MD/PhD Programs in the Social Sciences & Humanities - Emory University
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Social Science/Humanities PhD Field Supported:
Anthropology, open to other fields
Description of Program:
Emory's MD/PhD program currently accepts students to pursue a Ph.D. in Anthropology, through the Emory University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The MD/PhD program is also open to applicants interested in other social science disciplines. Emory's Department of Anthropology is an integrative graduate program with an emphasis on theoretical exposure to both cultural and biological anthropology. Many PhD students pursue interdisciplinary projects, through faculty links to the Rollins School of Public Health, Departments such as Religion, Philosophy, History, Film or Women's Studies, and connections to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Medical anthropology perspectives include cultural, biocultural, bioarcheological, and critical approaches. Strengths in human biology, nutritional anthropology, and the study of disease ecology may also appeal to MD/PhD applicants.
Structure of Program:
Emory's program is a Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). The Emory MD/PhD Program maintains a flexible structure and works with the individual student to arrange the sequence of medical and graduate school training that best suits the individual student's needs and goals. The typical MD/PhD student begins the program with the medical school basic science curriculum (18 mos.), and then enters into the graduate school to complete their Ph.D. training. Students have the option to complete some clinical clerkships prior to entering graduate school, or may choose to immediately enter graduate school and defer their clinical training until after the Ph.D. is completed.
Anthropology students, especially those entering the program without formal anthropology training, will follow a different sequence of training and matriculate in the graduate school first, completing all anthropology core coursework prior to their medical school studies. These students typically enter into medical school in their third training year (after two years in the anthropology department) and will complete up to one year of clinical clerkships after the medical school basic science curricula before returning to complete their dissertation research and Ph.D. degree. After completion of the Ph.D., students return to finish their clinical clerkships and complete their M.D. degree. MD/PhD students can take a reduced number of clinical rotations to complete their degree and may finish medical school in a total, accumulated time of 3.5 years. The average time to completion for an anthropology Ph.D. is 5 years.
Size of the incoming MD/PhD class:
Number of students in the social sciences or humanities:
depends on the applicant pool, historically at least one student has been considered each year. All students must be acceptable to the medical school, MD/PhD Program and the anthropology graduate program.
Current number of anthropology students in the MD/PhD Program:
General MD/PhD Application:
Specific to Applying in Anthropology:
Additional Notes on Applying in Medical Anthropology
It is important to remember that when applying for MD/PhD training in anthropology that your application must be geared toward both (1) the general MD/PhD admission committee, and (2) the Department of Anthropology.
Criteria for MD/PhD admission include prior academic performance, documented experience in research, and commitment to a career in research. The overall MD/PhD program interviews 50-60 applicants and enrolls 7-8 new MD/PhD trainees each year. The medical school and MD/PhD Program have a rolling admissions process, and candidates are notified of their status within four weeks of their interview date. Since the Anthropology department's admissions decisions are generally made in January and February, students seeking admission for a Ph.D. in anthropology must wait until February for a final decision on their application. Interviews for anthropology MD/PhD applicants are often held in January and February, unless otherwise requested by the applicant, thus coordinating with anthropology's recruitment schedule. The admissions process for the MD/PhD Program finishes on May 15th, and the Emory School of Medicine requires newly accepted students to withdraw from all other institutions by this date.
All students accepted into the MD/PhD Program at Emory receive the same scholarship package regardless of year in training or discipline. This funding is guaranteed by the Program as long as the student remains in good academic standing. Like other MD/PhD students, those in anthropology receive a cost of living stipend ($24,000 for the 2007-08 academic year) and a full tuition waiver. During the years of medical school training, students are funded by medical school funds or the NIH MSTP grant. In their years of graduate training, they are funded by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, their department and/or mentor. All MD/PhD anthropology students are expected to apply for individual research awards to fund their dissertation projects, as are all anthropology graduate students.
The funding provided is detailed in the table below:
* Although funding is guaranteed for MSTP students in their entire tenure, they are required to apply for extramural funding during their dissertation project years.
Emory MD/PhD Program Office
Department of Anthropology