UCI versus USC Keck SOM

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May 13, 2023
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I’m having a hard time picking between UCI and USC and wanted to hear any opinions on it! I’m from CA and hope to stay in CA for residency. Both are close to family/friends.

  • Received partial scholarship, cheaper by $150K total just tuition alone
  • “Comfortable” choice since I went to undergrad here
  • Safe living environment
  • Chill students who seem happy with good work-life balance
  • Matches in CA + other UCs
  • Smaller class size (not sure if pro or con)
  • New hospital opening in Irvine–expected to be completed in 2025 when I would start rotations
  • Would like to stay in Irvine/CA for residency

  • No new environment and less to do in Irvine than LA
  • Limited community service opportunities
  • 2 Year Pre-Clerkship
  • Second year H/P/F (although current students say this doesn’t matter much)
  • Fewer connections/networking than in a private school
  • Main hospital in Orange and a drive away (without considering the new hospital being built)

USC Keck
  • New environment + chance to live in the city
  • Private school resources
  • P/F pre clerkship and 1.5 year
  • Really unique community service opportunities that would mean a lot to me to participate in
  • Stronger match list (?)
  • Larger class size (not sure if pro or con)
  • Better dating pool (?) since in a big city
  • Diverse patient populations
  • Better laymen “prestige”

  • EXPENSIVE–about $150K more than UCI for just tuition alone over 4 years and more with COL
  • Recent medical school dean scandal and maybe not the cleanest public reputation
  • Have seen some student complaints about seeing not that many patients while on rotations and ranking the programs low
  • I’m not that fluent in Spanish but would like to be more fluent! (also a pro)
  • Not in the safest area
  • Not sure if I want to do residency/live in LA in the long term

TLDR: Overall, I like both schools and feel appreciative to be in this situation, but not sure if the extra $$$ of USC is worth it

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Last edited:
I'd personally go with UCI at that price differential. USC is too laden with scandals to be worth that much more.
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