The M.D./Ph.D. Scholars Program is designed to prepare a select group of outstanding students for careers in academic medicine and research. Students admitted to this highly competitive program will:
- Pursue original research with graduate faculty.
- Complete the medical school curriculum.
- Benefit from the integrated training for both degrees, since some course work applies to both degrees.
- Rotate through up to three laboratories in one or more departments with Ph.D. granting programs. These laboratory rotations will help with the student select a specific research mentor and graduate program.
- Choose a specific graduate program and a research advisor before the end of the first year of medical school.
- Begin a research topic of the students' choice, in conjunction with their mentor. The training program may begin during the summer prior to the first year of medical school with participation in a summer research program.
Typically, after completing the second year of the medical curriculum and passing Step I of the USMLE, the student will enter the selected program as a full-time graduate student. A minimum of three years will be required to complete additional course work in the graduate program, the departmental comprehensive exam, and independent research leading to a Ph.D. dissertation.
After completion of the Ph.D. degree the student will rejoin the medical class as a third year student and the last two years of clinical training. The combined M.D./Ph.D. Scholars program will involve, on average, a minimum of seven years.
Students interested in the M.D./Ph.D. program must first gain admission to the School of Medicine & Health Sciences M.D. degree program, following the normal application process and meeting the selection criteria. A student admitted to the M.D. program may apply to graduate school as soon as he/she has selected a graduate program, which may occur before matriculation in Medical School but not later than the end of the first semester of year two.
Final admission requirements for the M.D./Ph.D. program include:
- Satisfactory performance in the first two years of the medical education curriculum with passing scores on all required assessment tools.
- Successful completion of the USMLE Step 1 exam.
- Satisfactory scores achieved on MCAT which may substitute for GRE.
- All other UND Graduate School admission requirements listed in the UND Academic Catalog.
If admission to a Ph.D. program is granted, then students apply to the School of Medicine & Health Sciences Student Performance and Recognition Committee for a "modification of original program" which will allow pursuit of the M.D. degree and Ph.D. degree concurrently. Students also must request the Office of Student Affairs to certify to the Graduate School their satisfactory completion of the first two years of the M.D. program.
Students are expected to complete the following general requirements for the Ph.D. degree in a medical science field:
- Performance of original research of a quality suitable for publication in refereed, professional journals.
- Pass final examination which includes preparation and oral defense of a satisfactory dissertation.
- A minimum of 90 credit hours, including research and dissertation.
- Successful completion of a scholarly tool (Note: May be specified by a department.)
- Completion of the first two years of the medical education curriculum, transferred as 44 credits toward the Ph.D..
- Passing comprehensive exams covering the coursework in the major area.