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History

The VCU School of Medicine has been awarding combined M.D. and Ph.D. degrees since 1975. In 1988, the school made a formal commitment to support and grow the program and it has continued to grow with an average of six to eight matriculating students per year over the last four years and an institutional commitment to support eight entering students beginning in 2006 and continuing thereafter.

In 2005, VCU outlined a strategic plan that included a marked expansion of the university’s research mission with a focus on the School of Medicine:

  • Hiring of 100 research faculty over the next five years
  • Building of more than 200,000 square feet of new research space, to be completed by 2009
  • Hiring Jerome Strauss, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Pennsylvania as dean to lead this effort. Strauss is a product of the Penn Medical Scientist Training Program and directed its M.D./Ph.D. program in the 1980s, the first graduate of an M.D./Ph.D. program to do so.
  • Expanding the number of fully funded (tuition plus $25,100 stipend) M.D./Ph.D. slots from four to eight and paying for health insurance for all M.D./Ph.D. students.

Current institutional description

  • 1100 faculty in the School of Medicine (at VCU and the McGuire VA Hospital).
  • More than 1,000 beds in our hospitals
  • More than $250,000,000 per year in grant-supported extramural research funding
  • Adjacent to the VCU Medical Center: Virginia BioTechnology Research Park (the home of our Institute for Structural Biology and Drug Discovery and the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics); approximately two miles away, on the Monroe Park Campus, is the Center for the Study of Biologic Complexity, the undergraduate departments of chemistry, biology and physics and the School of Engineering with its Department of Biomedical Engineering; a 15-minute drive away, the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center, one of the largest and most comprehensive VA Dean’s Hospitals in the country
  • In fiscal year 2014, 196 School of Medicine faculty held 241 NIH grants.
  • Doctoral degrees in the School of Medicine are awarded in 13 different disciplines including three in the public health disciplines, one in medical physics, new degree programs in neuroscience and, through the Clinical and Translational Science Award, two new Ph.D.s, one in behavioral and statistical genetics and one in cancer and molecular medicine. Degrees can also be obtained in other schools in chemical biology and medicinal chemistry.   
  • Clinical and translational medicine conducted through the Center for Clinical and Translational Research.