Considerations Regarding Program Length
In the interest of ensuring that the combined MD/PhD Program offers efficiency in time and effort, the following considerations should be noted.
For students entering the MD/PhD Program with a BSc we will consider the completion of the following items as equal to the requirements of a M.Sc. student for her/his subsequent formal acceptance into the chosen PhD graduate program:
the successful completion of Years 1 and 2 of the undergraduate MD curriculum;
the successful completion of graduate course work during elective time of Year 1 and Year 2 of the undergraduate MD curriculum.
the completion of laboratory research time spent during the summer months after Year 1 and Year 2 of the combined program under the supervision of a faculty member from one of the participating graduate programs;
In addition, for all students entering the MD/PhD Program, the normal requirement for two graduate courses for PhD students has been reduced to one.
Upon successful completion of Year 5 of the combined 7-year program the student will re-enter medical school for the final two years of the MD curriculum. The PhD thesis will be defended by the end of Year 5, or - at the very latest - during Year 6.
An important aspect of the program is a saving of time. We envision that MD/PhD graduates will complete the new program in seven (to seven and a half) years rather than the eight to nine plus years currently required for individuals who have to complete their degrees sequentially (MSc. followed by PhD, then followed by MD). This aspect represents an attractive feature for young individuals who - in pursuing a dual career path - have already deferred the possibility of earning a salary, commencing residency training, and starting their scientific careers by several years when compared with their peers who pursue one doctoral degree.
Note, that despite the time saving aspect afforded by an integrated MD/PhD curriculum all the participating programs are committed to holding our students in the combined degree program to the same rigorous academic standards -including the generation and publication of original scholarly work- that all graduate students are subjected to during their completion of their single degree program.