Eligibility and Selection Criteria
Students seeking admission to the MD/PhD program must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and must have:
• completed one year each of college level biology, mathematics, physics, English, inorganic chemistry and organic chemistry
• completed the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)
• a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university/college prior to matriculation
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) can be used to demonstrate aptitude for graduate studies, but is not required for admission. Successful candidates will have a solid foundation in the physical, biological, mathematical, and social sciences with strong performance in upper level courses in at least one of these areas. A science GPA of 3.5 or above and total MCAT scores of 30 or above are preferred.
Students admitted into the program will have evidence of significant and sustained laboratory-based research experience and a strong commitment to a research career. The student’s contribution to this research should reflect not only a familiarity with techniques and procedures, but also a role in designing experiments, analyzing data, summarizing results and presenting findings to scientific colleagues. Students should also understand and be able to explain the significance of their research.
The applicant should be well-rounded and have evidence of leadership roles in their extracurricular activities. Volunteer experiences in a medical setting help demonstrate familiarity with the medical system and a commitment to helping others.
Medical students who have already matriculated at UTCOMLS and later become interested in pursuing the dual MD/PhD degree (for example, after a Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship) should apply using through the UTCOGS using the online application (click here). Students enrolled in a University of Toledo PhD-granting graduate program who apply and are accepted into UTCOMLS are generally not included in the MD/PhD program, though they may pursue both degrees independently. These students should complete their PhD requirements before beginning medical school.
Applying to the MD/PhD Program
Application to the MD/PhD program is a two-step process. The first step is to apply for admission to the UTCOMLS using the American Medical College Applications Services (AMCAS) web application. This application now provides prospective students with the option of indicating interest in a combined MD/PhD program and an additional essay prompt is available for these individuals to express their motivation for entering such a program. Selected students will be sent a secondary application from UTCOMLS requesting additional information and essays. As one of the essays required pertains to the MD/PhD program, applicants are invited to simply use the same essay written for this portion of the AMCAS application or prepare a completely new one.
If an individual is certain that the University of Toledo is their first choice institution for medical training, s/he may be interested in applying through the Early Decision Program. However, the AMCAS application software may prevent one from indicating interest in the MD/PhD program under this set of circumstances. Should this issue arise, an applicant is encouraged to still elect the Early Decision Program, as there will be a subsequent opportunity to declare interest in the MD/PhD program in the UTCOMLS’s secondary application. Further information about the admissions process can be found on the UTCOMLS homepage.
If an individual is applying to the MD/PhD program during the initial application to medical school, a separate application to the UTCOGS is not necessary as the AMCAS application will serve as the graduate school application as well.
When requesting recommendation letters for the medical school application, one should be aware that letters for MD/PhD applicants should address the prospective student’s research experience and aptitude for a research career in addition to the standard letter content.
Students who have already matriculated into medical school at UT but later wish to apply to the MD/PhD program must complete a separate application to UTCOGS. This application is available online. The MD/PhD program option should be selected. Again, in this case, the GRE exam is not needed, but additional letters of recommendation addressing the applicant’s research experience and potential are strongly advised. Students entering the program by this route must meet the same rigorous criteria as those entering by the traditional route.
The application fee is waived for current UT students, but this is not apparent in the online application which will require payment for processing. Applicants should complete the application without paying the online fee and then contact Mr. Corey Sampsel in the UT Graduate School office (email@example.com; 419-530-5257). He will then access the application without the fee.
The medical school tuition scholarships are awarded to two new students each year. However, full or partial scholarships may be available for applicants who are current students. These awards are not retroactive to prior years of medical school. Alternatively, financial support may be available through National Institutes of Health F30 and F31 training grants as well as grants through disease- or medical specialty-related agencies (discussed below).
Selection of PhD Track
At the time of application to the dual degree program, applicants should select a Ph.D. track or major from among the four possible options that best align with their research interests. Students will matriculate into that track when they commence their Ph.D. studies. The four tracks are centered upon major areas of biomedical science and disease and are Cancer Biology; Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease; Infection, Immunity, and Transplantation; and Neuroscience and Neurological Disorders. Information about each track, the faculty and their research interests, and other information can be found on track websites:
Applicants should indicate their track of interest and reason for selecting it within the MD/PhD essay of the UT secondary application (or the Personal Statement of the graduate student application if they apply after matriculation into medical school).
Processing of AMCAS applications begins in mid-June and ends November 1. Applicants interested in the MD/PhD program are encouraged to indicate their interest in the dual degree program early in the admissions process. However, application to the MD/PhD program can occur at any stage in the admissions process, even after the medical school interview.
The Interview Process
The medical school interview process for MD/PhD candidates will include interviews with the MD/PhD Program Co-Director(s), a member of the applicant’s PhD track of interest, and a clinical faculty member. Applicants will also have the opportunity to meet with current MD/PhD students by attending dinner together the night before the interview day and by touring research labs and other facilities on the Health Science Campus with current students. An additional visit to the HSC can be arranged if the applicant requests it.
Admissions and Scholarship Decisions
Applications to the MD/PhD program undergo three levels of review. First, they are considered by the Medical School Admissions Committee. If accepted into medical school, they are then considered by the PhD Admissions Committee and the track of interest for acceptance into the PhD program. If successful there, the application will be considered by the MD/PhD Steering Committee for the dual degree program. Upon acceptance by the MD/PhD Committee, the applicant will be considered for a medical school tuition scholarship award.
Note that application to the MD/PhD program will not impact review of the application by the Medical Admissions Committee. That committee reviews dual degree applicants strictly on their merits for medical school in the same manner as MD only applicants.
Decisions regarding admission to the MD/PhD program and granting of a medical school tuition scholarship are made independently by the MD/PhD Steering Committee, but the program attempts to provide all admitted MD/PhD students with a full medical school tuition scholarship. Currently two medical school tuition scholarships are available per class. All students admitted to the MD/PhD program, however, will receive a full graduate school tuition scholarship and stipend while they are enrolled as graduate students in the program.
As noted above, second visits to the UT Health Science Campus are possible and strongly encouraged following acceptance into the dual degree program. These second visits provide additional opportunities for admitted individuals to interact with current MD/PhD students as well as with specific faculty who may be potential PhD mentors.
Traffic Rules for Admissions Actions
To streamline the admissions process and ensure that all programs and applicants nationwide follow the same admissions rules and procedures, a national set of “traffic rules” was adopted as follows:
October 15th is the earliest date on which a student can be accepted into an MD/PhD program.
By March 15th, the number of acceptances into the program must equal the desired class size.
Prior to April 30th, applicants can hold multiple MD/PhD acceptances.
After May 1st, applicants can hold only a single MD/PhD acceptance.
Between May 1st and May 15th, accepted applicants may hold multiple MD medical school acceptances. After May 15th, students may retain only one MD acceptance.
After May 1st, accepted applicants may remain on the waitlist at any number of programs/medical schools.
After May 1st, programs should notify the program/medical school for which the applicant is still holding an acceptance if they plan to offer acceptance to that applicant.
Offers cannot be extended to students who have enrolled in or begun orientation at another program or medical school.
An MD/PhD applicant may hold more than one acceptance after May 1st if the programs that extended the offers agree to let the applicant do so.