Frequently Asked Questions
- What factors are considered in the selection of MD-PhD applicants?
- What is the evaluation process for MD-PhD applicants?
- What are the course requirements for MD-PhD admissions? Are they any different from medical school requirements?
- Is financial support available for foreign students?
- Do applicants from certain schools have an advantage?
- How do I apply?
- What is the application deadline?
- What do the interview days consist of?
- Who pays for travel and lodging costs associated with the interview?
- What about security on the campus?
- Does Geisel accept transfer students?
- Is a separate research essay required on the Geisel School of Medicine secondary application?
- Can I apply to the MD-PhD Program if I'm already in the MD program?
- Can I apply to the MD-PhD Program if I'm already in a PhD program at Dartmouth?
- In what fields may I study for my PhD?
- What is the financial support at Geisel?
- Is the MD-PhD program an MSTP?
- Does the MD-PhD program require a summer rotation before medical school begins?
- What is there to do in Hanover?
Q: What factors are considered in the selection of MD-PhD applicants?
A: Selection factors include proven academic achievement, experience in and commitment to research, and strong personal qualities. While the MD-PhD Admissions Committee does not require a minimum GPA or MCAT score, applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA below 3.5 or total MCAT scores below 30 are less likely to be interviewed. Geisel also places a high value on the activities, experiences, and personal qualities of applicants. Individuals who demonstrate leadership, creative abilities, and significant humanitarian experiences are sought. A typical Geisel School class consists of 90 students, of whom three to five are MD-PhD students.
Qualified applicants generally have strong research backgrounds, consisting of one or more years of research laboratory experience; many applicants are co-authors on one or more papers in peer-reviewed journals. The applicant's research aptitude is evaluated primarily through letters of recommendation and through the applicant's ability to clearly and intelligently communicate his/her research acumen in his/her written application, and during the interview. Applicants should also display a clear understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of the MD-PhD training program and communicate why this course of study is appropriate to meet their career goals.
Q: What is the evaluation process for MD-PhD applicants?
A: The evaluation process is handled by the MD-PhD Admissions and Advisory Committee. Highly qualified applicants are invited to Geisel for interviews. Admissions are offered on a rolling basis. Applicants rejected from the MD-PhD Program are automatically and separately evaluated for admission to the Geisel School of Medicine.
Q: What are the course requirements for MD-PhD admissions? Are they any different from medical school requirements?
A: No. Medical school course requirements are available here. It is up to each applicant to ensure that they have completed the requirements before matriculation. MD-PhD admissions requirements are the same as medical school admissions requirements, although successful applicants generally have significantly more research experience.
Q: Is financial support available for foreign applicants?
A: Yes. International students with appropriate student visas receive the same financial support as US Citizens and permanent residents. More information can be found here.
Q. Do applicants from certain schools have an advantage?
A: No. All applicants are evaluated based on their merits.
Q. How do I apply?
A: Through AMCAS. See here for application procedures and timeline.
Q. What is the application deadline?
A: January 2, 2014
Q. What do the interview days consist of?
A: MD-PhD applicants invited for interview visit campus for two consecutive days. One day (typically a Wednesday), is devoted to the MD-PhD interview. This day begins at 8 am with an overview of the program presented by two of our current students. This is followed by a 25 minute interview with the Admissions Committee, where the applicant speaks about his/her application, research experiences, and reason(s) for pursuing the joint degree program at Geisel. The remainder of the day consists of 30 minute interviews with several research scientists with whom the applicant would like to meet as previously indicated in the secondary application. There is a break for lunch during this day, and formal interviews usually wrap up by 5 pm. In the evening, the applicant has an opportunity to mingle with current students, either at one of the monthly informal chalk talks (at which a current student talks about their research) or at a student-organized potluck dinner. More information is available here.
The other interview day (either Tuesday or Thursday, as desired by the applicant) is dedicated to the medical school interview. The applicant has two interviews with medical school faculty, of whom one is a Medical School admissions committee member. The applicant also has the opportunity to tour campus. The day ends around 4 pm.
Q: Who pays for travel and lodging costs associated with the interview?
A: The MD-PhD program reimburses invited applicants for reasonable costs associated with travel to/from Geisel. Invited applicants generally lodge with current MD-PhD students. Applicants may lodge instead at a local hotel, at the expense of the program.
Q: What about security on the campus?
A: The Geisel School of Medicine is located in the Upper Valley of the Connecticut River, bordering VT and NH. This beautiful area has a very low crime rate. Nevertheless, Dartmouth does have an office of Safety and Security that can be reached at 911 in case of an emergency.
Q: Does Geisel accept transfer students?
A: At the current time, the MD-PhD program does not accept transfer students.
Q: Is a separate research essay required on the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth secondary application?
Q: Can I apply to the MD-PhD Program if I'm already in the MD program at the Geisel School?
A: Yes, but such applications will only be considered from medical students in the first two years of medical school. Applications from students in years 3 or 4 of medical school will not be considered.
Q: Can I apply to the MD-PhD program if I'm already in a PhD program at Dartmouth?
A: Yes. Current graduate students considering the MD-PhD program are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Applications will only be considered from graduate students in the first two years of their graduate program (i.e. who will have completed two years or fewer at the time of matriculation into the combined degree program), and applications from graduate students in years 3 or later will not be considered.
Q: In what fields may I study for my PhD?
A: In any field in which a PhD is offered at Dartmouth, and that is willing to take on an MD-PhD student. We require that the research undertaken have medical relevance. For an exhaustive list, see here.
Q: What is the financial support at Geisel?
A: The MD-PhD program provides medical school tuition deferment (which becomes a full waiver upon completion of the PhD), health insurance and a competitive stipend for its trainees. For the 2013/14 academic year, the stipend is $27,500.
Q: Is the MD-PhD program an MSTP?
A: While the Geisel MD-PhD program is not an MSTP-sponsored program, our trainees enjoy benefits commensurate with those of MSTP-sponsored programs.
Q: Does the MD-PhD program require a summer rotation before medical school begins?
Q: What is there to do in Hanover?
A: This is addressed in the Welcome Guide to Incoming Students. See here for more information.