Combined Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy (MD/PhD) Program

We welcome applications from Canadians and permanent residents of Canada, including those who currently reside outside Canada. We also welcome applications from persons with refugee status in Canada.

We regret that we are unable to admit international students.

Application Information for Admission in September 2024

Admission Requirements

1) Admission to the MD/PhD Program is limited to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.
2) To be eligible for admission, the applicant must have a Bachelor’s Degree with first class standing (or equivalent), and have fulfilled all the requirements of acceptance into the four-year medical curriculum of the Faculty of Medicine, and the doctoral requirements of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
3) All applicants are required to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), but the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is optional.
4) Applicants who obtained their BSc degree (or equivalent) from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application.
5) Students with an undergraduate degree (or equivalent) who are already enrolled in the first year of Medicine at UBC are also eligible for admission.
6) Students who are already enrolled in the first year of graduate studies at UBC are also eligible for admission.

Application Procedure

Application to the MD/PhD Program is made by completing:

1) The application form for admission to the MD Program (on-line form available on the MD admissions webpage), and
2) The application form for admission to the MD/PhD Program (on-line form available on the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies webpage).

Supporting documents:

All applicants are required to upload scanned copies of supporting documents (including transcripts) as part of your MD/PhD application. Instructions about scanned documents required and details of how to submit appropriate scanned copies are included within the online application. The MD/PhD Admissions Committee will use the digital copies of the submitted documents to evaluate your application.

1) Transcripts. Current and former UBC students are not required to submit UBC transcripts as part of your application, as this data is already available through the student database system. However, be aware that you are still responsible for submitting transcripts from all other post-secondary institutions (Canadian and International) that you have attended (e.g., exchange year, transfer year, etc.).
2) Three letters of reference are required. Referees will receive an automatic e-mail (sent to the e-mail addresses entered in the “Referees” section) asking them to provide a reference letter to the online application on the applicant’s behalf. The reference form is not required.
3) An autobiographical essay of research interest is required. Refer to the online application for instructions.

Application Deadline

The MD application timeline is available on the MD Admissions website. The deadline for application to the MD/PhD Program (including all supporting documents) is 13 October 2023, 11:59 pm PST. The deadline for referees to submit on-line references is 18 October 2023, 11:59 pm PST. Application is now closed.

UBC MD Year 1 students who are interested in submitting an application are asked to send a completed “Letter-of-Intent” to after 16 October 2023. The deadline for application to the MD/PhD Program (including all supporting documents) is 5 January 2024, 11:59 pm PST. The deadline for referees to submit on-line references is 10 January 2024, 11:59 pm PST. UBC MD Year 1 students will apply for May 2023 admission. Application is open: October 16, 2023.

Incomplete and late applications will not be considered.

Selection Process

The Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will separately review the applicant’s eligibility for admission. Applications to the MD/PhD program from students with a strong research background will be evaluated using the same criteria, regardless of whether the applicant is a BC resident or from out of province. Out-of-province applicants who are not invited for interview by the MD/PhD Program will be considered as out-of-province applicants by MD Admissions. Applicants who meet the requirements to the MD Program and the PhD Program will be further assessed by the MD/PhD committee and short-listed for interview by the MD/PhD Admissions Committee. The shortlist is created in conjunction with the MD Admissions Committee. In addition to interviews conducted by the MD Program, shortlisted applicants will be invited (via email) to a 45-minute panel interview. Interview invitations will be sent to selected applicants via email in December. The interview panel would consist of a) two faculty members; b) a current MD/PhD student; c) MD/PhD Director or Associate Director or both. These interviews normally take place between January 15 and March 15 and are done virtually.

Besides academic standard, other strengths including maturity, research experience and potential, scholarship, personal qualities, research field of interest, and proposed research supervisor and laboratory are also assessed. A standardized evaluation form is utilized for the interviews and the ranking process. The final ranking of applicants by the MD/PhD Admissions Committee is normally completed in late March. Successful candidates for the MD/PhD Program will be announced between April and July after a decision has been finalized by the MD Admissions Committee.

MD/PhD applicants who are accepted by the MD Program but not by the MD/PhD Program will be admitted into the MD Program only. Such candidates are encouraged to consider re-applying during fall of their Med 1 year.

Financial Assistance

MD/PhD tuition fee is $5,404.62 per year (2021-2022). This fee is charged in place of, rather than in addition to, the MD-only program tuition charge (currently $19,218.98 per year).

In addition, all MD/PhD students will receive a studentship award through the MD/PhD Program (annual stipend $27,000, renewable each year for a maximum of 6 years and 4 months). Students can refer to our stipend policy for detailed information.

Program Sites

UBC’s MD Undergraduate Program offers our students the opportunity to train at one of four geographically distinct sites in British Columbia: UBC’s Vancouver campus in Vancouver (Vancouver-Fraser Medical Program), UBC’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna (Southern Medical Program), the University of Victoria on Vancouver Island (Island Medical Program), or the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George (Northern Medical Program). MD/PhD students can propose to undertake their training at any of these four sites.

Research Supervisor

A unique aspect of the UBC MD/PhD program is that it considers its students to be PhD students throughout the duration of the program. As such, it is to the benefit of the student to have identified a supervisor as early possible. This has the additional advantage of allowing students an early start on their research program, increasing the chance a student will be able to complete a combined MD/PhD degree in 7 years.

Applicants should list potential supervisors at the time of their application. If selected for interview it is expected that applicants will set up virtual meetings with a potential supervisor(s) prior to interviews. The research supervisor proposed by the MD/PhD applicant is one of the criteria we use to rank applicants for admission. As for all graduate students, it is to the applicant’s advantage to demonstrate that they have explored potential supervisors, research environments, and projects and hence to have developed a plan for what research they would like to be doing at UBC. The research supervisor must be eligible to take on graduate students in a Faculty of Medicine-affiliated program at UBC or one of its partner universities, and should hold a current operating grant from CIHR or an equivalent peer-reviewed, federal or provincial granting agency in order to provide an appropriate research environment to support an MD/PhD student. Successful applicants will have ~5 months between accepting an offer for admission and actually beginning the program, during which time they can finalize their decision about supervisor. Of note, it is possible to change supervisor during the first two years of the program.

Program Video

This video shows applicants what it is like to be a student in the MD/PhD Program at UBC.
Applicants are also welcome to visit our YouTube channel to view other videos.

Further Inquiries

Please feel free to check out the Frequently Asked Questions page. This includes letter of reference, interview, research supervisor, research experience etc.

Applicants are invited to our Annual MD/PhD Student Research Forum & Open House to ask questions about the clinician-scientist career path.

For more information regarding application to the MD/PhD Program, please contact: