Applying to the SOM

How We Review Applicants

In order to identify students with diverse intellectual and life experiences, the UCR School of Medicine Admissions Committee uses a holistic review of applicants where each applicant's non-academic credentials will be considered as carefully as their academic record.

The committee carefully reviews each applicant's complete portfolio to select students who are academically qualified and have the breadth of volunteer/community and personal experiences that will help them become physicians well prepared to care for the diverse population in our communities.

The committee also considers the "distance traveled" by each applicant to arrive at this stage of their career, recognizing that not all applicants have equal access to resources, mentorship, and strong high school preparation prior to college.

Important Dates and Deadlines

MCAT: Please review the MCAT section on our Program Prerequisite page
AMCAS application: Nov. 1, 2020
Letters of recommendation: Nov. 15, 2020
Transcripts: Nov. 15, 2020
Interviews: October 2020 through March 2021

Application Procedure

Applicants to the UCR School of Medicine must submit an application through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) no later than Nov. 1, 2020. A complete set of official transcripts must be forwarded to AMCAS by the registrar of all the higher education institutions attended.

Three individual letters of recommendation, or a committee letter, are required. Applicants may submit a maximum of five letters. These letters may be written by a premedical advisor, undergraduate faculty, mentors or any individual of your choice. UCR will participate in the AMCAS Letters Service for the 2020-21 application year. Please visit their website for more details about this service. Letters must be original, signed documents on institutional letterhead, and be submitted by Nov. 15, 2020.

All verified applicants meeting eligibility will be notified by e-mail to complete a secondary application. Applicants will be able to access the secondary applications through the link on the status-check page on AMCAS.

All communication will be through e-mail. To that end, please add the UCR School of Medicine domain ( to your "safe" list and make sure to regularly check your junk mail as the second application is time-sensitive.

Students are offered a virtual interview based on their AMCAS application and their secondary application. Candidates selected for interviews will be notified by e-mail. At this stage, only those candidates who have been interviewed can be considered for admission. Virtual interviews will be scheduled on selected Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from October through March. They will be conducted in the Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI) format, which you can learn more about elsewhere on this page.

  • Decisions for admissions are made on a rolling basis.
  • Acceptances will continue until the class is full.
  • Admission is provisional until cleared by the criminal background check process.
  • Admission decisions are final and thus are not subject to appeal. A student not admitted as a result of the first application may reapply the following year.
  • Application attempts are limited to three total, per applicant.
  • An applicant may request a deferral for up to one year by writing to the Admissions Office. The decision to grant the deferral is made on an individual basis.

About the Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI)

In the Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI) format candidates rotate through a series of interview stations, each focused on a different question or scenario.

While the MMI is usually held in person, due to COVID-19 the MMI sessions will be conducted online.

Overall, the MMI takes about three hours. Our online MMI will include a brief orientation as part of the session. At each station students two minutes to familiarize themselves with the question before engaging in a conversation with an interviewer for about six minutes.

Studies show that the MMI format produces a better assessment of a candidate and limits the likelihood of bias because students interact with several interviewers over the course of the session. It assesses verbal and non-verbal communication skills and provides additional information about the student's readiness for medical school.

How Should I Prepare for the MMI?

The MMI is not a test for which you can study. It is intended to give candidates the opportunity to demonstrate their interpersonal and critical thinking skills. There are several mock MMI videos available on the Internet that may help give you an idea of what to expect.

Learn more about the MMI experience on the AAMC website.

Key Attributes

Some applicants will be invited to visit the UCR School of Medicine and to take part in a series of interviews. Selection will be based on:

  • The academic competitiveness of the applicants, specifically their performance in upper level courses, both in science and non-science disciplines.
  • The strength of their letters of recommendation, specifically regarding character traits such as leadership, integrity, commitment to hard work, and communication skills (see personal core attributes described below).
  • The applicants' achievements and honors received.
  • The quality and duration of their extracurricular activities in areas such as research, teaching, work experience, and special talents.
  • The demonstrated commitment to community service, particularly to underserved populations.
  • The extent and quality of their clinical experiences, demonstrating their motivation and commitment for a career in medicine.

The admissions committee also values the Group on Student Affairs Committee on Admissions of the Association of American Medical Colleges' core personal attributes for entering medical school. This includes:

  • Integrity and ethics
  • Reliability and dependability
  • Service orientation
  • Social and interpersonal skills
  • Capacity for improvement
  • Resilience and adaptability
  • Cultural competence
  • Oral communication
  • Teamwork