Program FAQ

How long does it take to complete both degrees?

The program can be completed in as little as 6 years; however, 7 or 8 years is more typical. The usual program sequence is 2 years of preclinical medical training, 3 or more years of biomedical research, and 15 months of clinical training.

Can I do a PhD in clinical research?

No, MSTP students may do either a PhD in Biomedical Engineering or a PhD in one of the programs of the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences (see Doctoral Programs page). Special arrangements can be made to do doctoral work in other disciplines, such as Anthropology, Chemistry or Physics.

How are MD/PhD students supported?

The MSTP uses a combination of resources to support students. The program holds the largest NIH Medical Scientist Training Program grant in the nation. In addition, the program receives substantial support from an endowment established by the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Foundation. Finally, many students are supported by mentor and other institutional funds. MSTP students are guaranteed continuous support from enrollment through graduation. 

What is the current support package for students?

All students will receive a stipend of $29,000, and our program boasts one of the best stipend to cost-of-living ratio of any MSTP in the nation. In addition, students receive full tuition remission, and free health and disability coverage for both medical and graduate phases of the program. Medical coverage for spouses, domestic partners and dependents is available. Travel funds are also available to MSTP students who have completed the thesis proposal.

What do I tell Aunt Minnie when she asks why I want to do this program instead of being a fulltime MD?

Well, just tell her that you really love creating new things and discovering how stuff works. The MD/PhD training will not only allow you to touch the lives of your patients, but also to potentially affect the lives of people around the world. In addition, you can tell her that the great fund of knowledge that you will learn in medical school exists only because thousands of women and men have devoted their lives to carrying out clinical and basic science research. You are doing the MSTP because you want to do your part to advance knowledge for future generations.

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