FAQ for M.D./Ph.D Applicants
How flexible is the program in terms of area for PhD study? Can a student easily transfer within departments?
The MD/PhD Combined Degree Program at BUSM is very flexible. Although you will interview with a specific department, you are not wedded to that department. After two years of Medical School, your interests often change as you learn more about different areas of research. It is a matter of finding a department with funding available and with whom you are a good fit. It is very easy to transfer to a different department; however, please note that if you wish to transfer to the Biomedical Engineering Department, it will require an additional approval by that Department to ensure that you have the adequate educational background.
What is the time line for the MD/PhD Admissions Process?
The MD/PhD Admissions process has recently been expedited to speed up the turn-around time from when we receive an application and when an applicant is notified of the final admissions decision. Firstly, the application will be received by the Medical School Admissions Office. It will then be reviewed and sent to the MD/PhD Pre-Selection Committee who will decide if an applicant is suitable for interview. If so, he or she will be sent an invitation to interview in the coming month. Throughout the admissions season, the MD/PhD Admissions Committee will meet frequently to review the applicants who have been interviewed. At a large meeting in December, the committee will make their final admissions decisions for Round 1 of the interview season. The first batch of letters will go out around mid-January. For interviews that take place in January or February, or applicants that were deferred to Round 2, status notifications will go out around mid-March.
What is the average time it takes for a student to complete their PhD?
The number of years it takes an MD/PhD student to complete his or her thesis varies. However, the average time spent is 3.5 years.
Is it possible to transfer into the MD/PhD Program after matriculating into the Medical School?
Yes, it is possible to transfer into the MD/PhD Program after matriculating into BUSM. However, if you are committed to a a career as a physician-scientist, we encourage you to apply for the MD/PhD Combined Degree Program initially so that you do not have to deal with the graduate admissions process while in medical school.
Is funding available for international students?
Yes, funding is available for international students. However, a department would need to agree to fund you, as international students are not eligible for training grants. Some departments have specific scholarships for well-suited international MD/PhD students.
When applying to BUSM through AMCAS, do I need to rewrite the personal statement from the Medical School Application to be included in the MD/PhD Supplemental Application?
The personal statement included in your AMCAS application will suffice for the Supplemental MD/PhD application’s personal statement if there is nothing else you would like to add that is specific to the MD/PhD course of study. It is suitable to simply make a notation asking the reviewer to see the personal statement within your AMCAS application. However, if you would like to add more information about your research, we recommend using this space in the supplemental application to do so.