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DRAFT-SJV Prime+ Admissions Criteria and Application Process

Academic Requirements and Criteria

To apply to the SJV Prime+ program, applicants must meet the minimum requirements below. To be competitive in the SJV Prime+ admission process, applicants should present an academic profile that is much stronger than any minimum UC admission requirements.

  • Have a minimum overall UC GPA of 3.6 (Learn how to calculate your University of California GPA here.)

  • Must meet the University of California admissions criteria and submit an application to UC Merced by November 30.
  • Must enroll in one of the qualifying majors (Biological Sciences, Bioengineering, Chemistry or Public Health BS and associated track) and maintain strong academic standing while at UC Merced


Suggested Coursework towards Pre-Med Academic Readiness

  • Starting with the required minimum A-G coursework for UC eligibility, a student should work towards additional science and math courses applicable to medical school whenever possible: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy, Physiology, Life Sciences, social and behavioral courses like Psychology and Sociology etc. especially with a lab component, when available.
  • To be on track to enter the degree program for the majority of the SJVP+ BS/MD qualifying majors, the math course sequence begins with Calculus and then Data Analysis or Probability and Statistics. You can review the UC Merced Course Catalog to find the course sequence for your interested major.
  • Reading and writing recommendations would be related to college reading and comprehension, academic or research writing. Learn about the University of California Entry Level Writing Requirement here.
  • Research skills or experience is not a requirement to begin at the University of California. However, students should consider research experience when possible through a summer experience, research paper, capstone project, conference presentation, poster symposium, academic publication etc. to prepare for research and medical school coursework.


What We Consider

The SJV Prime+ review process utilizes a holistic review model which includes consideration of some of the following criteria:

  • Applicants who are residents of and have deep ties to the San Joaquin Valley*
  • Academic course rigor pursued in high school (especially in math and science)
  • Demonstration of focus and dedication in an area of interest, extracurricular activity, and/or personal commitment
  • Opportunities/experiences undertaken that have shaped the applicant’s experiences and insight into underserved medical care in the SJV
  • Commitment to serving the population of the SJV through respectful interactions with different groups and organizations throughout the region


An Overview of the Application Process

1. Submit the UC Application (October 1 - November 30)
2. Complete the Supplemental Application (December 7)
3. Receive Letters of Recommendation (December 14)
4. Select Applicants for Interviews - (February - March)


Financial aid at UC Merced

How to Apply


  • Only regular on-time first year (freshman) applicants that apply directly to UC Merced will be reviewed for the BS to MD pathway.
  • Start your Fall 2025 University of California application between October 1 - November 30, 2024
  • Select UC Merced on your UC application and one of the qualifying majors and tracks (Biological Sciences, Bioengineering, Chemistry or Public Health BS) as your major. Students who only select an SJVP+ qualifying major as their alternate major will not be considered for the BS to MD pathway.
  • Select the SJVP+ BS to MD Emphasis track in order to receive a link for submitting responses to the Supplemental Application as well as emails on important next steps
  • Submit your UC application by November 30, 2024.



  • Applicants will need to be sure their contacts have submitted the two Letters of Recommendations by December 14, 2024.
  • The letters that will tell us the most about you, your contributions, and your potential are from math or science instructors who know you well. Letters that document evidence of extracurricular activities or other experiences related to science or healthcare are also of particular interest to the SJVP+ admissions committee.
  • Character references and recommendations from family or friends are generally not useful.

Related Information and Additional Resources

You'll find a comprehensive collection of tools and guides designed to support your journey towards a career in the health professions. Whether you're just beginning to explore premed pathways or looking for specific prehealth resources, these materials will provide valuable insights and information to help you succeed.

UC Merced and UCSF Pre-Med, Pre-Health or STEM Resources

Disclaimer: We do not advise, nor endorse any program or resource, nor provide the content for these sources. Students should go directly to the site for their questions and determine its applicability and usefulness for their own needs and situation.

Pre-Med, Pre-Health or STEM Resources

  • PreMedCC - workshops, webinars, speakers, panelists related to medical school. Be sure to join the listserv for current information.
  • Pre-Health Dreamers - promoting education and healthcare access for immigrant communities
  • The Student Doctor Network - free resources to help students in their educational, doctor journey
  • SACNAS Webinars - career resources and networking in STEM

Summer Programs Databases or Lists

K-12 STEM Summer Programs or Activities

Community Service Volunteer Opportunities

Important: These opportunities are not all-inclusive and only a sampling of options. Disclaimer: We do not advise, nor endorse any program or resource, nor provide the content for these sources. Students should go directly to the site for their questions and determine its applicability and usefulness for their own needs and situation.

Health Professions Organizations

Medical School Application Guides

Medical Student Profiles

Medical Education In The News


*San Joaquin Valley is comprised of San Joaquin County, Stanislaus County, Merced County, Madera County, Mariposa County, Fresno County, Kern County, Kings County, Tulare County