Feb 23, 2024  
University of Alberta Calendar 2023-2024 
University of Alberta Calendar 2023-2024

Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy Combined Degrees Program

General Information

Highly qualified students wanting to pursue a career of teaching and research, as well as clinical medicine, may enrol in a program leading to the acquisition of both an MD and a PhD degree.


Students within the first two years of the MD program at the University of Alberta may apply to the combined degree program, as well as current University of Alberta graduate students who have gained admission to the MD program. Both the MD and PhD degrees must be completed at the University of Alberta.


Students are admitted to the combined degree program on the recommendation of the MD/PhD Committee through 2 potential paths:

  1. Current medical students should apply to the MD/PhD program prior to completion of their second year and must be admitted to an approved graduate program through the regular application procedure for that program.
  2. Current University of Alberta graduate students who gain admission to the MD program are eligible to enrol immediately in the MD/PhD program. In collaboration with Undergraduate Medical Education, students have the option to defer their MD admission and continue full time graduate registration. Alternatively, students who are nearing completion of their doctoral program have the option to transition into the MD program.


For the duration of the MD/PhD program, students must maintain full-time registration. Students will be registered as an ‘MD/PhD undergraduate student’ during their MD training and as an ‘MD/PhD graduate student’ during their PhD training.

In both cases, students are assessed the same MD/PhD program tuition fee. In rare cases, it may be necessary to maintain dual registration whereupon students will be assessed fees for both MD and graduate studies.

The Office of Research, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, works with the Undergraduate Medical Education Office and FGSR to ensure the correct registration is applied on behalf of the host graduate program.

Program Requirements

The program requirements for the Combined MD/PhD Program are the same as each of the individual programs.

See Doctor of Medicine  for MD program requirements.

See Graduate Programs  to find specific PhD program requirements.

Time to completion

Time to completion is calculated from when students are formally admitted to the MD program and will be influenced by program path.

  • If entering a graduate program after MD year 2 (Path 1), completion time is typically 8 years.
  • For students entering from a current graduate program (Path 2), completion times may range from 4-6 years.

During the PhD portion, students must meet all FGSR requirements, as well as any additional conditions required by the graduate program in which they are enrolled.

For all MD/PhD students, the PhD must be completed prior to commencing year 3 of the MD program.

Contact Information

Students interested in the program may obtain further information from the Office of Research, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, 2-13 Heritage Medical Research Centre, fmdgrd@ualberta.ca, or (780) 492-9721.