Skip to main content

Selective Tracks and Programs

Elizabeth W.

Elizabeth W.

"At UChicago, I gained the confidence necessary to be able to be curious and pursue the many intersections of my passions within the context of Medicine."

Katen Scholars Program

Sponsored by the Karen Katen Fund for Science, the Katen Scholars Program supports rising second, third, and fourth year students interested in pursuing careers in health, medicine, and science. Scholars are awarded a $4,000 stipend to complete a summer research project with a faculty mentor. In addition to research responsibilities, the Katen Scholars participate in a weekly seminar to discuss readings on the social context of health, medicine, and science. Scholars work collaboratively throughout the summer to prepare presentations for the Katen Symposium at summer’s end. UChicago Careers in Health Professions is happy to assist applicants in identifying a faculty mentor and/or research project. Previous research experience is not required.

The program is ten weeks in length, beginning in June and culminating with a symposium at the end of August.

The application for the Katen Scholars program becomes available in January and consists of a resume, cover letter, and letters of recommendation submitted through UChicago Handshake.

UCIHP Potter Fellows in Community & Social Medicine

UCIHP Potter Fellows in Community and Social Medicine is a ten-week summer research program that provides students with a structured opportunity through which they can investigate issues in community health, social sciences, and the social context of health and medicine. Fellows are awarded a $4,000 stipend for the summer to conduct research. The goals of the research projects vary in nature, and some are on campus within the hospitals, while others are based within the Chicago community. The UCIHP Potter Fellows in Community and Social Medicine summer research program will accept up to 15 students who will participate in a weekly lecture and discussion series focused on topics of healthcare disparities, the economics of healthcare, and national and local healthcare policy. Students will have the opportunity throughout the summer to engage with the Katen Scholars. The collaboration between both groups will help to encourage students to challenge their own assumptions and biases, to gain a deeper understanding of the social context of medicine, and to understand the role of both basic science and community-based/social science research in improving the overall quality of the delivery of healthcare.

All UCIHP Potter Fellows in Community and Social Medicine opportunities become available in January and will be listed in UChicago Handshake. The selection process and application materials for each internship is at the sole discretion of the Principal Investigator. There are different deadlines among the internships, as well as different timelines for which students will be notified of participation. Students may apply to as many of the UCIHP Potter Fellows in Community and Social Medicine internships as they are interested in. The UCIHP Potter Fellows in Community and Social Medicine program is open to rising second, third, and fourth year students in the College.

Clinical Excellence Scholars

The Clinical Excellence Scholars track is a multi-year specialized program designed to prepare students for the realities of a career in medicine while providing guided participation in relevant opportunities on campus. UCIHP has partnered with UChicago Medicine and the Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence to develop and implement opportunities for significant interactions between students and physicians at UChicago.

There are several key components of the Clinical Excellence Scholars track:

  • Participation in the Joel Schwab, MD “On Being a Doctor” seminars. This monthly lecture series will feature a clinician presenting on a selected aspect of effective clinical care.
  • Attendance at Clinical Excellence Scholar dinners, which take place twice each quarter.
  • Successful completion of the Volunteer/Shadowing Program at UChicago Medicine, which requires a minimum of 110 hours of service (12 hours of shadowing and 25 hours of volunteering per quarter).
  • Participation in the Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence and MacLean Center for clinical Medical Ethics public events, such as the annual symposiums and lecture series. 
  • Completion of one course within the College that relates to the social context of health and medicine.
  • Completion of a creative capstone project, reflecting on the time spent in the program.

Several of these component pieces are open to all students of the College who are not preselected as Clinical Excellence Scholars.

Interested students should apply in the spring of their first year in the college. Applications for the program include a resume, cover letter answering various questions, and one letter of recommendation. More details will be available on Handshake in early March and decisions will be made by early May.  Approximately 24 students will be accepted each year, and selected scholars will begin their engagement with the program beginning in the autumn quarter of their second year. Those who successfully complete all aspects of the track will receive a designation on their transcript.

Health Policy Scholars Program

Spanning a variety of disciplines and areas of study from public health and health services research to lawmaking and government, health policy is a dynamic field offering a range of exciting career paths with the opportunity to address a number of important and complex issues locally, nationally, and globally.

The Health Policy Scholars Program is a one-year selective track for students interested in pursuing a broad range of careers in health policy.  Health Policy Scholars will participate in a series of focused seminars on topics central to policy design and implementation, as well as workshops devoted to cultivating the competencies necessary for success in health policy-related careers.


Students in the College are eligible to apply for the Health Policy Scholars Program at the end of their first year or later if they prefer. There is no prerequisite coursework for the program, and we invite applications from students of any major. We welcome applications from all students interested in health policy, whether or not you consider yourself to be pre-med.

Program Features and Requirements

  • Health Policy Scholars will attend a series of seminars and workshops.  Attendance at one event each month during Autumn, Winter and Spring Quarters is mandatory.  Events will usually be scheduled on Wednesday evenings, but times may vary.
  • Health Policy Scholars will be offered opportunities for individual career and internship advising, specifically tailored to their interests.
  • Scholars will receive priority access to Health Policy Career Exploration Treks within the Chicagoland area as well as outside of the state.

Global Health Summer Research Fellowship Program

This program has three possible tracks. Those interested in clinical/basic science projects should consider the options provided in partnership with the Center for Global Health at the University of Chicago. Accepted students are given the opportunity to pursue global summer internships in various countries around the globe. Students are paired with projects that match their geographic and topical interests and will spend part of their summer on-site with a UChicago faculty mentor and the remainder of their summer in-country with a local mentor to help shape and execute their project. For students interested in the intersection of social sciences and global health, there are several research opportunities based with UChicago faculty who are conducting research in these areas. The positions may be on campus or abroad, depending on the scope of the faculty members’ work. Finally, if a student self-secures an unpaid opportunity related to global health (whether domestic or abroad) they may apply for grant funding. All of these opportunities are made available on Handshake in early Winter quarter.

RBH Oral Health Fellows Program

Sponsored by the George E. Richmond Foundation, the RBH Oral Health Fellows Program provides financial support to students who have an interest in pursuing a substantive summer internship related to oral health. Funding is also provided to Fellows who wish to attend oral health-related conferences following their summer experience. Application to the participating RBH Oral Health Fellows Program sites will occur through Handshake, and typically become available in early Winter quarter.