Curriculum Overview

An M.D./Ph.D. combined degree is for students committed to a career that intimately incorporates research with clinical care.  The Indiana University MSTP is flexible and uniquely designed to meet the individual goals of each student.  Our students have direct access to the top clinical and graduate faculty and courses at the School of Medicine.

Graduates of the MSTP have gone on to pursue careers in both academic medicine and industry.  Most of our graduates balance patient care with scientific research.

A typical academic plan permits most students to complete the combined degree program in 7-8 years.  All requirements of the M.D. and Ph.D. degrees must be completed as outlined in the Medical and Graduate School bulletins.  An advantage of the combined program is that up to 30 credit hours of non-clinical courses may be credited toward the Indiana University Ph.D. from the medical curriculum.  The IU School of Medicine program has three phases:

  • Medical school basic science courses
  • Graduate school courses and dissertation research experience
  • Medical school clinical rotations

Entering students do a summer research rotation the summer prior to the start of the first year of medical school, and between years 1 and 2 of medical school with the goal of identifying a research mentor.  During years 3-5 (or 3-6) of the program, students focus on graduate school courses, PhD research and defense, and ongoing clinical activities that allow for the integration of both research and clinical care.  During years 6-7 (or 7-8), students return to medical school for clinical rotations to complete the MD portion of the Program.

Typical Curriculum

Participation in the Medical Scientist Training Program also includes attending seminars and events, poster presentations, the opportunity to travel to national conferences, and mentor support.