Outline of Curriculum

The summary of the typical MD/PhD curriculum:

Fall to Spring 2012-2013

Year 1: Start of the Undergraduate Curriculum in the MD program. During the time normally allotted to an elective in the MD program, MD/PhD students will instead take one graduate program course that will count toward the PhD program, as approved by the program committee.

Summer 2013

Transfer from the MD to the PhD program.  Completion of a mandatory summer laboratory rotation (minimum of 8 weeks) in supervisor’s lab.

Fall to Spring 2013-2014

Year 2: Transfer back to the MD program for Year 2 in the Undergraduate Curriculum in Medicine. During the time normally allotted to an elective in the MD program, MD/PhD students who do not hold a Masters degree will take a second graduate program course, as approved by the their committee, that will count toward the PhD program.

After completion of Year 2, transfer from the MD to the PhD program; begin of summer laboratory work in supervisor’s lab.

Note: The successful completion of Year 2 in the medical school curriculum, the summer laboratory rotation and completed graduate course work will be judged equal to fulfilling the requirements of a Masters degree for formal admission to the PhD program. The specific admission requirements of each participating graduate program remain unchanged and are outlined below. Students must successfully complete Years 1 and 2 of the undergraduate MD curriculum to be eligible for transfer into a PhD Program.

Summer 2014

Transfer from the MD to the PhD program.

Students will now formally take a leave of absence from medical school. Under the guidance of their chosen supervisor, they concentrate on laboratory work in fulfillment of their graduate degree requirements.

Students present their research proposal to the ‘Thesis Advisory Committee’ and obtain approval to proceed.

Fall to Summer 2014-2017

Year 3: Students complete the requirements of the Seminar Course during Year 3.

The Comprehensive Examination must be successfully completed by the end of Year 3. Note, students who entered the MD/PhD Program without a Masters degree have until the first semester in Year 4 to complete the Comprehensive Exam. The Comprehensive Exam requirements are governed individually by each participating graduate program.

Years 4: Students have completed all course work and continue to work full-time in the laboratory on their thesis project.

Year 5: Students present their original research work in the form of a departmental seminar. With the approval of the ‘Thesis Advisory Committee’, students prepare and submit their thesis by the end of Year 5.

Fall to Spring 2017-2018

Year 6: Transfer back to the MD program
Students will formally leave the graduate program and return to medical school during the last two years of the undergraduate MD curriculum.

If the PhD thesis defense has not yet taken place, it may occur during the first semester of re-entering the undergraduate medical school curriculum, i.e., in Year 6.

Following the formal completion of all PhD program requirements, students may either obtain their degree upon request together with their graduate degree peers at the next convocation date. Alternatively, students may choose to defer the actual PhD award ceremony until the completion of their MD program.

Fall to Spring 2018-2019

Year 7: Students complete their final year of medical school.

May / June 2019

Upon completion of Year 7: Graduation from the Faculty of Medicine with MD degree and - if not yet conferred – with the PhD degree.

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Last updated: 2015.09.08