NYMC > Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBMS) > GSBMS Academics > Degrees & Programs > M.D./Ph.D. Program

M.D./Ph.D. Program

Program Director:
Libor Velíšek, M.D., Ph.D.

Basic Sciences Building - Room 246
(914) 594-4945

Application Deadline Date: November 1st

The combined M.D./Ph.D. program at New York Medical College is intended to provide the opportunity for research-oriented medical students to pursue both these degrees.  The program is designed to allow maximal flexibility for students to integrate the two programs and recruits from the pool of current medical students.

Medical students at NYMC who are interested in research and are seriously considering a career as a physician-scientist should begin research as early as possible, preferably during the summer between the first and second years of medical school.  A Medical Student Research Elective Program, which is funded and administered by the Student Affairs Office of the medical school, provides stipends for this purpose.  This research experience is particularly important in that it will help the student identify a sponsor for their subsequent dissertation research.  Therefore, undertaking this summer research with a member of the Graduate Faculty at NYMC is most strongly recommended.

Students are not formally admitted to the Ph.D. program until they have successfully completed all of the preclinical coursework of the medical curriculum and Part I of the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).  Students having academic difficulty of any sort, including deficiency in a single course, should not participate in dual-degree programs, extracurricular activities that require a significant amount of time expenditure, or gainful employment without discussing the matter with the Dean of Students as well as with the M.D./Ph.D. program director and obtaining approval for such activities.

Medical students interested in the M.D./Ph.D. program are encouraged to begin discussions with the M.D./Ph.D. program director (see the contact below) and program directors in the academic departments of most interest to the student early in their pre-clinical years.  As noted above, a research experience during the summer between years 1 and 2 is of great benefit.  Formal application takes place in the Fall of the student’s second year of medical school, with a complete application due in the Graduate School Admissions office by November 1. A complete application includes two personal statements, transcripts and letters of recommendation (three letters of recommendation must be submitted, in addition to any letters submitted by faculty in the Ph.D. program to which admission is sought).  

In a typical case, the student begins full-time graduate work in the summer following the second year. The course requirements for the Ph.D. are established by the department of the chosen concentration, and generally amount to about 13-18 credits, plus certain non-graded courses such as journal clubs and research seminars. Comprehensive qualifying examinations for the Ph.D. are identical to those given to other Ph.D. students, but may be scheduled after either one or two years of graduate study, depending upon the student’s readiness for the exam. 

The student prepares a dissertation research proposal and undertakes an independent research project, under the supervision of a dissertation advisor and the guidance of a dissertation committee, according to the usual Graduate School rules and procedures. The student’s dissertation committee determines the point where the investigative work is considered complete and the dissertation itself may be written and defended. The return of the M.D./Ph.D. student to the clerkships (SOM) is contingent on the completion of the public defense and submission of the finalized Ph.D. Dissertation. In addition, the student is required to take a clinical skills elective (running in the Spring semester) in the last semester of his/her/their Ph.D. year as a refresher of clinical skills. Once these two conditions are met, the student can apply to the Leave of Absence and Return Committee at the Office of Student Affairs (SOM) to obtain approval for return to clerkships. The Office of Student Affairs and Office of Undergraduate Medical Education together with the M.D./Ph.D. Program Director will additionally work with the student in facilitating the entry to the clinical rotations. 

The program is designed so that both degrees are awarded concurrently by the School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the time the student completes their entire medical school curriculum.  

Financial aid in the form of a full tuition scholarship is provided for graduate school study, and the standard Ph.D. candidate stipend is paid during the period of full-time graduate work.  

A summary of the M.D./ Ph.D. program for medical students is as follows:




M1 Coursework; search for a lab of interest.


Summer Research: Medical Student Research Elective Program Fellowship available from the Office of Student Affairs.


M2 coursework and USMLE Step 1. PhD application deadline is November 1 of M2. Acceptance contingent upon M2 grades and USMLE results.


Starting independent research project in the lab.


Independent Research Project; Comprehensive Qualifying Exam.


Finish experiments, thesis write-up and PhD thesis defense. Transition to rotations, clinical skill refreshment course (Office of Medical Education).


Clinical rotations and electives.

End of M4

Graduation from both programs.

Note for Admissions
: Application to the M.D./Ph.D. program at New York Medical College is distinct from application by Ph.D. candidates wishing to apply to the School of Medicine. A number of students who have completed the Ph.D. at New York Medical College have been accepted to the medical school. The key characteristic of the program described herein is that the admission process for each school is independent. Thus, the admission of a medical student to one of the graduate programs requires approval of the graduate school; likewise, acceptance of graduate students to medical studies requires approval of the medical school. The School of Medicine has established that acceptance of a Ph.D. candidate to the medical school is conditional upon the completion of all Ph.D. requirements.

All interested students should contact the M.D./Ph.D. program director.