Underrepresented Student Enrollment Increases at UC Law and Medical Schools

Contacts: Lavonne Luquis, 510-987-9194, lavonne.luquis@ucop.edu
Hanan Eisenman, 510-587-6194, hanan.eisenman@ucop.edu

The proportion of underrepresented students enrolled at the University of California’s law and medical schools increased significantly this year. Better recruitment, strong graduate outreach programs and the declining cost of housing in the Bay Area and Los Angeles are believed to have helped drive the enrollment gains for African American, American Indian and Latino/Chicano students.

“We are greatly encouraged to see the positive trend in enrollment of underrepresented minorities,” said Michael Drake, vice president for health affairs at UC Office of the President. “These results indicate that our efforts to increase the attractiveness of our programs to an ever-widening pool of applicants are beginning to show success.”

At UC’s five medical schools, an enrollment of 94 underrepresented students accounts for 16.5 percent of the first-year class of 2002, compared to 11.9 percent in 2001, when there were 68 such students. The medical schools are located at UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC San Diego and UC San Francisco, and combine for a first-year class enrollment of 570 students.

The 125 underrepresented first-year students enrolled at UC’s three law schools account for 16.2 percent of their class, up from 11 percent in 2001, when 90 underrepresented students enrolled. The law schools, which are located at UC Berkeley, UC Davis and UCLA, enrolled a combined total of 772 first-year students this year, compared to 817 new students enrolled in 2001.

Underrepresented enrollments at UC’s law and medical schools still lag those registered before the passage of Proposition 209, when their proportion was consistently greater than 20 percent.

While the number of underrepresented students admitted to the law schools increased by 10 percent in 2002, the number of these students enrolling went up 39 percent. Stepped-up recruitment efforts helped increase the proportion of underrepresented students accepting admissions offers at the schools this year.

UC’s outreach programs also appear to have played a key role.

The medical schools have postbaccalaureate reapplicant programs for students who were not admitted the first time they applied. The year-long programs offer an opportunity to take additional courses, participate in academic skills-building seminars and workshops on preparing for the MCAT exam, and to gain a better understanding of the medical school application and interview process. The programs target students from educationally or economically disadvantaged backgrounds as well as those planning to work in areas of California that are medically underserved.

Additionally, the medical schools provide after-school science enrichment programs to local elementary and middle schools and Saturday academies or summer programs to high school students thinking about health science careers.

The law schools also have a variety of outreach programs. UCLA Law School has a fellows program that includes law school faculty instruction, workshops and presentations from local attorneys, plus academic preparation, skills building, counseling, test preparation and mentorship. UC Berkeley’s Boalt Law School has a two-year-old prelaw advisors program that includes presentations, a mock application review and a question and answer session with the school’s dean. At UC Davis, the King Hall Outreach Program is designed to help students complete their bachelor’s degrees, succeed on the LSAT and enter law school. The UC law schools also offer Street Law programs in several high schools.

The enrollment figures cited above are preliminary and subject to change as final data are tabulated. For more statistical information on graduate applications, admissions and enrollment, please visit: www.ucop.edu/acadadv/datamgmt/lawmed/.