PRIME students and faculty advisors on the stairs in Geffen Hall

General Questions

PRIME-LA is a five-year concurrent/dual degree program focusing on the development of leaders in medicine addressing policy, care and research in healthcare for the underserved. PRIME-LA is one of four Medical Education Programs at UCLA.

This is the 15th year for the PRIME-LA program. Our first PRIME-LA cohort of 18 students matriculated in July of 2008. There are active PRIME programs at each of the University of California (UC) medical schools. 

Qualified candidates will be evaluated using criteria that includes experience with and commitment to working with underserved populations as well as experience in leadership roles. Additional review of the strength of the application will include the core objective criteria of GPA's and MCAT's, a secondary application, letters of recommendation and for the final round of candidates structured personal interviews.

Students will need to apply to FASFA for financial aid. Financial support is provided to PRIME-LA students during their 5th or final year of medical school. 

PRIME specific scholarships are also available for years 1-5. 

Students that are accepted to the PRIME-LA CDU and PRIME-LA Westwood will take classes at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Students that have been accepted to PRIME UCLA/CDU will take classes associated with that program their final year.

MCAT scores from tests taken within the last three years will be considered. 

NOTE: Beginning in the 2018 admissions cycle, DGSOM at UCLA will be moving towards competency-based entrance requirements. 

A. A successful DGSOM at UCLA applicant will have demonstrated attainment of knowledge in the following topics:

  • Biological Sciences and Physiology: Cellular and Molecular Biology and Genetics
  • Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Physical Sciences: Inorganic and Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry of intermediary metabolism, and associated laboratory activities.
  • Humanities: This might include literature and/or art, history, philosophy, religion, ethics, economics, social behavior, psychology
  • Mathematics and Statistics: This might include biomathematics, computer science, matrix algebra

B. A successful DGSOM at UCLA applicant will have demonstrated attainment of skills in the following areas:

  • Writing and Communication Skills
  • Clinical Experiences: We value a sustained interest and commitment to medicine
  • Interpersonal Skills

C. A successful DGSOM at UCLA applicant will have demonstrated awareness in:

  • Health care delivery: This could include courses and/or experiences that deal with the ethical, legal, political, public health, scientific and moral challenges facing health care and health care delivery
  • Human diversity
  • Research experience

*Please note AP credit is acceptable

COVID-19 Impact on Admissions:

  • Exceptions for Pass/Fail Courses (Credit/No-Credit): Pass/Fail and Credit/No-Credit grades will be accepted for admissions consideration, without prejudice, for courses taken during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Online Courses (or courses finishing on-line): Online courses or courses moved to virtual delivery due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be acceptable for admissions consideration as long as these grades appear on your official transcript of grades from your accredited institution. 

If you have received a supplemental application, you can check your status at DGSOM Application Status

Please note that receipt of 2022 AMCAS applications will be confirmed only if a supplemental application has been issued. We CANNOT confirm receipt of 2022 AMCAS primary applications at this time.

The best way to contact the PRIME-LA office is by e-mail at: primela@mednet.ucla.edu. Please allow at least three business days for a return response. 

Primary Applications

Please see DGSOM Admissions for an up to date timeline for this application cycle. 

The last day to be considered for PRIME-LA in addition to the traditional MD track is September 30, 2022.

Is the application process for applying to PRIME-LA and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA separate?

Applicants who wish to apply to PRIME-LA should select the Combined Medical Degree/Graduate program option for the David Geffen School of Medicine on your AMCAS application. Selection of this option will allow your application to be considered for both the traditional MD degree track and the PRIME-LA dual degree track. Applicants who are interested in obtaining a dual degree, but are not interested in PRIME-LA, should opt for the traditional MD track.

Applicants who apply to DGSOM and select the MD-Graduate program option will be screened for both DGSOM and PRIME-LA tracks. If the applicant is acceptable for both DGSOM and PRIME-LA, an offer to interview will be extended. If the applicant is not acceptable for PRIME-LA, they may still be offered an interview for the MD program.

Applicants who apply to DGSOM and select the MD-Graduate program option will be screened for both DGSOM and PRIME-LA program. If the applicant is acceptable for both DGSOM and PRIME-LA, an offer to interview will be extended. If the applicant is not acceptable for PRIME-LA, they may still be offered an interview for the MD program.

All changes in your contact information must be submitted to AMCAS in order for the change to be official.

While you can submit updates via email, please note that they will not be part of your primary application. They will not be considered in the screening process for a secondary or an interview.

The MCAT must be taken by September 2022 (with a score release date of October 2022) to be considered. For more information, please review COVID-19 Impact on Admissions

In order to maintain a fair process for all applicants, the Admissions Office cannot meet with applicants in person. Please email us any questions you may have and we will be happy to answer them.

Supplemental Applications

Yes, once PRIME-LA receives your primary application from AMCAS we will screen applications on a rolling basis. Qualified candidates will be evaluated using criteria that includes experience with and commitment to working with underserved populations as well as experience in leadership roles. Additional review of the strength of the application will include the core objective criteria of GPA's and MCAT's, a secondary application, letters of recommendation and for the final round of candidates structured personal interviews.

15 days after the date of the supplemental application request letter, or October 31, 2022, whichever is earlier.

Please do not send in your letters of recommendation until you have been invited to submit a secondary application.

Yes, extensions will be granted on a case-by-case basis.  Please e-mail the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Admissions Office for extension requests at primela@mednet.ucla.edu.

$95 paid to: UC Regents

October 3, 2022. Applications received after this date will be processed on a rolling basis. 

No. Your status will be updated on the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Admission Status Information page once they are both received.

We do not accept appeals. All decisions are final.

Interviews

Interview invitations will be sent in December 2022

Interviews will take place virtually during the first two weeks of January 2023.

*COVID-19 Impacts on Admissions

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a final determination about travel will be made in advance of the Fall term. 

Master’s Year

PRIME students can choose the programs they want to apply to and matriculate in.  Most participants will complete their graduate work at UCLA however; we have had students complete their master’s degree at Columbia, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco. 

Currently the MCAT is being accepted in lieu of the GRE and GMAT for concurrent degree programs. We encourage students to visit the programs' respective application requirements for the most up to date information.