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.”
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.
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.
Communication skills are a core competency for medical students. In particular, Spanish language skills are valued because of our history of service to LAC+ USC Medical Center.
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.
MD Admissions Timeline 2016 – 2017
- May 2016: Primary application is available via AMCAS
- June – November 2016: AMCAS applications are received and Keck Supplemental Application invitations are sent
- September 2016: Valid MCAT dates for matriculation in 2017 are January 1, 2014 – September 30, 2016
- November 1, 2016: Keck deadline for submitting the AMCAS application
- December 1, 2016: Deadline for receipt of the secondary application, including letters of recommendation
- July 2016 – February 2017: Applications are reviewed. Invitations to interview are sent
- October 2016 – April 2017: Offers of admission are made on a “rolling” basis
- January – July 2017: Applicants submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and other financial need applications
- April 30, 2017: Deadline for all applicants to accept a single offer of MD admission to any institution
- August 2017: Orientation begins for entering class
- Mid-August 2017: 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.
Please see the Eric Cohen Student Health Center for information on Health Clearance requirements for incoming students https://ecohenshc.usc.edu/health-clearance/
For additional questions, view AMCAS’ list of frequently asked questions.
All MCAT scores that meet the above criteria are visible to the Admissions Committee and taken into consideration.
Keck School Supplemental Application Deadline: December 1
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.
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.
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.
Keck Student Profiles
Hometown: South Pasadena, CA
Undergrad: Yale University
Residency: Child Neurology, Stanford University
Year: KSOM of USC, Class of 2015
Born and raised in South Pasadena, I decided to have an entirely new experience for my undergraduate training. I attended Yale University in New Haven, CT, and it was definitely different from the warm and sunny place and people I had grown accustomed to. I loved my time at Yale, but at the end of four years, I was ready to come back to Southern California and Keck was the perfect fit for me. I could see no better place than the Los Angeles County Hospital, one of the largest public hospitals in the United States, to fulfill my desire to work with medically underserved communities.
The hands-on experience afforded at the LAC+USC Medical Center is unparalleled. Medical students are given great clinical responsibility within the team and have autonomy with their patients, forming their own assessments and plans for the unique differential diagnoses seen here. The broad diversity of the patient population and complex medical care required by many of them create an excellent learning environment for both students and residents.
In addition to the amazing clinical experience enjoyed by students here, Keck also fosters an active student life. With numerous organizations geared towards clinical interests, recreation, and wellness, students are able to find their niche and remain well-rounded while receiving an outstanding medical education. The camaraderie and collaboration among students is further underscored by the supportive faculty and staff here. It has been easy for me to find excellent mentors who have been readily available to answer any of my questions and have encouraged me to pursue student leadership and an academic research project. I have loved my time at Keck, and would not have rather gone anywhere else!
Hometown: Lafayette, CA
Undergrad: Harvard University
Interests: Internal Medicine, Ophthalmology
Year: Fourth Year Medical Student
I came to Keck after four years of working in the healthcare industry, first as a strategy consultant and then as a business development analyst for a dialysis organization. I pursued these experiences after college to explore the many non-clinical issues that affect patient care. Over those four years, I learned how social, financial, regulatory, and policy issues often become barriers to patient care. I know that as a physician, I want to play a role in helping my patients overcome these barriers.
I chose to attend the Keck School of Medicine largely because it serves patients who often experience challenging obstacles when accessing healthcare. The population at the LAC+USC Hospital is among the most ethnically diverse and socioeconomically disadvantaged in the country. The patients I meet each day remind me that medicine requires an empathic spirit as much as a scientific mind. As medical students, we learn to modify treatment plans in order to best meet patients’ needs while addressing social concerns, insurance restrictions, language barriers, and transportation issues. As a third year student, I have the opportunity to serve as an educator for patients who lack resources to routine primary care. I believe these experiences are shaping me into a more complete physician.
Outside of the hospital, the Keck community has transformed my medical school experience. I have found countless mentors, from research advisors who are committed to my professional development, administrators who encourage participation and leadership, and clinicians who are excited to teach medical students one-on-one. Through my involvement in student government, I have also seen firsthand how much the Keck administration values student input, and how frequently feedback is acted upon to improve the student experience. I know that the many opportunities I have had to grow as a leader and as a student physician are largely attributable to this sense of community.
Hometown: Kent, CT
Undergrad: University of Pennsylvania
Year: Third Year Medical Student
I came to Keck entirely new to California. I grew up mostly in the Northeast, studied public health at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and worked at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C. before venturing west. I was drawn to Keck by its affiliation to the County hospital and the population it serves in the incredibly diverse and vibrant city of Los Angeles.
The extensive pathology and complex socioeconomic factors that patients face at County provide a truly unparalleled learning environment. Keck demands that we think not only about the medical care inside the hospital, but also about the factors that affect our patients outside of our doors. Clinical training at Keck begins from the very first weeks of school and I have found that it not only prepared me well for my rotations as a third year, but also was a really nice complement to our didactic training. As third and fourth years, we work as integral members of the care team, following our own patients, and formulating assessments and plans under the guidance of residents and faculty.
Above all, Keck has nurtured a sense of community. Throughout the challenges of medical school, I have always found the administration supportive, available, and receptive to feedback. Students are incredibly collaborative, unlike anywhere I have been before. They share study guides, advice, and their time to tutor.
There is also an emphasis on creating a life that extends beyond academics and research. Students are involved in community service and take time to enjoy all LA has to offer, whether that is rock climbing at the nearby climbing gym, seeing concerts, or going out for Korean barbeque. I am very happy with my decision to come across the country to Keck and feel well poised for the next steps in my career.
Class of 2019 Profile
Class Size: 186
Average MCAT at admission: 35
Average GPA at admission: 3.7
- 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%)
Association of American Medical Colleges
Considering a Medical Career:
Considering a Career in Medical Research
Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Programs
Summer Medical and Dental Education Program
Summer Undergraduate Research Programs
Admission to US Medical Schools:
AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service)
Application and Admissions Timeline
Fee Assistance Program (FAP)
Medical College Admission Test
Medical Minority Applicant Registry (Med-MAR)
Medical School Admission Requirements