Top Medical Schools in California with High Acceptance Rates

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Medical programs worldwide are known to be highly competitive, and as a result, these institutions have a very low acceptance rate.

Before choosing a medical school, one of the most important things to consider is its acceptance rate, so you can know how competitive the admission process will be.

California, a favorite destination for countless medical students, is known for its super competitive medical schools with low acceptance rates. However, you’ll find several medical schools in California with a high acceptance rate, giving you a higher chance of getting admitted.

This article contains the best medical schools in California with high acceptance rates.

Medical Schools in California with High Acceptance Rates

In this article, you will find the best medical schools in California with high acceptance rates, including their average GPAs and MCAT scores. Let’s get right in!

1. The University of San Francisco School of Medicine

Founded in 1864, the University of San Francisco School of Medicine is the oldest medical school in California and the Western United States. The USFSM is known for its high acceptance rates giving applicants a higher chance at studying their dream courses. It is located on the Parnassus Height Campus in San Francisco, California.

The University’s sole focus lies in health science programs, with its primary centers dedicated to medical, biological, and clinical research and teaching. Presently, the institution proudly accommodates a student body exceeding a thousand students.

Also, the University of San Francisco School of Medicine has a highly selective acceptance rate of 14%. The average GPA of admitted students is impressive 3.85, accompanied by an average MCAT score of 517.

2. California University of Science and Medicine

CUSM was founded in 2018 and is one of the best medical schools in the United States. Located in Southern California, CUSM is a fast-growing medical school attracting several medical students from different parts of the world.

In February 2018, the school attained preliminary LCME accreditation, marking a significant milestone in its journey. Subsequently, it started enrolling students for classes that lead to the conferral of an esteemed M.D. degree, starting in July 2018.

One of the reasons why students make the CUSM their destination is its high acceptance rate which currently stands at 9.3%. Also, the university has an MCAT score of 514 and an average GPA of 3.6.

3. Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science stands out as California’s medical school with the most generous acceptance rate of 25% and an average GPA of 3.4, making it an attractive choice for aspiring medical students.

Situated in Willowbrook, California, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science was founded in 1966 due to the insufficient access to quality healthcare services in the Watts region of Los Angeles.

The institution was then established to cater to the healthcare needs of all individuals residing in the area, ensuring that every ailing resident receives the necessary medical attention at the right time. Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science offers over 18 biomedical programs across its three (3) colleges.

4. California Northstate University College of Medicine

The California Northstate University College of Medicine was founded in 2015 and received approval from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges in August 2013.

Later, the university received provisional accreditation from The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) in June 2015 and full accreditation in June 2019 – this makes it one of the fastest-growing medical schools in the country.

Also, the California Northstate University College of Medicine has an average acceptance rate of 7.3% and an average GPA of 3.77. It remains a great choice for aspiring medical students in the country.

5. The Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California

USC’s Keck School of Medicine has a yearly acceptance rate of 7.3%, making it a favorite destination for many aspiring medical students worldwide.

Founded in 1885, the school has gained a stellar reputation for its exceptional academic excellence in educating and preparing physicians, biomedical scientists, and other healthcare professionals to engage in medical research and provide expert care to patients.

The Keck School of Medicine is located at the University of Southern California’s Health Sciences campus in northeastern Los Angeles. The Keck School of Medicine is California’s second oldest medical school after the UCSF School of Medicine.

In addition to a medical degree (MD), the school also offers various combined degrees, such as MD/MPH, MD/Ph.D., and MD/MBA.

The list above contains the medical schools in California with the highest acceptance rates. However, this information is insufficient if you don’t have what it takes to get admitted into a medical school. To help, I’ll also state some tips to give you a better admission chance at any medical school in California. Let’s check out some of these tips.

What does it take to get into a California Medical School?

Before we go into these tips, you should know what it takes to get admitted. As you already know, getting into medical schools in California is incredibly difficult compared to many other states.

A good index score

Your index score is a simple integration of your MCAT and GPA. Of course, there’s an equation to find your index score from the two parameters.

  1. Multiply your overall GPA by 10
  2. Subtract 500 from your MCAT score
  3. Then, add both values together

Medical schools in California have various index score requirements for applicants. It includes:

  • 60: Average for top 10 medical schools
  • 51: Average for all US allopathic medical schools
  • 45: Lowest average for most US allopathic medical schools
  • 39: Average for osteopathic medical schools
  • 36: Average for Caribbean medical schools

Letters of recommendation

Most medical schools in California highly consider letters of recommendation in their admission process. Here are some tips to help you with getting recommendation letters:

  • Get the best set of letters you can
  • Get to know science professors early on
  • Letters are due by July 31
  • You should choose quality over quantity for your recommendation letters

Tips to improve your chances

  • Try as much as possible to raise your GPA and MCAT score. Since your index score is calculated from both parameters, boosting your admission chances depends on you.
  • Get excellent letters of recommendation. As I mentioned, you should always choose quality letters instead of quantity.
  • Get quality research experience. Medical schools appreciate students with research experience, giving them an edge over other applicants.
  • Also, you should get exposure to underserved communities and showcase your potential as much as you can.
  • In addition, you can get a leadership position at any organization. Make sure to include this in your application.

Final Thoughts

No doubt, getting into a medical school in California is extremely hard. You may try for years without getting any positive results. Hopefully, you can land your admission successfully with this article.

If you haven’t been getting results, you may have been applying to over-competitive medical schools with very low acceptance rates.

Try out these less-competitive institutions, apply the mentioned tips, and see yourself studying your dream course in little to no time.

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