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Medical Scientist Training Program

Seeking the MD with a PhD Biomedical Engineering?

About the MD/PhD program:

It is possible for a student to pursue a PhD degree in biomedical engineering and the MD degree simultaneously. The coursework is a mixture of BME and the life sciences. Some medical school courses may be used to count as life science credit; in addition students will take the required graduate level engineering, math, and statistics courses. At least 45 credits of dissertation research are also required. In BME, students have the opportunity to jump into their engineering curriculum and research right away.

The Medical Scientist Training Program is administered through the College of Medicine and the Graduate School.

For this joint degree program, you must be admitted to both the BME graduate (PhD) program AND the Medical Scientist Training program (MSTP).

Please note that students admitted to BME, but not admitted to one or both of the other programs still may choose to consider enrollment in the BME PhD program exclusively.

Admission to the MSTP requires application to both the Medical School and Graduate Program, but your graduate application will be built from your AMCAS application, courtesy of the MSP program.

Detailed information on the program be found in the BME Graduate Student Handbook, Section 9.

The Candidacy Exam is taken after all BME and medical school courses are completed.

The PhD dissertation should be defended before returning to Med III.  

Year​​ in Program

BME Option 1

BME Option 2


​Med 1

MSTP Roundtable

​​Grad Year 1

MSTP Roundtable


Med  2
Grad Year 1
MSTP Roundtable

Med 1
MSTP Roundtable


Grad Year 2

Med 2 (through Apr 1)


Dissertation Research
(formulate plan for med re-entry in Dec/Jan)




Med 3


Med 4

To apply to the MD/PhD program in BME via the Medical Scientist Training Program:

BME MD/PhD applicants will apply to the MSTP per MSTP instructions below.

AMCAS applications will be accepted starting June 1st until November 1st of the year prior to anticipated matriculation. No applications are accepted by

AMCAS after November 1st. The Ohio State University secondary application forms are due 30 days after receipt of the AMCAS application. As the final deadline for the OSU fellowship competition is in January, early application is strongly encouraged.

Admission to the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) can be made through one application process. This is initiated through the American Medical College Applications Service (AMCAS). To apply to the MSTP you should designate The Ohio State University on the electronic AMCAS application, and select Combined Medical Degree/Ph.D.

Later you will receive an e-mail from the College of Medicine directing you to the web-based secondary application which also serves as your application to the MSTP and to graduate school.

Biomedical Engineering will use the following medical school materials to build your graduate application file. The only additional item for applicants to provide directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions is an official GRE score report. The rest can be provided to BME by the MSP program.


Admission Requirements, as per the Medical Scientist Training Program:

  • Completed AMCAS application.
  • Completed College of Medicine secondary application form.
  • At least four (4) letters of recommendation. Two should address the applicant’s research experience and potential. Two others should be from teachers or professors who have taught and graded the applicant. All of these should be submitted via AMCAS.
  • A Graduate Reference Form must accompany at least three of these letters of recommendation. Please instruct your letter writers to send the form (no need to re-send the letter of recommendation) directly to the MD/PhD Program Office.
  • Current CV - please send this via mail or email directly to the MSTP Office.
  • An official transcript from each college or university attended listing all courses and grades must be received by the MSTP office.
  • A personal statement specific to the graduate program you select on your College of Medicine secondary application form.  This one page statement should focus on your reasons for selecting the graduate program and can be submitted directly to the MSTP office.
  • U.S. students and permanent residents only; international students are ineligible for the MSTP


Evaluation Criteria, as per the Medical Scientist Training Program:

Biomedical Engineering (BME) requires the GRE. However, this GRE requirement is waived for applicants who have majored in an engineering field during their undergraduate or graduate education.

An earned cumulative grade-point average (GPA) equivalent to at least 3.0 out of 4.0 in all previous undergraduate college-level course work is required by the OSU Graduate School, but considerably higher scores will be required to gain admission to the MSTP.

Students should apply to be admitted for the summer term, but exceptions can be made.

An MSP student is selected based on:

1. Previous academic record;

2. Research experience;

3. Biographical statement that explains why the applicant wants to pursue a combined MD/PhD;

4. Four letters of recommendation, at least two of which should address the applicants previous research experience and potential for a research career;

5. MCAT scores;

6. Personal interviews.

Although all of these criteria are taken into account, particular emphasis is placed on research experience. If an applicant is not admitted ot the MSP but still wishes to pursue a PhD in BME, please contact the BME Graduate Studies Office at


Questions about the Medical Scientist Training Program may be directed to: or contact Ashley Bertran at

For a more detailed discussion on the MSP options, please contact Graduate Studies Chair, Samir Ghadiali at

Those who plan to apply for the MSP in BME also may contact BME MSP Liaison, Cynthia Roberts at


Snapshot of some recent BME-MSP Graduates:

Keith Vogt - PhD 2009: "Optimization of physiologic noise correction in functional magnetic resonance imaging" MD 2011, Currently: Resident, University of Pittsburgh
Dianne Henry Glass - PhD 2008: "Characterization of the biomechanical properties of the in vivo human cornea" MD 2010, Currently: Baylor University Hospital - OB/GYN
Jim Ibinson - PhD 2004: “The study of pain with blood oxygen level dependant functional magnetic resonance imaging”, MD 2006, Residency: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Currently: Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Anesthesiology
Dara Koozekanani - PhD 2001: “Repeatability characterization and computer vision based analysis of optical coherence tomography” MD 2003, Residency: Ophthalmology, University of Wisconsin, Currently: Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota
BJ Dupps - PhD 1998: “Chemo-mechanical modification of the corneal response to photokeratectomy” MD 2000, Residency: Opthalmology, University of Iowa, Currently: Physician/Refractive Surgeon, Cole Eye Institute/Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Richard Burgess - PhD 2004: "Magnetic resonance imaging at ultra high field: implications for human neuroimaging" MD 2001, Residency: Neurology, Washington University in St. Louis, Currently: Physician, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital