Best 7 Medical Schools in California in 2024

January 26, 2024 | Admin

Medial Schools in California

If you are considering pursuing a medical degree, you will have a lot of medical schools in California to choose from if you decide to pursue your studies there. There are also many different schools, with their individual specialties to choose from, all within the same general area.

Choosing a Course of Study

Students working toward a master’s degree in medicine have a wide variety of career choices to choose from, but many students choose to continue their education.

With a Master of Medical Science degree, students will be prepared to become physicians. The programs they take help them garner the skills necessary for success in medical school. 

Top 5 Medical Schools in California

Rank School Location
1Stanford UniversityStanford, California
2The University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine Los Angeles, California
3The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of MedicineSan Francisco, California
4UC Davis HealthDavis, California
5University of California – RiversideRiverside, California

The course of study and career opportunities are very broad, here is a shortlist of careers students can pursue with a Medicine Master’s degree:

The Higher-Level Education, the More Money Students Can Earn

Just like just about every other course of study, the higher degree you achieve, the higher your salary will advance. Some of the top careers for those that have gotten their Master’s in Medicine go on too many of these positions:

  • Clinical trial administrator and manager
  • Health care center administrator
  • Biomedical engineering specialist
  • Medical researcher
  • Epidemiologists
  • Genetic counselor
  • Emergency preparedness and bioterrorism coordinator

California State Offers Numerous Top-Level Medical Schools to Choose From

Choosing the right school, with a good reputation is critical. Many choose to go to research schools, where they can learn the latest treatments, techniques, and the research leading to medical breakthroughs.

California has a plethora of choices to choose from, with so many impressive schools centered in one corridor, pursuing your medical degree in California sounds like a very sound decision.

Here are some of the top schools that students may consider if they wish to earn their medical degree in California.

Best 7 Medical Schools in California


Stanford University

  • Stanford, California
  • Graduation Rate: 94%

Stanford University School of Medicine focuses on health initiatives through leadership, diversity, education, and collaborative studies that create good leaders within the medical field. The School of Medicine offers a wide range of disciplines within biomedicine leading to either Ph.D. or M.S. degrees. The school trains students with a dedicated faculty and training facility. The school offers:

  • Flexible MD curriculum with multiple different medical directions to choose from
  • Diverse clinical and leadership opportunities both inside and outside of Stanford University
  • Numerous dual degree opportunities at the medical school across Stanford University
  • Strong dedication to the community with an intimate cohort size of 90-100 students

Stanford University School of Medicine was founded in San Francisco in 1958 the Sc0hol of Medicine has a strong history of educating Physician Assistants and understanding their growing role and importance in the medical field. In 2018, over 1,500 PAs graduated from their program.

School Overview

Tuition (Annual Rate): $20,731 per quarter
Student to Faculty Ratio: 2.2:1
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The University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine

  • Los Angeles, California
  • Graduation Rate: 91%

The University of California, Los Angeles, is now known as the David Geffen School of Medicine– after he donated over $200 million in 2001. The University’s primary purpose is as a public research university committed to academic freedom for all students. The school is dedicated to providing students with a strong foundation and understanding of the many disciplines that can choose from within the healthcare field. Upon graduation, students will have taken a variety of classes including:

  • Programs Focused on Bioscience and Biomathematics
  • Molecular Toxicology
  • A Variety of UCLA Graduate Programs

The University of California Medical School was originally founded in m1951 and was renamed in 2001. The school has over 337 undergraduate and degree programs and has about 31,500 undergraduate and 112,800 graduate students. It is considered the most applied to the school of any American University.

School Overview

Tuition (Annual Rate): $12,245
Student to Faculty Ratio: 3.9:1
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The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine

  • San Francisco, California
  • Graduation Rate: 63%

The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine is the oldest medical school in California. It was founded back in 1864 and is known for turning out award-winning Nobel Laureates and other distinguished medical professionals. UCSF offers the classic MD program, but also offers students other highly specialized programs. Some of these include:

  • UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program
  • Biostatistics
  • Community Health Sciences
  • Health Policy and Health Management
  • Medical Scientist Training Program

The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is a public research university that is dedicated to health sciences. The University is a major center of medical and biological research. The school was founded as Toland Medical College in 1984 and 1873 it began affiliating itself with the University of California became part of its medical department. The UCSF offers 19 Ph.D. programs, 11 MS programs, 2 certificates, and a physical therapy curriculum.

School Overview

Tuition (Annual Rate): $42,791.00
Student to Faculty Ratio: 4.3:1
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UC Davis Health

  • Davis, California
  • Graduation Rate: 85%

The UC Davis School of Medicine is a leading medical school in the state of California. The faculty is dedicated to turning out leaders in the ever-changing medical industry. The school has been responsible for helping train many of our nations’ healthcare workers. The curriculum balances hands-on experiences with intense academic training. Some of the highlights of the medical education program include:

  • Providing patient care and local community health clinics
  • Coursework reflects on ethics, end-of-life care, cultural competency, and the human side of medical illnesses.
  • Train medical leaders to be prepared to understand and serve the healthcare needs of underserved areas in and around California
  • Continuing educational opportunities to stay on top of the latest medical protocols through workshops seminars and online classes.

Since 1968, UC Dais School of Medicine has played an integral role in the advancement of health care and treatments for the population in need of proper medical care. Today there are 30,718 undergraduates and 8,434 postgraduates. The medical centers include the UC Davis Children’s Hospital and UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.

School Overview

Tuition (Annual): 10-month program: $69,226
Student to Faculty Ratio: 1.9:1
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University of California – Riverside

  • Riverside, California
  • Graduation Rate: 73%

The University of California, Riverside School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Education (GME) offers the most important components required in the ever-evolving medical landscape. Students receive a top-quality education, innovative training programs, and the newest techniques to better help patients. Some of the Sponsored Fellowships that students can pursue at U of C Riverside include:

  • Family Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Pediatrics Residency
  • Psychiatry Medicine
  • Addiction Medicine Fellowship

The University of California, Riverside is a public research university and one of 10 campuses of the U of C System. The school’s main campus sits on 1,900 acres in Riverside with another 20-acre campus in Palm Desert. The campus first opened in 1954. Today, the three key schools offer 81 majors, 52 minors, 48 master’s degree programs, and 42 Ph.D. programs.

School Overview

Tuition: $14,165 per quarter
Student to Faculty Ratio: 1.1:1
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Keck School of Medicine

  • Los Angeles, California

The Keck School of Medicine is located in Los Angeles. It is known for taking an innovative approach to education, which students find enhances traditions and ethical practices. The school’s goal is to stimulate student drive to become leading physicians, physician-scientists as well as exceptional individuals that want to go the extra mile to help patients under their care. The school’s curriculum was created to provide the student with the depth of knowledge, understanding, and systems to successfully bring their learnings into medical settings and thrive. The curriculum is very carefully crafted to:

  • Enhance students’ understanding of clinical and health systems sciences and how they are applied to the practice of medicine
  • Improve students’ problem-solving skills through both teamwork and independent studies
  • Integrate early clinical experiences and learning from patient encounters from the very beginning of medical school and carry that knowledge with them.

The Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California is the second oldest medical school in California having been founded in 1885. The school early on had an important association with the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles dating back to 1932. In 1970 it formed the first Department of Emergency Medicine in the U.S. By 1983 the school opened the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.

School Overview

Tuition: Full-time tuition is $64,538
Student to Faculty Ratio: 2.6:1
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The University of California -San Diego

  • San Diego, California
  • Graduation Rate: 8%

The University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, is the region’s only medical school. It is a top-ranking school that thrives on on-going research, innovative educational teachings, and unequaled patient care. The school is strongly associated with the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Jacobs Medical Center, Moores Cancer Center, and many other top-level medical facilities in the San Diego area. The goal of the San Diego School of Medicine includes:

  • Cultivating a diverse community of medical scholars where learning is both accessible and affordable to everyone
  • Develop bleeding-edge research that provides a better quality of life, that can shape new medical findings and uses.
  • Be an economic driver with shared prosperity, cultural enrichment, and respect among all

The University of California – San Diego School of Medicine was the third Medical School in the University of California system, opening in 1962. The school was built on the successful concept of the San Francisco and Los Angeles campuses. The school has become known for its research and innovation. By 1969 the school was a leader in pulmonary thromboendarterectomy. In 1982 it opened one of the first clinics to treat patients with HIV and AIDS.

School Overview

Tuition: Approximately $21,075
Student to Faculty Ratio: 3.1:1
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Methodology for California-based Medical Schools

Choosing to go into the medical field is a big decision, so determining where you will go for your education is an equally foreboding decision. 

We have carefully reviewed the top medical schools in California, some of them are huge institutions, others are smaller universities, others are online colleges. We have reviewed a wide range of different criteria before determining which school should go in which slot. We look at the size of the class, teacher to student ratio, graduation rate, and cost of tuition. After reviewing all this information, we define a number for each school based on these and other criteria.

Our goal is to take some of the efforts away from students and do the work for them, so they can get down to the business of earning their medical degree in the field of their choice.

If there is a school omitted from this list or if any information is incorrect, please contact us so the appropriate edits/corrections can be made.

Find the program that’s right for you

Whether you’re trying to start your career or make a big change, we can help you find the perfect school to help you reach your goals.

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