Student works with faculty in neurology lab

M.D./Ph.D. Admissions

Apply Yourself

If you are interested in a career as a physician scientist with a primary focus on performing medically related research, then a combined MD/PhD program may be right for you.

The medical school and the doctoral programs included in the University of Michigan Medical Scientist Training Program are consistently ranked as some of the top graduate programs in the country.

At the University of Michigan, MSTP fellows enjoy a high level of support from faculty experts and peers, outstanding academic instruction and an abundance of research resources both on and off campus. We take great care in admitting the people we do, and we look forward to getting to know you too.

You know the Michigan MSTP may be right for you when:

  • You’ve done well academically
  • You’ve had at least 18 months of research experience
  • You’re passionate about science and how it can improve medicine
  • You want patient care to be a component of your professional career

The University of Michigan supports students with disabilities.  The Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) Office and the Medical School provide assistive technologies, accommodations and other services. Please inquire.

Students in a study area

Application Requirements

  • MSTP fellows must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States. State of Michigan residents do not receive preferential status.
  • A complete University of Michigan Medical School application (AMCAS and secondary) is required.
  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required except for students seeking consideration for a PhD in some engineering fields, the humanities, public health, or social sciences. Please check with the MSTP office for specifics.
  • The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is required of all applicants.
  • CASPer Test (Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics), also known as a Situational Judgment Test, is required of all applicants. Please see the Medical School Admissions FAQ page (Pre-Application Section) for more information
  • Letters of reference.

Research Experience

Our MSTP fellows have a lot of research experience by the time they apply to our program. A typical applicant has spent two summers in a research laboratory as well as one academic year as an undergraduate working 10-15 hours per week.

Letters of Reference

Reference letters should be submitted through the AMCAS application service. We require a minimum of 3 letters of recommendation (or a committee letter) with a maximum of 6 letters.  At least one letter should be from a research mentor and should focus on the student’s qualifications for graduate study and potential for scientific research. If you have had multiple short research experiences rather than one long one, more than one research letter would be advisable.

The Medical School's Office of Admissions will use the same letters in its evaluation of MSTP applicants.

Financial Support

MSTP fellows receive an annual stipend (currently $30,600). The MSTP receives financial support from many sources including base funding from the University of Michigan Medical School. The largest single source is that provided through a training grant from the National Institutes of Health. Our MSTP is one of approximately 43 such NIH-funded programs in the nation.

All fellows are encouraged to apply for institutional or outside fellowship awards. Many fellows take a grant writing course and most fellows get independent grant support (often through NIH F30 awards), which is strongly encouraged.

Application Timeline

Applications are reviewed from July – November.

  • AMCAS applications open on June 1
  • MSTP application deadline: Submit applications to AMCAS no later than August 31
  • Submit secondary application to the U-M Medical School's Office of Admissions no later than October 15
  • We recommend submitting the AMCAS and secondary applications as early as feasbile
  • Interviews occur between October - January
  • Offers of admissions are made November through April
  • MSTP Second Look Visit is typically mid to late April
  • MSTP admissions decision deadline: Approximately May 1 per AMCAS rules
MSTP student with pipette

Application Process

Apply through the AMCAS Medical School application process. Once the initial application is verified by AMCAS, the secondary application for the University of Michigan Medical School is sent and completed.

The MSTP Operating Committee is responsible for screening all applications and the rest of the admissions process, including MSTP interviews. MSTP applications are reviewed separately by the Medical School Office of Admissions, and applicants must be acceptable to both to receive an offer of admission to the MSTP.


After preliminary review, the MSTP office may request additional materials from the applicant depending on the requirements of the specific PhD department. Anthropology PhD applicants may be requested to provide a “Statement of Purpose” described on pages 2-3 of the Anthropology application handbook, is external).  The MSTP office will notify Anthropology applicants when (and if) they should submit this Statement, which would likely occur at a different time than what is described on the Anthropology Department website.

The MSTP coordinates with the Medical School Office of Admissions so that applicants are interviewed by both during their MSTP visits.