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Combined MS/MD and MD/PhD Degree Programs

Students in the School of Medicine may wish, for a variety of reasons, to pursue a combined degree in some area of research related to medicine. Some of these reasons are: (1) to continue working in an area of research with which the student has become acquainted during his undergraduate training or while working during the non-academic period of their career; (2) to ascertain whether they have an interest in research because opportunities had not been available to them before; (3) to prepare them better for a life in academic medicine; and (4) to broaden their approach to the practice of medicine so that their patients will obtain the maximal benefit of the application of the information and skills learned during the graduate study. For these or other reasons, medical students may wish to consider applying for the graduate program in the Department of Pharmacology at Tulane University. There are two choices available. The first is a combined MS/MD program. The second is a combined PhD/MD program. It is also possible for medical students to obtain research training in pharmacology working with a faculty member without pursuing a graduate degree.


A medical student with an exceptional scholastic record and a desire for research in pharmacology may apply. Applicants must have received a bachelor's degree and have performed well on the MCAT or the GRE examinations. Copies of their undergraduate transcripts and recommendations from three of their undergraduate professors will be required. When all of this material is received by the Biomedical Sciences graduate office, it will be forwarded to the Department of Pharmacology. The faculty of the department will review the application. If the judgment is favorable, the student will be invited for an interview, and subsequently notified of the decision concerning their application.

Graduate study in the is a full-time occupation, and in consequence, concurrent registration is discouraged for a portion of the combined MD/PhD program. The normal 4-year medical curriculum and the minimal six-year requirement for completion of the combined program provides a minimum of two years for graduate work often uninterrupted by medical training requirements and this time may be extended if necessary. The student will be given a leave of absence from Medical School during the 2 years when he/she is enrolled as a full-time graduate student.

Program Requirements

The student will be expected to complete the medical courses in histology neurosciences, biochemistry, physiology, biostatistics and pharmacology with an average grade of at least 80 percent. All students must take medical pharmacology. Courses taken in the School of Medicine may be accepted toward fulfillment of course requirements for the graduate degree, subject to their relevance and acceptance by the usual criteria established by the sponsoring department. The MS/MD students will also take Seminar and Advances in Pharmacology.

Other Training Exercises

Students participating in the combined degree program are subject to all of the general departmental regulations, review, advisement and training of other graduate students. The participation of graduate students as assistants in laboratory courses is considered a training exercise and no exception from laboratory teaching assignments is made for students because of enrollment in the combined program. The MD/PhD students in the pharmacological sciences training program are supported by stipends during the summers throughout their program and during the 3rd and 4th years of training while they are not registered in Medical School.

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