MD/MS Program

The Pathology Graduate Program participates in the MD/MS combined degree program that grants an MS in Biomedical Investigation. This five-year dual degree program is designed for students who wish to prepare for careers in basic or clinical research at academic medical centers. Students pursue a joint, 5- year MD/MS at Case School of Medicine in either the University Program or the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine (CCLCM or "College Program"). The core components of the MS curriculum within the MD/ MS program are three graduate courses in a specific track (e.g. Pathology) chosen by the student based on his or her interest, six graded credits of medical school coursework, a common seminar series, training in scientific integrity, and a full-year research project culminating in a written MS thesis and examination by an MS Degree Examination Committee. In addition to Pathology, tracks offered include biochemistry, clinical investigation, epidemiology, health services research, nutrition, and physiology and biotechnology. Each track has specific course requirements. There is no tuition charge for the research year, and a stipend is provided.

For more information on the MD/MS program in general (including admissions), contact William Merrick, Ph.D., Department of Biochemistry, at 216-368-3578 or william.merrick@case.edu; or Dennis Stacey, Ph.D., Department of Molecular Genetics, at 216-444-0633 or staceyd@ccf.org. For information about the Pathology Track in the MD/MS program, contact Dr. Robert Petersen at robert.petersen@case.edu or Dr. Clive Hamlin at clive.hamlin@case.edu.

All students begin in the University or College MD program. Students may apply to the MD/MS program at any time prior to their second year of medical school but are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to begin taking graduate courses with the medical curriculum at the earliest possible time. Applications from students in the second year of medical school may be considered, but these students may require additional time to complete the degree requirements. Admission into the MD/MS program will be decided by the MD/MS Program Oversight Committee, which will consider good academic performance in the medical curriculum and research interest as pre-requisites.

During the first year of medical school the student should identify a mentor and begin planning coursework and a research project leading to the MS degree. Because the background and interest of applicants varies widely, members of the Program Oversight Committee will assist each student in designing an individualized schedule of graduate courses for any track. Students are expected to complete at least two graduate courses (3 credits each or total 6 credits) before beginning the laboratory research period (year 3), and students should take three graduate courses before the research period if this is possible. For students to receive graduate credit for any medical coursework (as IBIS credit, e.g. IBIS 403), they must register at the beginning of the semester. Students in the MD/MS joint degree program must attain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in the graduate courses. Students in this program may participate in any of the three tracks of the Department of Pathology Graduate Program.