Keck School of Medicine of USC doctors care for those who are most vulnerable. We accomplish this through excellence in research, clinical care and education.
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.
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 Admissions Committee considers both interpersonal (service orientation, social skills, cultural awareness, teamwork and oral communication) and intrapersonal (ethical responsibility, reliability, dependability, resilience, adaptability and capacity for improvement) attributes in the evaluation of applicants. 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
- May: Primary application is available via AMCAS.
- June – November: AMCAS applications are received and Keck Supplemental Application invitations are sent June-November.
- July: Applications are reviewed and interview invitations are e-mailed to selected applicants July-February.
- August: Interview Season is August through March.
- Sept. 30: Valid MCAT dates for matriculation in 2020 are January 1, 2017 – September 30, 2019.
- Oct. 15: Offers of admission are made beginning on Oct 15, and continue to be made on a rolling basis
- Nov. 1: AMCAS Application Deadline (if Nov. 1 falls on a weekend, the deadline will be the next business day).
- Dec. 1: Keck School Supplemental Application Deadline (if Dec. 1 falls on a weekend, the deadline will be the next business day).
- January: Applicants may begin to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and other financial need applications.
- February 19: “Plan to Enroll” option becomes available for Accepted Applicants in the AMCAS Choose Your Medical School Tool.
- April 30: “Commit to Enroll” option becomes available for Accepted Applicants in the AMCAS Choose Your Medical School Tool.
- May 15: Non-refundable $500 deposit is due to KSOM of USC for all accepted students. The deposit will be applied to tuition.
- August: Orientation and first week of classes begin for entering class.
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 USC Student Health Center for information on Health Clearance Requirements for incoming students.
The Keck School of Medicine considers completed applications received by AMCAS between June 1 and November 1. Official transcripts must be submitted within 14 calendar days of the November 1 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 2020 entering medical school class; must have taken the MCAT no earlier than January 1, 2017, and no later than September 30, 2019.
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. A committee letter is sufficient. Alternatively, 2 or 3 letters from professors, PI’s or work experience are acceptable. Do not send more than 3 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 3
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 104
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 August 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. A non-refundable intent to enroll deposit ($500.00) must be submitted after April, 30 2019 and by May 15, 2019.
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.
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.
Admission with advanced standing is only allowed for those candidates admitted through the Oral Maxillofacial Surgery Program Advanced Specialty Certificate Program offered in conjunction with the Ostrow School of Dentistry.
KSOM does not accept transfer students.
Keck Student Profiles
Andrea Banuelos Mota
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Undergrad: UC Berkeley
Interest: Underserved Communities, Primary Care, Women’s Health, Minority Health, Community Medicine, Family Medicine
Year: Third-year Medical Student
I am the daughter of immigrant parents who did not finish elementary school. Although my parents were loving and supportive, being a first generation student meant that my journey to medicine was like traveling a dark tunnel whose path was lit by amazing mentors and friends along the way. When I was looking at medical schools, I knew I wanted to attend a school where folks understood and knew how to support students in positions like mine– motivated, willing to work hard but the first in their family to ever travel this path. When I came to KSOM of USC and met the faculty and my future peers, I knew I had found the school. Since starting medical school, all the faculty, from those in the Admissions Office, Student Affairs, Diversity Office, Family Medicine Department, Curriculum Office and others have been exceptionally supportive. Thanks to them, I feel that I have not only been able to survive in medical school but to thrive. I have been fortunate to have met friends with whom I have designed community-based research projects, served in national leadership development programs and stayed involved in matters that fuel my motivation for medicine; serving the underserved and minority communities. Before beginning medical school, I knew my heart was set in community medicine and I was delighted to become part of the Primary Care Program. Through this program I have met my closest mentors and friends and stayed engaged with the community. As I begin my third year of medical school, I remain ever so grateful for the opportunity to be part of the Keck community and I am proud to be obtaining my medical education at this institution.
Hometown: Hanover Park, IL
Undergrad: University of Chicago
Year: Second-year Medical Student
When I was considering where I wanted to attend medical school, the thought of moving to Los Angeles was definitely a concern. I’m originally from outside of Chicago, was living in New York City prior to matriculation, and didn’t have any family or friends in the Los Angeles area. With that said, I felt a great deal of support from Keck during my interview, and believed it was a place where I could succeed.
I initially chose Keck for the LAC-USC medical center across the street, the strong research reputation, and a curriculum I believed would fit my learning style regardless of how that may change throughout medical school. These have all proven to be true and valuable, but I’ve realized another reason why Keck is so special. Having been here through my first year, I would emphasize the academic and social support provided by everyone on campus. I wasn’t able to interact with many students on my interview day, but I have found that people here are genuinely happy. Regardless of how great the curriculum, hospital and education is, I’ve come to appreciate the fact that school is much more enjoyable (and easier) when you’re surrounded by upbeat, motivated people who care about their peers. I believe we have this here, and I would cite that as my primary reason for continuing to choose Keck.
Hometown: Dallas, TX
Undergrad: Southern Methodist University
Interests: Primary Care, Underserved Communities
Year: Fourth-year Medical Student
Born and raised on a small Caribbean island, I knew that I needed to find a medical school with a strong sense of community. From my first visit, I could see the genuine interest that faculty had in their students on a personal level. There has been more than one occasion where I have walked into a Dean’s office just to talk about how I have been feeling that week. I’ve felt comfortable enough to talk to my PPM mentors about my personal thoughts and get advice on how to navigate the ups and downs of medical school. We have had lecturers come in on holidays to review exam material with our class. In addition, I think that Keck does a very great job in fostering friendships through our MDLs. Through the MDLs, I have met some of the most selfless, socially conscious people and lifelong friends. Since being at Keck, I have noticed that there are a great amount of opportunities to develop leadership skills.
Whether you want to help lead one of our many student interest groups, represent your class at curriculum meetings, represent Keck at national conferences, assist in the admissions process, or start your own student group to push for changes that you believe will improve our school, you can do it at Keck! Student input is valued at Keck and the leadership skills polished in medical school will serve our students greatly in their roles as physicians navigating an ever changing healthcare system. An experience special to me at Keck is the Longitudinal Primary Care and Community Medicine Program (LCCME), which is committed to increasing the number of primary care physicians especially in underserved communities. Those of us in LCCME go to a community clinic at least once a month where we work in an outpatient setting to gain a deeper understanding of longitudinal care and its benefits. For me, I had the unique opportunity to work and learn at a homeless shelter where a makeshift clinic is created every Tuesday and Friday to bring healthcare to this vulnerable population. Through this hands-on experience, I have learned a great deal about the health care needs of the homeless population and feel better equipped to deal with these needs as a future physician. I am unsure if I would have been afforded this opportunity at another school and am grateful that I chose Keck for my medical education.
Hometown: Davison, Michigan
Undergrad: University of Michigan
Interests: Emergency Medicine, Surgery, Infectious Diseases, LGBTQ+ Health
Year: Third-year Medical Student
My interview at Keck was the first time I was ever in California. I grew up in a small, semi- rural Midwestern town, so Los Angeles came as a bit of a cultural shock (albeit, a very welcomed one). I instantly fell in love with the tremendous amount of diversity in culture, food, people, backgrounds, and stories that are all scattered across this city, waiting to be discovered. Additionally, hiking, concerts, camping, beach days, and late-night taco truck runs were simply too tempting to pass up! Los Angeles has proven to be a wonderful city to meet incredible people, get involved in organizations, and more clearly define who I am both as a person and as a future physician. As wonderful as Los Angeles has proven to be, Keck itself was the driving factor for my move across the country. No other school during interview day emphasized community as much as USC, both in terms of building our own and empowering the ones we serve. From the MDL’s to the seemingly endless student interest groups, we foster an extremely collaborative environment. From the week-one clinical encounters in ICM to the opportunity to interact with immensely diverse patient populations at numerous hospitals, we are privileged to have real cases impact our medical careers from the start. From the high-yield weekly handouts to the doctor-led small group labs, we have a faculty that sincerely cares about our well-being and success. Keck truly offers its students the unique opportunity to craft their own identity and their own community while simultaneously impacting the lives of real patients and learning the “human” side of medicine that is so often lacking in today’s healthcare system.
Class of 2022 Profile
Class Size: 186
Median MCAT at Admission: 516
Average GPA at admission: 3.7
- 48% Males
- 52% Females
Total Underrepresented in Medicine (UIM): 39 (21%)
States of Residence
- California: 142 (76%)
- Other States: 44 (24%)
Top 10 Undergraduate Institutions
- University of California, Los Angeles: 38 (20%)
- University of Southern California: 25 (13%)
- University of California, Berkeley: 14 (8%)
- University of California, Santa Barbara: 7 (4%)
- Stanford: 6 (3%)
- University of California, San Diego: 5 (3%)
- University of California, Davis: 5 (3%)
- University of California, Irvine: 5 (3%)
- Cornell: 4 (2%)
- Northwestern University: 4 (2%)
Average Age at Admission: 24
- Age 21 or less: 13 (7%)
- Age 22: 44 (24%)
- Age 23: 53 (28%)
- Age 24-25: 56 (30%)
- Age 26-29: 16 (9%)
- Age 30 and over: 4 (<2%)
National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions
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