Admissions

Caring for society’s most vulnerable

For more than a century, the doctors of the Keck School of Medicine of USC have cared for those of us who are most vulnerable. We accomplish this through excellence in research, clinical care and education.”

Raquel Arias, M.D.

Raquel Arias, MD
Associate Dean, Admissions

About Admissions

The Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California offers students pursuing medical and biomedical graduate degrees a dynamic and diverse learning environment on the USC Health Sciences Campus in Los Angeles.

As part of one of the nation’s top ten private research universities, the Keck School of Medicine ranks in the top 25 U.S. medical schools in terms of federal research support. Keck School faculty physicians educate students, lead research investigations and oversee patient care in the school’s five partner hospitals. These faculty members do not simply teach medical and biological science, they actively contribute to the creation of new knowledge as they provide students with an unparalleled hands-on education.

About Our Office

The Keck School of Medicine accepts a talented and diverse group of students each year. The Office of Admissions is responsible for screening, selecting and recruiting the School’s outstanding medical students.

The Keck School has received major recognition for its innovative admissions efforts. The American Medical Student Association has recognized the Keck School as a ‘Model Medical School’ with respect to its admissions philosophy, commitment to matriculating a diverse student body, and support programs. Publicity about Keck’s commitment has resulted in new scholarships for students from disadvantaged backgrounds who intend to practice in underserved areas and has spurred philanthropic organizations to give money to support minority and disadvantaged medical students.

Philosophy

The Admissions Committee views the personal attributes of the applicant holistically. MCAT scores and GPAs are used as threshold measures of an individual’s ability to successfully clear the academic hurdles of medical school. The personal characteristics that distinguish the most highly recruited applicants include leadership, civic service, communication skills, empathy, and a commitment to social justice. The Committee looks favorably upon students who inspire other students and those with interests in teaching or research. In addition, the Keck School values selection of a diverse class.

Admissions Process

The Keck School of Medicine of USC participates in the centralized American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) and also requires the submission of the Keck School of Medicine supplemental application. Visit AMCAS to find application materials, fee information, required supporting documents and instructions on completing the centralized medical school application.

Students should submit AMCAS materials as early as possible to avoid processing delays and missed deadlines. Materials received during peak periods may take considerably longer to process. Processing does not begin until AMCAS receives all required official transcripts and the completed application. Note that official transcripts for applicants must be received within 14 calendar days of the AMCAS primary application deadline. Applications missing information and/or supporting documentation and returned to the applicant for correction may not satisfy deadline requirements.

Timeline

MD Admissions Timeline 2015 – 2016

  • May 2015: Primary application is available via AMCAS
  • June – November 2015: AMCAS applications are received and Keck Supplemental Application invitations are sent
  • September 2015: Valid MCAT dates for matriculation in 2016 are January 1, 2013 – September 30, 2015
  • November 2, 2015: Keck deadline for submitting the AMCAS application
  • December 1, 2015: Deadline for receipt of the secondary application, including letters of recommendation
  • July 2015 – February 2016: Applications are reviewed. Invitations to interview are sent
  • October 2015 – April 2016: Offers of admission are made on a “rolling” basis
  • January – July 2016: Applicants submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and other financial need applications
  • April 30, 2016: Deadline for all applicants to accept a single offer of MD admission to any institution
  • August 2016: Orientation begins for entering class
  • Mid-August 2016: First week of classes

 

Prerequisites of the Keck School of Medicine

Applicants must have completed a baccalaureate degree, or its equivalent, from an accredited college or university prior to matriculation. The school has no specific course requirements. Strong applicants will have distinguished themselves in their chosen field of study and have demonstrated competency in the sciences at the time of their application. Please see the MSAR for recommended coursework. Please discuss any coursework preparation with your pre-health advisor. If you do not have a pre-health advisor, the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions provides advising free of charge. Due to the large number of applications that we receive, we are not able to provide individualized admissions counseling.

Individuals who have discontinued studies in medical school for academic reasons are not eligible to apply to the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

International applicants must hold a degree considered equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree as evaluated by the USC Office of Graduate and International Admissions. International applicants who have been invited to interview will be asked at that time to submit an evaluation of their transcripts. Please do not send transcript evaluation materials unless you are specifically asked to do so by our office.

Please see financial information for international students

The Keck School of Medicine considers completed applications including letters of recommendation received by AMCAS between June 1 and November 2. Official transcripts must be submitted within 14 calendar days of the November 2 primary application deadline for the applicant to be considered.

For additional questions, view AMCAS’ list of frequently asked questions.

To be considered for admission, applicants to the 2016 entering medical school class must have taken the MCAT no earlier than January 1, 2013, and no later than September 30, 2015.

All MCAT scores that meet the above criteria are visible to the Admissions Committee and taken into consideration.

The Keck School of Medicine of USC participates in the AMCAS Letter of Recommendation Service. Letters should be submitted from professors who can speak to academic as well as personal strengths. Do not send more than three letters. A committee letter may be submitted in lieu of individual letters and meets but does not exceed the requirement. Do not send additional letters. Applicants are required to send their letters through AMCAS. DO NOT send any letters of recommendation to the Office of Admissions, as they will not be accepted.

Keck School Supplemental Application Deadline: December 1

Students must submit an application processing fee of $100 with the supplemental application. Credit card payments can be made online using USC’s Admissions System. The application fee waiver will be granted ONLY to applicants who received approval from the AAMC Fee Assistance Program (FAP). Upon receipt of a candidate’s verified AMCAS application and MCAT score, the Office of Admissions will invite applicants to complete a supplemental application.

The supplemental application, application fee and letters of recommendation must be received by December 1st. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Applications are subject to review immediately upon submission. Post-submission updates or revisions are not allowed.

In the event that payment cannot be made by credit card, please make checks* payable to:

Keck School of Medicine of USC
Office of MD Admissions
1975 Zonal Ave., KAM 100B
Los Angeles, CA 90089-9020

Applicants must include their AMCAS ID number on the check. Application fee payments are NON-REFUNDABLE.

*Payments made by check must be received by the admissions office by the deadline.

Decisions regarding interviews are based upon careful evaluation of an applicant’s completed application and all supporting documentation. Personal interviews are required of applicants under serious consideration and are granted only by invitation of the Admissions Committee. Interviews are scheduled in the Los Angeles area between mid-September and March. Interview invitations are sent by email from the Admissions Committee.

Applicants should schedule their interviews as soon as possible upon receiving the invitation.

Interview day consists of a morning welcome session, one-on-one interviews with a faculty member and a current medical student, lunch with current students and a student-led tour of the campus. A list of student housing hosts is available for invited applicants visiting from out-of-town.

Notification of the Admissions Committee’s decisions will continue until the entering class of students has been selected. Accepted applicants must reserve their position in the incoming class by agreeing to the conditions outlined in the offer letter and Essential Characteristics and Abilities Required for the Completion of the MD degree. No deposit will be collected to secure an applicant’s acceptance.

On April 30th, candidates holding multiple acceptances will choose the school at which they will enroll, and withdraw, in writing, applications from all other schools that have offered an acceptance.

The Keck School of Medicine no longer participates in the Early Decision Program.

Keck Student Profiles

Ashley Prosper, MD
Hometown: Pasadena, CA
Undergrad: University of Southern California
Residency: USC Diagnostic Radiology (PGY-3, Class of 2016)

Attending Keck for medical school really was a dream come true. As an undergraduate student, I had the opportunity to shadow physicians on USC’s health sciences campus. Rounding with my preceptors and observing their procedures, I realized two of Keck’s strongest selling points: an unparalleled patient population with tremendous diversity, and an enthusiastic team of faculty who take pride in preparing the next generation of clinicians to best serve this incredible group of patients. When it came time to apply for medical school, I knew there was no place I’d rather be than USC.

Now, as a graduate of Keck’s class of 2011, I can look back on my medical school experience and say with certainty that the Keck School of Medicine of USC fulfilled each of the lofty expectations I held for it as a college student, and more. I was able to thrive in an environment where patients brought scenarios from my textbooks to life, attending physicians artfully and patiently honed my skills, and the school administration watched to make sure that the whole process went as smoothly as possible. The July following graduation, as a newly minted physician beginning my internship, I realized just how well Keck had served me. Reflecting on my clinical experiences at one of this nation’s busiest medical centers was a tremendous comfort as I assumed care for patients of my own! Keck gave me what I needed to succeed as a physician on my very first day. I truly could not have asked for anything more.

Tavis Dickerson-Young
Hometown: Everett, WA
Undergrad: University of Washington
Interests: Volleyball, snowboarding, movies
Year: Fourth-year medical student

There are many reasons that I decided that the Keck School of Medicine of USC was the place I wanted to be for my medical education, and Los Angeles County+USC Hospital was one of the biggest drawing factors. As one of the largest teaching hospitals in the nation and a hospital that primarily serves a disadvantaged patient population, I realized that it was exactly the kind of place I wanted to study medicine. Training at LAC+USC allows me to see cases that students at other medical students only read about, and the staff are more than happy to give us the autonomy and hands on experience we seek. Another reason that I decided to come to Keck was the early integration of clinical experience. Students spend time in the hospital seeing patients every week starting from the second week of school, which I think helps solidify the information we learn in lecture and prepare us to perform well during third year.

Another thing that I love about Keck is the student body. The atmosphere among students is very cooperative; I often find my classmates sending study guides and other resources out to the whole class. The grading system allows us to work together in a non-competitive environment, and the curriculum prepares us to perform exceptionally well on Step 1. The faculty is also very sensitive to input from students and willing to make changes in the curriculum if there is anything that we would like to see differently. The availability and responsiveness of the faculty make everything from finding research opportunities to getting your questions answered easy. I can’t image studying medicine anywhere else!

Mariya Kalashnikova
Hometown: Kiev, Ukraine and Mountain View, CA
Undergrad: Stanford University
Interest: Medicine/Pediatric
Year: Participant in the Dean’s Research Scholars Program

I came to the Keck School of Medicine of USC from Northern California; I grew up in Mountain View and the attended college at Stanford University where I majored in Human Biology. After graduating I spent a year working as a genetic counseling assistant at the University of California, San Francisco in a clinic specializing in inherited cardiovascular diseases. It was during this time that I first became interested in congenital heart disease, a passion that I have been able to explore and grow while in medical school.

I chose to come to Keck for many reasons but chief among them was the unparalleled clinical training I would receive as a medical student. Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center is one of the largest public hospitals in the country and the physicians here treat an incredibly diverse patient population. Medical students are highly involved in patient care and expected to carry a great deal of clinical responsibility. This type of hands on learning really appeals to me and now, as a third year medical student, I am so excited to delve into the county hospital environment and meet the patients who will be my greatest teachers.

In addition to fostering excellent clinical skills, Keck also places a great deal of emphasis on medical student wellness and personal development. All of the professors and deans are incredibly supportive and open to collaborating with students. I have found excellent mentors at Keck who have encouraged me to do research and get involved in academic medicine and student leadership. I am willing to take more risks and seek out additional opportunities because I know that I have an excellent support system behind me and that I can ask for help whenever I need it. This medical school feels like family and that is an incredibly special quality.

Class of 2019 Profile

Class Size: 186
Average MCAT at admission: 35
Average GPA at admission: 3.7
Gender

  • 54% Males
  • 46% Females

Total Underrepresented in Medicine (UIM): 31 (17%)
States of Residence

  • California: 141 (76%)
  • Other States: 45 (24%)

Top 10 Undergraduate Institutions

  • University of California, Los Angeles: 28 (15%)
  • University of Southern California: 24 (13%)
  • University of California, Berkeley: 21 (11%)
  • University of California, San Diego: 7 (4%)
  • University of California, Davis: 6 (3%)
  • Duke: 5 (3%)
  • Stanford: 4 (2%)
  • Pomona College: 3 (2%)
  • Northwestern University-Evanston: 2 (1%)
  • University of Washington: 1 (<1%)

Average Age at Admission: 23

  • Age 21 or less: 14 (7.5%)
  • Age 22: 49 (26.3%)
  • Age 23: 54 (29%)
  • Age 24-25: 52 (27.9%)
  • Age 26-29: 13 (6.9 %)
  • Age 30 and over: 4 (<1%)

Resources

FIRST offers a full range of Financial Information, Resources, Services, and Tools to help medical school borrowers expand their financial literacy, make smart decisions about student loans, and manage student debt wisely.
https://www.aamc.org/download/138612/data/graduate_cluster.pdf.pdf

National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions
http://www.naahp.org

Association of American Medical Colleges
http://www.aamc.org

Considering a Medical Career:

Aspiring Doctors
http://www.aspiringdocs.org

Considering a Career in Medical Research
https://www.aamc.org/students/aspiring/basics/280558/right-career.html

Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Programs
http://services.aamc.org/postbac/

Summer Medical and Dental Education Program
http://www.smdep.org/

Summer Undergraduate Research Programs
https://www.aamc.org/members/great/61052/great_summerlinks.html

Admission to US Medical Schools:

AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service)
https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/amcas/

Application and Admissions Timeline
https://www.aamc.org/students/download/175214/data/timeline.pdf

Fee Assistance Program (FAP)
https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/fap/

Medical College Admission Test
https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/data/

Medical Minority Applicant Registry (Med-MAR)
https://www.aamc.org/students/minorities/med-mar/414908/medmar.html

Medical School Admission Requirements
https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/requirements/msar/

Important Deadlines

Application Deadlines for Fall 2016 Admission

November 2, 2015 – AMCAS Application Deadline
December 1, 2015 – Keck School Supplemental

Need Help?

Contact Admissions
medadmit@usc.edu

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