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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Many questions we receive by email or at meetings are answered in these pages. If you have questions not covered here, please contact us directly.


Application Season 2021

How is COVID-19 impacting MD/PhD admissions?

We encourage applicants to check the School of Medicine's Admissions page for the latest information, as any changes to application requirements will be reflected there. Currently there are no anticipated changes to deadlines. The admissions committee will be sensitive to COVID-19 challenges faced by 2021-2022 cycle applicants.

If COVID-19 has impacted your application, please address this in your essays. If you are seeing this FAQ after your essays were submitted, you may comment using the application update field. 

Are there any additional resources specific to this year's application cycle, as influenced by COVID-19?

Yes! The AAMC has produced several resources to guide us through the current application cycle. Please review these AAMC resources, and always refer to the specific school you are applying to for additional guidance (for us: Emory School of Medicine's Admissions page).

AAMC's MD/PhD Applications in the time of COVID-19 [video link]
AAMC's Tips for Virtual Interviews [brief pdf]
AAMC's Virtual Interviews for Medical Applicants [more detailed pdf]

Does Emory participate in the NIH MD/PhD Partnership Training Program?

Our program accepts applications for the Track 1 program. We are unable to support applications for the Track 2 or Track 3 programs. If you are applying to the Track 1 program, please mention this in your application and update us throughout the application cycle as needed.

Can I be considered for both the MD/PhD and the MD-only program?

Yes, but not at the same time. The programs have independent admissions committees and applications can only be reviewed by one committee at a time. All applications are pre-secreened by the School of Medicine. If pre-screening criteria are met, you will be asked to complete the secondary application. If you selected the MD/PhD program as your choice, you will receive the MD/PhD program secondary application. If you are not accepted to the MD/PhD program, or you want to withdraw your application from our pool, you may request to have your application assigned to the MD-only pool.

Are international students eligible for a MD/PhD award?

Does the MD/PhD program accept transfer students?

The Emory University School of Medicine no longer accepts transfer students.

Are students already enrolled in Emory MD or PhD programs eligible to apply (to transfer into the MD/PhD program)?

Students who are currently enrolled in medical school at Emory are eligible to apply to the MD/PhD Program and will be consider in the context of the overall applicant pool; they should contact the MD/PhD Program for additional information. Applications (for transfer into the program) from students already enrolled in doctoral programs in the Laney Graduate School are not being considered.

Can I make additions to my application after it has already been verified and received by the MD/PhD Program Office?

Yes, applicants can directly submit application additions to either the School of Medicine Admissions Office or the MD/PhD Program, however additional supplemental material may increase the time it takes for your application to be completely reviewed, especially if it has already entered the review process. 

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Application Requirements

Competitive MD/PhD applicants have sufficient background to be competitive for each of the dual degrees. Applicants are evaluated by School of Medicine and Laney Graduate School faculty who are involved in admissions for their respective programs.

Please see the next items for specific information about MD and PhD requirements.

Pre-medical qualifications

Applicants must meet requirements outlined for Emory's MD program. The MD/PhD Program can only review applicationts that were invited to complete the MD/PhD secondary application.

For a complete outline of the School of Medicine's admissions process, please visit the School of Medicine's Admissions page. 

  • Please review the MCAT: Admissions Requirements page as well as other minimum requirements. Candidates that do not meet the minimum requirements will not receive a secondary application. 
  • MD applicants are also required to complete at least 90 semester hours (or 135 quarter hours) of a balanced undergraduate education from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or Canada. Minimum course requirements include physical science, biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, English and humanities. Note that Emory pre-secreens for MCAT minimum scores. 
  • As all MD applicants, MD/PhD applicants must demonstrate exposure to clinical settings and other experiences that suggest they understand the demands of a career as a physician. 


Pre-doctoral qualifications

Generally, an applicant that meets MD application requirements is academically prepared for admission to a PhD program related to their undergraduate major. However, PhD programs seek students who have above-average expertise in their undergraduate course of study. Such knowledge is typically acquired through engagement in scholarly research. 

Successful applicants will have participated in research projects where they made strong contributions (as reflected in faculty letters of support). Typically, they have been involved in research for several years (not necessarily continuously) while in undergraduate training, and will have pursued summer research opportunities elsewhere if options in their own campuses were limited. Post-graduation research (e.g., working in a lab or other science-intensive environment; NIH training programs) is not unusual, in particular for students who were not able to conduct a lot of research as undergraduates and/or needed additional opportunities to explore and consolidate their interest in research. Generally, long-term research projects (i.e., a minimum of one year) are preferred over multiple short-term experiences; however there is no specific formula for the type of research or research area that makes an application competitive. Peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals are not required but poster presentations at student or professional association poster sessions are typical.

Do you require GRE scores as part of the MD/PhD application?

The GRE is not required for most programs, including those in the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Biomedical Engineering or Epidemiology. However, some nontraditional MD/PhD disciplines may require it. Applicants considering areas outside of the ones listed above should visit the PhD program's website for a full list of requirements, then contact the MD/PhD Program office for additional information. If the PhD program expects the applicant to complete the standard PhD application, we want to ensure the applicant is aware of applicable deadlines.

How do know if I am (or will be) a competitive MD/PhD candidate?

The first step is to talk to academic advisors and mentors who are familiar with MD/PhD programs for a candid discussion about the applicant's eligibility trajectory and, as needed, outline options to improve competitiveness. Ideally, these conversations will happen throughout the student's undergraduate training. 

It is understood that some students may not have access to mentoring by practicing MD/PhDs, or may have mentors who are not very familiar with the MD/PhD career path. We hope that candidates will search for online resources (some are listed below) and share this information with mentors who are advising them or writing letters of support. 

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Are international students eligible for admission?

All applicants admitted to the program receive the same financial support. International applicants are welcome to apply.

The admissions process at Emory School of Medicine is the same for domestic and international students. If an applicant's undergraduate degree is from a college outside the United States, the applicant must complete all science course requirements (and English, if English language skills are not strong) at an accredited U.S. or Canadian college before submitting an application to the Emory School of Medicine.  Please visit the Emory School of Medicine Admissions website for more information and scroll to the international students section.

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When is the application deadline?

December 1 is the deadline for the Emory Supplemental Application and all application materials (including letters of recommendation). We strongly encourage students to apply earlier, however, as applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and interviews start as early as the end of September.

What is the application timeline?

Review of applications begins in early September and may last through February. During the peak of the interview season it may take as long as 6 weeks for an application to be completely reviewed (note that there is a lag betwen the submission of secondary applications in AMCAS and our receipt of this information). Additional time may be added to the review process if an applicant makes additions to his/her application or the committee requests additional information. In-person interviews are conducted between October and February. Students are notified monthly from October to March regarding their standing in the program.

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