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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 Houston and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Houston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many students apply and are admitted each year?
For the 2023 Academic Year, the MD/PhD Program at UT-Houston received 241 applications, interviewed 49 applicants, and matriculated six new students, 33% of which are URM.  The program generally accepts five to seven new students each year.

What factors are considered in the admissions process?
A variety of factors are considered in the admissions process, including GPA, level of research experience, and to a lesser degree MCAT score.  There is no minimum GPA or MCAT required, but our 2023 matriculants have an average GPA of 3.92 and average MCAT score of 515.

When are applicants notified about their acceptance to the MD/PhD Program?
Initial acceptance letters are typically sent in February and additional offers are made as space becomes available.

Why should I consider the UT-Houston MD/PhD Program?
The Program was established in 1982 and is unique in its approach to allow students to complete their first three years of Medical School before starting their dissertation research. The Program considers this critical to the students’ success as it is not until the third year of Medical School that students actually evaluate patients, diagnose problems and recommend treatment plans, and are thus prepared to understand the limitations of current methods for preventing, diagnosing and treating disease and to appreciate the importance of clinical and translational research.

Is financial support available for students in the MD/PhD Program at UT-Houston?
All students in the MD/PhD Program receive financial support that includes a stipend of $36,000 per year, health insurance benefits, and school tuition/fees. This stipend applies to all years of Medical School and Graduate School, contingent upon the student’s academic performance. During the graduate school portion of training, the Program also encourages students to apply for external funding.

How long does it take students to complete both degrees:
The average time required for our students to earn dual MD/PhD degrees in the past 10 years is 7.8 years. This includes the standard four years of Medical School and the additional time required to earn the PhD.

What opportunities do students have for laboratory rotations?
Students complete three research tutorials with graduate school faculty prior to selecting a laboratory in which to pursue their dissertation research. There are over 600 graduate school faculty with research interests spanning the entire spectrum of biomedical sciences, and students can search the graduate school database to help them identify faculty conducting research in areas of interest. Visit the GSBS Faculty page.Students also work with their MSTP advisor and Dr. Bill Mattox at the GSBS when choosing an advisor for a laboratory rotation.

When are both degrees conferred?

The MD and PhD degrees are jointly conferred once all the PhD and MD requirements are completed in full.