Skip to main content
Dual Degrees
Find answers to frequently asked questions about the MD/PhD program at IU School of Medicine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question that is not listed below? Please feel free to contact us at 317-278-5207 or
  • How do I apply to the IU-Purdue Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) and when is the deadline?
    Admission to the IU MSTP requires admission to IU School of Medicine and an IU or Purdue University Graduate School. To initiate the process select the appropriate box on the AMCAS application for Indiana University School of Medicine, indicating an interest in the MD-PhD Program. The deadline for the AMCAS submission is November 15.
  • I am interested in biomedical engineering. How can I find out more information about the Purdue University Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering?
    We strongly encourage applications from candidates with a quantitative/engineering background wishing to pursue a PhD degree in Biomedical Engineering from Purdue University in addition to an MD degree from IU. For information about the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, visit their website.
  • What qualities do you look for in applicants you interview?
    MCAT scores and GPA are a component of our decision process to interview. However, the Admissions Committee places a greater emphasis on research experience and commitment as well as on the qualities important to becoming a caring and committed physician. Letters of recommendation from research mentors play a crucial role in the decision process. We review all applications.
  • What can I expect at the interview?
    The interview process will be virtual and will consist of a combined interview with a MSTP Director and an IU School of Medicine Admissions Committee member. Thereafter, two to four interviews are scheduled with IU School of Medicine or Purdue University research faculty. We try to schedule at least one interview with a faculty member that you request.
  • I was invited for a second visit. Does that mean that I have an offer of admission?
    Yes. Our second visits provide you with a more in-depth perspective of the potential research opportunities, a better feel for the nature of the medical school curriculum, and an opportunity to gain a better understanding of student life.
  • Do you provide financial support for all students admitted to the MSTP?
    Yes. Assuming satisfactory progress and adherence to program requirements, all MSTP students are fully funded, which includes full tuition, mandatory fees, health insurance (if needed) and a competitive stipend.
  • If I'm not offered a position in the MSTP, is it still possible that I might get an offer from IU School of Medicine for the MD program?
    If your application is declined by the MSTP Admissions Committee, and you are eligible for our MD program, the IU School of Medicine Admissions Office will continue to consider your application.
  • If I receive an offer, how soon do I need to make a decision?
    Every student offered admission to our program is given at least two weeks or until April 30th of the application year to make a final decision (whichever comes later).
  • If I accept an offer of admission, when am I required to begin the program?
    Our program begins in mid-June. The first summer you do a research rotation allowing you to get a better feel for the kind of research and collegial environment in that lab, and to determine if the lab is a good fit for your PhD studies. In addition, we also engage you in activities to meet and socially interact with other students in program prior to the start of medical school classes.
  • What is the typical timeline for student training in the MSTP?
    In the past 10 years, 60 students have graduated from our MSTP, taking approximately 7.8 years to complete the entire program. Students can complete a portion or all of their basic science classwork before joining a research program and completing their PhD followed by re-entry into their clinical phase of training.
  • How many research rotations do students do before selecting a lab for their PhD studies?
    Most students do three lab rotations (one prior to the first year of medical school and two in the summer between the first and second years of medical school). Lab rotations are critical in the selection of the final lab for the PhD work, but in some rare cases, students have done fewer than three rotations.
  • Are there opportunities for students in their PhD phase of training to maintain their clinical skills?
    Students entering MD-PhD programs do so because they are committed to becoming physician scientists who engage in research and clinical practice. Our MSTP requires students in their PhD training years to participate in clinical activities, but only to the extent that they not interfere with the completion of the PhD training. Typically, our students do one to two clinical experiences per semester, which require direct patient contact and care under the guidance of a senior attending physician.
  • How do students prepare for returning to medical school after finishing their PhD training?
    While the transition from PhD training into the clerkships can seem daunting, all of our students make a smooth and successful transition. To facilitate that transition, we provide a Clinical Re-entry Course that is taken by all returning students in the spring. The course provides instruction in history-taking and physical exam skills and places students in inpatient and outpatient settings where clinical evaluation and diagnostic skills can be utilized in real-world situations.