What will I learn?

Departments and programs of the University of Southern California and the California Institute of Technology participate in the joint MD/PhD degree program administrated by the USC Graduate School, the Keck School of Medicine and the California Institute of Technology. This program integrates the medical school curriculum with graduate curricula in the basic sciences, to provide a unified course of study leading to both the MD and PhD degrees.

This program is especially designed to prepare highly qualified students for careers in academic medicine and medical research. Formal course work and dissertation research provide the student with in-depth scientific preparation and research experience which enhances the application of basic science information to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease. Conversely, the PhD education becomes more meaningful because of its disease-oriented emphasis.

The curriculum for MD/PhD students differs from that of PhD graduate students in the basic sciences in that the former take medical school courses as well as selected graduate level basic science courses and specific courses designed for MD/PhD students. The integrated training of the MD/PhD program enables students to compress their total academic effort by applying some course work toward the requirements of both degrees. On average, completion of the combined program requires a total of eight years.

The following graduate programs from the Keck School of Medicine participate in the MD/PhD program:

Cancer Biology and Genomics

Development, Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine

Medical Biology

Molecular Structure and Signaling

Biological Sciences/Neurosciences, Molecular and Computational Biology


Preventive Medicine (Biostatistics, Epidemiology, IPR/Health Behavior, Molecular Epidemiology)

Selected graduate programs from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences also participate in the combined degree program.

Time limits for qualifying examinations and other procedures are determined by considering MD/PhD students as medical students for the periods when they are following the medical curriculum and as full-time graduate students during their years of graduate research prior to advancement to the Junior/Senior Continuum.

Which department am I in?

USC Keck School of Medicine

Study options

Full Time (8 years)

Tuition fees
USD $57,256 /year for MD/PhD degree
Start date

Expected January, August 2022


Health Sciences Campus

University of Southern California,



90033, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants must have completed a master's degree.

For international students

Applicants must have earned the equivalent of a 4-year U.S. bachelor’s degree with a competitive GPA.

Applicants to doctor's programs who have attained an Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) score of 100, with no less than 20 on each sub-score; or an IELTS score of 7, with no less than 6 on each band score.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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