Doctoral Program in Health Professions Education

Photo of Doctoral Theses


In 2010, UCSF joined in collaboration with Utrecht University Medical Center (UMC Utrecht) to offer the Doctoral Program in Health Professions Education. This collaboration makes possible a rigorous program for scholarly advancement for medical education researchers. Successful candidates graduate with a PhD in Health Professions Education from UMC Utrecht. Well-regarded medical education researchers serve as mentors.

At this time, we can only consider applications from UCSF or UCSF-affiliated faculty.
Please note at this time our 2018 cohort is filled and we anticipate our next admissions will be 2021.


Individuals eligible for the doctoral program:

  • Are a health professional with preparation in education OR
  • Are a health professions educator with a master’s degree in social or biomedical sciences.
  • UCSF or UCSF-affiliated faculty; or staff involved in health professions education; exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis
  • Are scholarly in health professions education, e.g., they have completed the UCSF Teaching Scholars Program or equivalent
  • Are proposed for the program by a program faculty member agreeing to act as the primary supervisor (promoter), based on CV, interview and research plan.
  • Publications in education research are highly desirable.
Application Process

Steps in the application process are spaced over the first year:

  1. Request an informational meeting with a doctoral program faculty member. Send your CV to CFE and brief description of your research interest that aligns with the program.
  2. Successfully meet the criteria for the doctoral program.
    • Criteria include:
      • demonstrated capacity for conceptual thinking,
      • desire to conduct research,
      • expertise in the field (e.g., publications).
  3. Receive an invitation for a formal interview and present your research interests describing alignment with the expertise of doctoral program faculty.
  4. Upon acceptance, register in the Utrecht University research documentation system Hora Est.
  5. Submit the approved “Request for Exemption and Admission to Doctoral Studies” (Form 1), defining the eligibility to start the PhD track, based on diplomas showing equivalence to the Master of Science level.
  6. Complete a Training and Supervision Agreement (TSA) with guidance from assigned faculty mentors from UCSF and Utrecht.
  7. Demonstrate sufficient skill development to advance in the program during the first year of enrollment.
Program Faculty and Areas of Research

Broadly speaking, CFE medical education research faculty focus on several key areas with attention to how this research aligns to improving education at UCSF and beyond. These key areas will evolve as we collaborate with other researchers at UCSF, regionally, nationally, and internationally. However, each faculty member has specific research interests and expertise.


Doctoral Program Administrative Coordinator, Maria Pappas at [email protected]