University of Missouri School of Medicine MU Health School of Medicine

MD-PhD Applicants

Tom and Anne Smith MD-PhD Program

Remarkable advances in medical research have recently transformed our understanding of human biology and the molecular and genetic basis of disease. In fact, research has progressed so rapidly that medicine is experiencing what experts call a "scientific bottleneck." Discoveries made by laboratory scientists have provided an enormous amount of new information, but most physicians have not been adequately trained in both science and medicine to apply that information to the benefit of patients. To break this bottleneck that keeps the latest research from reaching patients, academic medical centers at the University of Missouri and elsewhere are training a new generation of physician-scientists by developing MD-PhD programs.

Students interested in an extended research experience during medical school, or a career as a physician-scientist, may work toward a combined degree (MD-PhD, or MD-Masters). Acceptance into the combined degree program requires admission to the medical school and the graduate school. New student applicants should apply via AMCAS, and indicate an interest in the combined degree program. Current medical students may contact the program office (, or 573-884-4074) for information. Additional information can be found online here.


Applicants must have completed at least 90 semester hours from a U.S. college or university. Required college course* work includes:

  • English composition or writing intensive, 2 semesters
  • College-level mathematics (college algebra or above), 1 semester
  • Biologic Sciences (e.g.  biology, genetics, cell biology, animal physiology, molecular biology, histology), 2 semesters of lecture each with lab
  • General chemistry, 2 semesters of lecture each with lab
  • Organic chemistry, 2 semesters of lecture each with lab
  • General physics, 2 semesters of lecture each with lab

* All required courses must receive a grade of C or better.

One or two courses in biochemistry are strongly recommended, and one or two additional biology or chemistry courses are recommended. Only those courses required for science majors are acceptable; introductory survey science courses meant primarily as general education are not. 

The Admissions Committee will not consider applicants with a science cumulative or an overall cumulative GPA of less than 3.0, unless the applicant also has significant post-baccalaureate course work. To view post baccalaureate program information please click here.


The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)

The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is required. Candidates may register electronically through the AAMC website at Scores older than 2013 will not be accepted. For 2017 entry, we will accept scores from exams administered through September 2016. Candidates must have an MCAT score of at least 22 (old MCAT) or 495 (new MCAT) to be considered and reviewed.


Letters of Recommendation

For the 2016 application year the University of Missouri School of Medicine will be participating in the AMCAS Letter of Recommendation program. We accept recommendation letters ONLY through the AMCAS letter service.

Please visit the AMCAS website for more information on how to submit letters of recommendation to the University of Missouri. To ensure efficient processing of your letters by AMCAS carefully follow instructions. We will not accept Letters of Recommendation sent directly to our medical school. Any letters we receive will not be placed in your application file, and will not be retained in any other form.

To summarize:

  • ALL letters need to be submitted using the AMCAS letter service.
  • Do not send any letters directly to the University of Missouri School of Medicine.
  • All re-applicants must submit letters through AMCAS. We will not pull forward letters from the last application cycle.
  • We will not retain any letters sent directly to our office.



If you completed your undergraduate degree on or before September 2014, please have three letters of recommendation sent from persons familiar with your recent scientific work, study experience, or professional experience.  



We require three individual letters from professors who taught and issued you a grade. It is strongly recommended that at least two of the three be from science faculty. Letters from teaching assistants will not satisfy this requirement. Applicants may submit a premed committee or composite letter in lieu of the three individual letters. MU appreciates colleges/universities who submit a premed committee letter as well as individual letters.


Additional letters beyond the three required may be submitted to supplement or validate other aspects of your candidacy, but the Committee requests that no more than 6 letters be sent. Deadline for filing letters of reference is December 15.



We are not currently accepting transfer applicants. To view our transfer process guidelines please click here.

Personal Characteristics and Tested Motivation for Medicine

The admissions committee is composed of students, faculty and alumni who screen initial applications and determine the best candidates to invite for interviews. The MCAT results and academic record assist the committee in evaluating an individual's aptitude for medical education. Equally important, however, are the applicant's personal characteristics and experiences related to healthcare. The admissions committee utilizes letters of recommendation, the personal statement, pre-medical community and educational activities, and the interview to assess the extent to which the applicant has the personal characteristics and knowledge of healthcare to adequately commit to a lifelong career as a patient-centered physician. The School of Medicine has identified the following as groups whose representation will particularly improve the diversity of the learning environment. These groups include those who self identify as rural, socioeconomically disadvantaged and from groups historically underrepresented in medicine. 

How to Apply

Candidates for admission to the MU School of Medicine should apply to the American Medical College Application Service, AMCAS, selecting the combined program degree type. Students who demonstrate financial need may qualify for an AMCAS application fee waiver.

File Status

Depending on an applicant's home state residency, there are different evaluation procedures for opening a file for consideration. For Missouri residents applying to the MU School of Medicine, a file is automatically opened and evaluated. For residents from a state other than Missouri, please refer to Out-of-State Admission.

Secondary Application

The School of Medicine emails each applicant with an open file supplemental application. Applicants must complete and return this application with a $75 fee by 5 PM on the December 15th file completion deadline.


The MU School of Medicine receives over two thousand applications every year. After an initial screening we invite applicants, who are seriously being considered, for interviews. In general, applicants to the MD-PhD program will have a medical school interview, and separate graduate school (combined program) interviews. All interviews are at the invitation of the School of Medicine. Learn more about our Interview Day.

The University of Missouri School of Medicine plans to offer 400 interview slots for the entering class of 2017. It is possible that more slots may be available; however, applicants are strongly advised to complete their applications early, since consideration for an interview slot will be conducted on a rolling basis as applications are received.

To view the technical standards required of all applicants admitted to MU School of Medicine click here.

To view our confidentiality and selection process guidelines please click here.

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