Requirements for M.D./Ph.D. Students

Two students in a lab

M.D./Ph.D. students enter the MCIBS program after their first two years of medical school.


Candidacy exam

Passing Step 1 of the USMLE in conjunction with earning a B or higher in BMS 506 A and B meet the candidacy exam requirement.

Comprehensive exam

This exam is the same as for all MCIBS students, and information can be found here.

Doctoral dissertation and final examination

These are the same as for other MCIBS students, and are described here. In addition, M.D./Ph.D. students must submit a first-author manuscript before defending their dissertation. Ideally this paper should be published before returning to the third year of medical school, and it is required to be accepted before completing medical school. The thesis must be accepted by the graduate school before returning to the third year of medical school.


In addition to the coursework completed during the first two years of medical school, MCIBS M.D./Ph.D. students should complete the following:

  • MCIBS 590 Colloquium
  • MCIBS 591 Ethics, Rigor, Reproducibility, and Conduct of Research in the Life Sciences
  • MCIBS 592 Current Seminars
  • 6 credits of elective courses from the MCIBS emphasis area course lists, selected in consultation with the adviser and MCIBS chair