Criteria & Application Requirements

Due to the situation with COVID-19, we will unfortunately not be able to accept new applicants for the 2020-2021 cycle of MSTP BOOST. This is an especially disappointing outcome for us, as we had been greatly looking forward to meeting the next cohort of BOOST scholars. In light of this, we will be seeking to generate and make public resources that can help anybody wishing to learn about or apply to MSTPs in upcoming cycles. Thank you very much for your patience and understanding, and please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. 


  • Sophomore or above at a  4-year university. You are eligible if you have graduated from a 4-year university.
  • Students who, by reason of their culture, class, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, background, work and life experiences, and/or skills and interests would bring diversity (broadly defined) to graduate study in the medicine and biological sciences
  • Demonstrated interest in pursuing a MD-PhD in the biosciences (i.e. prior scientific research experience or intent to participate in research in the upcoming academic year)
  • Completed application submitted by the deadline
  • Must be available for the entire program
  • Note: in general, a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher will be competitive for this program. However, applicants with GPA below 3.0 may still apply; applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis, incorporating relevant information from the essay responses which might explain lapses in academic performance.

Application Requirements: 

  • Copy of an unofficial transcript (official transcripts will be required later for students who are accepted into the program)
  • Two letters of recommendation 
  • Resume/CV
  • Essay responses on application form



  • Application opens in late October
  • Application closes in early January
  • Selected participants will be notified in early February; selected participants will have 48 hours to accept or decline the offer
  • Stanford MSTP BOOST begins on mid-March


Recommendation Letters:

  • All applicants to Preview must have two letters of reccomendation. 
  • The recommendation letter is submitted through the online application via a link sent to the recommender.
  • Recommendation letters from someone familiar with your previous research and/or graduate level research potential (PIs, research program directors, etc.) are strongly encouraged.
  • Recommendation letters should touch upon the your potential and resiliency for an academic career.
  • Note: Redundant letters (e.g. from two mentors involved in the same or similar projects) are strongly discouraged.