MD/Masters in Advanced Studies [MD/MAS]

Medical students interested in receiving rigorous training in the methods and conduct of clinical research can obtain a Masters in Advanced Studies (MAS) degree in the 5-year combined MD/MAS program. Coursework includes advanced epidemiologic and biostatistical methods courses, an advanced version of the Designing Clinical Research program, and electives in specialized topics including causal inference, prediction science, molecular methods in clinical research, implementation science, and decision and cost-effectiveness analysis.

Degree requirements include 36 quarter-units over six quarters, a comprehensive review of the literature, presentation of original work at a national scientific meeting, submission of a peer-reviewed manuscript, and service as a teaching assistant for a course. Students graduating from the program will be poised for careers as leaders in both clinical research and medicine.

Program Structure

The MAS portion of study is six total quarters when combined with the Bridges Curriculum. Otherwise the MAS program of study is identical to the main MAS program.

UCSF medical students follow the typical Bridges Curriculum through Foundations 2, otherwise known as Year 3. Then, students take the first three Career Launch blocks. Subsequently, students in the MD/MAS program take one year away from the School of Medicine to enroll in courses in for their MAS program. Year 4 includes four full quarters whereas Year 5 includes two quarters of MAS coursework plus Specialty Practice Ambulatory sub-internship (SPAN), and additional MD degree Career Launch blocks. The combined MD/MAS program is a 5-year program which satisfies the Deep Explore requirement for UCSF medical students. Students receiving the additional distinction of an MAS degree do not need to pursue the MD with Distinction pathway.


View a model of the 5-year program calendar and learn more about the MD/MAS Program.

Tuition and Funding

Medical students planning to enroll in the MD/MAS program are responsible for funding the Graduate Degree program costs.  Student Financial Services can provide information and assistance with financial aid.  Grant funding for tuition expenses is available from the Inquiry Funding Office on a competitive basis and as part of the Yearlong Inquiry Program. Consider the general steps below when preparing for the program.

Application and Timeline

Successful applicants will demonstrate a passion for a career in clinical research.  Prior experience in research is useful but not required. It is recommended that students identify a research mentor and seek advising about the MD/MAS program early in Year 3.

Application for the Yearlong Inquiry program is completed via the Inquiry Funding Office Yearlong Research Funding process.

The MAS program application should be submitted by April 30. Graduate School application deadlines, forms, and fees are waived for UCSF medical students.

Special exemption from Inquiry Curriculum’s Designing and Conducting Research course is possible with early advising and commitment prior to Year 3.  Designing Clinical Research (DCR) will not be required for students who are committed to the MAS and have been accepted prior to March of Year 3, since they will take a similar course as part of their MAS coursework during the Summer II Quarter of Year 4.  

Download a detailed MD/MAS planning timeline.

Alexis Beatty, MD, MAS MD/MAS Program Director
Clair Dunne, MPA TICR MAS Program Coordinator
Hannah Glass, MD, MAS Yearlong Inquiry Program Director
DoQuyen Tran-Taylor, MEd Student Experience Team