Dual Degree M.D./Ph.D. Program

The goals of the M.D./Ph.D. Program are: 

  • to prepare physician-scientists to become accomplished health care providers and investigators with problem-solving knowledge and skills
  • to train physician-scientists in the conduct of clinical and translational research in culturally diverse settings
  • to develop future leaders in academic health care and biomedical research

Admissions Requirements

To apply for the M.D./Ph.D. program, applicants must use the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) website. Applicants who seek the M.D. program at SOM must use the TMDSAS application system. The deadlines for these applications vary.

Degree Requirements

The M.D./Ph.D. Program is seven to nine years in length. Students usually begin with two years of the preclinical curriculum in the SOM. After successful completion of the USMLE Step 1, they enter a three to five year Ph.D. program in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, after which they return to the SOM for two years of clinical rotations. With the guidance and approval of the M.D./Ph.D. dean and M.D./Ph.D. Program Advisory Committee, students select laboratory rotations, graduate program affiliation in one of many tracks, and Supervising Professors from the graduate school faculty throughout the institution. Enrichment activities include a monthly “Bench-to-Bedside” course, annual M.D./Ph.D. retreat, and a clinical refresher course to provide smooth transition from graduate school into the remaining clinical years. Opportunities exist for student research during the fourth year of medical school. With completion of this program, M.D./Ph.D. graduates are prepared for careers as dual-degree physician-scientists.

Program Policies

The M.D./Ph.D. Program is under the supervision of the Deans of the SOM, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS), the M.D./Ph.D. Advisory Committee, and the M.D./Ph.D. Steering Committee. The M.D./Ph.D. Advisory Committee, with representation from the SOM and GSBS, provides direction and oversight of all activities of the M.D./Ph.D. Program. The M.D./Ph.D. Steering Committee provides strategic planning and oversight of financial support of the M.D./Ph.D. Program. An independent M.D./Ph.D. Program Promotions Board reviews the progress of M.D./Ph.D. students every six months throughout medical and graduate school enrollment. Progression is assessed on the basis of academic performance, USMLE Step 1 and USMLE Step 2CK and CS scores, research rotation reports, research and scholarly activities, evaluations from the Supervising Professor, and student self-assessments. Recommendations from the M.D./Ph.D. Promotions Board are reviewed at the next monthly meeting of the M.D./Ph.D. Advisory Committee.

The M.D./Ph.D. Program expects students who are pursuing the dual degree to maintain standards of academic excellence, to progress in a timely fashion toward both M.D. and Ph.D. degrees, and to maintain professionalism. Students will be subject to the academic guidelines of both the SOM and the GSBS. However, they will be subject to additional requirements as specified by the M.D./Ph.D. program in order to remain members of that program.

Students in the M.D./Ph.D. Program must satisfactorily achieve milestones and criteria established by the M.D./Ph.D. Advisory Committee and the Student Promotions Commitee policies. Failure to meet or achieve the established standards will result in denial of advancement and dismissal from the M.D./Ph.D. Program. A student's academic standing and ability to progress with respect to either the SOM or the GSBS is administered through the appropriate dean's office or their designees. M.D./Ph.D. students shall have the right to appeal a decision of dismissal from the program. The appeal will be heard by the M.D./Ph.D. Advisory Committee. Solely on procedural concerns can a student appeal to a higher institutional administration.