What will I learn?

Graduate study in the neuroscience program in the School of Medicine is a highly individualized undertaking and required course work represents only one component. Each student’s program is tailored to meet his or her particular interests, with the primary emphasis on developing research skills and the capacity for independent scholarship and with the recognition that career goals for many M.D.-Ph.D. physician-scientists are distinct from those of most Ph.D. trainees.

Program goals

The objectives of this dual degree program are:

Students in the M.D.-Ph.D. program in neuroscience will acquire the foundational skills to allow them, after further clinical specialty and postdoctoral research training, to become independent physician-scientists. Program graduates ultimately pursue careers in academic medicine, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, research institutes and government agencies as clinicians, scientists, educators and administrators.

Students will gain a progressive mastery of concepts in neuroscience and related disciplines, an understanding of the current state of research investigations in the field, an ability to synthesize information and apply foundational concepts to identify key areas for innovative investigation and experimentation, and the knowledge to design, execute and interpret experiments and publish studies that address the questions identified.

Students will develop skills in various means of communicating core knowledge in the field and the details of experimental design, results and interpretation to a variety of potential audiences.

Among the many benefits offered by participation in the dual-degree program are the following:

Students will have the foundation and training in neuroscience and in medicine to conduct basic and translational research that will enable them to take bedside observations to the bench and the results of bench research to the bedside to advance both the underlying science and patient health.

Students have the opportunity to participate in clinical research during the M4 year.

Students with M.D.-Ph.D. training are highly competitive for positions in leading physician-scientist clinical training programs, faculty positions in academic medical centers, and are well-positioned to ultimately take on leadership roles in academic medicine, industry and government.

Which department am I in?

School of Medicine

Study options

Full Time (7 years)

Tuition fees
US$25,956.00 per year

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

18 January 2022, 23 August 2022

Venue

School of Medicine

VCU Medical Center,

1201 E Marshall St,

RICHMOND,

Virginia,

23298, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Have an earned master’s degree in an academic or allied health-related field from an accredited college or university; preference will be given to applicants who have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3 on master’s-level work (The master’s degree should be in one of the departmental areas of choice.). Have completed a graduate course in statistics (including topics such as random variables, probability, distributions, descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing and inferential statistics) with a minimum grade of B.

For international students

To be considered for the VCU M.D.-Ph.D. program, prospective students must apply to the medical school through the American Medical College Application Service. Please designate “Combined Graduate/Medical Degree” on your AMCAS application.

In rare situations when resources allow, students matriculated in the medical school class may be considered for admission to the M.D.-Ph.D. program, usually near the start of the M1 academic year.

The university minimum TOEFL score requirement is 550 (paper-based) or 80 (Internet-based). The university minimum IELTS score requirement is 6.5. The PTE is also accepted with a minimum score of 65.

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

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About Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth University is a top 100 research university and number one public postgraduate arts school in the US.

  • VCU is one of the top 3 research universities in Virginia
  • 21% growth in sponsored awards in a 10-year period
  • 1,600 international students from 108 countries
  • 173-acre campus in downtown Richmond