MD/PhD Curriculum

working in the simulation center

Our MSTP curriculum is designed to integrate all aspects of training and provide students with maximum flexibility. 

Entry and Summer Research

MSTP students typically arrive on the Tufts Health Sciences campus in mid to late June and begin their studies with a research rotation. Students discuss rotation opportunities with program leadership before arrival to ease the transition to Tufts.

Research During Medical School Years 1 & 2

While much of the first two academic years is occupied with the medical school curriculum, MSTP trainees remain engaged in research through selectives. As part of the medical school activities, students complete didactic courses, have the first exposure to patient interaction but also can maintain contact with research activities through the selective program. Opportunities to take some graduate school courses are also available.

A second research rotation is completed in the summer between years one and two of medical school and most students identify their PhD thesis lab after this rotation.

Following completion of USMLE step I in April of the second year of medical school, trainees complete one required clinical rotation before they begin work on their PhD thesis.

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences & the PhD

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences oversees PhD studies and is home to more than 200 faculty who train students in five graduate programs: Cell, Molecular & Developmental Biology; Genetics; Immunology; Molecular Microbiology; and Neuroscience.

See the MD/PhD section of each program in the GSBS catalog for course requirements for individual programs.

While focusing primarily on the PhD thesis, students complete the required clinical rotation in Family Medicine.

Completing Medical School

The PhD thesis is defended before students return to complete the medical school curriculum. During these years, students complete required and elective clerkships and focus on developing the clinical skills they will need to become effective physicians. Elective blocks are available to allow for research time or for exploring different clinical disciplines. Students receive both the MD and PhD degrees in a single commencement ceremony when their studies are completed.