Section 11: Combined Medical Scientist Training Program: MD/PhD Degree
11.1 Earn an MD/PhD degree in BME:
It is possible for a student to pursue a PhD degree in biomedical engineering and the MD degree simultaneously. The combined degree curriculum 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.
The Medical Scientist Training Program is administered through the College of Medicine and the Graduate School. Admission to the Medical Scientist Program requires application to both the Medical School and Graduate Program, but your graduate application will be built from your AMCAS application, courtesy of the MSTP program.
11.2 Deadlines to apply to the MD/PhD program in BME via the MSTP:
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 application, and select Combined Medical Degree/PhD.
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.
AMCAS applications will be accepted starting June 1 until Nov. 1 of the year prior to anticipated matriculation. No applications are accepted by AMCAS after Nov. 1. The Ohio State University secondary application forms are due 30 days after receipt of the AMCAS application. Early application is strongly encouraged, as MSTP interview slots fill up quickly.
Our Biomedical Engineering graduate program will use the medical school materials to review graduate application file. The only additional item for applicants to provide directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions is an official GRE score report. 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.
11.3 Evaluation Criteria used by the MSTP Review Committee:
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.
An MSTP student is selected based on:
- Previous academic record
- Research experience
- Biographical statement that explains why the applicant wants to pursue a combined MD/PhD
- Four letters of recommendation, at least two of which should address the applicant’s previous research experience and potential for a research career
- MCAT scores (and/or GRE scores if required)
- Personal interviews
Although all of these criteria are taken into account, particular emphasis is placed on research experience. If an applicant is not admitted to the MSTP but still wishes to pursue a PhD in BME, please contact the BME Graduate Studies Chair at email@example.com.
YEAR-BY-YEAR MSTP SCHEDULE:
INTEGRATING BME COURSEWORK AND DISSERTATION RESEARCH
Summer lab rotations
Medical School Year 1 coursework, Medical School Year 2 coursework, MSTP Roundtable, MSTP- specific seminar OR for students who select to start with their first year of graduate coursework, the curriculum would include: graduate coursework, MSTP Roundtable, MSTP-specific seminar. The second year in the program would start with Medical School Year 1 coursework as listed above.
Graduate or Medical School Year 2 coursework, grant writing, patient-centered research, ethics, MSTP-specific seminar, clinical preceptorship.
Medical School Year 3 and 4 curriculum, MSTP-specific seminar
The Candidacy Exam is taken after all courses are completed. The dissertation should be defended before returning to Med 3.
11.4 Academic Progress and Pace
Current MSTP students may find it helpful to speak with faculty who have mentored BME MSTP students in the past to get a sense of how best to organize one’s time and efforts. The workload and timing may look different for those not on a solo PhD path. For BME MSTP referrals, contact the graduate studies coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Admitted MD/PhD students will be assigned a BME core faculty contact to help with BME rules and culture. This will be an especially important relationship if the student’s research advisor is external to BME. Students are urged to plan well with their advisors and core faculty contacts, to follow all instructions sent by the MSTP program, and to read all reminders sent by the BME program. Most important, students should follow-up on changes in their funding appointments well in advance of each semester to make sure everything is in place ahead of time. The BME Grad Coordinator often can help point students in the right direction to be proactive and productive about planning for appointment changes.
11.6 For more information