MD-PhD Program in Medicine, the Social Sciences, and Humanities (MeSH)
The program in Medicine, the Social Sciences, and Humanities (MeSH) at the University of Chicago trains medical students to become innovative physician-scholars at the critical interface of medicine and society. The MeSH program is an opportunity for students interested in obtaining an MD and a PhD in a field outside of the traditional biological and physical sciences. Former students have pursued PhDs in such wide ranging fields as anthropology, conceptual and historical studies of science, economics, public policy, and social service administration. Started in 1985, MeSH is one of the only programs of its kind in the country.
After gaining admissions, incoming MeSH students are integrated into the Center for Health and the Social Sciences (CHeSS), where they receive administrative support, access to interdisciplinary workshops and courses, and mentorship. Consisting of 3-4 faculty members from across the University, mentorship teams provide ongoing support and advisement to MeSH students as they progress through both medical school and their respective PhD programs. The core MeSH faculty, a cadre of institutionally and nationally prominent investigators, represent a wide range of federally and privately funded collaborative projects. They also provide MeSH students unique opportunities to participate in very cohesive, interactive health services research and social science groups throughout campus.
MD-PhD Program in Medicine, the Social
Sciences, and Alzheimer’s Disease and
Related Dementias (AD/ADRD)
A part of MeSH, a new MD-PhD Program in Medicine, the Social Sciences, and Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (AD/ADRD) offers students the opportunity to study aging with a focus on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (AD/ADRD) and earn an MD and a PhD from one of UChicago’s social science programs or professional schools. Funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), this program trains clinician-scholars to be leaders in providing clinical care to the aging population and in conducting groundbreaking research at the interface of AD/ADRD, health, and the social sciences. Students in this program receive research training, mentorship and clinical experiences at both the University of Chicago and through the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center (RADC) at Rush University Medical Center.
Prospective students may apply to MeSH and the NIA T32 MD-PhD Program in Medicine, the Social Sciences, and AD/ADRD through one of three tracks:
- MeSH at the Pritzker School of Medicine: Prospective students apply simultaneously to both the Pritzker School of Medicine and one or more PhD program(s) of interest at the University of Chicago. Students interested in this track should visit the MeSH page on the Pritzker School of Medicine website for more information on program details, eligibility requirements, and application instructions. Students may apply to any social science or humanities PhD program. Students are encouraged but not required to express interest in AD/ADRD through the Pritzker secondary application; all applicants will automatically be reviewed and considered for funding through the new NIA T32 program during the review process.
- MeSH National Track: Students who have been accepted into any medical school in the country can apply to a PhD program in the social sciences or humanities at the University of Chicago. Accepted students may begin their studies at UChicago at any time before their first, second, or third year of medical school. Students may apply to any social science or humanities PhD program. Students with research interests in AD/ADRD are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more about the National Track and how to apply here.
- MeSH at Rush Medical College (RMC) Track: students apply simultaneously to the RMC and a PhD program from one of the UChicago schools below. Students in this track must apply to one or more of the priority social science PhD programs listed below and demonstrate an interested in AD/ADRD. Students in this track will only be considered for the NIA T32 MD-PhD Program in Medicine, the Social Sciences, and AD/ADRD. Students at Rush with research interests outside of AD/ADRD or the designated social science programs should apply through the National Track. Students should email Absera Melaku at email@example.com if they are applying for this track.
MeSH applicants may apply to any PhD program in the Social Sciences Division, Humanities Division, or any of the related professional schools (Business, Public Policy, Social Work). Those programs listed below are the most common programs to which MeSH applicants apply; those marked with an * are programs that are eligible for funding through the NIA T32 MD-PhD Program in Medicine, the Social Sciences, and AD/ADRD.
- Comparative Human Development*
- Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science (CHSS)*
- Public Health Sciences*
- Harris School of Public Policy*
- Booth School of Business*
- Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice*
MeSH is committed to the recruitment and retention of a diverse student body. We include a list of diversity and inclusion resources on our website here.
All MeSH students receive full tuition and stipend support for PhD training. MeSH students accepted through the PSOM and RMC tracks may receive up to full tuition and stipend support for medical school. National Track students do not receive any financial assistance for medical school.
Please direct any questions regarding the MeSH program to Absera Melaku at firstname.lastname@example.org.