The School of Medicine at Tulane University has a tradition of encouraging medical students to engage in original research projects. In addition to enhanced training, medical students are introduced to a vitally important realm of Medicine - basic and applied research. The School of Medicine remains committed to students who wish to modify their course of study in order to incorporate research projects. The guidelines presented here apply to students interested in formal post-graduate education leading to a combined medical (M.D.) and doctoral (Ph.D.) degree.
Medical students who have decided to pursue a Ph.D. must apply for admission into either the Biomedical Sciences or Neuroscience doctoral program. Fortunately, there is no need to “rush” ones application to a graduate program. Typically, students begin their Ph.D. work after the second year of medical school but it would also be possible to start after the third year of medical school. Students should complete their applications in the winter or early spring of the year that they plan to begin graduate school. For students who have participated in summer lab projects before being accepted into a graduate program, the experience can be retroactively “credited” to the graduate record as one of the required laboratory rotations. The timing of application to one of the graduate programs can be discussed with the program coordinator and/or director.
While enrolled in a Ph.D. program, students are officially “on-leave” from the medical school. Rest assured, that return to medical school is guaranteed.