D.O./M.S., D.O./Ph.D. and Medical Scientist Training Programs

UNT Health Science Center offers several dual degree programs. The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences participates in the D.O./Ph.D. and D.O./M.S. programs with the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM). Typically, the D.O./Ph.D. program will be 6 to 7 years in length. The D.O./M.S. program is typically 5 years in length.

Students may choose from a wide range of disciplines including cell biology and genetics, biochemistry and molecular biology, microbiology and immunology, physiology, and pharmacology and neuroscience.

Application Procedures

An applicant to the M.S.T.P. program must first apply to the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service. The applicant should indicate the dual degree program in which he or she is interested on the application. If invited for interview, the applicant will participate in three interviews, rather than the standard two for applicants to the DO program. The application is then processed through a dual program admissions committee.

Individuals who become interested in pursuing the D.O./Ph.D. after gaining acceptance into either TCOM or the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences must make formal application to the school in which he/she is not already enrolled. Procedures are in place to streamline this process by sharing information already in institutional records. Applicants who decide to pursue the D.O./Ph.D. after gaining acceptance to either TCOM or the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences may not be considered for the M.S.T.P.

Applicants to the D.O./M.S. program may apply either using the dual degree admissions process described above or by applying to each school separately. D.O./M.S. applicants are not considered for the M.S.T.P.

D.O./Ph.D. Format

The general format of the dual degree program is explained below. While the format may be regarded as the standard working format, it is understood that deviations from this format that meet the curriculum requirements are also acceptable. A degree plan is established by the student's major professor and advisory committee and filed in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Block 1. Block 1 consists of the preclinical years for the D.O. degree. During Block 1, the student will complete the first two years of the D.O. curriculum and pass Part 1 of the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX). During this block the student will register only at TCOM.

An exception to this rule is if the student wishes to register for graduate courses which are not part of the D.O. curriculum during this block. In this case, the student will register for such graduate courses through the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. During Block 1, the student will select a graduate advisory committee and file an approved graduate degree plan of at least 90 semester credit hours (SCH) with the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. D.O./Ph.D. students are given 30 SCH advanced standing toward the Ph.D. for the basic science didactic course work required in the D.O. curriculum.

Block 2. Block 2 consists of two years dedicated to graduate study. During Block 2, the student is expected to complete all course work required for the Ph.D. degree, complete the requirements for advancing to candidacy, have an approved dissertation research proposall, and make significant progress toward the completion of the dissertation research. It is not uncommon for students to continue research and complete the dissertation during Block 3.

Block 3. During Block 3, the student will complete the required clinical rotations and electives and will pass Part 2 of the COMLEX. During this block, the student may also continue work toward the Ph.D. dissertation.

At the end of Block 3, the student is expected to have completed the curriculum required for the D.O. degree and to have completed at least 60 additional hours of graduate courses under the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences as required for the Ph.D. degree, including the dissertation. Following completion of the curriculum required for both degrees, the student is awarded the D.O. degree through TCOM and the Ph.D. through the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

D.O./M.S. Format

Block 1. Block 1 consists of the preclinical years for the D.O. degree. During Block 1, the student will complete the first two years of the D.O. curriculum and pass Part 1 of the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX). During this block the student will register only at TCOM.

An exception to this rule is if the student wishes to register for graduate courses which are not part of the D.O. curriculum during this block. In this case, the student will register for such graduate courses through the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. During Block 1, the student will select a graduate advisory committee and file an approved graduate degree plan of at least 30 semester credit hours (SCH) with the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. D.O./M.S. students are given 6 SCH advanced standing toward the Ph.D. for the basic science didactic course work required in the D.O. curriculum.

Block 2. Block 2 consists of at least one year dedicated to graduate study. During Block 2, the student is expected to complete all course work required for the M.S. degree, file an approved thesis research proposal, and make significant progress toward the completion of the thesis research.

Block 3. During Block 3, the student will complete the required clinical rotations and electives and will pass Part 2 of the COMLEX. During this block, the student may also continue work toward the master's thesis.

At the end of Block 3, the student is expected to have completed the curriculum required for the D.O. degree and to have completed at least 24 additional SCH of graduate courses under the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, as required for the M.S. degree, including the thesis. Following completion of the curriculum required for both degrees, the student is awarded the D.O. degree through TCOM and the M.S. through the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Costs, Financial Obligations and Assistance

D.O./Ph.D. and D.O./M.S. students pay the standard medical school tuition and fees during each block that they are enrolled in TCOM. They also pay the hourly tuition rate and fees for all courses not required for the D.O. degree, i.e., the credit hours required for the graduate degree. Non-Texas residents pursuing the D.O./Ph.D. are assessed tuition at the in-state rate for both medical and graduate school.

The health science center will provide financial support to those students selected into the M.S.T.P. by the dual program admissions committee to seek the D.O./Ph.D. This includes a fellowship in an amount sufficient to pay all graduate tuition costs during Block 2 and a graduate assistantship during this time. Support may be available during other blocks, as well.

Students who are not selected to participate in the M.S.T.P. often receive funding during Block 2 from other sources, including research grants, departmental assistantships, and other departmental funds.

All dual degree program students are eligible to apply for financial aid.

This page last updated 12th Apr 2013