Combined MD and Master's Degree Program in Clinical and Epidemiologic Research


Medical students interested in receiving rigorous training in the methods and conduct of clinical research can obtain a Masters in Advanced Studies (MAS) Degree in Clinical and Epidemiologic Research in addition to an MD degree in a 5-year combined MD/MAS Program. The requirements for graduation from the MAS component of this combined program are identical to those of the stand-alone MAS program except that the program can be completed in 6 quarters (as opposed to the 7 quarters in the stand-alone MAS Program). In addition to 36 quarter-units of coursework, requirements include a comprehensive review of the literature, presentation of original work at a national scientific meeting, submission of a peer-reviewed manuscript, and service as an educational apprenctice for a course in the Training in Clinical Research (TICR) Program. Students graduating from the program will be poised for careers as leaders in clinical research and medicine. Though this combined MD/MAS Program has been specifically designed for medical students at UCSF, medical students from other institutions are encouraged to apply.


UCSF Medical Students UCSF medical students follow the typical MD degree schedule for their first 3 years. After Year 3 of the MD degree, students accepted into the MD/MAS program take a year away from the School of Medicine and enroll in the MAS program in the UCSF Graduate Division. Year 4 includes 4 quarters of MAS coursework (Summer II, Fall, Winter and Spring Quarters). In Year 5, students re-enroll in the School of Medicine for the Summer Quarter; return to the MAS Program in the Graduate Division for Fall and Winter Quarters; and then return to the School of Medicine for Spring Quarter. In this manner, the combined MD/MAS program can be completed in one full academic year (Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring Quarters) and the Fall and Winter Quarters of a second academic year. The Deep Explore requirement of the School of Medicine is satisfied by completing the MAS Degree.

A model of the 5-year program calendar is included here, though individualization of schedules is anticipated. To be able to complete requirements of both the MD and MAS program within 5 years, students should complete at least 3 Career Launch blocks that satisfy clinical requirements prior to beginning MAS coursework in Year 4. Many students will complete sub-internships in the Summer between Year 4 and Year 5, but students interested in specialties that recommend away rotations should take at least 1 required sub-internship prior to beginning MAS coursework in Year 4.

This schedule planner can be used to plan School of Medicine and Graduate Division courses. Students may wish to schedule the majority of MAS electives in the Winter and Spring Quarters of Year 4 to limit the number of required units that remain to be taken during Fall and Winter Quarters of Year 5, when students will be applying and interviewing for residency positions. Medical Students from Other Institutions Students enrolled at medical schools other than UCSF should inquire with their Deans about the feasibility of interdigitating the UCSF MAS Program curriculum with their medical school requirements. Students from other medical schools may take advantage of the 6 quarter option that is available for UCSF medical students or may elect to spend a full two years (7 quarters) in the MAS Program at UCSF.


Costs for the MAS Program are separate from those of the MD degree. Although students in the combined MD/MAS program may complete the MAS in 6 quarters, the total costs are the same as the stand-alone MAS Program (which is 7 quarters). Students will be responsible for funding the MAS degree. Student Financial Services can provide assistance and information about financial aid. UCSF students may apply for funding to  support for the first year of the MAS degree through the Inquiry Funding Office to participate in the Yearlong Inquiry Program.

Application and Timeline

To be competitive for admission into the MAS program, applicants should have a demonstrated track record of academic excellence in their undergraduate training, any graduate-level education that they may have taken, and medical school courses in their first 3 years. A passion for a career in clinical research is also required. Though prior experience in research is useful, it is not required. Likewise, it is useful to have identified a UCSF faculty research mentor by the time of application, but it is not required. The MAS program application may be submitted beginning on January 1 until May 15. MAS applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and students are typically notified of admissions decisions within 2 weeks after receipt of the completed application.

Also, UCSF MD students do not need to complete the Graduate Division application or pay the processing fee before being accepted into the program. UCSF MD students requesting funding for the first year in the MAS Program can apply through the Inquiry Funding Office (Please note: students need not apply for the MAS program prior to applying for Inquiry funding). Students who have been accepted into the MAS Program prior to March of Year 3 may opt out of the medical school’s Designing and Conducting Research course, since they will take a similar course as part of their MAS coursework during the Summer II Quarter of Year 4. Please see the recommended timeline for the MD/MAS program, though individual student timelines will vary.


Interested students should seek advising about the MD/MAS program as early as possible, typically no later than the beginning of Year 3 of the medical school curriculum.

MD/MAS Program Director: Alexis Beatty, MD, MAS; [email protected]

MAS Program Administrator: [email protected]