The M.D./Ph.D. program seeks to train physician-scientists for careers that bridge basic and clinical science. Physician-scientists will translate laboratory discoveries into better patient outcomes. The program begins two months prior to the first year of medical school. Students arrive on campus for orientation and complete two laboratory rotations before the start of medical school classes. They complete the pre-clincial phase of medical school and, after taking the first part of the U.S. National Medical Licensing Examination, M3 orientation and eight weeks of clinical rotations, enter a Ph.D.-granting department or program as a graduate student. Graduate-level course work, examinations and research will be guided by the dissertation adviser and the dissertation committee, with oversight by members of the M.D./Ph.D. steering committee. The main undertaking at this phase is laboratory research that leads to the Ph.D. dissertation. After completion of doctoral degree requirements, students move to the clinical year of medical school. Students may begin the clinical year of medical school immediately after completion of Ph.D. requirements, regardless of the time in the calendar year, and, 14 to 16 months later, may complete their medical school requirements. These students are exempt from the major part of the fourth year of medical school.

Prospective students submit applications through the American Medical College Application Service. Upon review of the AMCAS documents, qualified applicants are sent supplemental admission materials, including an application for the M.D./Ph.D. program. Those invited to Richmond for interviews will spend one day in the standard interview for the School of Medicine and will spend a second day interviewing with members of the M.D./Ph.D. steering committee, as well as touring labs of faculty scientists.

Admission of medical students to the Ph.D. phase of training takes place formally following completion of the second year of M.D. training. A copy of the student file is transferred to the Office of Graduate Education in the School of Medicine, and the individual is formally accepted for Ph.D. training by the VCU Graduate School.

The requirements for a combined professional school/graduate school degree in the School of Medicine are equivalent to those required of students seeking a graduate degree alone and are determined by the individual program.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the Graduate study section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Other information

School of Medicine graduate program policies

The School of Medicine provides policies applicable to all programs administratively housed in the school. Information on doctoral programs is available elsewhere in this chapter of the Graduate Bulletin.

 

Apply online at graduate.admissions.vcu.edu.

Prospective students submit applications through the American Medical College Application Service. Upon review of the AMCAS documents, qualified applicants are sent supplemental admission materials, including an application for the M.D./Ph.D. program. Those invited to Richmond for interviews will spend one day in the standard interview for the School of Medicine and will spend a second day interviewing with members of the M.D./Ph.D. steering committee, as well as touring labs of faculty scientists.

Admission of medical students to the Ph.D. phase of training takes place formally following completion of the M-II year of M.D. training. A copy of the student file is transferred to the Office of Graduate Education and the individual is formally accepted to Ph.D. training by the VCU Graduate School.

The requirements for a combined professional school/graduate school degree in the School of Medicine are equivalent to those required of students seeking a graduate degree alone and are determined by the individual program.

For additional information, please see the program website at mdphd.vcu.edu.

Graduate program director
Gordon L. Archer, M.D.
Senior associate dean for research, School of Medicine
garcher@vcu.edu
(804) 827-1469

Additional contacts
Ross Mikkelsen, Ph.D.
Associate director
rmikkels@vcu.edu
(804) 827-1469

Sandra Sorrell
Assistant to the director
ssorrell@vcu.edu
(804) 827-1469

Program website: mdphd.vcu.edu