2020-2021 Updates
AAMC Open Letter to MCAT Examinees

Current Status:
Incoming cohort finalized; if there are any changes to this, we will make additional offers.

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 students in the 2020 cohort.
Please contact the MD/PhD program with any questions about your application or the next application cycle.
Contact Us

Information sessions

2020 Information Session Dates
Update - all future information sessions will be held virtually until otherwise noted

  • August 19
  • September 16

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, career paths, and more. All information sessions can now be live-streamed. Attendees are also invited to attend the student led MD/PhD journal club on Wednesdays directly after the information session. 
Learn more about Journal Club

In-person one on ones will be put on hold until further notice. If you are visiting the OHSU campus on a non-information session day, we'd be happy to meet with you one on one to discuss the program and answer any questions.
Contact Us

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

Application process

Stage 1: Right Fit

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

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 also 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

Applicants will need to complete an application through the OHSU MD admission process. An AMCAS application, secondary OHSU application, and all letters of recommendation must be completed and received for your application to be reviewed. Applicants will need to select the MD/PhD program in AMCAS to be considered for screening. 

Letters of recommendation must be received through AMCAS. A minimum of 5 letters is required, 3 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 as one committee letter with at least five letters compiled in the document. The MD/PhD coordinator 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.

CASPer will now also be required as a component of your OHSU application. Please review the MD Admissions page under Application Process for more information.

All completed MD/PhD applications will be screened for an interview by the MD/PhD program. 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. If we decide not to interview a candidate, the application is screened as normal by the MD program and all MD priorities apply, found under Academic & Selection Factors on the MD Admissions page.

Stage 3: Interview
The interview process is subject to change due to COVID-19 restrictions

Interview days are two full days over a Tuesday and Wednesday. These days consist of a campus tour, 1 MD interview, 1 multiple mini interview (MMI), 3 MD/PhD interviews, 1 faculty research interviews, plus various interview activities to interact with current students and program leadership. If invited for an interview, more information and a complete schedule will be sent to you prior to your interview. Four interview weeks will be scheduled from September to February with approximately 12 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.

Stage 4: Acceptance
Second look is subject to change due to COVID-19 restrictions

Offers will be made to our top 7 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. Typically this means that most of our offers will not be made until after all of our interviews have concluded, but not always. 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.

Second Look: The MD/PhD program will have a second look day for offered applicants in late February. This will include a dinner at the Program Director's house, meeting with research faculty and lab tours, and attending 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. At any time, if you are back on campus, please let us know so that we can meet with you once again.

Stage 5: Matriculation
The information below is subject to change due to COVID-19 restrictions

Accepted students start Summer B term at the beginning of August with the MD program and will complete matriculation requirements through the MD Admissions office. An initial checklist can be found on the OHSU secondary application portal once all acceptance paperwork is submitted. Accepted applicants will be asked to complete an intake survey to pair incoming students with peer mentors in the program as soon as possible, and later with faculty mentors. The MD/PhD program will send supplemental matriculation information in mid-May for incoming students after the incoming class has been finalized.

Some students may also be able to start in July with an optional one month lab rotation. Badging requirements and a rotation approval form will need to be completed prior to the start of your rotation. An MD/PhD program BBQ will be held the Sunday before MD Orientation and all incoming students are expected to attend. Schedules permitting, incoming students also meet one on one with the Program Director prior to starting with the MD program.

Transfer admission options

Current OHSU students can apply to transfer into the MD/PhD program.
Our program does not guarantee a slot for a transfer student.

MD Students 

Current OHSU MD students are eligible to apply for transfer in the first two years of medical school. 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. 

Information on how to apply and deadlines will be sent out to current 1st year MD students in late summer/early fall term. 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. 

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

  • Publications (grants, abstracts, posters) and/or presentations that show research productivity and quality
  • Letters of recommendation from mentors that reference your skills in lab and scientific thought-process 
  • Independent research projects that showcase advanced responsibilities beyond 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, other academic awards, and proficient MCAT scores
  • 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 would be the best fit for you
  • Community involvement - participation in a range of groups at various levels as leader and team member