Combined graduate and M.D. degrees

A. Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree for students enrolled in the combined M.D./Ph.D. degree programs 

All requirements for the Ph.D. degree of the Graduate College and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology must be fulfilled as specified in the Graduate Studies Bulletin. In addition, the following requirements apply specifically to students in the combined degree program:

  • Students should enroll and complete the first two years of medical school. During this time the M.D./Ph.D. aspirant should take every opportunity to become involved in research leading to a Ph.D. dissertation project. For instance, the summer prior to the first year in medical school and the summer after completion of the first year should be devoted to research.
  • Some graduate course work (if possible and appropriate) should be taken during the first two years of medical school.
  • After successful completion of M1 and M2 years, medical school studies should be suspended and the student should become a full-time graduate student with the expectation of completing his/her graduate course work and dissertation research project during a two- to three-year period.
  • After satisfactory completion of a dissertation project, the student will recommence his/her medical school studies and finish the third and fourth years of medical school.

Therefore, students should be prepared to devote a minimum of seven years in the pursuit of the M.D. and Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UNMC.  

1. Ph.D. Supervisory Committee 

The Ph.D. Supervisory Committee for students in the combined degree program shall include a minimum of two members whose primary appointment is in a basic science department. 

2. Program of studies 

A minimum of two-three full years of graduate study are normally required to complete a program for the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Neither the courses carried nor the time spent in study determines the granting of the degree. The Ph.D. degree is awarded primarily for a high level of scholarship and demonstrated excellence of independent research in the student's field. 

The student's program of studies shall be developed to encourage maximum integration of the training activities required for both the M.D. and Ph.D. degrees; however, the student will normally be required to devote a period of full-time effort toward completing research requirements of the Ph.D. program. Students in the combined M.D./Ph.D. program may not necessarily complete or be awarded both degrees at the same time.  

B. Acceptance of dual credit 

  1. Newly admitted graduate students who have successfully completed certain basic science courses as a medical student may be given retroactive graduate credit for the same course under its Graduate College counterpart number if:
    1. The course is a normal part of the Ph.D. program for students majoring in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
    2. The Graduate Committee and the Supervisory Committee recommend that the graduate-level counterpart of the College of Medicine course be included in the student's program of studies for the Ph.D. degree.
    3. The department offering the course is willing to assign a grade in the graduate-level counterpart and recommends that credit and the grade for the 800- or 900-level course be listed on the student's transcript.
  2. Students who are admitted to both the College of Medicine and the Graduate College prior to taking a dual-listed course should simultaneously register for the course in both Colleges prior to taking the course.

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