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Medical Scientist Training Program

Frequently Asked Questions


What makes a competitive applicant?

In the past four years, our matriculated students have had a GPA in the range of 3.09 – 4.00 with an average GPA of 3.77 and median GPA of 3.80. Matriculated student MCAT scores in the past four years have ranged from 510 – 523 with an average and median score of 515.  Students who have significant research experience with an honors thesis, postgraduate work with publications and strong supporting letters are most competitive however each application is given individual consideration.

How many applications do you receive to the program each year?

We receive approximately 200 applications per year and interview 65-75 students for 9 spots. We anticipate accepting a Whitsett Fellow and Sabin Fellow each year.

What is the application process? 

See How to Apply 

Do you offer application fee waivers? 

  • For applicants who choose ONLY to apply to the MD/PhD program (not both the MD and MD/PhD programs), there is no secondary application fee.
  • For applicants applying to BOTH the MD/PhD and MD programs, an application fee ($100) is charged.  This MD secondary application fee ($100) may be waived for those who, without financial assistance, would be unable to also apply to the medical school.  For additional information about the fee waiver, click here

Are MSTP applicants considered independently from medical school admission? 

Yes! All applicants who apply to both the MD/PhD and MD programs are considered individually by both the MSTP admissions committee and the medical school admissions committee. If an applicant applies as a "combined applicant" and does not receive acceptance from the MSTP, their application will then be considered by the MD program. No additional interview will be required.  However, the MD secondary application fee may apply unless a fee waiver is granted.

Does the MSTP allow students to delay matriculation?

In general, deferrals are not permitted. However, in a small number of circumstances, such as obtaining a major scholarship or fellowship (e.g. Rhodes, Marshall, Gates or Fulbright scholarship), a deferral of admission may be considered. The MSTP only supports proposals that provide for participation in intellectually rewarding opportunities during the time of deferral. Deferral requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Does the program provide post-interview feedback? 

Our policy is to not provide feedback once the applicant has been through the interview process.

How long does it take to complete both degrees?

The average length of training is 8 years.

How will I be supported during my training?

UC’s MSTP fully funds all students for all years of the program as long as the student continues to make satisfactory progress. The program pays for the cost of 4 years of medical school tuition and fees. It also provides health insurance and a stipend which steadily increases with the cost of living. The current annual stipend is $30,000. The stipend during the graduate training portion is handled through the student's PhD program. 

The sources of funding include NIH training grants, college of medicine funds, graduate student assistantships and private donations. This level of support coupled with the relatively low cost of living in Cincinnati make our program highly competitive. Still have questions? Visit our Student Funding page.

How do the laboratory rotations work?

Students complete research rotations before selecting the laboratory where they will complete their PhD. Rotations encourage students to broaden their scientific interests, and allow them to select a lab that is an optimal match. Students complete a total of three rotations: one the summer before the M1 year and two the summer before M2.