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MD/MSCI Dual Degree

Applying for the MD/MSCI Dual Degree

Candidates must apply separately to the MD and the MSCI programs in the School of Medicine and be accepted by both programs to pursue the dual MD/MSCI degree. Candidates should identify a qualified faculty member willing to mentor them before applying to the MSCI program. The MSCI Program Director will assist with selecting a qualified faculty mentor.
Medical students with protected time for research may apply for MSCI admission after the third year of medical education.
Before matriculation in the MSCI program, the MD/MSCI dual degree candidate must be in good academic and financial standing with the Vanderbilt School of Medicine.

The MSCI degree requires 35 academic credit hours of coursework, including a didactic core, a mentored research apprenticeship, and a final project. MD candidates are exempt from MSCI 5003 Genetics, Genomics, and Molecular Medicine, three credit hours covered by the MD coursework.

The MD program’s Research Immersion Phase may be completed before enrolling in the MSCI program or may be integrated with the MSCI program’s requirements. Further, MD candidates can use the elective coursework in the MD curriculum to enroll in MSCI classes. Therefore, candidates should plan this time with input from the MD and MSCI programs.

Students in the dual MD/MSCI program will have the opportunity to complete both degrees in five years.

MD candidates apply for MSCI admission after their third year of medical education during the Immersion Phase. The MSCI curriculum satisfies the MD curriculum’s Research and Learning Community components through didactic clinical research courses and engagement in the selected mentor’s lab:

  • MSCI 5000 Drug & Device Development, 3 credit hours
  • MSCI 5002 Scientific Writing & Communication, 2 credit hours
  • MSCI 5005 Case Studies I in Clinical Investigation, 1 credit hour
  • MSCI 5009 Biostatistics I with R, 4 credit hours
  • MSCI 5015 Biostatistics II with R, 4 credit hours
  • MSCI 5017 Clinical Scientist Career Seminar, 1 credit hour
  • MSCI 5024 Case Studies II in Clinical Investigation, 1 credit hour
  • MSCI 5029 Research Ethics & Scientific Integrity, 1 credit hour
  • MSCI 5030 Clinical Epidemiology, 4 credit hours
  • MSCI 5044 Clinical Trials, 3 credit hours

In addition, the MSCI Final Project, a first-authored, original research manuscript, satisfies the requirement for the MD curriculum:

  • MSCI 5021 Master’s Research I, 2 credit hours
  • MSCI 5022 Master’s Research II, 3 credit hours
  • MSCI 5023 Master’s Research III, 3 credit hours

Total credits completed in MSCI: 32

For more information, contact the MSCI program at