The combined MD/PhD and MD/Master’s programs are offered jointly by the School of Medicine and the School of Graduate Studies, with the participation of the graduate programs in Biomedical Engineering (Collaborative Program), Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Cancer Research (Collaborative Program), Computing, Chemistry, Epidemiology, Kinesiology and Health Studies, Neuroscience, Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Rehabilitation Science, and Translational Medicine.
The program admits a limited number of exceptional students who are highly motivated to pursue research as a major component of their future medical career. Graduates from the program are well prepared to pursue postdoctoral or research-intensive residency training, and as fully trained physician-scientists, will contribute to increasing Canada’s capacity in basic, clinical, translational and patient-oriented research.
Program Requirements and Structure
The program combines the four year (9 term) Undergraduate Medical Program with an 11 term (PhD) or 5 term (Master’s) period of full-time enrolment in one of the participating graduate programs. Students applying to the combined program will have met the admissions requirements and will have been accepted into both the MD program and the chosen graduate program. Students usually enter the combined program in the year of acceptance to medical school, although students in upper years of the MD program at Queen’s University are also eligible to apply, provided they are accepted into one of the participating graduate programs.
The combined programs are designed such that students will complete the MD/PhD and MD/Master’s programs in 7-7.5 and 5 years, respectively. Students will complete all course requirements of the Undergraduate MD Program, the course and thesis requirements of the particular graduate program in which they are enrolled, the PhD comprehensive exam, if applicable, and any other requirements of the particular graduate program.
In the MD/ Master's program, students complete the first two years of the MD program followed by a full year of full-time enrolment in the chosen graduate program, in which they fulfill course requirements, conduct research and write and defend the thesis. Students are also enrolled full time in the graduate program over the summer months of the first two medical years. Following completion of the Master’s degree, students enter years three and four of the MD program.
In the MD/PhD program, students spend the first two years in the PhD program, in which they complete course requirements (if any), complete the PhD comprehensive exam, and conduct research. Students then enter the first two years of the MD program, continuing their research over the summer months. Following year two of the MD program, students re-enter the PhD program for a final year, in which they complete the thesis research, and write and defend the thesis. Although this is the normal path through the first five years of the program, alternative routes can be considered, subject to approval by the MD/PhD-MD/Master’s Committee, if a strong case can be made by the student and PhD supervisor. Following completion of the PhD degree, students enter years three and four of the MD program. It is expected that students will complete the graduate degree within the time frame outlined above. However, it is recognized that some students in the MD/PhD program may require an additional year of graduate studies to complete the PhD portion of the combined degree program.
Students applying to the combined programs will have met the admissions requirements and will have been accepted into both the MD program and the chosen graduate program. The minimum requirement for the MD/PhD or MD/Master’s Programs at Queen’s University is an Honours baccalaureate degree. Students with a Master’s degree, graduate students in the second year of a Master’s program, or students currently registered in the MD program at Queen’s University are also eligible to apply. Students registered in a Master’s program at the time of application must complete the requirements for the Master’s degree prior to entry into the combined MD/PhD program, unless promoted to the PhD program through the Mini-Master’s route (Queen’s students only). Applicants must have an obvious and demonstrated research potential.
During the period of funding eligible full-time graduate study (maximum of 6 terms for Master’s, 12 terms for PhD), Master’s and PhD students will receive at least the minimum guaranteed stipend for the graduate program in which they are enrolled. Primary sources for funding packages include Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships and Queen’s Graduate Award funding. Secondary sources include internal and external competitive awards. During the period of study in the MD program, a stipend of $25,000 per year will be provided for MD/PhD students and $15,000 per year for MD/Master's students (first two years of MD program).