Admissions

The OHSU MD/PhD program considers applicants nationally without geographical preference. Oregon residents and non-Oregon residents are considered equally. 

The OHSU MD/PhD program will be accepting 7-8 students in the 2022 cohort.

2021-2022
Updates
AAMC Open Letter to MCAT Examinees

Due to COVID-19, the OHSU MD program has determined that MCAT exams will not be required for screening but will be required to make an offer. The MD/PhD program must abide by this. For the 2022 application cycle, OHSU will accept MCAT scores from tests taken in 2018, 2019, 2020, and January 2022. We will require an eligible MCAT score prior to making an admissions decision, and we will factor the highest eligible MCAT score. Our interview screeners will base their decisions on the information that is available at the time of application review.

Please note: MCAT scores will be hidden from the MD/PhD screeners and interviewers. If your MCAT score helps balance out your application (e.g. poor science grades), please explain that in the OHSU secondary application without including specific grades or test scores.

Interviews and all interview activities will be 100% virtual. If it is safe to do so, we will add an optional in-person campus visit day for interviewees to meet with faculty and students, and to explore campus and the city of Portland.

Information sessions

Monthly information sessions are held on Wednesdays at 11am PST for those interested in learning more about the OHSU MD/PhD program. These sessions are live meetings with the Program Director and Coordinator designed to answer a wide range of questions about the admissions process, program, and more. All information sessions are held through the virtual meeting platform, WebEx. Attendees are invited to join the student led MD/PhD journal club on Wednesdays directly afterward.
Learn more about WebEx
Learn more about Journal Club

In-person one-on-ones will be put on hold until further notice. If you cannot make an information session, please contact us.
Contact Us

Scheduled information sessions break for the admissions interview season and resume again in March annually. During this time, please email mdphdadmin@ohsu.edu with specific questions instead. 

2021 Information Session Dates

  • March 10
  • April 14
  • May 12
  • June 9
  • July 14
  • August 11
  • September 8

Five stages of the admissions process

Stage 1: Pre-application research

Available MD/PhD graduate programs
MD/PhD Curriculum
MD Program
MD Admissions

Is OHSU or the MD/PhD pathway right for you?

  • Prospective applicants should review graduate programs available to MD/PhD students, our curriculum, and the OHSU MD program to see if we are the right fit for you.
  • Please note that with a few exceptions the MD/PhD program is bound by the MD admissions requirements.
    Exceptions include: 
    • The MD/PhD program can only accept US citizens and permanent residents.
    • We do not give preference to Oregon residents, however that is one of the selection factors that the MD program takes into consideration if you are not considered by our program. 
  • Please review the MD Admissions page under Requirements for Admission for more information on requirements, including minimum GPA and MCAT scores; degree, required competencies, and letter of recommendation requirements.

We invite prospective applicants to attend information sessions or reach out to us in any other way. We are happy to answer any questions that you might have!

Stage 2: Apply

MD Admissions

Application Materials

  • AMCAS application indicating MD/PhD program interest; the MD/PhD program pre-screens applications for MD/PhD essays on the primary application, and will be in touch with you if your application does not meet the primary application requirements. If past the October 15th deadline, you may not be eligible for consideration
  • Secondary OHSU application including MD/PhD addendum
  • All letters of recommendation must be completed and received for your application to be reviewed. See below for information
  • Please check the MD portal for missing application materials
  • CASPer will now also be required as a component of your OHSU application, however the MD/PhD program will not use it for screening or admissions. Please review the MD Admissions page under Application Process for more information
  • MCAT is required for admissions, however it will not be used for MD/PhD screening. Please see the note at the top of this page for more information

Letters of Recommendation

  • Letters of recommendation must be received through AMCAS
  • Letter requirements:
    • 3 per the MD program and 2 per the MD/PhD program or 1 committee letter per the MD program and 2 per the MD/PhD program
    • Please review requirements on the MD Admissions page under Application Process and Dual Degree Programs sections for this information
    • Letters may be received individually through AMCAS or in one pdf. Letters may not be emailed directly to the program. Any letters emailed to the MD/PhD or MD program will be considered "unsolicited" and may or may not be included in the applicant's file
    • The MD/PhD program pre-screens applications for minimum number of letters of recommendations and completeness, and will be in touch with you if your application does not meet these minimum requirements

Each application is reviewed holistically, taking all components of the application into consideration. See our What we look for in an applicant section for more information. We recommend getting applications in early. We make every effort to review all applications, however we will not be able to screen applications after all interview spots are filled. If we decide not to interview a candidate, the application is screened as normal by the MD program and all MD priorities apply. Please see the MD Admissions page under Academic & Selection Factors.

Stage 3: Interview

Interview Components

  • Interviews will be held on a virtual platform. An optional in-person campus visit day may be planned for interviewees depending on OHSU's modified operations policies and state and county COVID case counts
    • If an in-person visit day is planned, interviewees will be notified via email. This day will be optional and will not factor into your MD or MD/PhD ranking
  • MD live check-in session - Mondays
  • 1 live multiple mini interview for the MD program - half day Tuesdays
  • 1 MD interview - flexible
  • 3 MD/PhD interviews - Wednesdays, but flexible
  • 1 faculty research interview - Wednesdays, but flexible
  • MD/PhD program activities:
    • Journal Club - Wednesdays at noon PST, required
    • Leadership Q&A - Wednesdays at 1pm PST, required
    • Student Meet & Greets - Wednesdays at 1:30pm PST, required
    • Virtual Student Buddies - no dates, optional; more information will be provided by the MD/PhD program after an interview offer is accepted

Details on what times you will be required will be sent during the interview offer communication. If invited for an interview, more information and a complete schedule will be sent to you prior to your interview. Three interview weeks will be scheduled from October to February with approximately 20 MD/PhD candidates invited to interview for the week. The faculty research interviewer is selected based on the MD/PhD secondary application and faculty availability. You must disclose if you have an association or an affiliation with or have worked directly with any of the faculty you have listed on the secondary.

Please contact us at any time to express continued interest in our program or to update us on any new developments, publications, etc.

Stage 4: Acceptance

Offers

  • Offers will be made to our top 7-8 candidates by early February
    • Depending on the outcomes of those offers, we will make additional offers
  • Offers will be made on a rolling basis based on when our interviewed applicants get through the MD/PhD and MD review and ranking process
    • Most offers will be made after all MD/PhD interviews have concluded, but not always
    • Our ability to make offers depends on the MD review and ranking timeline and process, which differs substantially from the MD/PhD program
  • Some candidates may receive an MD-only offer before the MD/PhD program can make final decisions
    • Accepting or declining the MD-only offer does not impact your ability to receive a MD/PhD offer
    • MD interviews continue for several weeks to months after the MD/PhD program has finished interviewing, typically wrapping up in March

Second Look

  • Second Look date and location TBD in late winter or early spring
    • If safe to do so, we will hold an in-person Second Look day for applicants holding offers. In the past, this has included a dinner at the Program Director's house, meeting with research faculty and lab tours, and attending journal club with current students
    • Otherwise, we will hold a virtual happy hour with current students, a director welcome and support through the MD/PhD pathway session, virtual faculty & lab meetings, and journal club with current students
  • The MD program may hold a separate second look day, however the MD/PhD program is not involved with this event

During modified operations, we cannot host in-person events. However, if you are planning a trip to Portland on your own please reach out to us so we can provide you with additional information.

Stage 5: Matriculation
Subject to change

Acceptance

  • If you are made an offer, the MD program will send offer documents and matriculation requirements. An initial checklist can be found on the MD admissions portal once all acceptance paperwork is submitted
    • The MD/PhD program will send an intake survey to start pairing you with peer and faculty mentors
    • The MD/PhD program will send supplemental matriculation information in mid to late May for incoming students after the incoming class has been finalized
  • Students start Summer B term at the beginning of August with the MD program
    • If in-person, we will hold a welcome session prior to the start of the MD program at Dr. Jacoby's house with current students and leadership
    • If virtual, we will hold a welcome session online with a flexible date where incoming students can meet with current students
    • Incoming students will also meet one-on-one with the Program Director prior to the start of the MD program or just afterward

Transfer admission options

Our program does not guarantee a spot for a transfer student

MD Students 

Current OHSU MD students are eligible to apply for transfer prior to Step 1. Applications are accepted in early fall term annually through an abbreviated application and interview process. At least one letter of recommendation that can speak to your abilities as a physician-scientist is paramount. Please use the documents below to learn more about the transfer process and to apply.

If invited for an interview you will be required to interview with 3 MD/PhD Committee interviewers and 1-2 faculty researchers. We will do our best to work around your current academic schedule for these interviews. 

Deadline to Apply: Friday, September 3, 2021

Transfer Instructions - 2021-2022
Transfer Addendum - 2021-2022

PhD Students

Current OHSU PhD students may apply to the MD/PhD program in their first year of graduate school, well before qualifying exam preparations. They will need to complete the full MD/PhD application starting with a primary application through AMCAS. They will also need to apply for a waiver from the School of Medicine Graduate Studies Office to change programs. Please see the above steps for more information on how to apply.
Please note: If you have already or are planning to take your qualifying exams soon, we cannot accept you as a transfer student.

Contact SOM Graduate Studies Office

What we look for in an applicant

Application to the OHSU MD/PhD program will be reviewed holistically. However, we do look for the following qualities in applicants: 

Research passion and skills

  • Research productivity and quality including: publications, grants, abstracts, posters and/or presentations
  • Letters of recommendation from mentors that reference your drive, skills, and scientific thought-process 
  • Independent research projects that showcase advanced responsibilities beyond a research technician
  • Understanding all aspects of your research and how it fits into the big picture
  • The quality of your research highlighted by the output of research, ownership of project, or independent contributions 
  • Most of our successful applicants complete research in their undergraduate program with 1-2 years of lab work afterward

Drive for clinical care

  • Clinical experiences that are sustained and meaningful in traditional and non-traditional clinical settings
  • Strong personal patient interactions with diverse populations

Academic successes

  • Upward trending GPA, excellent writing, and other academic awards
  • Particular success in core scientific coursework, including retaking core science courses for a better grade if necessary
  • Please note: We do not overly weight GPA or MCAT scores, however they are still an important part of the screening and admissions process. Please review the Academic & Selection Factors tab under the MD Admissions page for estimated averages for the entering MD class.

MD Admissions

Short essays

  • Character - writing demonstrates professionalism, integrity, diversity, resiliency, maturity, leadership, and spark
  • Program fit - explain why OHSU is the best physician-scientist training program for you
  • Community involvement - participation in a range of groups at various levels as leader and team member

Applications that are not accepted for interview by the MD/PhD program are sent back to the MD program for their review and screening. All updates regarding your status occur through the MD portal.

You may request feedback on your MD/PhD application only by submitting a feedback request below. To request feedback from the MD admissions team, you will need to contact them separately.