MD/PhD in Anatomy & Neurobiology

Medical students who are interested in pursuing a combined MD/PhD degree usually begin the doctoral part of their program after completing two years of the School of Medicine curriculum. Thus they have already completed many of the courses required for the PhD in Anatomy & Neurobiology. After completing the doctoral program they return to the School of Medicine curriculum and receive the combined degree when their entire program is completed.

The MD/PhD curriculum consists of required courses, seminars, and electives as well as Dissertation Research.

Overview of the PhD Program (32 credits total)

  • Required courses: 28 credits (including seminar and elective courses, 2 cr/2 cr)
  • Electives or research: 4 cr

Required Courses (28 credits)

  • GMS AN 704/MS 700 Experimental Design & Statistical Methods or Elementary Biostatistics (2 cr)
  • GMS AN 715 Professional Skills (2 cr)
  • GMS AN 718 Methods in Neuroscience (4 cr)
  • GMS AN 777 Fundamentals of Cell & Molecular Neurobiology (4 cr)
  • GMS AN 802 Research Colloquium in Anatomy & Neurobiology (Journal Club) (2 cr)
  • GMS AN 803 Scientific Writing (2 cr)
  • GMS AN 804 Vesalius II: Teaching Apprenticeship (6 cr)
  • GMS AN 806 Vesalius I: Teaching in the Biomedical Sciences (2 cr)
  • One departmental advanced seminar course (see list below) (2 cr)
  • One departmental elective course (see list below) (2 cr)

Advanced Seminar Courses

  • GMS AN 702 Learning and Memory (2 cr)
  • GMS AN 707 Neurobiology of Aging (offered biannually) (2 cr)
  • GMS AN 807 Neurobiology of the Visual System (offered biannually) (2 cr)
  • GMS AN 820 Dynamic Modeling (2 cr)

Elective Course Options for MD/PhD Students

  • GMS AN 708 Advanced Clinical Anatomy (2 cr)
  • GMS AN 716 Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience (offered biannually) (4 cr)
  • GMS AN 724 Advanced Neuroanatomy (4 cr)
  • GMS AN 810 Systems Neurobiology (4 cr)
  • GMS AN 811 Cognitive Neuroscience (4 cr)
  • GMS FA 712 Human Anatomy and Osteology (4 cr)
  • GMS FA 806 Advanced Human Osteology (4 cr)
  • GMS FS 702 Forensic Biology (3 cr)
  • GMS FS 712 Forensic Pathology (3 cr)
  • GMS FS 720 Molecular Biology of Forensic DNA (3 cr)
  • GMS IM 600 Biomedical Imaging Foundations (4 cr)
  • GMS IM 630 Methods of Functional Imaging of the Brain (2 cr)
  • GMS MS 783 Molecular Basis of Neurologic Disease (2 cr)

The Vesalius Certificate in Teaching Anatomy and Neurobiology

Interested MD/PhD students may also choose to pursue the (optional) Vesalius Certificate through the following course of study.

Requirements for the MD/PhD Vesalius Certificate (as with the PhD Certificate)

To pursue the Vesalius Certificate, students are required to have taken at least two of the following prerequisite courses:

  • GMS AN 701 Medical Gross Anatomy (8 cr)
  • GMS AN 703 Medical Neuroscience (4 cr)
  • GMS AN 810 Systems Neurobiology (4 cr)
  • GMS AN 811 Cognitive Neuroscience (4 cr)

The certificate consists of three courses/components, two of which (Vesalius I & II) are included in the list of required courses for all MD/PhD students. The program begins with a course on the development of teaching skills in the biomedical sciences. This is followed by a teaching apprenticeship (240 hours service as a Teaching Fellow in one or more of the medical or graduate required courses, above), and concludes with a Mentored Teaching Project that involves the development of a didactic lesson or exercise under the direct mentorship of experienced and award-winning faculty.

  • GMS AN 804 Vesalius II: Teaching Apprenticeship (6 cr)
  • GMS AN 805 Vesalius III: Mentored Teaching Project (Practicum) (2 cr)
  • GMS AN 806 Vesalius I: Teaching in the Biomedical Sciences (2 cr)

Example of a Typical MD/PhD Curriculum

(see required courses and options above)

Years 1–2

Students are engaged in the typical first- and second-year curriculum, including:

  • GMS AN 701 Medical Gross Anatomy (8 cr)
  • GMS AN 703 Medical Neuroscience (4 cr)

Years 3–5

Students take 28 credits of required courses plus 4 credits of seminar courses and electives. Research and teaching requirements are the same as those for PhD students.