The UC Davis School of Medicine Admissions Committee reviews each applicant’s experiences, attributes, and metrics as related to our core student physician competencies:

  • patient care
  • knowledge
  • interpersonal and communication skills
  • professionalism
  • system-based practice (working within the health care system to enhance care)
  • life-long learning

The Admissions Committee determines whether the applicant will be granted a secondary application, interview, and ultimately acceptance to the UC Davis School of Medicine. Committee members attempt to do a holistic assessment of each applicant that includes but is not limited to the following experiences, attributes, and metrics (in no particular order of importance):


  • Healthcare experience
  • Research experience
  • Leadership experience
  • Community service
  • Educational background
  • Experience working in inter-professional teams
  • Life experiences (e.g. obstacles overcome)


  • Geographic origin (e.g. rural or medically underserved area)
  • Resilience
  • Motivation for a medical career
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Communication skills, including listening and empathy
  • Languages spoken, particularly by underserved patient populations
  • Critical thinking skills including problem solving
  • Professional responsibility and accountability
  • Values and ethical beliefs
  • Self-assessment and improvement skills
  • Altruism and compassion
  • Appreciation for diverse perspectives
  • Ability to work in inter-professional teams
  • Honesty and integrity


  • Undergraduate grades, grade trends, and course load
  • Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) score
  • Performance in a post-baccalaureate and/or graduate degree program

The admissions process occurs in four major steps:

  1. Secondary Application Invitation: Experiences, attributes, and/or metrics from the AMCAS application are reviewed to determine suitability for a Secondary Application.
  2. Interview Invitation: After the Secondary Application (particularly the 3 formative activities) and letters of recommendation have been received, the applicant’s entire set of experiences, attributes, and metrics are considered to determine interview invitations.
  3. Interview: We use the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) to further explore the applicant’s experiences and gain a deeper understanding of attributes relevant to a medical career. Our MMI is a blinded (closed-file) process involving multiple brief interactions with a diverse group of individuals affiliated with the health care system.
  4. Acceptance: The Admissions Committee members make final decisions based on the entire application packet including all experiences, attributes, and metrics to determine whether the applicant possesses the intellect, integrity, skills, and personal and emotional qualities necessary to become an effective physician.  

At the UC Davis School of Medicine, every application is reviewed by at least one admissions committee faculty member before a final decision is rendered. Our admission decisions are driven by a commitment to diversity and are made without consideration of political or financial factors.