Area of Focus
  • Not Applicable
Degrees Offered
  • Pre-professional program - no undergraduate degree available
Academic Division
  • Physical and Biological Sciences
  • Not Applicable

Program overview

*UCSC does not offer "premed" as an undergraduate major.

UC Santa Cruz students have been accepted at the 10 California medical schools, as well as at all the major medical schools in the country, including Harvard, Yale, and Johns Hopkins. Of our accepted students, 65% have majored in the sciences (human biology, MCD biology, etc.). Thus, Physical and Biological Science majors are efficient pathways to medical school. However, 35% of our students who were accepted into medical school majored in other disciplines such as psychology, anthropology, etc., given that these majors offer a variety of interesting courses appropriate for students interested in medical school. Thus no specific major is required by medical schools as long as you complete the core general requirements.It is a widespread misconception that medical schools prefer science majors. UCSC students are disproving that myth.

UC Santa Cruz undergraduates planning to apply to medical school should exercise the grade option in all of their courses. A competitive GPA (3.7or better), strong MCAT* scores (top 30 percentile or better), and substantial health-related experience are competitive for entry into medical school.

Given the success that our alumni have had, UCSC is a great place to prepare for medical school.

Student in lab coat holding a tablet

Learning Experience

UCSC has many research opportunities and is ranked among the top undergraduate research institutions. However, not all students will have an opportunity to secure a research position. Please refer to the Undergraduate Research website for more information and tips on how to proceed.

First-Year (Freshman) Requirements

High school students should complete the courses required for UC admission, and those who plan to attend UC Santa Cruz and pursue a career in medicine should also have a strong science and math background, including chemistry, biology, physics, algebra (two years), geometry, and trigonometry. It is recommended that you try and explore a career in medicine by volunteering in a health care setting as early as high school. Medical schools do not accept AP credits toward the medical school admissions requirements. It is highly recommended that you see your major or college adviser within your first quarter at UCSC.

Student at microscope

Transfer Requirements

Transfer students who plan to attend UC Santa Cruz should try to complete courses that satisfy campus general education requirements as well as any prerequisites for their major before coming to UC Santa Cruz. It is highly recommended that they see your major or college adviser within the first quarter at UCSC.

Students in a lab

Internships and Career Opportunities

Interested in medical school or pursuing other health professions? Schedule a time to meet with a Pre-Health Career Coach at Career Success right away. Find out the criteria to be a strong candidate, how to best prepare yourself, and how to search for and secure extracurricular activities.

Since any major can apply to medical school, complete your undergraduate degree, aiming for a strong GPA. Speak with a major or college adviser to make sure you are on track in completing your academic requirements.

Tips on gaining extracurricular experience to help prepare you for medical school or other health related professions.

Program Contact

For more information contact Career Success at or (831) 459-4420. Career Success is located in Hahn Student Services Building, Suite 125.