Medical Students


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MD/PhD Program

The MD/ PhD degree option provides an opportunity for medical students to develop advanced research expertise and skills while earning a PhD degree in addition to the MD degree. Several MD/PhD degree options will be offered that meet the requirements of both the MD and the participating PhD programs at East Carolina University. It is recognized that the participating PhD programs will integrate with the medical curriculum to varying degrees, and therefore each option will have a unique

Only students enrolled in the MD program can apply to the MD/PhD option at East Carolina University. Although students may apply at any time after their enrollment in the MD program, they cannot begin the PhD component until after successful completion of the USMLE Step I exam. All applicants must have completed at least one summer research preceptorship in one of the participating departments, or have completed a research based Masters degree in a related area prior to application to the MD/PhD option. It is recommended that interested students contact programs offering the MD/PhD option as early as possible about research opportunities within the department.

Admissions Procedures
All applicants MUST first petition the Dean of the Medical School through the Office of Student Affairs (MD program) for a Leave of Absence prior to application to the MD/ PhD program. The Office of Student Affairs will at that time discuss with the student how their current MD program will be altered by entry into the MD/PhD program.

All applicants MUST then submit the standard Graduate School Application with the following modifications:
  • A GRE exam is not required, although the scores should be reported if available. (NOTE: The applicant’s MCAT scores will be evaluated in place of the GRE).
  • The Graduate School application fee is waived.
  • Only a transcript denoting courses taken since enrollment in the Brody School of Medicine is required. (NOTE: Transcript grades listed on the student’s AMCAS application will be used to document the courses completed prior to entry into the Brody School of Medicine).
  • Only one letter of reference from someone knowledgeable about an applicant’s aptitude and ability to perform research is required. This letter must use the reference form included in the Graduate School Application. (NOTE: Reference letters in the applicant’s School of Medicine application may also be used as character references).
  • A Statement of Purpose essay must be submitted describing the applicant’s reason for pursuing the MD/PhD option.
  • Applicant interviews are required.
Each participating PhD program decides on the admissibility of the students into their respective MD/PhD option. However, the Office of Student Affairs (MD program) will also have a representative holding ECU Graduate Faculty status on each admissions committee considering a MD/PhD applicant.

More Information
For further information regarding the MD/PhD program and to obtain an application, contact Dr. Susan Schmidt via email at or phone at 252-744-2278 in the Brody School of Medicine Office of Student Affairs.