Apply - Getting Started

Fall 2024 Application cycle is now open. The deadlines are:
AMCAS application deadline: October 15, 2023 (submission began May 30, 2023 - we encourage you to submit your primary application by early July)
Secondary application deadline: December 1, 2023 (we encourage you to submit your secondary application within two weeks of receipt)

Applying to the UCSF MSTP

We require that you first complete the AMCAS application, indicating that you would like to apply to UCSF's MSTP. After an initial screen, some applicants will be asked to complete a secondary application. The top candidates will then receive interview invitations. The MSTP admission decisions will be made in March; these decisions are independent of the medical school admission decisions. Candidates who receive acceptances from both the MSTP and School of Medicine (SOM) will be invited to join the program for the next academic year.

Information on individual graduate programs can be found here. Students interested in doing a PhD in Medical Anthropology should refer to the Medical Anthropology website for more information on the requirements for this program.


The first step in applying to our MSTP is to submit a completed application to the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) indicating that you are applying to the UCSF School of Medicine and the UCSF Medical Scientist Training Program.  More information about this stage of the application process can be found on the UCSF Medical Education website. Applications are available in May and can be submitted to AMCAS on or after May 30th. DeadlineYour application and official transcripts must be submitted to AMCAS prior to October 15, 2023. We encourage you to submit your application as early as possible in order to facilitate processing and evaluation. Please note that we cannot consider deadline extensions for any reason.

Secondary Application

MSTP application materials will be sent only to applicants who pass the initial screening and are invited to submit a secondary application to the SOM. Note: Since an invitation to complete a secondary is not automatic, you may not hear from the SOM for 8-12 weeks after they receive your verified application. You will be asked to submit a brief supplemental essay describing your past research experiences, your interests, and your future career goals. You may duplicate your two AMCAS essay responses on the UCSF MSTP application. You will also need to submit confidential letters of reference through the AMCAS Letter Service. The MSTP is especially interested in hearing from your past research advisors and others who can comment on your aptitude for laboratory science. You do not need to send any letters of recommendation to the MSTP office; all letters of recommendation are to be sent through the AMCAS Letter Service.  Beginning on June 30, 2023, AMCAS will forward all verified applications to medical schools. At UCSF, an admissions committee made up of faculty and medical students reviews the applications, bringing a variety of perspectives to the selection process. DeadlineThe deadline to submit secondary applications for Fall 2024 admission is December 1, 2023. We encourage you to submit earlier in order to allow time for full consideration of your application.

Note for applicants interested in our Medical Anthropology program: If you receive an invitation to complete the secondary application, you will also need to apply to the Medical Anthropology graduate program. This application must be completed before December 1, 2023. Apply here. (Only submit this application after you complete the secondary).


For the 2024 Admissions Cycle, we will consider MCAT scores in the holistic reviews.

Criteria for MSTP admission include prior academic performance, documented experience in laboratory-based investigation, and commitment to a career in biomedical research. We interview approximately 51 applicants and enroll 10-12 new MSTP trainees each year. Successful applicants are typically notified in March. We complete the admissions process on May 1st, and require our newly accepted students to withdraw from all other institutions by this date.

Students who apply to the MSTP but are not offered a position nevertheless receive full consideration for admission to the medical school, if they request this on their SOM secondary application. UCSF strongly encourages all medical students to pursue their interests in research, and provides many avenues for doing so, including the option of applying to the MSTP after one or more years of medical school.

Please note that the UCSF MSTP does not participate in the NIH Graduate Program Partnership (GPP) or in the NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program (OxCam).