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M.D./Ph.D. Program

Group photo of the M.D. and Ph.D. canidates

Program Information

Saint Louis University offers M.D./Ph.D. training to promote academic excellence in clinical medicine and scientific research. SLU faculty mentors train M.D./Ph.D. students to become physician-scientists with the credentials to succeed in academic medicine and related careers. As coordinated by the M.D./Ph.D. Program Admissions Committee, applicants are selected based on their past transcripts and demonstrated ability in scholarly research. In turn, graduates of this program reflect the best features of our innovative M.D. curricula and our exceptional Ph.D. training environments.

Throughout their tenure at SLU, the M.D./Ph.D. trainees are continuously evaluated to ensure they develop into self-motivated intellectual leaders and compassionate problem-solving diagnosticians, as well as being creative scientists capable of sustained research productivity.

The program is available to all interested applicants to the School of Medicine. Interview candidates are selected from a national applicant pool based on their undergraduate credentials (including science/math GPA and MCAT), and a demonstrated ability to participate in publishable research. Interviewees can meet with current students, potential mentors, and the M.D./Ph.D. Admissions Committee, which attends and evaluates a brief research seminar given by each visiting applicant. Successful applicants receive full tuition support and competitive stipends throughout their M.D. and Ph.D. training, contingent on continued academic excellence and acceptable progress toward their research objectives. Trainees begin research rotations by early June before commencing their Year 1 M.D. studies. Other qualified individuals may apply to join the M.D./Ph.D. program after beginning their M.D. training.

In addition to completing the specific courses and research requirements for both degrees, trainees participate in M.D./Ph.D. colloquia to enhance critical thinking, scientific writing, career selection, research presentations and public speaking skills. In Year 2 of medical school, trainees select a Ph.D. mentor in whose department they will complete their Ph.D. research. Completion of all Ph.D. candidacy requirements and oral defense of the doctoral dissertation is followed by a transitional clerkship that facilitates reentry into Years 3 and 4 of the M.D. training. As this clinical training is being pursued, each student receives individualized career guidance from SLU faculty to ensure that appropriate academic residency/fellowship programs are achieved. Trainees in this program normally complete all requirements for both degrees within 7-9 years, including the coursework, clerkships, research, and national licensure exams through USMLE Step 2.

Letter from the Director

Welcome to the Saint Louis University School of Medicine M.D./Ph.D. program. Our program was started in 1986 to train the next generation of physician-scientists, academic faculty and health policy leaders. Our program is designed to provide an outstanding education in clinical and research skills in a highly collaborative environment. Our faculty includes accomplished national leaders passionate about learning in a supportive and inclusive environment.  

The program grants both the M.D. and Ph.D. degrees to students meeting the requirements of the medical school, the graduate program, and the M.D./Ph.D. curriculum. It will typically take seven to nine years to complete. We embrace the core value of cura personalis, care for the whole person, and strive to uphold it in our learners, faculty, staff and patients.

We maintain an open-door policy for applicants and current students. We welcome questions about applications, the program, students, Saint Louis University, St. Louis City and the surrounding area.  

Thank you for your interest.

Headshot of Jane McHowat
Jane McHowat, Ph.D., FAHA
Program Director

Learn More About SLU's M.D. Program