Neuroscience
  • Psychology (introduction, abnormal and developmental)
  • Spanish