Admission Procedure

Biomedical Library

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 physician-scientist career in the AMCAS application. Please note that the number of applicants far exceeds the number of interview positions available.  Applicants are thus encouraged to submit their AMCAS application as soon as possible.  Applicants should be aware that we receive their application only after transcripts have been fully verified through AMCAS, a process that can take four weeks or longer.  The process for the submission of all materials, including letters of recommendation, is the same for MSTP and MD applicants.  Materials do not need to be sent separately to the MSTP Office.  The UCSD SOM will send out Secondary Application information once an 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 about dates and deadlines, please refer to the UC San Diego School of Medicine Website.

Letters of Recommendation

UCSD participates in the AMCAS Letters Service.  Click here for more details about this service.  A minimum of three letters are required from individuals who can provide a well considered evaluation of your qualifications for the medical profession. Please note that a minimum of at least one letter of recommendation is required from a research-related faculty mentor and preferably your primary mentor. The most competitive applicants generally have more than one research letter. It is strongly recommended that you submit at least one letter from a clinical faculty, practicing physician, or a supervisor/mentor who observed clinical shadowing or volunteer work you completed.​ Please refrain from sending more than seven letters of recommendation. 


Selected candidates will be invited to the UCSD campus for an interview. The admission process for the MSTP is integrated with the School of Medicine so one visit is sufficient for both.  Application to the graduate programs are not required; acceptance to the MSTP includes acceptance to a graduate program. Travel and financial arrangements for interviews are the applicant's responsibility. The interview day consists of interviews by two faculty members who are members of the admissions committee and one MSTP student.  Interviews are non-confrontational and are conducted one-on-one. Faculty often ask about an applicant's research experiences, career goals and the desire to become a physician scientist. The School of Medicine also conducts MMIs during one of the interview days.

Contact Information

For additional information about the application process, admission, or about the Medical Scientist Training Program, please contact:

UCSD School of Medicine
9500 Gilman Drive, Mail Code 0661
La Jolla, CA 92093-0661