Preparing for Medical School

Preparing for a Career in Health Care (PDF)

Metal Samples in LabCaltech students are well prepared for the medical school application process and have been successfully matriculating to competitive medical schools each year. Between 2002 and 2011, the medical schools most frequently chosen by Caltech students were:



Through its core curriculum, Caltech provides an excellent education in the basic sciences, social sciences, and humanities for all undergraduate students, regardless of their major. This rigorous training prepares students extremely well for the academic requirements set by medical schools. Caltech also provides numerous opportunities for students to engage in scientific research (both on and off campus), clinical and volunteer activities, sports, performing arts, and leadership experiences.

In addition, each student receives individualized support through unlimited counseling and strategy sessions. Premedical and health professions advising is available in the Career Development Center, and Caltech has an active Premed Association. As a group, premed students attend numerous topic-specific workshops, such as interviewing techniques, writing seminars, and MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) preparation. Caltech is an ideal environment that encourages active collaboration among peers.


Caltech students are very well prepared for this standardized test, and most students take their MCATs in the summer of their sophomore year. Caltech students consistently score in the top quartile in all four sections of the MCAT, and most students score about the 90th percentile in the physical and biological sciences and the verbal reasoning sections.



All Caltech premed students are eligible to participate in the preceptorship program at the Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena. This unique and outstanding program is offered by Dr. William Caton, the chairman of neurosurgery, to Caltech students who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine. Each summer, approximately 20 Caltech premed students enroll in an intensive five-week rotation program during which they have the opportunity to experience various medical fields, such as neurosurgery, emergency medicine, pediatrics, pathology, cardiology, and radiology. Each participant documents over 200 hours of clinical experience each summer through this program.

Caltech also partners with the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles to provide individualized clinical or research opportunities for each premed student who wishes to participate in pediatric care. Each student is matched with a mentor depending on interest.

Within a short distance from the Caltech campus, students also have opportunity to engage in medical research at the City of Hope, a leading cancer research and care institute.  Students have ample opportunity to engage in cancer research through an optional six-week research program immediately following the clinical program. 

At Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, 3-4 students rotate in the internal medicine division for three weeks.  

On the Caltech campus, the Health Advocate program provides clinical, volunteer, and leadership experiences for participants through a year-long structured and extensive training program, so that students are prepared to provide emergency support to their peers when necessary.


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