Admission Procedure – UCSD Medical Scientist Education Program

Online application

Each applicant must complete the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) application. Please note that MSTP applicants are required to provide additional information regarding their research experience and motivation to pursue a career as a physician-scientist in the AMCAS application. Please note that the number of applicants far exceeds the number of interview positions available. Candidates are therefore encouraged to submit their AMCAS application as soon as possible. Applicants should be aware that we only receive their application after transcripts have been fully vetted by AMCAS, a process that can take four weeks or more. The process for submitting all documents, including letters of recommendation, is the same for MSTP and MD applicants. Documents do not need to be sent separately to the MSTP office. The UCSD SOM will send secondary application information once the applicant’s AMCAS application has been received. In order to be considered for the MSTP, you must receive a secondary application from the UCSD SOM. For more information on dates and deadlines, please see the UC San Diego School of Medicine website.

Letter of recommendation

UCSD participates in the AMCAS letter service. Click on
here for more details on this service. A minimum of three letters is required from people who can provide a well-considered assessment of your qualifications for the medical profession. At least one letter of recommendation is required from a research-related faculty mentor and a letter from a clinical faculty or medical practitioner. Please refrain from sending more than seven letters of recommendation.


Selected candidates will be invited to the UCSD campus for an interview. The MSTP admissions process is integrated with the School of Medicine, so one visit is enough for both. Applications to graduate programs are not required; acceptance to the MSTP includes acceptance to a graduate program. Travel and financial arrangements for interviews are the responsibility of the candidate. The interview day consists of interviews with two faculty members who are members of the admissions committee and an MSTP student. Interviews are non-confrontational and take place face-to-face. Professors often ask questions about a candidate’s research experiences, career goals, and desire to become a physician-researcher. The School of Medicine also conducts MMIs during one of the interview days.

Contact details

For more information on the application process, admission, or the Medical Scientist Training Program, please contact:

Erin Gilbert, Program Manager
MSTP, postcode 0661

UCSD School of Medicine

9500 Gilman Drive

La Jolla, CA 92093-0661
[email protected]