The dual degree program takes into consideration the shared goals of both the MA and MD programs and allows students to complete both degrees in five years. Dual degree students will complete the first two years of the integrated medical school curriculum, then step into a breakout year to complete the majority of the MA coursework. This breakout year can fall after the USMLE Step 1 exam (between second and third year curriculums) or after the USMLE Step 2 exams (between third and fourth year). This follows the natural transition between classroom and clinical years in medical school ensuring that students will never have to sacrifice clinical experience for academic accomplishments. It also maintains the cohort support structure which is so important for success.
The program strives to offer a competitive pricing structure for students by consolidating the costs of both degrees. In addition, the overall costs are reduced as the MA breakout year is charged at current School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies (SIGS) rates. The original four years of medical school tuition rates remain unchanged, however, financial aid may be available through the School of Medicine. SIGS offers support for the breakout year in the form of competitive scholarships and Graduate Assistantships.
Students must complete the first two years of medical school and be admitted to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies before beginning the dual degree. However, given the extensive materials already provided during the AMCAS application processit is possible to offer dual degree candidates an accelerated admissions process to SIGS since materials need only be submitted once.
In order to be considered for the dual degree program candidates must still complete an application to SIGS. This includes a new 2-4 page personal statement answering the question: “Why have you decided to pursue a dual degree which focuses on health care ethics?” Completed applications should be received before the November 15th deadline. As well, an official transcript for all undergraduate or graduate education must be provided to SIGS before enrolling in MA classes.
We recommend that you contact our Program Coordinator to assist you in transitioning to the dual degree program as early as possible.You may apply at any time prior to the final deadline, if convenient for you.
MD/MA students complete the same 33 credit hours and attend the same core courses as full time MA students during the fall and spring semesters of their breakout year, including one required elective during the spring semester. Two of the remaining required electives are completed during the summers before and after the breakout year (if not completed earlier). The two years of Introduction to Clinical Medicine contains sufficient relevant material to complete the final elective requirement. Two MA courses (Clinical Ethics and the Capstone course) will be completed in the final year prior to graduation.
The MA is a thriving and vibrant program with lots of activities and opportunities to meet with people who share your interest in the intersection of health care and the humanities. If you are interested in the dual degree please contact us as early as possible so we can include you in our community!