MD Dual Degree Programs

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine has ten dual degree programs. For all dual degrees, except the MD/PhD., the first three years are spent in the medical school program. In most cases, after year three, students begin work on their other degree program. Depending on the other program, students may complete the second degree before returning to the medical school. The dual degree program allows students to reduce the period of time required to complete each degree separately, usually eliminating one full year of study. Application is made to each program separately, and admission to both programs is required to enter a dual degree program.

A single application is made to the MD/PhD program by indicating MD/PhD degree on the AMCAS application to Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and completing the MSTP secondary application. The application will be reviewed by the MSTP admissions committee.

Medical Scientist Training Program

The central goal of the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at Vanderbilt University is to train leaders in academic medicine. Our program is based on solid clinical and research training and is designed to foster the development of independent scientific careers. We provide students with an integrated curriculum comprising a strong core education in medicine and intensive training in scientific inquiry. Successful completion of the program leads to both the MD and PhD degrees. MSTP students come from a diverse applicant pool drawn from throughout the nation and abroad.

Learn more about the MSTP Program

MD/JD

Students must apply separately to both the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the Vanderbilt Law School and be accepted by both programs to pursue the dual MD/JD degree.

Ideally, students will apply for joint degree status before enrolling in either program. However, medical students may elect to apply for admission to the joint degree program at any time during their first three years in the medical school. Law students who apply to the medical school during their first year in the law program may also be considered for the joint degree.

Joint degree students will complete both degrees in six years, saving one year in school, as medical school ordinarily takes four years and law school takes three.

MD/MS in Biomedical Engineering

Students must apply separately to both the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the Department of Biomedical Engineering in the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering and be accepted by both programs to pursue the joint MD/MS in biomedical engineering degree.

Ideally, students will apply for joint degree status before enrolling in either program. However, medical students may elect to apply for admission to the joint degree program at any time during their first three years in the medical school.

Joint degree students will complete both degrees in five years, saving one year in school, since ordinarily medical school takes four years and the MS in biomedical engineering two years.

MD/MS in Biomedical Informatics

Students must apply separately to both the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Vanderbilt’s Biomedical Informatics Department and must be accepted by both programs to pursue the joint MD/MS in biomedical informatics degree.

Ideally, students will apply for joint degree status prior to enrolling in either program. However, medical students may elect to apply for admission to the joint degree program at any time during their first three years in the medical school.

Joint degree students will complete both degrees in six years, saving one-half year in school, since medical school ordinarily takes four years and the MS in biomedical informatics two and one-half years.

MD/MDiv and MD/MTS

Students with interest in medical and divinity degrees will have the opportunity to enroll in one of two joint degree programs. Students must apply separately to the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the Vanderbilt Divinity School and be accepted by both to pursue the MD/MDiv (MD/Master of Divinity) or the MD/MTS (MD/Master of Theological Studies) degree.

Ideally, students will apply for joint degree status before enrolling in either program. However, medical students may elect to apply for admission to the joint degree program at any time during their first three years in the medical school. Divinity students who apply to the medical school during their first year in the divinity program may also be considered for the joint degree.

The MD/MDiv joint degree program will take a total of six years for completion. This saves one year as the MD degree ordinarily takes four years and the Master of Divinity takes three. The Master of Divinity is a professional degree and prepares students for the practice of ministry. This program has a required field education component as part of the Master of Divinity degree requirements. In this program, students will carry 15 credit hours per semester while in the Divinity School.

MD/MS in Computer Science

Students must apply separately to the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the Computer Science program in the Vanderbilt School of Engineering and be accepted by both programs to pursue the joint MD/MS in computer science degree. Students must meet requirements of each program for admission.

Ideally, students will apply for joint degree status prior to enrolling in either program. However, medical students may elect to apply for admission to the joint degree program at any time during their first three years in the medical school.

Joint degree students will complete both degrees in five years, saving one year in school, since medical school ordinarily takes four years and the computer science program two years.

MD/M.Ed.

Education is an integral part of medicine. The word “doctor” comes from the Greek word meaning “teacher.” Whether a student chooses a career in research or clinical practice, there always will be a need to teach students, patients, and colleagues. Students who choose the MD/M.Ed. joint degree program may be interested in patient education or in a career in an academic center working in medical education. They also may be interested in leadership positions at the national level that interface with health policy and education. Education will be a large part of prevention in future medical practice.

Students must apply separately to both the Vanderbilt School of Medicine and Peabody College of Education and Human Development and be accepted by both programs to pursue the joint MD/M.Ed. degree.

Ideally, students will apply for joint degree status before enrolling in either program. However, medical students may elect to apply for admission to the joint degree program at any time during their first three years in the School of Medicine. Peabody students may apply for admission to the MD program during their first year in the master’s program.

Joint degree students will complete both degrees in five years, saving on year in school, as medical school ordinarily takes four years and the Peabody program two years.

MD/MPH

Students must apply separately to the MD and the MPH programs in the School of Medicine and be accepted by both programs to pursue the joint MD/MPH degree. Medical students may elect to apply for admission to the joint degree program at any time during their first three years in the medical school.

An important component of the MPH program is a mentored research investigation, which assumes a degree of student independence typically associated with fellowship or junior faculty status. Thus, acceptance into the MPH program will be restricted to students who exhibit this capacity and will require pre-identification of a qualified faculty member willing to serve as the student’s mentor.

Joint degree students will complete both degrees in five years, saving one year in school, since medical school ordinarily takes four years and the MPH program two years.

MD/MBA

Students must apply separately to both the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management and be accepted by both programs to pursue the joint MD/MBA degree.

Ideally, students will apply for joint degree status prior to enrolling in either program. However, medical students may elect to apply for admission to the joint degree program at any time during their first three years in the medical school. Owen students who apply to the medical school during their first year in the MBA program may also be considered for the joint degree program.

Joint degree students will complete both degrees in five years, saving one year in school, since medical school ordinarily takes four years and the Owen program two years. The first three years are spent in medical school. Students spend their fourth year at the Owen School and then spend the fall semester of year five in medical school and the spring semester of year five at the Owen School.

MD/MA in Medicine, Health, and Society

In 2008, the Vanderbilt University Faculty Senate approved a master of arts degree in Medicine, Health, and Society (MHS). The proposal for this fully interdisciplinary degree originated from the Vanderbilt University Center for Medicine, Health, and Society (CMHS), which was established in 2003. The goals of CMHS are to promote the study of health and health care in their social, cultural, and historical contexts, and to explore the interface of bioscience, technology, and the humanities.

In addition to educating outstanding clinicians, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine is committed to developing future leaders and scholars in medicine. We recognize that the current challenges facing health and health care demand leaders and scholars in many areas related to medicine. The MA in MHS allows selected students to extend their scholarly interests in interdisciplinary areas, although prior work in one of those areas is not required. The MHS degree provides students with additional knowledge and research experience to prepare them for academic careers focused on the political, social, economic, and cultural contexts of the practice of medicine, as well as on biomedical ethics, patient-provider relationships, and health policy.

Students must be accepted by both the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the Graduate School, and acceptance to one program will not ensure acceptance to the other.

Dual degree students will be able to enter the MA program after any year of medical school. If students choose to begin their MA studies after the fourth year, they will be allowed to delay graduation until after completion of both degrees, as long as they are officially enrolled in the joint degree program. Requirements for the MD degree will be the same as those for non-joint-degree students. In nearly all circumstances, students will be able to complete requirements for both degrees in a total of five years.

Learn more about the MA Program in Medicine, Health, and Society