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Joint M.D./Ph.D. Degree

Penn State’s M.D./Ph.D. Medical Scientist Training Program offers a five-year M.D./Ph.D. joint degree program for medical students enrolled at Penn State College of Medicine.

The M.D./Ph.D. Medical Scientist Training Program in Anthropology (MSTP) is designed to train physician-scientists in areas of medicine that require in-depth knowledge of the health consequences of the processes of human evolution. This includes detailed understanding of the interdependence of biological and cultural factors in human evolution, and insight into how the physical, cultural and social environments in which people live affect their life course and health.

Prospective students interested in simultaneously pursuing a M.D. and Ph.D. degree must apply to the College of Medicine M.D. program using the national American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) application system and indicate their intent to pursue the joint-degree program. Admissions requirements and applications for admission for Penn State College of Medicine are available at the M.D. Program section of the Penn State College of Medicine website. Applicants must also meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School and the Ph.D. admission requirements of the Department of Anthropology, however, the requirement for GRE scores is waived for students applying to the joint degree program. The M.D./Ph.D. Admissions Committee reviews applications and evaluates candidates for acceptance into both the M.D. and Ph.D. programs. After the review committee has accepted an applicant to the joint degree program, s/he must apply to the Graduate School for admission to the graduate program.  Applicants not accepted into the joint-degree program may be referred to either the M.D. or Ph.D. program, depending on their qualifications.

Applicants to this program generally have very strong grades and MCAT scores, as well as a strong and sustained background in research. Applicants must be able to clearly articulate reasons for pursuing the joint degree. Letters of recommendation from faculty who have advised the applicant in research and who can comment on the applicant’s passion and potential for research are strongly encouraged.