MD/PhD in Biochemistry

General Program Information for MD/PhD Candidates

MD/PhD candidates must fulfill the requirements for both the MD and the PhD degrees. Please consult with the Office of Admissions for Boston University School of Medicine  (BUSM) for information on how to apply to the MD/PhD program, as well as the curriculum for the MD component (medical school curriculum).  For the PhD component students participate in the interdisciplinary program called the Program in Biomedical Sciences (PiBS) that will incorporate didactic coursework and biomedical research to prepare our graduates for career advancement.   In the first year of the PhD component of the MD/PhD curriculum, students will participate in the Foundations in Biomedical Sciences I (FiBS I) core curriculum while rotating in a number of research laboratories.  The required courses for the PhD component of the MD/PhD curriculum are identical to those required for the PhD candidates with the exception that specific modules within the FiBS I core curriculum may be met by the first-year BUSM curriculum subject to prior approval by the Student Affairs Committee.

After selection of a dissertation research laboratory, students will join the program/department with which the mentor is affiliated and continue advanced studies towards candidacy.

Course Requirements

  • GMS FC 701, FC 702, FC 703, FC 704, FC 706
    Foundations in Biomedical Sciences Modules I, II, III, IV and V
    * Prior satisfaction of specific modules within GMS FC 701-706 may be met by the first year BUSM curriculum subject to prior approval by the Student Affairs Committee.)
  • GMS BI 777 Techniques in Biochemistry, Cell & Molecular Biology
  • GMS MS 700 or GMS MS 570 Biostatistics
  • Advanced electives
  • Research credits

(see Course Descriptions for more details)

Qualifying Examination

Candidates for the MD/PhD degrees must pass both a written qualifying examination and an oral qualifying examination.

Thesis Advisory Committee & Thesis Defense

Upon completion of qualifying exams, MD/PhD candidates present a research proposal to a five-member Thesis Advisory Committee. The committee is assembled at least once annually to discuss the progress of the accepted proposal. Once the Thesis Advisory Committee determines that the research work is complete, the student writes and defends the thesis.

For additional information please contact:

Barbara M. Schreiber, Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Studies, Dept of Biochemistry
Boston University School of Medicine
72 E. Concord Street, K207
Boston, MA 02118