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Medical Scientist Training Program

The MSTP - UT Houston provides students pursuing careers as physician-scientists the unique opportunity to earn dual MD/PhD degrees in a six to eight year integrated Program offered by McGovern Medical School at UTHealth and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.


The MD/PhD Program includes a traditional four year Medical School curriculum and additional courses and research required for the PhD degree. The PhD requirements include: three lab tutorials, ethics in biomedical research, biostatistics (or other approved quantitative course), critical thinking in science, participation in an ongoing MD/PhD seminar on topics in molecular medicine, written and oral candidacy exams, and completion of the dissertation research and defense.

MD/PhD Program Timeline with dates

Students entering the MD/PhD Program complete the first three years of Medical School before beginning their dissertation research and the last year in the Program is devoted to completing 4th year Medical School electives and clerkships. A typical sequence of coursework is outlined here:

Year 1

Summer – one summer research tutorial and Topics in Molecular Medicine

Fall and Spring – MS year 1, Topics in Molecular Medicine seminar (ongoing)

Year 2

Fall and Spring – MS year 2

Summer – USMLE Step 1

Year 3

Fall and Spring – MS year 3

Summer – 1 or 2 research tutorials; USMLE Step 2

Fall – begin dissertation research

Years 4, 5 and 6 (varies among students)

Research, candidacy exams and dissertation defense

Topics in Molecular Medicine seminar (ongoing)

Final year

Fall and Spring – MS year 4, residency interviews, National Match