Students’ Welcome

Welcome to the UCLA-Caltech MSTP! 

We are excited to share with you some of the assets of our program, and hope that this site can help you to better understand why we have chosen to establish our clinical and scientific foundation here at UCLA. The program selects individuals for their personal traits as well as their academic strengths, and as such our community is composed of students who are passionate about both science and service and committed to uniting the two throughout our years at UCLA.

With a curriculum that draws on students’ ability to think independently and collaboratively, we see the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA as a particular strength of the program, rather than a rite of passage that must be endured.  By cultivating critical thinking about scientific, clinical, and ethical questions, the first two years of the medical school curriculum already establish the groundwork for graduate training; furthermore, the minimal class time allows interested students to conduct laboratory research during the academic year.  The avenues for graduate study seem boundless, and the clinical years provide rigorous training at multiple hospitals affiliated with UCLA.

The academic environment is thus invigorating in all the years of training, and the palm trees and the Pacific Ocean make for a beautiful backdrop for our intellectual and personal pursuits. The amazing year-round weather is also a plus.

Our contact information can be found on the Students section of this site; please feel free to send an email if you have any questions that the site hasn’t addressed. 

Good luck!

“Welcome! I would like to share my experiences thus far at the UCLA-Caltech MSTP. UCLA not only has fantastic medical training and research opportunities, but also has intangible characteristics that make it an extraordinary place to grow as an individual. UCLA has nearly unlimited resources including state of the art facilities with expertise and technical support in almost any field you desire. This diversity in knowledge from both physicians and scientists creates an unequivocal, collaborative atmosphere that pushes the boundaries of science. It is common practice here to have more than one lab at group meetings. I have personally seen this collaboration strengthen multiple research projects, which have been increasingly necessary for novel scientific discovery. The support within this MSTP, in many ways, reflects this cooperative UCLA culture. The directors do a phenomenal job of recruiting passionate students with diverse scientific and non-scientific interests that really enrich the learning between peers. Solely within my class, we have everyone ranging from structural and RNA biologists, to neuroscientists and mathematicians talking both science and non-science on a Friday night. This institution has something to offer everyone and I have no doubt in my mind that this program will cultivate a fantastic group of physician-scientists.”  – Lauren Uchiyama, MD2


“Welcome! UCLA-MSTP provides a unique experience for physician-scientists to train at premiere institutions dedicated to promoting interdisciplinary collaborations and community engagement. Much of these experiences are facilitated by exceptional faculty and staff who are committed to fostering a culture of scientific inquiry and humanism. It is one of several reasons why I chose UCLA. Another significant reason includes the people that I met during my interview and Second Look experiences. It was apparent that the MSTP Directors placed an enormous emphasis on recruiting students with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and interests. The same emphasis was also true of the admissions office within David Geffen School of Medicine and affiliated programs. It is through these program affiliations that I have grown most as an individual and which continues to inspire excitement about the diverse opportunities available to students. In just my first year of medical school, I have had the opportunity to expand my research interests; help provide medical services to homeless persons through the Mobile Clinic Project at UCLA; and explore contrasting areas of medicine through various student interest groups. Perhaps, the most rewarding aspect of my first year has been participating in the MSTP admissions process. It has been an absolute joy welcoming applicants and future colleagues. The one commonality that unites all these experiences are the people. We are a diverse group of talented, supportive, and passionate individuals. As you consider UCLA-MSTP, I hope you, too, will find the culture and people to be as collaborative and engaging as I have found.” –Kristofer Gonzalez-DeWhitt, PhD1


“Welcome to the UCLA-Caltech MSTP! If you are reading this page, you may have aspirations to be a physician and a scientist, and you might be wondering where and how to pursue this trajectory. Being in the MSTP at UCLA has been a fulfilling experience thus far. The medical school curriculum is enriching and the possibilities for scientific exploration are enormous. The first two years of medical school encompass both traditional lectures and clinical interactions, as well as group-based problem solving activities and hands-on labs and workshops. Interweaved within this are numerous opportunities to make time for further discovery – whether that be in the laboratory, in the clinics, or within the diverse culture of Los Angeles. As medical students, we are all encouraged to pursue our other interests, to be “physicians AND ___.” And as graduate students with a foundation in medicine, we continually unearth unique perspectives on how medicine and science intertwine. We as students embrace this role, actively involving ourselves in research, volunteering at the free clinics, or finding new connections to broaden our interests and pursuits. It is motivating to be part of this type of environment, to collaborate with passionate peers and mentors, and to find support for whatever you have in mind to accomplish. The diversity of opportunity within the UCLA-Caltech MSTP offers something for everyone, including the opportunity to build a foundation for an exciting and rewarding career and life.” – Katherine Sheu, PhD2


“Welcome to the UCLA-MSTP. I want to share with you some of reasons I chose UCLA for my training. I chose to pursue my medical and graduate studies at UCLA not only for its excellence in research and its commitment to advancing the frontiers of medicine but also its nurturing environment for all physician-scientists. UCLA has been among the top-ranked institutions to receive a continued robust research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at a time when the NIH research budget overall has declined. UCLA hospitals have also maintained a high ranking recognized by US News & World Report as number 3 in the country. In addition, UCLA offers a unique campus where the proximity of the research and medical community naturally forms a collaborative environment for translational research. Many of the UCLA graduate department offer students the freedom to integrate different fields of research for their thesis work as well as an excellent group of faculty mentors. Specifically, I was drawn to the unique teaching style of the medical and graduate courses in that students learn by doing rather than just listening to lectures. More importantly, we have excellent MSTP directors who provide personal support, guidance, and resources to make sure students reach appropriate milestones throughout the MSTP training.” – Tran Do, PhD4


“One of the unique strengths of the UCLA-Caltech MSTP is the opportunity to train at two unparalleled institutions.  I loved the clinical curriculum at UCLA and particularly appreciated studying at a campus in which interdisciplinary collaborations between the medical school and other health-related fields – from nursing and public health to the biomedical and social sciences – are valued and encouraged.  In transitioning to my PhD training at Caltech, I have found an active and close-knit community united by a shared passion for science.  Throughout each phase, I have been able to work with and learn from leaders in their fields; in addition, the MSTP directors and other mentors have always promoted a supportive and collaborative environment for personal and professional development.  On behalf of everyone in the program, welcome to the UCLA-Caltech MSTP!” –Christina Su, PhD4 (Caltech)