M.D./Ph.D. Program

Medical students who are interested in pursuing a combined MD/PhD degree usually begin the doctoral part of their program after completing 2 years of the School of Medicine curriculum. Thus they have already completed many of the courses required for the PhD in Anatomy & Neurobiology. After completing the doctoral program they return to the School of Medicine curriculum and receive the combined degree when their entire program is completed.

The MD/PhD curriculum consists of required courses, seminars and electives as well as Dissertation Research. Overview of the 32-credit PhD program:

  • Required courses: 28 credits (including Seminar and Elective courses: 2 Cr/2Cr)
  • Electives or research: 4 credits

To see more details on the courses we offer, please visit the Course Description page.

Basic Departmental Required Courses (28 credits):

Fundamentals of Cell & Molecular Neurobiology 4cr AN777
Methods in Neuroscience 4cr An718
Exptl. Design & Statistical Methods OR Elementary Biostats 2cr AN704/ MS700
Vesalius 1: Teaching in the Biomedical Sciences 2cr AN806
Vesalius 2: Teaching Apprenticeship 6cr AN804
Scientific Writing 2cr AN803
Professional Skills 2cr AN715
Research Colloquium in Anatomy & Neurobiology (Journal Club) 2cr AN802
One Departmental Advanced Seminar Course 2cr List Below
One Departmental Elective Course 2cr List Below

Advanced Seminar Courses:

Learning and Memory (2018, 2020) 2cr AN702
Dynamic Modeling 2cr AN820
Neurobiology of Aging (2019, 2021) 2cr AN707
Neurology of Visual System (bi-annual) 2cr AN807

Elective Courses:

Systems Neurobiology 4cr AN810
Cognitive Neuroscience 4cr AN811
Biomedical Imaging Foundations 4cr IM600
Advanced Neuroanatomy (2018, 2020) 4cr AN724
Advanced Clinical Anatomy 2cr AN708
Molecular Basis of Neurologic Disease 2cr MS783
Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience (bi-annual) 4cr AN716
Methods of Functional Imaging of the Brain 2cr IM630
Forensic Biology 2cr FS702
Forensic Pathology 3cr FS712
Molecular Biology of Forensic DNA 3cr FS720
Human Anatomy and Osteology 4cr FA712
Advanced Human Osteology 4cr FA806

The Vesalius Certificate in Teaching Anatomy and Neurobiology

Interested MD/PhD students may also choose to pursue the (optional) Vesalius Certificate through the following course of study.

Requirements for the MD/PhD Vesalius Module (as with the PhD Certificate):

Students are required to have taken at least two of the following prerequisite courses to pursue the Vesalius Certificate:

Medical Gross Anatomy 8cr AN701
Medical Neuroscience 4cr AN703
Systems Neurobiology 4cr AN810
Cognitive Neuroscience 4cr AN811

The certificate consists of three courses/components, two of which (Vesalius 1 & 2) are included in the list of required courses for all MD/PhD students. The program begins with a course on the development of teaching skills in the biomedical sciences. This is followed by a teaching apprenticeship (240 hours service as a Teaching Fellow in one or more of the medical or graduate required courses, above), and concludes with a Mentored Teaching Project that involves the development of a didactic lesson or exercise under the direct mentorship of experienced and award-winning faculty.

Vesalius 1: Teaching in the Biomedical Sceinces 2cr AN806
Vesalius 2: Teaching Apprenticeship 6cr AN804
Vesalius 3: Mentored Teaching Project (Practicum) 2cr AN805


Example of a typical curriculum for MD/PhD students (see required courses and options above)

Years 1-2 Students are engaged in the typical first and second year curriculum including

Medical Gross Anatomy 8cr AN701
Medical Neuroscience 4cr AN703

Years 3-5 Students take 28 credits of required courses plus 4 credits of seminar courses and electives. Research and teaching requirements are the same as those for PhD students.