Immunology Program Course Requirements—MD/PhD Track

Admission into the PhD program in Immunology to medical students who wish to pursue the degree is subject to prior approval by the Director of Graduate Studies in Immunology and the thesis mentor who is a member of the graduate faculty in the Immunology program. This will apply to students who matriculate directly into the combined MD/PhD Program (MSTP) and also to medical students who apply to join the MSTP during or after year 1 or 2 of medical school.

As per University of Pittsburgh guidelines, a minimum of 72 credits is required for the PhD in Immunology over a minimum of 6 full-time terms. 9 to 14 credits constitute full-time study in the fall and spring terms and 3 credits is considered full-time for the summer term. A minimum of 32 of those credits will come from coursework while a minimum of 40 credits must be earned for dissertation research, acquired after passing the doctoral comprehensive examination.

For MD/PhD students, 16 credits are granted toward the coursework successfully completed during the first 2 years of medical school at the University of Pittsburgh. A minimum of 17 credits of remaining coursework will be constituted by the following courses:

Course Title Credits
Transfer credits from medical school curriculum 16
Molecular Medicine 1
Lab Rotations (3) 3
Comprehensive Immunology 2
Experimental Basis of Immunology 2
Contemporary Topics in Immunology 4 (1 credit each term in Years 2 & 3)
Immunology and Human Disease 2
TA: Medical Microbiology 2 (1 credit in Spring Terms of Years 2 & 3)
*Electives (at least one course) 2+
TOTAL 34+


*Electives may include the Molecular Medicine course, the Professional Development course, and/or non-required courses offered by medical school graduate programs.

Students will be subject to maintaining the same GPA requirements and ethical standards as are applied to graduate students as described in the Graduate Student and the MD/PhD program Handbooks. Comprehensive exams may be taken as early as the end of the first year in residence in the Immunology Graduate program, typically after most formal coursework is completed.

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