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Student Perspectives

The large MSTP class at Washington University is a rather unique feature...more>

​MSTP CurriculumBrianlecture.jpg


Structure of the Medical Scientist Training Program

  • Basic Science Training 24 Months
  • Thesis Research 30+ Months
  • Clinical Training 15-24 Months
  • Average time to completion 7 or 8 years

Year 1 Curriculum

Summer Research Rotation (Optional)

Fall Medical School Classes:
• Human Anatomy
• Cell and Organ Systems Biology
• Molecular Foundations of Medicine or Biochemistry/Molecular  Biology Module
• Practice of Medicine I
• Clinical and Basic Science Selectives 

*Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Module:
MSTP students may substitute one of the following Graduate School courses for Molecular Foundations of Medicine
• Fundamentals of Molecular Cell Biology--satisfies core course requirements in the PhD programs in Biochemistry, Developmental, Regenerative and Stem Cell Biology, Computational and Molecular Biophysics, Molecular Cell Biology, Molecular Genetics, Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis, and Neurosciences, as well as being recommended by the program in Immunology.
• Chemistry and Physics of Biological Molecules--satisfies core course requirements in Biochemistry and Computational Molecular Biophysics.

Spring Medical School Classes:
• Cell and Organ Systems Biology
• Genetics*, Immunology*, Microbes and Pathogenesis*, Neural Sciences*
• Epidemiology and Medical Statistics
• Humanities
• Clinical Medicine I
• Medicine and Human Values I
• Clinical and Basic Science Selectives
*All four Medical School courses have either corollary Grad School courses or satisfy Grad School program requirements in a number of PhD programs.

Year 2 Curriculum

Summer Research Rotation

Fall/Spring Medical School Courses:
• Pathology
• Pharmacology
• Pathophysiology of Organ Systems Sequence
• Practice of Medicine II
USMLE Step I Exam

Year 3 Curriculum

Summer Research Rotation (If Needed)

Fall/Spring Graduate School:
• Core Graduate Curriculum and Electives (individualized according to background, PhD program and research interests of student)
• Thesis Research
• Graduate Course Electives
• Teaching Assistantship
• Qualifying Examination

Years 4/5/6

Graduate School:
• Thesis proposal by Dec. 31 of Year 4
• Thesis Research
• Graduate Course Electives, including Research Ethics
• Clinical Mentorships (Optional)
• Travel to Scientific Meetings
• Thesis Defense
• Clinical Warm-up

MSTP Ungraduation Party (End of fourth year)
Participate in ASCI/AAP Meeting

Years 6/7

3rd Year Clinical Clerkships:
• Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties 3 months
• Medicine 3 months
• Maternal and Newborn Health 3 months
• Neurology 1 month
• Psychiatry 1 month
• Ambulatory Medicine 1 month

4th Year Electives:
• A minimum of 3 months of electives must be completed
Clinical Competency Exam
USMLE Step II Exams

All Years

All Years:
MSTP Retreat (Spring)
• Journal Clubs according to student interest
DBBS Seminars
MSTP Weekly Meeting
MSTP Meet the Assistant Professors Seminar (Monthly for 1st & 2nd years)
MSTP Winter Dinner
• MSTP Summer Social
Yearly Class Function

Research Rotations

• Summer before year one of Med School (Optional)
• Spring semester of 1st year (Optional)
• Summer between 1st & 2nd year
• Summer between 2nd & 3rd year


MSTP students must complete two research rotations. However, some students will do three or, in a few instances, may petition to do four rotations.