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Applicant Information

Thank you for your interest in the M.D./Ph.D. Program at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

Saint Louis University School of Medicine

The program is open to all interested applicants to the School of Medicine. Candidates are selected based on their undergraduate credentials and a demonstrated ability to participate in publishable, bench-level research. On-site interviews are conducted with the Dean of Admissions of the Medical School and the M.D./Ph.D. Admissions Committee, which attends and evaluates a brief research seminar given by each applicant. Successful applicants receive full tuition support and competitive stipends throughout their M.D. and Ph.D. training, contingent upon continued academic excellence and acceptable progress toward their research objectives.

This year 2020 interviews will be held January 4-6, 2020, January 11-13, 2020 and January 25-27, 2020.

Prior to the Monday interview and "chalk talk", prospective students will arrive in St. Louis on the preceding Saturday to meeting with current students and program director. During this time you will become acquainted with St. Louis, Saint Louis University and our M.D./Ph.D. Program.

Apply to the School of Medicine

Application Process and  Selection Criteria

All completed AMCAS applications received by December 15th are evaluated by the M.D./Ph.D. Program Admissions Committee for the quality and breadth of students’ undergraduate training, including their science/math GPA and MCAT scores. All applicants must have completed at least one year of bench-level research, during which they should have demonstrated their intellectual involvement by writing honors theses, abstracts for scientific meetings, and/or peer-reviewed publications. Three letters of recommendation are solicited from individuals identified by the applicants. These individuals are asked to provide a candid assessment of an applicant’s research aptitude, integrity, interpersonal skills, and commitment to completing dual-degree training.

The Admissions Committee invites selected applicants to SLU School of Medicine for on-site interviews at institutional expense, usually in groups of 4 – 6 students whose visits are scheduled January through February. These 3-day visits are designed to acquaint applicants with the intellectual and physical environment of the University, particularly the available research opportunities and potential mentors in their areas of interest. Applicants meet privately with current trainees and with at least three potential mentors of their choice, as well as with the Associate Dean of Admissions for their M.D. interview if not completed previously. In addition, applicants are required to make a brief presentation of their previous research experience(s) to the members of the Program Admissions Committee. These informal presentations may last up to 25 min, including time allowed for questions by the faculty, and must be made without audiovisual support except for the dry-erase board provided.

Interviewees are ranked by the Admissions Committee for their perceived competence and likelihood of individual success in the University’s training environment. Successful applicants are admitted with offers of full tuition remission plus annual stipends for the duration of their M.D./Ph.D. training, the continuation of which are contingent upon academic performance and progress toward Ph.D. research objectives. The Admissions Committee may also invite applicants to join the M.D./Ph.D. Program as non-funded trainees. Such non-funded trainees receive the same support provided to funded trainees in the M.D./Ph.D. Program. The University holds M.D. tuition costs for non-funded M.D./Ph.D. students to the level paid by their entering medical school class, to reduce the impact of inflation on completing M.D. training after finishing their Ph.D. degree. Members of the Year 1 and Year 2 M.D. classes who are in good academic standing and who meet the other requirements identified above may apply to the M.D./Ph.D. Program. Such applicants are rapidly screened and may be considered for acceptance at any time during the year.


Year Timeline
Year 1 Summer Research Rotation (prior to start of medical school)
MS1 First Year Curriculum
Year 2 Summer Research Rotation
MS2 Second Year Curriculum USMLE Step 1 Exam
Year 3 M.D.-Ph.D. Graduate Studies First Year
Year 4 M.D.-Ph.D. Graduate Studies Second Year
Year 5 M.D.-Ph.D. Graduate Studies Third Year
Year 6 M.D.-Ph.D. Graduate Studies Fourth Year
Year 7 MS3 Third Year Required Clerkships
USMLE Step 2 Exam
Year 8 MS4 Required Clerkships, Optional Electives and Residency Interviews



How do I apply to the Saint Louis University M.D./Ph.D. Program, and when is the deadline?

When  Applying  to the M.D./Ph.D. Program, the process may be initiated by choosing the appropriate box on the AMCAS application for Saint Louis University School of Medicine and indicating interest in the M.D./Ph.D. Program.

The deadline for the AMCAS submission is December 15, 2019.

What qualities do you look for in applicants whom you select for interview?

Although MCAT scores and GPA are determinants in the decision process to interview, the Admissions Committee places the greater emphasis on research experience and commitment as well as on the qualities important to becoming a caring and committed physician. Letters of recommendation, particularly from research mentors, play a crucial role in the decision process. Every application we receive will be reviewed, regardless of standardized test scores and GPA.

What can I expect at the interview?

The actual interview process is one full day on the Saint Louis University campus, including an interview with the Associate Dean for Medical School Admissions. Thereafter, 4 interviews are scheduled with members of the Saint Louis University research faculty, every attempt to schedule at least one interview with a faculty member that you request. Each interviewee will be asked to make a research presentation “Chalk Talk” style with an audience of 5-7 Program Admissions Committee Members. Prior to the interview date, the applicant is invited to SLU on Saturday for dinner to meet current M.D./Ph.D. students as well as asking any questions regarding the M.D./Ph.D. Program/Saint Louis University. On Sunday, the applicant will be met for brunch with the Program Director, followed by an afternoon of sightseeing/activities and dinner with current M.D./Ph.D. Students.

I was invited for a second visit; does that mean that I have an offer of admission?

Yes. The goal of the second visit is provide you a more in-depth perspective of the potential research opportunities meet with Mentors to decide your summer rotation, find housing and provide the opportunity to understand student campus life and life in St. Louis.

Do you provide financial support for students admitted to the M.D./Ph.D. Program?
Yes, if you are selected as a fully funded trainee. Those fully funded students who matriculate into the M.D./Ph.D. are provided a stipend and full tuition throughout all years of the program, assuming satisfactory progress and adherence to program requirements.
If I'm not offered a position in the M.D./Ph.D., is it still possible that I might get an offer from the SLU medical school for the M.D. program?
When you receive an admissions offer from the M.D./Ph.D. program, you are guaranteed admission to both the M.D. and Ph.D. programs. However, if your application was declined by the M.D./Ph.D. Admissions Committee, you will still be considered separately for admission to the medical school M.D. program.
If I've received an offer, how soon do I need to make a decision whether I will accept or not?

Our M.D./Ph.D. Program adheres to the AAMC Traffic Rules regarding admissions policies.  Every student offered admission to our program is given at least two weeks or until May 1st of the application year to make a final decision. 



If I accept an offer of admission, when am I required to begin the program?
Our program begins in mid-June, and there are no exceptions. The first summer is important, as it provides an opportunity for you to do a rotation in the lab of your choice. The rotation allows you to get a better feel for the kind of research and collegial environment in that lab, and whether it might be the lab you feel is a good fit for your PhD studies. In addition, we also engage you in activities to meet and socially interact with other students in program during this first summer prior to the start of medical school classes. 
What is the typical timeline for student training in the M.D./Ph.D. Program?
For a more detailed description of our M.D./Ph.D. program, please visit our "Student Guide" under the Supporting Documents Section. Our program follows a 2-4-2 track, where 2 years of medical school are followed by 3-4 years of graduate school study (towards a Ph.D. degree), and ending with the final 2 years of medical school (to complete the M.D. degree).  
How many research rotations do students do before selecting a lab for their Ph.D. studies?
Most students do 2 laboratory rotations (one in the summer before the first year of medical school, and 1 in the summer between the first and second year of medical school). Laboratory rotations are critical in the selection of the final lab for the Ph.D. work.
How do students prepare for returning to medical school after finishing their Ph.D. training?
Although the transition from Ph.D. training to third year of medical school can seem daunting, all of our students make a smooth and successful transition. To facilitate that transition, we provide an Ungraded Transitional Clerkship that is taken by all returning students. The course provides instruction in history-taking and physical exam skills and places students in inpatient and outpatient settings where clinical evaluation and diagnostic skills can be utilized in real-world situations. 
How do SLU students do on the residency match?
There are no longer national statics kept on the match program that indicate what percentage of students match to their top choices. However, when the residency matching program did provide this data, it indicated that over 90% of our students matched to their top three choices. Our students match in the most competitive medical specialties and residency training programs in the country. For a list of specialties and training programs of our students, click the "M.D./Ph.D. Alumni" tab. 
What is the influence of the Jesuit tradition on the medical school?
The Jesuit tradition see the patient as a complete human being, rather than a disease process and the role of the physician an altruistic healer, who considers such factors at the patient’s work, family and spirituality when providing care. Our curriculum has included such required courses as Health Care Ethics and Communication skills for over 20 years. However, this humanistic approach to patient care is now taught by all medical schools. Therefore, the Jesuit influence is a tradition of leadership in this kind of medical educations.  
Do we consider International Students?
Currently, we do not interview International Students for funded positions. However, we will consider any qualifying international student wishing to join our program as an unfunded trainee.