Frequently asked questions:

How do I apply to the IU-Purdue MSTP, and when is the deadline?
Specific application and admission to the MSTP requires admission to both Indiana University School of Medicine and an Indiana University or Purdue University Graduate School program.  This process may be initiated by choosing the appropriate box on the AMCAS application for the Indiana University School of Medicine, indicating interest in the MD-PhD Program. The deadline for the AMCAS submission is November 16, 2015.

I am interested in biomedical engineering for my PhD degree.  How can I find out more information about the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering at Purdue University?
Our MSTP strongly encourages applications from candidates with a quantitative/engineering background who wish to pursue a PhD degree in Biomedical Engineering from Purdue University, in addition to an MD degree from Indiana University School of Medicine.  For more information about the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, please click here.

What qualities do you look for in applicants whom you select for interview?
Although MCAT scores and GPA are determinants in the decision process to interview, the Admissions Committee places the greater emphasis on research experience and commitment as well as on the qualities important to becoming a caring and committed physician.  Letters of recommendation, particularly from research mentors, play a crucial role in the decision process.  We will review every application we receive, regardless of standardized test scores and GPA.

What can I expect at the interview?
The interview process takes one full day on the Indianapolis campus, except if you choose to be considered for a Biomedical Engineering PhD (where a second day of interviews at Purdue University is conducted).  The interview process consists of a combined interview with one of the MSTP Co-directors (or Associate Director) and a member of the IU School of Medicine Admissions Committee.  Thereafter, 2-4 interviews are scheduled with members of the IU School of Medicine or Purdue University research faculty.  We make every attempt to schedule at least one interview with a faculty member that you request.

I was invited for a second visit; does that mean that I have an offer of admission?
Yes.  The goal of the second visit is provide you a more in-depth perspective of the potential research opportunities, a better feel for the nature of the medical school curriculum, and opportunity to gain a better understanding of student life on campus and life in Indianapolis.

Do you provide financial support for all students admitted to the MSTP?
Yes.  All students who matriculate into the MSTP are provided a stipend and full tuition throughout all years of the program, assuming satisfactory progress and adherence to program requirements.

If I'm not offered a position in the MSTP, is it still possible that I might get an offer from the IU medical school for the MD program?
Yes.  When you receive an admissions offer from the MSTP, you are guaranteed admission to both the MD and PhD programs.  However, if your application was declined by the MSTP Admissions Committee, you will still be considered separately for admission to the medical school MD program.

If I've received an offer, how soon do I need to make a decision whether I will accept or not?
Our MSTP adheres to the AAMC Traffic Rules regarding admissions policies.  Every student offered admission to our program is given at least two weeks or until May 1st of the application year to make a final decision (whichever comes later). 

If I accept an offer of admission, when am I required to begin the program?
Our program begins in mid-June, and there are no exceptions.  The first summer is important, as it provides an opportunity for you to do a rotation in the lab of your choice.  The rotation allows you to get a better feel for the kind of research and collegial environment in that lab, and whether it might be the lab you feel is a good fit for your PhD studies.  In addition, we also engage you in activities to meet and socially interact with other students in program during this first summer prior to the start of medical school classes.

What is the typical timeline for student training in the MSTP?
For a more detailed description of our MSTP, please visit our "About the Program" tab above.  Our program follows a 2-4-2 track, where 2 years of medical school are followed by 3-4 years of graduate school study (towards a PhD degree), and ending with the final 2 years of medical school (to complete the MD degree).  Over the past 10 years, 60 students have graduated from our MSTP, taking approximately 7.8 years to complete the entire program.

How many research rotations do students do before selecting a lab for their PhD studies?
Most students do 3 laboratory rotations (one in the summer before the first year of medical school, and 2 in the summer between the first and second year of medical school).  Laboratory rotations are critical in the selection of the final lab for the PhD work, but in some rare cases, students have done fewer than 3 rotations.

Are there opportunities for students in their PhD phase of training to maintain their clinical skills?
Students who enter MD-PhD programs do so because they are committed to becoming physician scientists who engage in both research and clinical practice.  Our MSTP requires students in their PhD training years to participate in clinical activities, but only to the extent that it not interfere with the completion of the PhD training.  Typically, our students do 1-2 clinical experiences per semester, which require direct patient contact and care under the guidance of a senior attending physician.

How do students prepare for returning to medical school after finishing their PhD training?
Although the transition from PhD training to third year of medical school can seem daunting, all of our students make a smooth and successful transition.  To facilitate that transition, we provide a Clinical Reentry Course that is taken by all returning students in the Spring.  The course provides instruction in history-taking and physical exam skills and places students in inpatient and outpatient settings where clinical evaluation and diagnostic skills can be utilized in real-world situations.

What kinds of medical specialties do students in the MSTP select?
Our students match in the most competitive medical specialties and residency training programs in the country.  For a list of specialties and training programs of our students, click the "Students" tab above.

Is the New MCAT required?

All applicants must take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).  Applicants matriculating in 2017 and beyond must take the current MCAT. 

How can I get other questions answered?
Please feel free to contact us at 317-278-5207 or