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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.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many students apply and are admitted each year?
In 2018, the MD/PhD Program at UT-Houston received 170 applications and had an incoming class of five new students. The program generally accepts five to seven new students each year. For Academic Year 2019, the program received 190 applications and admitted seven new students starting in the Fall 2019 semester.

What factors are considered in the admissions process?
A variety of factors is considered in the admissions process, including MCAT scores, GPA and level of research experience. There is no minimum GPA or MCAT required, but new matriculants have an average GPA of 3.86 and average MCAT in the 87th percentile.

When are applicants notified about their acceptance to the MD/PhD Program?
Initial acceptance letters are typically sent by March 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 per year $32,000, health insurance benefits and school tuition/fees. This stipend applies to both the years in Medical School and the years in 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. Program Timeline

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 500 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. See:

Where can I find more information about the MD/PhD Program?
A link to the program guide is located at the top of the Program Information page.