MD/Masters in Advanced Studies [MD/MAS]


Obtaining an MD degree and Masters in Advanced Studies (MAS) degree in clinical research sequentially would require 6 years of training. To decrease overall time in training, the CTR Pathway offers a combined five-year MD/MAS degree for select students in the School of Medicine. The MAS is intended for students who wish to master clinical research methods and ultimately pursue independent research careers. Coursework includes instruction in advanced epidemiologic and biostatistical methods and specialized topics such as outcomes research, medical informatics, molecular methods in clinical research, clinical trials and decision and cost-effective analysis. In addition to 36 quarter-units, requirements include a comprehensive review of the literature, presentation of original work at a national scientific meeting and publication of a peer-reviewed manuscript. Note: the MD/MAS program is in evolution and some changes are expected.


To create the 5-year program, we have

  • re-organized unstructured and elective time in the current SOM curriculum
  • transformed a core clerkship into a longitudinal enhanced clerkship (LEC) to include:
    • a minimum of 60 half-days or 30 whole days
    • prior authorization from the appropriate core clerkship director to assure adequate granting of credit

The objective of the LEC is to maintain and improve clinical skills during the time the student is primarily learning research methods and conducting research.Shortly after learning of acceptance into the MD/MAS Program, a student will need to work with the MD/MAS Program Director and clerkship directors to devise an acceptable LEC experience.


A model of the 5-year program calendar is included here, though individualization of schedules is anticipated. Currently, MAS classes are offered all day Tuesday and Thursday; electives will likely be offered on Wednesday morning in the next academic year. 


Students will be responsible for funding the MAS degree. The Office of Student Financial Services can provide assistance and information about student loans. Please contact Clinical and Translational Research Pathway Director Peter Chin-Hong, MD ([email protected]) for updates on funding possibilities.


The program will be advertised to first- and second-year medical students at the Fall Pathways informational meetings; applications will be accepted from second-year medical students in January. Successful applicants will be informed of their acceptance before the end of January and will begin course work in July/August.


The program will be highly competitive; the MAS program will enroll no more than four students per year. Successful applicants will demonstrate a passion for a career in clinical and translational research; prior experience in clinical and translational research is useful but not mandatory. The application and deadline can be found online  and decisions will be made at the end of January. Please use the specific instructions for the combined 5-year MD/MAS program. You need not complete the online UCSF Graduate Division application or pay the processing fee until you are accepted into the program.


The contact person is Clinical and Translational Research Pathway Director Peter Chin-Hong, MD