University of California San Francisco

The University of California San Francisco – UCSF is one of the world’s leading medical schools with students from hundreds of countries. This is a research university with high scientific productivity; advanced biomedical research is carried out within the walls of the university. The University of California, San Francisco is part of the University of California.

History of the University of California, San Francisco

The university traces its history back to 1864, when it was founded as the Toland Medical College. In 1873 it became part of the University of California, which at that time had only one campus in Berkeley. In 1949, it was renamed the San Francisco Medical Center (UC Medical Center in San Francisco), and in 1964 the institution received administrative autonomy and became the ninth campus in the University of California system.

Building the University of California, San Francisco

The university campus is conveniently located near the center of San Francisco, a sunny, friendly, cosmopolitan city in the US state of California. Students can live on campus or choose accommodation in the city. The campus is located near Mount Parnassus, in close proximity to museums and theaters, cafes and restaurants. Nearby is a large urban park “Golden Gate” (Golden Gate Park). The university buildings offer views of the famous San Francisco Bay, the ocean and the city. In addition to educational buildings, the campus has several research centers, including regenerative medicine, stem cell research, and numerous laboratories.

The university has clinics and hospitals located throughout San Francisco: these are medical centers in Parnassus and Mount Zion, the Benioff Children’s Clinic, the Langley Porter Psychiatric Hospital, 14 dental clinics. Some of them are located within the campus. There is also a library, a bookstore, a food court with restaurants and cafes, a conference center, a large fitness center, and a kindergarten.

Scientific achievements University of California, San Francisco

  • UCSF conducts cutting-edge research in child health, brain and nervous system diseases, organ transplantation, women’s health, and cancer research. Within the walls of the university, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) were discovered, for which the researcher Shinya Yamanaka received the Nobel Prize in 2012. A year later, the scientist received an award for a breakthrough in the field of medicine.
  • The university’s two patented inventions, the hepatitis B vaccine and artificial growth hormone, are among the highest-grossing patents in the entire UC system. These inventions have helped save hundreds of thousands of lives.
  • Five UCSF staff members are recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
  • Some of the university’s research projects eventually became start-ups and stand-alone companies: there are about a hundred of them.
  • UCSF receives significant funding for its research from the government and private individuals and foundations. In 2013, the university received more than $517 million to support cutting-edge scientific research.
  • Scientists at the University of California, San Francisco have been leading the way in HIV/AIDS research since the beginning of the epidemic. Research is underway here to prevent type 1 diabetes.
  • In the 1970s, scientists John Michael Bishop and Harold Varmus made breakthroughs in cancer research. They discovered proto-oncogenes and proved that normal cellular genes can be transformed into cancerous ones. They won the Nobel Prize in Genetics.
  • The university cooperates with major medical companies located in the US and around the world. Among them are Daiichi Sankyo, Quest Diagnostics, Sutro Biopharma, OncoSec Medical Inc.
  • University scientists have discovered dozens of genes, violations of which are associated with the risk of developing autism.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn discovered an enzyme that plays a key role in normal cell function, as well as cell aging and cancer. Blackburn won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
  • Within the walls of the university they proved that exposure to light on pregnant women contributes to the normal development of vision in the fetus.
  • It was here that successful experiments were carried out on the synthesis of the insulin gene, thanks to these studies, the mass production of human insulin for the treatment of diabetes began.
  • University professor Stanley Prusiner discovered prions – biological sources of infection, for which he received the Alfred Nobel Prize.

Why should you go to UC San Francisco?

  • Compared to other US public universities, UCSF ranks first in terms of funding. Among private universities, according to this indicator, the university is in third place.
  • This is an international university, more than 15 percent of students came to the university from other countries.
  • There are hundreds of clubs at UC San Francisco.
  • Training at UCSF in a number of programs, including biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetics, is considered one of the best in the United States.
  • The University of California, San Francisco is a practically directed university, the students of the educational institution have the opportunity to take part in scientific projects, use the university’s laboratories, train in large clinics, pharmaceutical companies and diagnostic centers.
  • Education at the University of California at San Francisco is conducted in small groups: only 3 thousand students and about a thousand post-docs study at the educational institution.

Scholarships and Grants at UC San Francisco

Most undergraduate and graduate students (approximately 80 percent) receive scholarships and grants that help cover part of the cost of studying at the university. UCSF has its own financial aid program. In addition, students can take part in third-party scholarship and grant programs. For example, the Professional Nurse Scholarship program allows you to receive $1,500 quarterly. Federal Pell Grants are available for undergraduate students and are based on the student’s financial situation.

Faculties and features of admission to the University of California, San Francisco

UC San Francisco is divided into five colleges and schools. The main profile of the university is medical, but here you can also get a specialty in several other areas: in law, the humanities and natural sciences. The business master’s degree of the university is highly valued.

Applications for admission to the University of California, San Francisco must be made through AMCAS ( At the time of application, you need to fill out biographical, contact information and data from the school that the applicant graduated from. It is necessary to fill in information about courses taken, community service experience, publications and awards. Here the applicant must leave an essay.

Applicants should pay attention to the fact that for admission to the University of California, San Francisco, you must provide the results of the unified medical test MCAT (Medical College Admission Test). The recommended minimum score for the MCAT is 11 for Verbal Reasoning, 12 for Physical Sciences, and 12 for Biological Sciences.

After the application has been reviewed and approved, applicants must pay a processing fee, which for international students is $100. Then you need to provide 3-5 letters of recommendation , two of which must be written by former teachers. Foreign applicants must confirm the level of English proficiency (the minimum score for TOEFL ibT is 61, and for IELTS it is 6.0). The list of other documents varies depending on the specialty, all the necessary information is available in the applicant’s personal account on the AMCAS website. After submitting an application, an applicant may be invited to an interview, which is conducted in person on the university campus.

In order to enroll in the master’s programs of the university, foreign applicants must confirm the level of language proficiency. The TOEFL result must be at least 550 points (computer based TOEFL – 213, TOEFL ibT – 80), and the IELTS test – 7.

International applicants must also provide evidence of sufficient financial resources (bank certificate), a bachelor’s degree and pay an application fee of $110 for international applicants.

International Exchange Programs at UC San Francisco

For 20 years, the university has been implementing a major cooperation program with the University of Zimbabwe (UZ-UCSF Collaborative Research Program) in the field of HIV/AIDS research. The university closely cooperates with Makerere University in the field of research of various diseases (MU-UCSF Research Collaboration), student exchange is implemented within the program.

Interesting facts about UC San Francisco

  • Within the walls of the university, a drug against snake bites was invented: it is a nasal spray that is injected into the body by spraying. It is able to block the action of neurotoxins contained in snake venom.
  • Paul Ekman is a UCSF professor and specialist in lie detection. He became the inspiration for the popular American TV series “Lie to me” (Lie to me). Ekman became the prototype of the film’s hero Dr. Lightman.
  • The university proved that sweet soda accelerates the aging of human cells.
  • It is the first university west of the Mississippi to offer doctoral degrees in nursing.
  • Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco have found a gene that determines the duration of sleep. With its mutations, people can sleep 4-6 hours a day and get enough sleep.

Notable Alumni of the University of California, San Francisco

Among the graduates of the University of California at San Francisco are successful doctors, scientists, Nobel and other prize winners. The university graduated from a specialist in bioengineering, the inventor of the artificial kidney-implant Shuvo Roy. Mark Zuckerberg’s wife Priscilla Chan studied here – she is a pediatrician by training.