UCLA School of Medicine Admissions
The school seeks students who will be future leaders, have distinguished careers in clinical practice, teaching, research, and public service. The school strives to create an environment in which students prepare for a future where scientific knowledge, societal values and human needs are ever-changing.
Secondary Application Questions
Describe involvement in the ONE most important
non-academic activity that has been important in your life:
The qualifier “non-academic” can mean many things
including experiences that are already identified on the
AMCAS application under one of the self-selected “more
meaningful” experiences. If you have already included the
additional short description on why a particular experience
is one of the “more meaningful” ones (on AMCAS), then this
could be a good opportunity to emphasize something
different, something that may not necessarily be related to
medicine but is personally meaningful and productive to
This question asks for a personal choice so there isn’t necessarily a right/wrong answer but there may be some activities that will be perceived by some as more or less substantive. Choose wisely.
What has been the ONE most unique leadership, entrepreneurial or creative activity in which you participated? (800 max)
What has been the ONE most important volunteer work you have done and why was it meaningful? (800 max)
Has there been or will there be a gap between achieving your last degree (baccalaureate or other degrees post baccalaureate) and expected time of medical school matriculation? (yes or no). If yes, please explain. (800 max)
As the average age for matriculated students is 23.5 years old, it is very common for most students to have at least one year out of school in between college graduation and medical school matriculation. The experiences during this time will likely have been included on the AMCAS application. Therefore, this space can be used to provide an explanation on the reason for doing so rather than an explanation of the experience. The experiences are likely ones that will contribute to preparation for a career in medicine. However, they can also be described as ones that will prepare you to be a better advocate, leader, member of society, etc.
For those applicants that have spent more than 2-3 years in between these designated times, it will be important to emphasize that the commitment to pursue a career in medicine has remained steadfast throughout this time as supported by relevant experiences.
What is the ONE most important honor you have received? Why do you view this as important? (800 max)
What has been your most scholarly project (thesis, research or field of study in basic or clinical science or in the humanities)? Describe one and give number of hours, dates and advisor. (800 max)
As this is a self identified “most scholarly” project, it is reasonable to expect that there should be a strong recommendation letter from the PI. If that is not the case, then this could be a good place to describe why.
Describe a problem in your life. Include how you dealt with it and how it influenced your growth. (800 max)
Aspects of this experience may have been included in other parts of the AMCAS or secondary application. If so, it is advisable to include as much different information as possible and not simply reiterate what has been stated elsewhere.
The response should demonstrate not only your success but perhaps even your responsibility/ actions (if applicable) that contributed to the problem. The key is to demonstrate self-awareness, maturity, personal growth, along with perseverance, and any other positive qualities. This description may even include a problem that did not result in a generally positive outcome but it influenced your growth in a positive way nonetheless.
List major paid work experience during (or since) college. Give dates, description, approximate hours worked (list the most recent first). (800 max)
If there is any hardship to which you would like the committee to give special attention in evaluating your application, then check the box labeled "hardship" and briefly explain why you are indicating a hardship. Include any geographic, language, economic, academic, physical, or mental factors. (800 max)
Sometimes individuals are averse to identify themselves or their experiences as disadvantaged or hardship because of a negative stigma. The purpose of this question is to better appreciate the context of one’s achievements. It is an important opportunity to be honest and detailed about such circumstances so you simply need to state the facts of the experiences even if you may think that they seem unflattering.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? What experiences have led you to this goal? (800 max)
Many individuals will answer this question about their future in the context of their professional/medical career. While that can be valid, the question is much broader and can include many other aspects of one’s life. It can be insightful for the response to include a broader self-awareness of the individual’s priorities and values. A well-balanced life can be an important component to success so it might be advisable to think deeply about this response. Surely, one’s future vision of their life includes more than work.
If discussing aspects of your professional career, specificity of your response can indicate your level of knowledge and exposure to the vast options available. Many students thinking of the future might only concentrate on the specialty of interest but do not consider or know of career options beyond clinical practice or research. For example, as a clinician there is obviously patient care, but there are also opportunities to participate in education, or policy, or consulting, or leadership roles with administrative responsibilities related to their department, hospital, issues related to ethics, or cultural competency, or economics, etc. There are a plethora of directions that a physician’s career can take and it’s more impressive when someone has much knowledge and has been contemplative of their choices.
UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine Application Timeline:
AMCAS Application submission deadline: October 15, 2019
Secondary Application submission deadline: Within 30 days of the invitation
Admissions Decisions Released: October 15, 2019 - until class is full
Applicants are screened to determine an invitation to submit a secondary application.
For more information about the medical school application process,