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SJV PRIME+ | BS to MD Pathway

UC Merced - SJV PRIME+ BS to MD

Start your application for Fall 2024 on October 1, 2023. You must submit your UC Merced application and your selected major and track by November 30, 2023, to be considered for the BS to MD pathway.

This exciting program focuses on high school students who are committed to pursuing a career in medicine and are dedicated to serving the San Joaquin Valley's unique needs.


As a San Joaquin Valley* based high school student, you now have the opportunity to start your pursuit of an MD degree right here at the University of California, Merced. 

The San Joaquin Valley (SJV) PRIME+ BS/MD is an educational pathway partnership between UC Merced, UCSF Fresno, and UCSF. This critical new pathway will educate and support the San Joaquin Valley's future physicians in serving the needs of our communities.



This is an eight-year program in which you will:


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  1. Earn a four-year baccalaureate degree in one of the three majors and options listed below at UC Merced

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  1. Complete 1.5 years of pre-clinical medical training at the UCSF School of Medicine Regional Pre-Clerkship Campus planned for UC Merced

  1. Complete the remaining 2.5 years of clinical training at the UCSF School of Medicine Regional Clinical Campus at UCSF Fresno and receive an MD degree from UCSF School of Medicine


When enrolled in the SJV PRIME+ BS/MD program, you will earn a BS in one of three qualifying major options:


Admission Criteria

  • Preference will be given to applicants who are residents of and have ties to the San Joaquin Valley*,
    (high school students residing in the foothills, Salinas, and Greater Central Valley will also be considered)
  • Must be applying as an incoming first year (freshman) student for the Fall 2023 semester 
  • Have a minimum overall UC GPA of 3.6
  • Must meet the University of California admissions criteria and submit an application to UC Merced by November 30, 2022
  • Must enroll in one of the qualifying majors (Biological Sciences, Bioengineering or Chemistry and associated track) and maintain strong academic standing while at UC Merced

How to Apply

  • Start your Fall 2024 University of California application between October 1 - November 30, 2023
  • Select UC Merced on your UC application and one of the qualifying majors and tracks (Biological Sciences, Bioengineering, or Chemistry) as your major. Students who only select one of the qualifying majors as their alternate major will not be considered for the BS to MD pathway.
  • Select the BS to MD Emphasis track
  • Submit your application by November 30, 2023. Only regular on-time first year (freshman) applicants that apply directly to UC Merced will be reviewed for the BS to MD pathway.
  • Applicants will also need to submit a supplemental application by December 15, 2023.
  • Applicants that advance to the next stage of the review process will be required to submit two letters of recommendation by January 31, 2024.
  • Your letters of recommendation should include at least one (1) letter from an instructor. The letters that will tell us the most about you, your contributions, and your potential are those from instructors of math or science courses who know you well. Letters that document evidence of extracurricular activities or other experiences related to science or health care are also of particular interest to the admissions committee. Character references and recommendations from family or friends are generally not useful. Learn more about the supplemental application questions here.
  • Review your email for important information about your next steps and complete the supplemental application

If you would like to learn more about this program as it develops and stay informed as to when applications open, please fill out this form


Click here.

*San Joaquin Valley is comprised of San Joaquin County, Stanislaus County, Merced County, Madera County, Mariposa County, Fresno County, Kern County, Kings County, Tulare County