Information for Undocumented Applicants
Undocumented students of all ethnicities and nationalities can find a safe and supportive community at the University of California. UC campuses offer a range of support services and various programs to help undocumented students transition to and succeed at UC. There are also a number of opportunities available after graduating from college, including applying to graduate school. The University of California offers more than 600 graduate degree programs across 10 campuses, which includes educational programs at six UC medical schools.
UC is committed to fostering diversity by recruiting qualified and diverse candidates seeking a medical education, including students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration status, those who are DACA-eligible, or those who are otherwise undocumented. Applications from undocumented applicants are considered under the same admissions standards as for any other applicant.
Important Facts for Prospective Applicants to UC Medical Schools
Undocumented students, who would like to apply to a UC medical school, should note some important facts:
- There are no restrictions to prevent undocumented students from attending public graduate or professional schools in California.
- Applicants are not required to have a Social Security Number to apply.
- Those who qualify for the Association of American Medical College (AAMC) Fee Assistance Program (FAP) may be eligible for fee waivers for supplemental applications.
- Under a federal law called FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act), universities cannot release a student’s information to a third party without their permission, including the fact that they are undocumented, except under very limited specific circumstances, such as a court order.
- Applicants offered admission may be eligible to apply for some forms of financial aid and scholarships (see details below). UC medical schools will work actively to explore mechanisms for financial aid for all students. However, there is no guarantee that sufficient funding from the University of California will be available to meet the financial needs of a student with limited options for aid.
- Applicants who enroll in a UC medical education program may have limitations on some curricular experiences (e.g., participating in clinical rotations at certain training sites) as a result of their citizenship status.
- Beginning in 2016, the Medical Board of California, which is the state entity that licenses physicians in California, will consider applicants regardless of immigration status, however, an applicant must have an individual taxpayer identification number or a social security number to obtain licensure. See Sections 30 and 135.5 of the Business and Professions Code.
- Entering students should be advised that there is no guarantee of admission to a graduate medical education program in the state of California. The status of licensure in other states is uncertain at this time. Students will need to seek information about applicable rules and regulations in states in which they are considering applying for residency training, licensure or future practice.
- Under DACA, students receive work authorization and a temporary Social Security Number from the federal government.
- DACA is an executive order and not law. It will remain in effect unless rescinded.
Applying to Medical School at the University of California
- Individuals with DACA status applying to a UC medical school can refer to “Section Three: Biographical Information” of the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) Instructions Manual for guidance on disclosing information about their immigration status on their AMCAS application.
Financial Aid Opportunities
- All students, regardless of immigration status, are required to pay tuition and other mandatory fees. All students have the responsibility to obtain funding for tuition, other required fees and associated costs of attendance (e.g., housing, books, etc.).
- Undocumented graduate students at UC are not eligible for funding from federal sources. However, depending on their AB540 status, they may be eligible to receive aid from state, institutional and/or private sources.
- Undocumented students who do not have AB 540 status cannot receive institutional fellowships from either the University of California or from private donor funds administered through the University of California. Private loans and private scholarships or fellowships through a non-university based entity, or external entity are the only financial aid options for students who do not have AB 540 status.
- Individuals with DACA and AB 540 status qualify for in-state tuition. These students also qualify for financial assistance under AB131 and AB130, which allow students to apply for and receive scholarships derived from non-state funds and California state aid.
- Some UC medical schools offer merit-based scholarships to individuals who matriculate at one of our campuses. All applicants, including DACA students with AB 540 status, are considered for these scholarships through the application and interview process.
UC and Government Websites
- University of California Undocumented Students Resources
- Information on AB540 Non Resident Tuition Exemption
- AB540 FAQ
- The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
- Gaining Employment Authorization - DACA
- Undocumented Student Programs at UCR