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University of Michigan
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Last updated November 23, 2017

University of Michigan

Social Science/Humanities PhD Fields Supported:

We are currently supporting students in Anthropology, Economics, History, Philosophy, and Psychology. We are open to supporting PhD training in a 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 Bioinformatics, Biostatistics, Environmental and Health Sciences, Engineering, Epidemiology, Health Behavior and Health Education, and Health Services Organization and Policy. Those interested in pursuing a 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 inquire about next steps. Applicants submit an application to the MSTP through AMCAS. In addition, for some non-traditional programs, a separate application is submitted to the graduate program of choice through the Horace Rackham School of Graduate Studies. In some cases, the GRE exam is required in addition to the MCAT. The University of Michigan MSTP is very supportive of "non-traditional” students and will work with the student and the PhD department to develop an individualized educational plan. The MSTP at Michigan offers periodic events specific to the non-traditional students. This group has formed a 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 excellent communication between the programs.

Structure of Program:

The University of Michigan MD/PhD program is a Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). Typically, students complete the first two years of medical school which includes core clinical clerkships, and then enter the graduate program for PhD training. Following the PhD training, students complete the last two 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. During the research phase, 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. Mentoring and 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. The program offers flexibility when the students return after the PhD phase. The MSTP has scheduled monthly seminars, a student-led activity committee that coordinates social activities, and an annual 3 day scientific retreat in the summer.

Size of incoming joint MD/PhD class:


Number of students in the social sciences or humanities:

Approximately 1 per year

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

Anthropology 1

Economics 1

History 1

Philosphoy 1

Psychology 1

Current number of students in Other Non-Traditional Fields:

Biostatistics 1

Epidemiology 1

Health Services Organization and Policy 3

Engineering 5

Health Infrastructures and Learning Systems 1

Application Process:

Application to the Medical School is through the American Medical College Admission Service (AMCAS). The applicant submits required transcripts and test scores. Applicants indicate that they are applying to the MD/PhD program. Applicants then complete a University of Michigan Medical School Secondary application that includes an essay specific to their interest in the MSTP. To be considered for a social science/humanities or other non-traditional PhD program, the student may be asked to submit a separate application to the graduate program through the Horace Rackham School of Graduate Studies. The applicant may need to submit additional essays and standardized test scores (usually the GRE exam). If the applicant is offered an interview, it includes a 2 day visit which allows one day for MSTP interviews and one day for MD interviews. The MSTP, the Medical School, and the chosen PhD program collaborate before an offer is made.


All MSTP fellows are fully funded during the MSTP. The current annual stipend is $30,600. The MSTP pays tuition, fees and healthcare, and limited funding for educational conferences. The sources of funding vary throughout the student’s training. In general, most students are funded by a NIH training grant for the first two years in medical school and the first year of the PhD program. For the remainder of the research phase, funding sources can include the mentor or the graduate program, and other available training grants. After the student returns to the last two years of medical school, the cost of tuition, stipend and healthcare is covered by the MSTP.

Contact Information:

University of Michigan Medical School
2965 Taubman Medical Library
1135 Catherine Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-5619
Phone: 734.764.6176
Fax: 734.764.8180