Seven to eight years of academic study are usually required to complete the rigorous requirements of the M.D./Ph.D. program. Students must be admitted into the College of Medicine and into Graduate School through the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences (IBS) Ph.D. Program. The IBS Graduate Program spans multiple departments across the UAMS campus enabling students to conduct their graduate research training in a broad range of disciplines.
Enrolled students first complete the initial two preclinical years of the College of Medicine curriculum, then enter the Graduate School for the Ph.D. portion of their dual- degree training. The IBS Graduate Program and specialized Interdisciplinary Tracks provide them with in-depth and integrated training in focal areas of biomedical science under the guidance of their major advisor. Any member of the UAMS Graduate Faculty is eligible to serve as a major advisor for the Ph.D. training portion if they are affiliated with an IBS Interdisciplinary Track and have an active, funded research program.
Graduate training in the IBS Program is tailored to meet the individual interests and needs of the M.D./Ph.D. student. During this phase the student takes advanced course work, passes the Ph.D. candidacy examination, conducts original research under the direction of a faculty advisor, and writes and defends the dissertation. The IBS Graduate Ph.D. Program accepts credits earned in medical school for the preclinical basic science courses. Additional required courses include Scientific Communications and Ethics (Grant Writing), Biostatistics, Seminar and advanced courses, if required by the Interdisciplinary Tracks. While additional courses may be taken or prescribed, the focus of the graduate phase is on hands-on research training.
Before re-entering medical school for the last two years of clinical training, permission from the dissertation committee must be obtained. The curriculum for the remaining two years includes required and elective clinical courses. Senior research electives may be taken to complete graduate work. Dissertation credits will be earned during the clinical years until the dissertation defense examination is completed. Upon completion of all requirements, M.D./Ph.D. students are recognized at Commencement by receiving both the M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. College of Medicine and Graduate School standards of academic achievement apply separately for the M.D. and Ph.D. degrees; however, students are expected to maintain high academic standards at all times to remain qualified for continued scholarship support.