MD-PhD Program in Medicine, the Social Sciences, and Humanities (MeSH)

Program Overview

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.

Admissions Pathways

Prospective students may apply to MeSH through one of two tracks:

  1. MeSH at the Pritzker School of Medicine: Prospective students apply simultaneously to both the Pritzker School of Medicine and a PhD program 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.
  2. 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. Learn more about the National Track here.