Admissions Criteria and Application

Admissions Criteria

The MD-PhD Program admissions criteria are the same as the MD Program, but have a greater emphasis on research experience. Please refer to the MD Preparing for Medical School website for details about premedical coursework, Grade Point Average (GPA), and Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) score requirements.

Candidates with higher MCAT scores than the minimum (500 total, 125 in each section) will be considered more competitive.

In addition, candidates are evaluated on their engagement with outside activities including community service, leadership, research, physician shadowing, and patient exposure. Candidates must have research experience to be considered for the MD-PhD Program.

Visit the MD Admissions Recommendations website for details about recommended activities.


All applications must be submitted to the American Medical College Application Services (AMCAS) between June 1 and November 1 at 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time. Applications to the MD-PhD Program are available for US citizens or permanent US residents only. We encourage applications from qualified students nationwide.

Current University of Utah MD students who wish to apply must submit their application prior to June 30 after the second year of medical school, and must have approval from the School of Medicine Dean of Student Affairs. 

Applicants will complete 2 additional essays for the MD-PhD Program application.

  • MD-PhD essay
  • Significant Research essay

Early Decision Program (EDP)

The Early Decision Program (EDP) was initially established for medical school only; however, applicants may petition to apply to the MD-PhD program after the School of Medicine Admissions Office has made a final decision. Acceptance offers must be sent by October 1.

If applying through the EDP, applications must be submitted to AMCAS no later than 11:59 pm EST on August 1. EDP applicants must take the MCAT no later than June 30. Applicants not accepted under the EDP will be automatically placed in the regular applicant pool, at which time applicants may still apply to the MD-PhD Program. 

Secondary Materials

Applicants invited to complete secondary materials will have 30 days from the date of the invitation to submit the required materials including letters of recommendation.

Application Fee - $100

The application fee may be paid by credit card and is nonrefundable. We honor the AMCAS fee waiver. Students in extreme financial hardship who did not obtain the AMCAS fee waiver may petition the School of Medicine requesting that the application fee be waived.

Letters of Recommendation

The University of Utah School of Medicine requires three letters of recommendation, but will accept up to four letters. All letters should be dated. We strongly recommend that all letters be dated within a year of application.

Although we do not accept premedical committee letters, we will accept up to four individual letters that are included in the packet.  You will indicate the names of the letter writers on the secondary application and we will download those specific letters.

We recommend that applicants provide at least one ACADEMIC letter where the letter writer can speak to your academic ability and/or intellectual curiosity. This letter should be from someone who directly taught or supervised you in an academic setting. It can be from a professor you did research with or a professor that you worked with as a teaching assistant.

We recommend that applicants provide at least one MENTORING letter where the letter writer can speak to your commitment to service, leadership ability, growth as an individual, interpersonal and/or teamwork skills.

Letters from employers, military supervisors, athletic coaches, and/or religious leaders can also be part of the collection of 3 to 4 recommendations. Letters should be from someone who will address your intellectual curiosity or service or leadership ability.

MD-PhD candidates should have at least one letter that speaks directly to their research experience, dedication, and accomplishments.

All letters of recommendation must be on letterhead, have a valid signature and be submitted to the AMCAS Letter Service.

Activities Form

The applicant must briefly describe his/her participation in each of these areas: community/volunteer service, leadership, research experience, physician shadowing, and patient exposure.

Contact Us

Janet Bassett
Program Manager


Health Sciences Education Building (HSEB)
26 South 2000 East
Room 3650
Salt Lake City, UT  84112

Upcoming Events

View Calendar