Anatomy and Cell Biology:
Dual Degrees & Advanced Placement

The programs in Anatomy and Cell Biology are well-suited to students interested in combined MD/MS or MD/PhD tracks because of significant overlap in required coursework for these tracks. Exemptions are ordinarily permitted for courses taken as medical students at Rush or other institutions, subject to review by the departmental Graduate Advisory Committee.

The MD/MS track provides an opportunity for medical students to engage in research training and to fulfill the thesis requirement without significant additional coursework. The thesis research is completed in one additional year ordinarily between the student's second and third medical school years. This training is significant for students seeking academic careers in medicine as physician-scientists but whose specialty interests require extended residency programs and post-residency fellowship commitments.

A concurrent MD/PhD track would typically follow a traditional 2-3-2 plan, with three years devoted to doctoral study between the medical preclinical and clinical programs. Students interested in an MD/PhD degree should contact the Program Director to discuss the opportunities and application procedure.

MS with Advanced Placement
An advanced placement track is available for residents or clinical fellows who may be afforded extended time to pursue research. Students or graduates of Rush or accredited United States or Canadian medical schools are eligible for this advanced placement track. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is ordinarily required, although applicants can petition for an exemption based on their MCAT scores. Proficiency exams administered by the program may be required to validate competency in certain areas or to help set up program plans. International medical graduates will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Their eligibility is based on TOEFL and GRE scores as well as undergraduate medical records and recommendations. The advanced placement track recognizes the medical course background of the applicants by exempting them from anatomy, histology, and neurobiology core course requirements. The emphasis is on research, laboratory-based training, and project development with the completion and defense of their master's thesis.