Program Timeline

The average time to degree for students in the UCLA-Caltech MSTP is eight years. The traditional course of study begins with the first two years of medical school, followed by four years of PhD graduate training, and concluding with the third and fourth years of medical school. While the timeline below provides a brief summary of this traditional course, the MSTP and David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA work cooperatively and flexibly with students to enable optimal completion of all aspects of student training. More detail about each phase of MSTP training is provided in the Rotations and Advising, Medical Training and Graduate Training sections.

Year One

July-August: 1st Research Rotation (recommended)
August-June: MD1, Human Biology and Disease

Year Two

June-August: 2nd Research Rotation
August-May: MD2, Human Biology and Disease
June: US Medical Licensing Exam (Boards) Part I (mandatory)

Year Three

July-June: PhD1, First year of PhD research/graduate school
Completion of most graduate school courses
Optional activities to enhance clinical knowledge and/or skills through all graduate school years

Year Four

July-June: PhD2, Second year of PhD research/graduate school
Completion of oral/written qualifier examinations

Year Five

July-June: PhD3, Third year of PhD research/graduate school
Completion of midstream examinations

Year Six

July-June: PhD4, Fourth year of PhD research/graduate school
Completion of thesis research, oral defense and filing of thesis
May-June: Two-week MSTP Clinical Refresher Course

Year Seven

July: 1-week Clinical Foundations course (+ 2-week ‘refresher course’ for MSTP students)
July-June: MD3, Core clinical clerkships

Year Eight

July: Fourth Year Colleges begin
July-June: MD4, Clinical and Research Electives
Apply for Residencies
US Medical Licensing Exam (Boards) Part II