Sep 29, 2023  
USC Catalogue 2023-2024 
USC Catalogue 2023-2024

Keck School of Medicine of USC

Dean Carolyn C. Meltzer, students, faculty and staff of the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

Dean Carolyn C. Meltzer, students, faculty and staff of the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Photo by Steve Cohn.






Founded in 1885, the Keck School of Medicine of USC is the region’s first medical school and the second professional school founded at USC. Throughout its history, the Keck School of Medicine has been at the forefront of innovation in academic medicine, preparing tomorrow’s diverse health care and scientific workforce with a legacy of community service and a commitment to health equity.

The Keck School of Medicine is home to 2,000+ full-time faculty; 250+ part-time faculty; 2,000+ voluntary faculty physicians; 1,000+ resident and fellow physicians; and 3,000+ students, including MD, PhD, MD/PhD, master’s, undergraduate, and certificate students. The Keck School of Medicine offers 31 degree-granting programs (undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and clinical professional degrees) in addition to postdoctoral training programs and opportunities for continuing medical education. The innovative Physician-Citizen-Scholar MD curriculum integrates active learning, early clinical immersion, and a focus on health justice and systems of care. 

Keck School of Medicine faculty, students and residents serve more than one million patients each year at Los Angeles General Medical Center (one of the largest teaching hospitals in the United States), Keck Hospital of USC, USC Norris Cancer Hospital, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, USC Arcadia Hospital and a network of USC-affiliated hospitals and clinics throughout Southern California.

Quick Facts

  • 1 in every 150 of the nation’s residents and fellows in accredited programs trains at USC

  • 97% residency match rate for MD students

  • 70 residency and fellowship programs accredited by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)

  • 31% of MD Class of 2025 are underrepresented in medicine (URiM)

  • 31% of domestic PhD students are underrepresented minorities

  • #1 in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding per investigator among the Top 40 medical schools (federal FY2022)

  • 97% increase in total research funding from 2015 to 2022

Education Administration

Carolyn C. Meltzer, MD, Dean

Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, PhD, Associate Dean, Community Initiatives

Ricky Bluthenthal, PhD, Associate Dean, Social Justice

Maura Sullivan, PhD, Associate Dean, Simulation Education in Health Sciences


Doctor of Medicine Program (MD)

Donna D. Elliott, MD, EdD, Vice Dean, Medical Education, Chair Department of Medical Education

Raquel D. Arias, MD, Associate Dean, Admissions

Ron Ben-Ari, MD, Senior Associate Dean, Medical Education

Teresa L. Cook, M.Ed., Assistant Dean, Educational Administration

David Diller, MD, Assistant Dean, Clinical Curriculum

Cha-Chi Fung, PhD, Assistant Dean, Medical Education Research and Scholarship

Kevin Nash, PhD, Assistant Dean, Curriculum

Ranna Nash, PhD, Assistant Dean, Student Development

Tanisha Price-Johnson, PhD, Associate Dean, Student Affairs

Joyce Richey, PhD, Associate Dean, Diversity and Inclusion – Education

Stephanie Zia, MD, Assistant Dean, Student Affairs


Graduate and Doctoral Programs (Masters and PhD; excluding Doctor of Medicine Program)

Peggy J. Farnham, PhD, Vice Dean, Health and Biomedical Sciences Education

Ite Offringa, PhD, Associate Dean, PhD Graduate Programs

Axel Schönthal, PhD, Associate Dean, Biomedical MS Programs

Richard Watanabe, PhD, Associate Dean, Health and Population Science Programs

Joyce P. Perez, EdD, Assistant Dean, Graduate Education



Undergraduate Programs

Admission standards for these curricula are the same as the University standard, available here . There are no additional program-specific requirements.

Clinical Professional Programs

For admissions information, scroll to the Programs section (below) and link to the specific professional program.

Graduate and Doctoral Programs

Admission standards for these curricula are established jointly by the Keck School of Medicine, its participating programs, and the Graduate School.

Applicants to graduate degree programs offered at the Keck School of Medicine must meet the general criteria for acceptance to the Graduate School. Each participating program may have additional requirements for application. The programmatic requirements for the Keck School of Medicine’s graduate programs are detailed in the Graduate Degree Programs section.

Further information about graduate degree programs at the Keck School of Medicine may be obtained by contacting: Office of Graduate Affairs, Keck School of Medicine, 1975 Zonal Avenue (KAM 409), Los Angeles, CA 90089-9023; (323) 442-1607, FAX: (323) 442-1199.

Doctor of Medicine Program

Keith Administration Building 104
1975 Zonal Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90089-9021
(323) 442-2552

Associate Dean, Admissions: Raquel D. Arias, MD

General Information

The Keck School of Medicine of USC Committee on Admissions is responsible for selecting members of the entering class. The committee is comprised of faculty and students. The committee reviews candidates whose academic achievement, commitment to service, and personal qualities distinguish them from the many thousands of applicants who apply.

The Keck School of Medicine participates in the centralized American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) and also requires the submission of the Keck School of Medicine supplemental application. Approximately 8,900 applications are received per year and 750 applicants receive interview invitations. Interviews begin in late August and end in early March. Students receive acceptance letters beginning in October.


All applicants to the Keck School of Medicine of USC MD degree program must have completed a baccalaureate degree, or its equivalent, from an accredited college or university prior to matriculation. The school has no specific prerequisite course requirements. The applicant’s undergraduate major may be in any subject area from an accredited college or university. Although sound preparation in the basic sciences is essential, a background in the humanities, and depth and breadth of personal experience are also important. 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. The Medical School Admission Requirement (MSAR) guide may be referenced for recommended course work.

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.

Individuals who have discontinued studies in medical school for academic reasons are ineligible to apply to the Keck School of Medicine.

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

The MCAT is required of all applicants. Applicants to the entering class are required to take the MCAT within the previous three years of the date of matriculation and no later than August in the year that the application becomes available. Scores from administrations of the examination taken outside of this time period will not be accepted.


The Keck School of Medicine of USC participates in the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). AMCAS reproduces and distributes an application and standardized academic record to participating medical schools designated by the student. Applications are submitted electronically at students/applying/amcas.

Applications are available after June 1 for the class entering in August of the following year. Applications to USC must be returned to AMCAS by November 1, but earlier application is encouraged.

The Admissions Committee reviews all information submitted on the AMCAS application as well as the school’s supplemental application. The nonrefundable supplemental application fee is $100.

Personal Interviews

Approximately 8,900 applications are received per year and 750 applicants receive interview invitations. Personal interviews are required to be considered for admission.

Interviews begin in late August and end in early March. Applicants interview with members of the Admissions Committee.

Notice of Acceptance

Notices of acceptance will be sent to successful candidates beginning in October until the class is filled. Since the Keck School of Medicine uses a rolling admissions process, it is highly recommended to submit a completed application early in the cycle. If not chosen for an interview, candidates are usually notified by March of the application year.

Candidates must reply to an offer of admission and agree to the Essential Technical Standards for the completion of the MD degree within 10 business days of receiving the offer of admission. A letter of withdrawal, via email or post mail, is required if students wish to relinquish their place in the class; release is granted automatically when the letter is received.

MD/PhD Program

General Information

The MD/PhD program is designed for individuals who aspire to a career as a physician-scientist or a leadership role within the biomedical industry. Students are expected to acquire the modern skills that are required for physician competence. Additionally, the MD/PhD program provides an opportunity for the development of research expertise and academic excellence while fulfilling the requirements for a PhD degree.

A joint program between the Keck School of Medicine and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) was established in fall 1997 for the granting of the MD/PhD degree. PhD studies may be carried out at the Keck School of Medicine, at Caltech, or through collaboration between two laboratories at both institutions. For students who complete their PhD at Caltech the MD will be awarded from the Keck School of Medicine and the PhD will be awarded from Caltech.

The MD/PhD admissions subcommittee is responsible for selecting students for the MD/PhD program. Members of the subcommittee review the qualifications of each applicant, including MCAT scores, academic performance, letters of recommendation, and research experience. Applicants to the joint program interview at both the Keck School of Medicine and Caltech. Final acceptance is granted by the MD admissions committee.

The MD/PhD program enrolls a maximum of eight students annually. All positions are fully funded.


Admission requirements for the MD/PhD program are those of one of the graduate programs at Caltech, the Keck School of Medicine, or USC. Students select the program of their choice during the first two years of the medical curriculum; descriptions of these programs are available from each department or program and Caltech.


Applicants to the MD/PhD program complete the medical school application and indicate their interest in the MD/PhD program at the time of application.

Students who are currently pursuing the MD degree at the Keck School of Medicine and decide to pursue an MD/PhD may apply by contacting the MD/PhD Program.

Personal Interviews

Applicants who meet the criteria of the program are invited to be interviewed by members of the MD/PhD admissions subcommittee, which consists of faculty at the Keck School of Medicine and Caltech. Personal interviews are required to be considered for admission.

Notice of Acceptance

Students selected for acceptance to the MD/PhD program are notified between November and May. Students begin their programs in the fall semester and register for courses in the medical curriculum at that time.

Further information about the MD/PhD program at the Keck School of Medicine may be obtained by contacting: MD/PhD Program, Keck School of Medicine, 1975 Zonal Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90089-9020; (323) 442-2965, FAX: (323) 442-0386; email:


Bachelor’s Degree


Master’s Degree

Dual Degree

Graduate Certificate

Doctoral Degree


Cancer Biology and Genomics

Interdepartmental Medicine

Medical Biology

Medical Sciences (200–400)

Medical Sciences (500)

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