Important dates

Applying to the MD/PhD Program

All applications for the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix MD/PhD program are reviewed and considered through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). For additional information and application process instructions, please refer to our Admissions Process (deadline dates for the MD/PhD candidates supersede dates for MD candidates).

What to Expect

While completing your AMCAS application ensure to designate "Combined Medical Degree-PhD" to notify the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix of your interest in the MD/PhD Program.

The selection of this program will generate a prompt to complete two additional essays:

  • Why are you interested in MD/PhD training?
  • Highlight your significant research experiences.


Entry to the MD/PhD Program is decided by the MD/PhD Admissions Committee, which is comprised of physician-scientist faculty, other faculty experts, a community member and a student member. Both in-state and out-of-state applicants will be considered; however, applicants must be U.S. citizens or hold a permanent resident vista status. International students are not eligible for admission to the program at this time.

Selection Process

All MD-PhD applications are reviewed by members of the MD/PhD Admissions Committee, with top-ranking candidates invited for an interview. Evaluation of applicants is based upon careful review of all application materials.

  • All applicants to the MD/PhD Program are expected to have outstanding undergraduate grades (GPA of at least 3.5) and high scores on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).
  • Letters of recommendation from research supervisor(s) are an important component of the evaluation process. At least one and preferably two letters from research mentors should attest to the applicant’s abilities and commitment to research.
  • Additionally, a minimum of one year in research experience is required. The goal of the program is to train the next generation of academic physician scientists. Therefore, an important factor in selecting MD/PhD applicants is evidence of a passion for research supported by substantial research experiences that have provided opportunities for independent and critical scientific thinking. A significant number of MD/PhD applicants have spent one or more years completing research, thus confirming their desire for a career in research. Consequently, it is recommended that MD/PhD candidates have at least one year of documented laboratory experience. Publications and/or presentations at national meetings are encouraged. Successful applicants will be those who recognize and are capable of meeting the demands and responsibilities of a MD/PhD program, which is at a minimum seven years in duration.

Interview for Cycle 2021

Following submission and review of applications, MD/PhD interviews and Virtual Applicant Visit Days will be held on Tuesday/Wednesday, October 20-21, 2020, and Tuesday/Wednesday, November 3-4, 2020. If selected, you will be invited by the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix via email.

Given the need to conduct interviews safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are using virtual interviews in our process for the 2021 application season. To further enhance our holistic review process, we are requiring applicants to complete the Video Interview Tool for Admissions (VITA), administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), to assess five of the core competencies that our admissions committee believes are essential for success at our medical school. We are supplementing our use of the VITA with live, online Applicant Visit Days where you will have an opportunity to meet current students, interact with faculty and leadership, and learn more about the curriculum and extracurricular activities in a more personal setting.

Candidates invited to interview for the MD/PhD program will also be invited to a virtual interview via Zoom on the Wednesday following the Tuesday Virtual Applicant Visit day.

What to Expect for Cycle 2022 and Beyond

On Monday, applicants will take part in a Multiple Mini-Interview process, where results of these interviews are added to your MD portfolio. You will also partake in a campus overview presented by the Dean, lunch with current students, a tour of the Simulation Center and a wrap-up session by the Office of Admissions and Recruitment outlining next steps. This will take place approximately between 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Your late afternoon will include a tour of campus followed by an invitation to an informal dinner, providing an opportunity to socialize and learn more about the MD/PhD Program with students and/or members of the MD/PhD Admissions Subcommittee. Tuesday is reserved for PhD interviews that may be either individual or panel, which will also be added to your portfolio to be reviewed by the MD/PhD Admissions Committee.

Time should be reserved from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for interviews; times and schedules for the interviews will vary based on the number of candidates on campus. If flying out of Phoenix, you can reserve flights at 3:00 p.m. or later on that Tuesday to ensure enough time on campus for the interview process.

Admissions Decisions

After the interviews, each candidate is evaluated by the MD/PhD Admissions Committee and the top-scoring applicants are offered positions in the program upon final approval by the full Admissions Committee. Candidates who are not immediately offered a position in the MD/PhD Program may be placed on an alternate list and notified of acceptance into the program at a later date.

Candidates who are applying for the MD/PhD are only eligible for admission to that program.

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix offers multiple opportunities to actively participate in research. Learn more about pursing your research interests and current research at the college.