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MD/PhD Program

The MD/PhD Program (Medical Scientist Training Program) provides the initial training (pre-doctoral) for a career in academic medicine. It is designed to provide highly qualified students with the in-depth, high-caliber research training and medical education that will be required of future academicians.

A minimum of seven years is required to complete the combined program. Graduate study and research training for the PhD degree are undertaken in the Emory Graduate School through one of its departmental graduate programs, the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, the Emory/Georgia Institute of Technology joint graduate program in Biomedical Engineering, or one of the School of Public Health graduate programs. The Emory Graduate School's Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences has nine programs of study: biochemistry, cell and developmental biology; cancer biology; genetics and molecular biology; immunology and molecular pathogenesis; microbiology and molecular genetics; neuroscience; nutrition and health sciences; molecular and systems pharmacology; and population biology, ecology, and evolution.

Typically, basic medical education comprises the first eighteen months of the MD/PhD program. The Foundations curriculum of the School of Medicine includes courses in the basic medical sciences and pathophysiology of disease, as well as patient-based clinical courses such as physical examination of patients and problem-based learning. MD/PhD students in these months are required to attend special journal clubs to strengthen their understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying disease and to develop scientific reasoning. They are also assigned graduate program advisors to help integrate them into their PhD graduate training areas of interest.

Following the Foundations portion of the medical school curriculum and after passing Step 1 of the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination, MD/PhD students are expected to complete the research rotations required to choose a laboratory for their PhD thesis, and be formally admitted into a graduate training program where they will begin work on the PhD degree under the direction of a their chosen thesis advisor. MD/PhD students complete their PhD thesis requirement in lieu of the Discovery portion of the medical school curriculum. Students in the graduate years present clinical cases and journal articles at a clinical research conference as well as satisfy all the academic requirements of their chosen program of PhD study. Completion of the clinical education in medical school follows completion of the PhD and is comprised of fourteen to twenty-one months of required clerkships, elective courses, and clerkships/directed study programs for MD/PhD students. This clinical program is individually tailored, in consultation with the deans responsible for clinical education and student affairs, to fit each student¿s educational needs and academic career goals.

Students applying to this program should have an outstanding academic background, as well as significant research experience as an undergraduate and/or postgraduate. Application to the program is accomplished through AMCAS (deadline, October 15) and the Emory School of Medicine refer to 

All supplemental materials and letters of recommendation must be received by the Emory Medical School Office of Admissions by December 1. Acceptance into the MD/PhD Program can occur during the Foundations through Discovery phase of the curriculum. Tuition and stipend support are provided for all students accepted into the MD/PhD Program. This program is supported in part by an NIH Medical Scientist Training Program grant. Interested applicants may obtain additional information from the MD/PhD Program, Emory University School of Medicine, 100 Woodruff Circle NE, Room P374, Atlanta, GA 30322, email:; web: