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Research at UNC is integrated both vertically (in Departments) and horizontally (in Centers and Programs), which makes our research environment extremely vibrant, collaborative, and impactful.

The UNC School of Medicine (SOM) is well-recognized for its ability to balance the missions of outstanding clinical skill development with rigorous support for internationally recognized and well-funded research programs in basic, translational, and clinical science. The students in our MD-PhD Program are able to train with a very diverse faculty whose areas of research extend from the most basic of biological processes to translational interests much more clinically applied, and health care service research. UNC fosters a culture of collaborative research where cross-departmental and cross-school collaboration is extremely common and highly valued. At the same time, UNC is very much committed to the training of outstanding physicians. Because of these complementary and equally valued areas of institutional excellence, UNC represents an ideal environment for students seeking to pursue combined-degree training in a state-of-the-art MD-PhD Program.

This environment is further enhanced by the presence of all five of the Schools of Health Affairs (Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, and Medicine) on a single, integrated campus and the close proximity that exists between these five schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. In fact, UNC is one of only four public universities in the country with all five of these Health Affairs Schools, each of which is listed among the national leaders in terms of NIH grant support. This proximity fosters ongoing collaboration among investigators from a wide variety of disciplines. Furthermore, we have consistently taken advantage of this proximity to seek a diverse array of research opportunities for the next generation of physician-scientists.

Our Mission

The primary goal of the The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine’s MD-PhD Program is to train an outstanding group of young men and women who are committed to become physician-scientists, fully capable of bridging the gap between basic science and clinical medicine.

These individuals will go on to become the next generation of leaders in biomedical science, thereby making significant contributions to and improvements in human health. At the same time, they will become teachers and scholars not only at many of the best medical schools, but also at major research institutes and leading organizations in the biomedical and pharmaceutical industry.

We hope to achieve our goal by identifying and recruiting candidates from diverse backgrounds who bring with them a great variety of academic and research interests. Once here, they will find a strong education in clinical medicine that is well integrated with superb research opportunities.

Our Curriculum

The MD-PhD curriculum at UNC follows a timeline similar to the traditional MSTP style of 2-4-2. Our average time to graduation is 8.16 years and selection of a graduate program can be delayed through the first two years in the program. With the implementation of the Translational Education at Carolina (TEC) Curriculum in 2013, our students now have greater schedule flexibility during their medical school years. You can learn more about TEC here. In addition to academic curricula, the MD-PhD program includes an annual program retreat, a Monday night dinner/seminar series, monthly Case Conferences, student presentations, and training in quantitative skills and scientific ethics. You can learn more about these opportunities here.


For more information about our curriculum, program requirements, and supplemental learning opportunities, check out the following pages:

Program Statistics

Average Recruitment
  •   Applications Received: 450
  •   Number of Interviews: 60
  •   Class size: 10-12
Current Students
  •   Total Number of MD/PhD Students: 90
  •   Female/Male Ratio: 39/51
Participating Departments
  • 21 PhD-granting entities participating in the MSTP, including 11 departments from the Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, and Public Health and 7 departments from the College of Arts and Sciences. PhD Departments Page
Miscellaneous Statistics
  •   Average time to complete program (MD and PhD): 8.16 years
  •   Publications: Median 8 manuscripts
  •   NIH F30 awards: 28% of students hold NIH F30/F31 awards
  •   Graduate Outcomes: Alumni Match Results
Matriculated Classes 2018-2019

Undergraduate Institutions Represented: Boston College, Brown University, Cornell, Kenyon College, Macalester College, McGill University, Northeastern University, Ohio State University,  Princeton, Suffolk University, University of Iowa, University of Massachusetts- Amherst, University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill, University of North Florida, University of Pennsylvania, University of South Carolina, Washington University, Wellesley College.

*updated June 2019