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Admissions

To be considered for the VCU MD-PhD Program, prospective students must apply to the medical school through the American Medical College Application Service. Please designate “Combined Graduate/Medical Degree” on your AMCAS application.

In addition to the AMCAS application, a completed Reference Form containing a recommendation letter from someone who can speak about your research or research experience must also be submitted.

The VCU MD-PhD program is committed to a holistic application review, taking into consideration not only grades and scores, but the depth and quality of research experience, exposure to clinical medical opportunities, evidence of altruism, personal statements, and unique factors that allow the applicant to contribute to a vibrant, diverse student population.

The VCU MD-PhD Program encourages students with disabilities, underrepresented minorities, and students who are disadvantaged to apply. We are committed to student diversity and make every effort to attract and recruit applicants of all kinds with diverse backgrounds.

Interview

All applications are reviewed by the Program Director or an Associate Director and a trained file reviewer and selected candidates are invited for interviews.

On average, we interview about 40 applicants per admission cycle. We use two days for the interview, typically starting in September/October and ending in February. This process allows the applicant to interview with the medical school, the MD-PhD program, and potential lab mentors, as well as to experience the city of Richmond, VA.

If invited for our interview, your airfare and lodging for two nights is paid for by the VCU MD-PhD program. You will have the option of staying with a student host or in a hotel.

The two-day interview process is divided into an MD-PhD interview day and a medical school interview day (usually the following morning and early afternoon).

Sample Interview Itinerary

Day 1:

  • 8:30 a.m.: Breakfast with MD-PhD students
  • 9:00 a.m.: Introduction of the MD-PhD program by the Program Director
  • 10:00 a.m.: MD-PhD interview with the Program Director (the director’s interview lasts 30 minutes)
  • 11:00 a.m.: MD-PhD interview by a MD-PhD steering committee member and MD-PhD student (each MD-PhD committee interview lasts 55 minutes)
  • Noon: MD-PhD seminar given by a faculty member or MD-PhD student
  • 1:15 p.m.: Laboratory visit with faculty member of interest
  • 2:15 p.m.: Laboratory visit with faculty member of interest
  • 3:15 p.m.: Laboratory visit with faculty member of interest
  • 6:00 p.m.: Dinner with current MD-PhD students at one of many small restaurants located in downtown Richmond, VA

Day 2:

  • 8:30 a.m.: Report to the School of Medicine Admissions Office
  • 9:30 a.m.: Multiple Mini Interviews
  • Noon: Lunch and Tour
  • 3:15 p.m.: Departure

Following the interview days, the MD-PhD admissions committee will meet, often the next week, to complete the review of your application. You will also be considered by the School of Medicine Admissions Committee. It can take two to four weeks from your interview for both committees to complete their deliberations. You will then either be accepted, put on the waiting list, or rejected from the MD-PhD program. However, students not immediately accepted to the MD-PhD program are not automatically considered by the Medical School Admissions Committee for the MD program. If you are not accepted into the MD-PhD program at VCU and wish to be considered for admission to the medical school, you will have to contact AMCAS to change your application status and notify the Office of Admissions of the change.

Second Look

Any accepted student can return to VCU at any time to get a second look at the program or talk to potential research mentors. A formal second look for all accepted students is held in early April. We cover travel and lodging expenses for all second looks.

Statistics

For the 2016-2017 season, there were 114 applicants to the VCU MD-PhD program and 38 were invited for interviews. We offered admission to 21 applicants. The average undergraduate GPA for accepted applicants was 3.70 and the average MCAT score was 514.