David Geffen School of Medicine

Special Programs


Extending medical education to a broader segment of tomorrow’s physicians and researchers, the Geffen School of Medicine admits a select group of students into two innovative partnership programs. In addition to completing the requirements for the MD degree, students engage in specialized coursework and/or projects designed to fulfill the mission of each program.

Charles Drew/UCLA Medical Education Program

The mission of the Charles Drew University (CDU)/UCLA Medical Education Program is to train students to practice medicine with competence and compassion in disadvantaged rural and urban communities. Each year 24 students are admitted to the program. Students spend their first two years at the UCLA campus, and complete their last two years of clinical work in specially designated training centers in medically underserved communities and at UCLA and affiliated hospitals. A distinguishing component of the program is the required medical research thesis.


The UCLA PRIME Program is a five-year, dual-degree program to develop leaders in medicine who address policy, care, and research issues in health care for underserved populations. A commitment to serve and experience in working with diverse medically disadvantaged populations is paramount. The program leads to the MD and a master’s degree in areas that complement the mission of the program. Each year 18 students are admitted to the class. Students identify with one of two programs: PRIME UCLA-Westwood or PRIME UCLA-CDU.

Postgraduate Medical Training

Postgraduate medical training programs, including residencies, are offered through all the clinical departments at UCLA and the affiliated training hospitals such as Harbor-UCLA, Cedars-Sinai, and Greater Los Angeles VA System. Programs at the affiliated institutions broaden the scope of the teaching programs by offering extensive clinical facilities, special population settings, and diverse practice modes. Information about these programs is available from the individual clinical departments of the Geffen School of Medicine or the affiliated hospitals.

Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior

The Semel Institute is one of the world’s leading interdisciplinary research and education institutes devoted to the understanding of complex human behavior. Fourteen research centers ranging from genetics to human culture, together with research initiatives distributed widely across the academic departments of the Geffen School of Medicine and the College of Letters and Science, offer a comprehensive and outstanding research and training environment for the study of neuroscience and behavior.

The research portfolio of the 400 faculty members, graduate students, and fellows who work in the institute spans behavioral genetics, developmental neurobiology, cognitive neuroscience, neuropharmacology, brain imaging, clinical research, health policy, and sociocultural studies of human behavior and its disorders.