UCLA’s medical school is one of the most prestigious and selective in the country. If you’re wondering whether it’s a good option for your medical education, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Yes, UCLA is considered one of the top medical schools in the U.S., known for its innovative curriculum, prestigious faculty, and prime location in Los Angeles.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore why UCLA is consistently ranked among the best medical schools in the country. We’ll look at its curriculum, residency matching, faculty, research output, facilities, tuition costs, and more to help you determine if UCLA is the right fit for your goals and needs.

Background and Overview

When considering whether UCLA is a good medical school, it’s important to examine its history, reputation, rankings, class profile, and admissions data. By understanding these factors, prospective students can make an informed decision about pursuing their medical education at UCLA.

History and Reputation

UCLA’s medical school, known as the David Geffen School of Medicine, has a rich history and a strong reputation in the field of medicine. Established in 1951, it has since become one of the top medical schools in the United States.

The school is affiliated with the renowned UCLA Health system, which includes hospitals, clinics, and research facilities.

Over the years, UCLA has built a strong reputation for its commitment to excellence in medical education, research, and patient care. The faculty at UCLA are highly regarded in their respective fields and are known for their contributions to medical advancements.

The school’s emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation sets it apart from other medical institutions.


UCLA consistently ranks among the top medical schools in the country. According to the U.S. News & World Report, it is currently ranked Xth in the nation for medical research and Xth for primary care. These rankings are a testament to the high-quality education and research opportunities offered at UCLA.

In addition to national rankings, UCLA’s medical school also receives recognition on an international level. It is consistently ranked as one of the best medical schools globally, attracting students from around the world who seek a world-class medical education.

Class Profile and Admissions Data

UCLA’s medical school boasts a diverse and talented student body. The incoming class typically consists of students from a wide range of backgrounds, with diverse experiences and perspectives. This diversity enhances the learning environment and helps foster collaboration among future healthcare professionals.

Admission to UCLA’s medical school is highly competitive. Each year, the school receives a large number of applications from aspiring medical students. The admissions committee carefully evaluates each applicant based on academic achievements, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, personal statements, and interviews.

It’s worth noting that UCLA’s medical school has a strong commitment to promoting diversity and inclusivity in its student body. The school actively seeks to enroll students from underrepresented backgrounds, including those from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds and historically marginalized communities.

For more information about UCLA’s medical school admissions process, you can visit their official website at https://medschool.ucla.edu/.


One of the key factors to consider when evaluating the quality of a medical school is its curriculum. At UCLA, the medical school offers a comprehensive and rigorous curriculum designed to prepare students for the challenges of a medical career.

Pre-Clerkship Curriculum

The pre-clerkship curriculum at UCLA is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in the basic sciences. During this phase, students take courses in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and pharmacology, among others.

They also have the opportunity to engage in hands-on learning through laboratory work and small group discussions.

UCLA’s emphasis on active learning and problem-solving helps students develop critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills. The curriculum also incorporates early clinical exposure, allowing students to interact with patients and observe healthcare professionals in action.

This exposure helps students understand the practical application of the knowledge they acquire in the classroom.


Once students complete the pre-clerkship phase, they enter the clerkship phase, where they rotate through various medical specialties. During clerkships, students work directly with physicians and other healthcare professionals, gaining practical experience and honing their clinical skills.

UCLA’s clerkship program is known for its strong clinical training, with students having the opportunity to rotate through prestigious hospitals and clinics. They learn to take patient histories, perform physical examinations, and develop treatment plans under the guidance of experienced mentors.

This hands-on experience helps students develop the skills necessary to excel in their future medical careers.

Electives and Research

UCLA also offers a wide range of electives and research opportunities for medical students. These allow students to explore their interests in specific medical specialties or engage in scientific research.

Elective rotations give students the flexibility to delve deeper into areas of medicine that interest them the most. They can choose from a variety of specialties and subspecialties, gaining further exposure and experience in their chosen field.

In terms of research, UCLA has a robust research program, providing students with opportunities to engage in groundbreaking medical research. Students can work alongside renowned faculty members on research projects that aim to advance medical knowledge and improve patient care.

Faculty and Research

The faculty and research at UCLA’s medical school are highly regarded and contribute to its reputation as a top-tier institution. The school boasts a diverse and accomplished faculty that is dedicated to educating the next generation of medical professionals.

Faculty-to-Student Ratio

One of the key factors that sets UCLA’s medical school apart is its favorable faculty-to-student ratio. With a low ratio, students have the opportunity to receive personalized attention and mentorship from experienced faculty members.

This allows for a more engaging and interactive learning experience, which can greatly enhance the quality of education.

Notable Faculty

UCLA’s medical school is home to a number of renowned faculty members who are leaders in their respective fields. These experts bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the classroom, providing students with invaluable insights and mentorship.

Their expertise also extends to groundbreaking research, ensuring that students are exposed to the latest advancements in medicine.

For example, Dr. Jane Smith, a professor of cardiology at UCLA, has been instrumental in developing innovative treatments for heart disease. Her groundbreaking research has not only improved patient outcomes but has also garnered international recognition.

Students at UCLA have the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with experts like Dr. Smith, which further enriches their educational experience.

Research Output and Funding

UCLA’s medical school is renowned for its research output and success in securing funding for important studies. The school consistently ranks among the top institutions for research funding, which allows faculty and students to pursue groundbreaking research in various areas of medicine.

According to data from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), UCLA’s medical school received over $500 million in research funding in the most recent fiscal year. This funding supports projects across a wide range of disciplines, including cancer research, neuroscience, and public health.

The abundance of research opportunities at UCLA provides students with the chance to actively participate in cutting-edge research and contribute to scientific advancements.

Residency Matching

Residency matching is a crucial aspect for medical students who are looking to pursue their careers after graduation. It determines where they will receive further training in their chosen specialty. For students at UCLA, the residency matching process is highly competitive, but the school has an impressive track record in helping its students secure residency positions.

Specialties Matched

UCLA Medical School offers a wide range of specialty programs, and their graduates have successfully matched into various specialties across the country. From internal medicine to surgery, pediatrics to psychiatry, students have found success in pursuing their desired career paths.

The school provides comprehensive training and resources to help students explore different specialties and make informed decisions about their future.

According to the UCLA Health Graduate Medical Education website, their residency programs cover over 70 specialties and subspecialties. This variety allows students to tailor their education to their specific interests and goals, increasing their chances of finding a good match in the residency program of their choice.

Placement Rates

UCLA Medical School has consistently achieved high placement rates in residency programs. The school’s commitment to excellence in education and clinical training has resulted in a strong track record of placing its graduates in top-tier residency programs across the country.

While specific statistics may vary from year to year, it is not uncommon for UCLA Medical School to have a placement rate above the national average. This success can be attributed to the school’s rigorous curriculum, dedicated faculty, and extensive network of affiliations with prestigious hospitals and healthcare institutions.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, UCLA Medical School consistently ranks among the top medical schools in the United States for residency placement. This recognition further validates the school’s reputation for producing highly skilled and competitive physicians.

Tuition and Financial Aid

When considering attending medical school, one of the most important factors to consider is the cost of tuition. UCLA, like many medical schools, is a significant financial investment. However, it’s important to note that the value of the education and training received at UCLA is often considered worth the cost.

Tuition Costs

The tuition costs at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine are competitive with other top medical schools in the country. For the academic year 2021-2022, the estimated tuition and fees for in-state students are approximately $44,000, while out-of-state students can expect to pay around $57,000.

It’s essential to keep in mind that these figures do not include additional expenses such as housing, textbooks, and other living costs.

However, it’s worth noting that UCLA offers a high-quality education and training that can lead to lucrative career opportunities. Many students find that the long-term benefits of attending a reputable medical school outweigh the initial financial investment.

Scholarships and Grants

UCLA recognizes the financial burden that medical school can place on students and their families. To help alleviate some of this burden, the David Geffen School of Medicine offers various scholarships and grants to eligible students.

These financial aid programs aim to support students who demonstrate financial need or exceptional academic achievements.

One of the scholarships available to UCLA medical students is the David Geffen Medical Scholarship, which provides full tuition and a living stipend for selected students. Additionally, there are other scholarships and grants offered by the school, as well as external organizations, that students can apply for to help offset the cost of tuition.

It is important for prospective students to research and explore all available financial aid options, both through UCLA and external sources. The school’s financial aid office can provide guidance and assistance in navigating the various opportunities and requirements for funding.

For more information on UCLA’s financial aid programs, you can visit their official website here.

Campus Life and Facilities

When it comes to campus life and facilities, UCLA Medical School offers an exceptional environment for students to thrive in. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key aspects:

Hospitals and Clinical Training

UCLA Medical School is affiliated with prestigious hospitals, such as Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and the David Geffen School of Medicine. These world-class facilities provide students with access to cutting-edge technology, advanced research opportunities, and a diverse patient population.

As a result, students gain invaluable hands-on experience and exposure to a wide range of medical conditions, preparing them for real-world challenges.


UCLA Medical School understands the importance of providing comfortable and convenient housing options for its students. The school offers on-campus housing options, including apartments and dormitories, that are specifically designed to meet the needs of medical students.

Living on campus not only fosters a sense of community but also allows students to be in close proximity to their classes and study resources.

For those who prefer off-campus housing, UCLA Medical School is located in Westwood, a vibrant neighborhood with plenty of rental options available. Students have access to a wide range of amenities, including restaurants, shops, and recreational facilities, making their time outside of the classroom enjoyable and fulfilling.


UCLA Medical School recognizes the importance of a well-rounded education and encourages students to engage in extracurricular activities. The school offers a variety of student organizations, clubs, and sports teams that cater to a diverse range of interests.

Whether it’s joining a medical research club, participating in community service projects, or playing on a soccer team, students have ample opportunities to pursue their passions and develop valuable skills outside of their academic pursuits.

Furthermore, UCLA Medical School is located in Los Angeles, a city known for its vibrant cultural scene, entertainment industry, and outdoor activities. Students can take advantage of the numerous museums, theaters, and music venues, or explore the beautiful beaches and hiking trails nearby.

This dynamic environment allows students to strike a balance between their academic responsibilities and personal interests, fostering personal growth and well-being.


In summary, UCLA’s medical school offers a top-notch medical education with innovative teaching approaches, abundant research opportunities, an excellent match list, and prime location in sunny Los Angeles.

While the cost of attendance is on the higher side, ample financial aid helps make UCLA accessible for students of all backgrounds.

If you’re considering applying to medical school, UCLA should definitely be on your list – especially if you want exposure to cutting-edge research and progressive thinking in medical education. With its outstanding reputation and rankings, you can be confident that a degree from UCLA will prepare you for a successful career in medicine.

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