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M.D./Ph.D. Program

Group photo of students in M D / P h D program standing on front of a building on the SLU campus

Program Information

Saint Louis University (SLU) offers M.D./Ph.D. training to promote academic excellence in clinical medicine and disease-based scientific research. 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 Steering 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 assure that 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. Candidates for on-site interviews 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, bench-level research. Interviewees come to St. Louis to meet with current students and potential mentors, 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 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. Most trainees are chosen in the early spring in order to begin research rotations by early June before commencing their Year 1 M.D. studies in mid-August. Other qualified individuals may apply 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. By midwinter of M.D. Year 2, trainees select a Ph.D. mentor in whose department they will complete their Ph.D. research. The Steering Committee has specific grant writing and research presentation requirements for trainees during their Ph.D. years, and at least one Steering Committee member serves on each dissertation committee. Completion of all Ph.D. candidacy requirements and oral defense of the doctoral dissertation are 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 physician-scientists at SLU, to assure that appropriate academic residency/fellowship programs are achieved. Trainees in this program normally should complete all requirements for both degrees within 7-9 years, including the coursework, clerkships, laboratories, and national licensure exams through USMLE Step 2.

Letter from the Directors

Welcome to the Saint Louis University School of medicine M.D./Ph.D. program. Our program was started in 1986 with the aim to train the next generation of physician-scientists, academic faculty, and health policy leaders. Our program is designed to provide an outstanding education and students have the opportunity to develop excellent clinical skills and experience rigorous scientific training in a world class, highly collaborative environment.

Our vibrant faculty includes extremely accomplished national leaders with a passion for teaching in a diverse setting.

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 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.

Looking forward,

Headshot of Ajay Jain

Ajay Kumar Jain, M.D., DNB
Co-Program Director

headshot of jane mchowat
Jane McHowat, Ph.D., FAHA
Co-Program Director

Learn More About SLU's M.D. Program