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How to Apply

All applications to the PSTP are accepted through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). The PSTP at UC San Diego is listed through ERAS as a separate program from that of the Categorical track of the Internal Medicine Residency Program. Because the PTSP is highly competitive, applicants may wish to consider an application to the categorical residency in addition to the PSTP.

Application Requirements

All applicants must meet the same requirements as those of the Categorical Track of the Internal Medicine Residency Program. You may review those requirements on the Internal Medicine Residency Program website.

Applicants must have an MD or equivalent degree at the time of enrollment in the program, and they must have had substantial prior research training. Examples of such substantial training are an MD/PhD, or at least two years of intensive and productive research experience during or prior to medical school.

High-quality publications, based on the applicant's prior research, are interpreted by the program as a predictor of success, as are strong letters of reference from former research mentors.

Exceptional candidates with less research training who plan on an independent academic career are also encouraged to apply. UC San Diego is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome applications from members of underrepresented in medicine and science groups.

Additional Requirements*

In addition to the ERAS application, please provide a minimum of one and preferably two letters of support from prior research mentors and senior colleagues. A letter of reference from the thesis advisor of MD/PhD candidates is required.

Applicants are required to submit a supplemental letter, ideally around one page in length, to provide a concise overview of their professional aspirations. This letter should articulate their career goals, summarize their research experience with emphasis on specific accomplishments, publications, or accolades, and delineate their reasons for pursuing a particular fellowship program and investigative path. Within the letter, applicants should craft a compelling vision of their career trajectory, detailing how their research to date has formed the foundation for this vision, and illustrating how the UCSD PSTP will be instrumental in realizing it. Additionally, within the letter, applicants are asked to identify any research scientists or potential mentors with whom they would like to engage during the interview process, reflecting their thoughtful consideration of the unique opportunities that UCSD offers.

In addition to the supplemental letter, applicants are also required to submit a brief essay, ideally no longer than 500 words, detailing the most challenging obstacle they have faced in their research career. This essay should describe the nature of the challenge or hardship, elucidate how they overcame it, and reflect on what motivates them to continue pursuing a research-intensive career despite this obstacle. This personal insight will provide a deeper understanding of the applicant's resilience, commitment, and passion for research.

You may send this information along with a CV via e-mail (preferred) or postal mail to:

Colleen Reich
PSTP Coordinator
9500 Gilman Dr., #0671
La Jolla, CA 92093 

*International medical graduates applying to our program have additional requirements.

Special Requirements for International Medical Graduates

  1. Possess a current ECFMG certificate.
  2. Pass USMLE Step I on first attempt.
  3. Visa Status: Secure J-1 Visa through ECFMG with issuance of IAP-66. The University no longer sponsors H-1 Visas for residency training.
  4. Apply through ERAS . The ECFMG office will serve as the designated Dean's office and can provide detailed information to international medical graduates.

All qualified applications received through the ERAS system applying to the PSTP track will be reviewed by a faculty selection committee. Applicants invited to interview will be notified via email.


All applicants must be interviewed by the Categorical Internal Medicine Residency Program leadership in addition to the faculty leadership for the PSTP. We strongly recommend that you plan to attend a PSTP-specific two-day interview. The first day is devoted to the categorical program interview. The second day consists of a PSTP orientation by the leadership of this pathway followed by interviews with research and subspecialty faculty.

We have special PSTP events on these two days. If applicants are not able to attend the PSTP-specific date, we will interview them on other days.

Upon completion of the interview season, applicant files are reviewed by the PSTP Selection Committee consisting of the program director, the associate director, and a representative panel of affiliated scientists from participating fellowship programs for consideration of ranking.