Combined Degree

MD/PhD Combined Degree Program

The MD/PhD Combined Degree Program in the School of Medicine at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) is designed for students with a strong scientific background and a firm commitment to a career in academic medicine. The School of Medicine and its affiliated units have vigorous research and training programs funded by grants totaling nearly $300 million annually. PhD degrees may be obtained through a variety of well-funded graduate programs, including Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (an umbrella program including Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cancer Biology, Cell & Developmental Biology, Molecular & Medical Genetics, Molecular Microbiology & Immunology, Physiology & Pharmacology and Quantitative Biology), Behavioral Neurosciences, Neuroscience, Biomedical Engineering, and Biomedical Informatics. It is also possible to complete a PhD in the OHSU/PSU joint School of Public Health. The program also offers strong training in translational research provided in conjunction with our Clinical and Translational Research Institute. Funding, including tuition and stipend, is provided to admitted students. The program has recently received funding through the MSTP T32 mechanism of the NIH.


Successful applicants must show evidence of potential for outstanding performance in both the MD and PhD programs. Prior research experience is advantageous. Students begin with course work in the preclinical curriculum in the medical school, then through a series of research rotations, choose a graduate program for their PhD studies. The requirements for the PhD degree are determined in conjunction with the director of the individual graduate program, and in all cases include graduate courses, the PhD qualifying examination, and doctoral dissertation research. Once students complete their PhD, they return to clinical work to finish medical school. The combined degree program is designed to allow students to complete the program within a seven to eight year period, although the time required varies depending on the student's rate of progress in the research project. Students also participate in MD/PhD program specific coursework including Journal Club, a clinical clerkship during their PhD years and a translational research clerkship in their final clinical years.

Applicants interested in the MD/PhD Combined Degree Program must complete the Secondary Application for the School of Medicine and the MD/PhD Application Addendum, as well as the other forms required of all medical school applicants. Selected applicants are interviewed by members of the MD/PhD committee and complete the medical school admissions interview process.

Requirements for admission (including letters of recommendation) for the MD/PhD Combined Degree Program are the same as for the MD program, with the addition of the following criteria:

  1. In addition to the required letters of recommendation for the MD program, include at least two letters of recommendation from individuals who can assess your potential in biomedical research and as a doctoral-level graduate student.
  2. Research laboratory experience (for example, a senior thesis) is strongly suggested. Prospective students should have developed an understanding of biomedical research and academic medicine before committing themselves to a rigorous MD/PhD program.
  3. If you have taken the aptitude or advanced test portions of the Graduate Record Examination, please have your scores forwarded to the Office of Admissions, School of Medicine, CL5MD.

For more information about the MD/PhD program, please visit our website at:

MD/MPH Combined Degree Program

OHSU Campus

The Oregon Health & Science University MD/MPH Combined Degree Program is a five-year program that is specifically designed for students with a firm commitment to and potential for: 1) a career in medicine-public health (i.e. a significant involvement in both clinical medicine and public or population health), or 2) a career in which the combined degree would prepare them for enhanced productivity in health care programs, policy, or research.

The curriculum for the combined degree program is an integrated curriculum designed to allow selected students to complete the requirements for both the Doctor of Medicine (MD) and the Master of Public Health (MPH) degrees within five years. Students in the MD/MPH Combined Degree Program are required to complete the MPH in the Epidemiology track of the Oregon MPH Program at OHSU. They will, however, have opportunities to pursue their specific areas of public health interest through elective courses in other MPH tracks. We also work hard to help students make strategic choices for their field experience and culminating research project to address these interests.

Students entering the program will begin their MPH studies with a six-week introductory Epidemiology course during the period prior to beginning medical school classes (end of June through and early August);this course will be divided into a three-week independent study period followed by a three weeks of in-class presentation-discussion sessions. During the first academic year they will take the Community Health elective in the fall quarter and a series of weekly public health seminars for MD/MPH students in the spring quarter. In addition, as time permits, students will take a limited number of public health courses of their choosing during the remainder of the first eighteen months of medical school and will be encouraged to take advantage of other public health and/or research opportunities as they arise throughout their first three years. Finally, MD/MPH students will have a year of concentrated MPH study between the second and third or between the third and fourth academic years of medical school, during which they complete the required MPH courses, as well as is the field experience and research project required for graduation.

Interested applicants must complete the MD/MPH Combined Degree Program Application Addendum as well as the other forms required of all medical school applicants. Interviews are a required part of the application process for the MD/MPH program. Representatives of the MD and MD/MPH programs screen the credentials of all applicants and competitive applicants are invited to interview with representatives of both the MD and the MD/MPH programs on the same day. 

Policies and requirements for admission into the MD/MPH Combined Degree Program are the same as for the MD program, with the addition of the criteria listed below: (Please pay careful attention to these points as you prepare your application.)

  1. MCAT scores are accepted in lieu of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. However, if you have taken the Graduate Record Examination, please have your scores forwarded to the Office of Admissions, School of Medicine, CL5MD.    
  2. Letter of Recommendation: In addition to letters required for the MD program, applicants must submit at least one letter of recommendation that speaks specifically to those characteristics that make the applicant especially suited to a medical career that includes public health, public health research, or clinical research.
  3. MD/MPH Personal Statement: With the MD/MPH Combined Degree Program Application Addendum, applicants must include a statement of purpose explaining: 1) why they are applying for the MD/MPH program at OHSU and 2) how they anticipate using the medicine and public health training that OHSU provides in their career plans.
  4. Introductory Statistics Course: Applicants must successfully complete an undergraduate course in statistics prior to entering the MD/MPH Combined Degree Program. This does not need to be completed prior to application/interview but will need to be completed prior to entering the Program.

If you are interested at any time in applying to the MPH program instead of the MD/MPH program, please apply directly to that program through the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine under a separate application process. The deadline for this application is around February 15th each year. For more information, contact the Education Manager in the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at 503-494-2012 or visit the following website: