Student and faculty confer


Fourth-year undergraduates or those who have completed their undergraduate degree with exceptional qualifications and research potential may apply for the joint Keck School of Medicine of USC and California Institute of Technology (USC/Caltech) MD-PhD training program. In general, requirements for admission to the MD-PhD program mirror those of the MD program and at least one of the PhD programs; students need not commit to a specific PhD program at the time of application. A special MD-PhD Admissions Committee reviews each applicant’s scholastic aptitude, academic performance, letters of recommendation and previous research experience.


  • Qualified individuals interested in the MD-PhD program should inquire about the program at the time of application to the medical school. In order to complete an application to the combined MD-PhD program, students must first submit an AMCAS application indicating the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. Shortly after receipt of the completed AMCAS application, the Office of Admissions will direct an applicant to the Keck School of Medicine’s online application. A portion of the school’s supplemental application will be specifically designated for the MD-PhD program. Applicants who wish to be considered for the combined degree program are asked to complete and submit the additional section.

    In addition to the standard medical school application, two letters of reference should be provided from individuals familiar with the student’s research potential.

    Students who are currently pursuing the medical curriculum at the Keck School of Medicine may also apply to the MD-PhD program.

  • Live virtual interviews will be conducted for the entirety of the 2022-2023 application cycle using the Zoom application. Our interview process is done in one day, starting with an 8:00 AM Welcome by the MD/PhD Program Director, Dr. Brian Lee followed by Dr. Raquel Arias, Associate Dean of Admissions at 9:00 AM.  Immediately following the welcome, you will have interviews with the program director, Dr. Lee, at least one Caltech faculty, one USC faculty, and an interview with a current MD/PhD student.

    If you’re invited for an interview, you can schedule your interview by visiting our web portal at:  Please schedule your interview within five days of receipt of this invitation.  If calendar dates are unavailable on the website, please call the MD-PhD Program Office at 323-442-2965 or email  You will receive a confirmation email once you are scheduled. Your interview day schedule and the Zoom link will be emailed to you within the week prior to your interview. Please keep 8 AM- 5 PM available on your interview day as interviews may be scheduled during this time. Please review the information and resources for interview day that are provided on the portal.  During the interview season, virtual Q & A sessions with current students will be held, and you will receive an additional email invitation to join one of these sessions.

  • Students selected for admission are notified after interviews. USC-Caltech MD-PhD program has a rolling admissions process. Students begin their program in the fall semester and are registered for the medical curriculum at that time.

  • All MD-PhD students receive fully funded scholarships that include an annual stipend and full tuition and fee waivers for the MD years from the MD-PhD program. Complete support during the PhD training will be provided for each student by the specific graduate department, program and/or research preceptor.