University of Michigan
Share |

University of Michigan

Social Science/Humanities PhD Fields Supported:

We are currently supporting students in Anthropology, Economics, History, and Psychology. We are open to supporting PhD training in a wide variety of fields related to medicine.

Description of Program:

The University of Michigan MD/PhD program is open to applicants interested in social science/humanities PhD fields. In addition, the MSTP has supported students in a number of other non-traditional fields over the past few years, such as Biostatistics, Environmental and Health Sciences, Epidemiology, Health Behavior and Health Education, and Health Services Organization and Policy. Those interested in pursuing their PhD in the social sciences/humanities or any other non-traditional field related to medicine should contact both the MSTP office and the graduate department of interest to let them know of your plan to co-apply. Applicants will need to submit an application to the MSTP through AMCAS. In addition, they will need to submit a separate application to the graduate program of their choice through the Horace Rackham School of Graduate Studies. In most cases, the GRE exam will be required in addition to the MCAT. The University of Michigan MSTP is very supportive of its "non-traditional” students and will provide strong mentoring and will work with the student and their PhD department to develop an individualized educational plan. The non-traditional students in Michigan’s MSTP have periodic events of their own and have formed their own journal club. Programs in non-traditional fields are generally located on the University of Michigan central campus just a short walk from the Medical School. This convenience facilitates communication between the programs.

Structure of Program:

The University of Michigan MD/PhD program is a Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). Typically, students complete their first two years of medical school and then enter the graduate program to do their PhD training. Following their PhD training, they complete the two clinical years of medical school. The curriculum combines study toward the Ph.D. and M.D. degrees with integration and flexibility, usually requiring 8 years to complete. The UM MSTP has many special academic features. The curriculum is integrated. Medical school classes substitute for equivalent graduate level classes. Fellows who so desire can undertake two to three months of third year medical school clinical rotations before starting the Ph.D. thesis research, to help maintain medical continuity during graduate school training. During the Ph.D. years, fellows have the option of maintaining clinical exposure by attending outpatient clinics and the inpatient hospital. At the end of the Ph.D. years, all fellows participate in a clinical preceptorship experience as well as a clinical refresher tutorial prior to entering the third year of medical school. Guidance is provided at all stages of training. The MSTP curriculum is flexible to meet individual needs. Graduate school course requirements are adjusted based upon prior training, educational needs and goals. Fellows can enter the third year of medical school any month during the first five months of the academic year. This flexibility helps fellows complete the program in a timely and efficient manner, as the month of completion of the Ph.D. thesis varies. The MSTP has a group event every month, including seminars and social events, as well as a three day retreat every summer.

Size of incoming joint MD/PhD class:

11 – 12

Number of students in the social sciences or humanities:

Roughly 1 per year

Current number of students in the SSH MD/PhD Program:

Anthropology 1

Economics 1

History 1

Psychology 1

Current number of students in Other Non-Traditional Fields:

Biostatistics 1

Epidemiology 2

Environmental Health Sciences 1

Health Services Organization and Policy 1

Application Process:

Application to the Medical School should be made through the American Medical College Admission Service (AMCAS). The applicant will also submit the required transcripts and MCAT scores. Applicants should indicate that they are applying to the MD/PhD program. Applicants will also be asked to complete a University of Michigan Medical School Secondary application with one of the two essay questions specific to their interest in the MSTP. The applicant will go through the usual interview process. To be considered for a social science/humanities or other non-traditional field PhD program, the student should also submit a separate application to the graduate program through the Horace Rackham School of Graduate Studies. The applicant will need to complete essays and submit standardized test scores in addition to the MCAT (usually the GRE exam). In general, the student will have one combined interview visit for the PhD program, the MSTP and the Medical School (a 2 day visit). The MSTP, the Medical School, and the chosen PhD program will all have to agree to admit the student before an offer can be made.


All MSTP fellows are fully funded during the course of their time in the MSTP. The current stipend is $28,500. The MSTP also pays tuition, fees and healthcare, as well as funding for educational conferences. The sources of funding vary throughout the student’s training. In general, students are funded by our NIH training grant for their first two years in medical school and for their first year in their graduate PhD program. For the remainder of the research phase, funding typically comes from the mentor or the Ph.D. program, and students often get their own funding, or they are trainees on non-MSTP training grants. For students in SSH fields, if the stipend paid by their program during the research phase is not at the level of the MSTP stipend, the MSTP will pay a supplement to bring it up to the $28,500 level. Once the fellow returns to the clinical years of medical school, the MSTP picks up their funding again.

Contact Information:

University of Michigan Medical School
2965 Taubman Medical Library
1150 W. Medical Center Drive
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-5619
Phone: 734.764.6176
Fax: 734.764.8180