2016-17 General Bulletin

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Dual Degree Programs with the MD

The degree programs listed in this section may require admission to another school at the university in addition to or instead of the School of Medicine. Each school may have different deadlines and requirements for admissions. Please contact the other schools separately using information provided under that school’s listing in this publication. Additional dual degree programs not including the MD are also offered through the medical school’s departments. Several certificate programs are also offered in General Medical Sciences


The Medical Scientist Training Program leading to the MD/PhD in various biomedical programs is listed in above grey tab.


This program, offered in conjunction with Case Western Reserve University School of Law, may be completed in six years. The JD portion requires the completion of 88 credit hours of study. Admission is through the School of Medicine and the School of Law. For more information about the JD portion of the program, visit the Law School section, call the law school admissions office at 216.368.3600 or 800.756.0036, or e-mail lawadmissions@case.edu

MD/MA in Bioethics

The 27-credit-hour Master of Arts in Bioethics program, including a 12-hour foundations course taken during the first year of medical school, emphasizes the interdisciplinary and interprofessional nature of the field. It is designed to provide advance training in bioethics for those who anticipate encountering ethical issues in the course of their primary careers. Medical school students complete the bioethics program while pursuing their medical degrees; no additional time is required. Admission for the master’s degree portion is through the Case Western Reserve University School of Graduate Studies. For more information about the MA requirements, visit the Bioethics section, call 216.368.6196, or e-mail bioethics@case.edu.

MD/MS in Applied Anatomy

The core curriculum of this 30-hour, non-thesis master of science master of science in applied anatomy degree program integrates aspects of modern molecular biochemistry, cell biology and physiology with the traditional aspects of anatomical structure and nomenclature of cells, tissues and organs. Electives allow students to pursue individual interests in special areas of research and health care. The program is excellent preparation for those preparing for biomedical careers or those planning to pursue a PhD.  Additional details and a sample course of study are described in the Anatomy section of the General Bulletin.

MD/MS Biomedical Investigation

The goal of the joint MD/ Masters of Science in Biomedical Investigation program at Case School of Medicine is to train medical students in basic or clinical research approaches so that the physician graduate may conduct research to advance health. Students will earn a plan B type MS from Graduate Studies, and the name of the joint degree will reflect the particular track pursued by the student (eg MD/MS Biochemistry). The tracks proposed in this joint MD/MS program are derived from existing type B MS programs at the School of Medicine into a joint program with the MD, using a common template.

The core activities for this degree include limited credit from the medical core curriculum, 3-6 graduate courses in specific tracks, participation in a common seminar series, scientific integrity training, and a requirement for a special problems project that reflects a full year of research (18 hours of 601 non-graded credits) culminating in a written report and examination. Students are anticipated to complete all graduate courses before entering the research year, allowing full focus on the research experience. Thus, this program will require 5 years overall to complete the requirements for both degrees. Students who wish to join the MD/MS program may apply to the Program after arriving at the University any time prior to Fall of their second year of medical school.

For students to receive graduate credit for medical coursework, they must register for IBIS credit (see below) in advance of the preclinical medical school semester. Students are likely to complete the required two semesters of research 601 after the pre-clinical years in medical school, although the research could occur in other years. Before initiating full time research, the trainee must submit a final Program plan to the Program Oversight Committee that summarizes the courses taken, the proposed thesis topic, and the names and credentials of the MS Thesis Committee. During the research period, the student is expected to participate in track-specific graduate activities including retreats, student talks, journal clubs and other program functions. Only under unusual circumstances will the student be allowed to satisfy the research requirement in non-contiguous semesters.

Each track within the joint MD/MS Program has specific course requirements, described in each graduate department MS section. Available tracks include:  Biochemistry, Clinical Research (CRSP), Epidemiology, Nutrition, Pathology, Pharmacology, Physiology & Biotechnology.  As a minimum, graduation requires successful completion of 9 graded credits of graduate courses, 6 graded credits of IBIS medical curriculum, 18 non graded credits of research, and additional non graded credits for departmental seminar and the exam and zero credits for scientific integrity training (IBMS 500 On Being a Professional Scientist: The Responsible Conduct of Research or CMED 500 Scientific Integrity in Biomedical Research) in the program. Students are required to pass an examination (IBIS 600 Exam in Biomedical Investigation) established for each student, generally reflecting the preparation and oral defense of a written report on the project.

For more information please contact the College Program Advisor, Dr. Dennis Stacey or the University Program Advisor, Dr. William Merrick.

Typical Plan of Study

First YearUnits
Integrated Biological Sciences I (IBIS 401)3    
Integrated Biological Sciences II (IBIS 402)  3  
Some tracks begin research - 601    3
Year Total: 3 3 3
Second YearUnits
Track-specified Grad Course3    
Track-specified Grad Course3    
Track-specified Grad Course  3  
Exam in Biomedical Investigation (IBIS 600)  0  
On Being a Professional Scientist: The Responsible Conduct of Research (IBMS 500)
or Scientific Integrity in Biomedical Research (CMED 500)
Year Total: 6 3 1
Third YearUnits
Research - Track Specific 6019  
Research - Track Specific 601  6-9
Year Total: 9 6-9
Fourth YearUnits
Medical School Curriculum - no credit0  
Medical School Curriculum - no credit  0
Year Total:    
Fifth YearUnits
Medical School Curriculum - no credit0  
Medical School Curriculum - no credit  0
Year Total:    
Total Units in Sequence:  34-37

Departmental Seminar is also taken for 1 credit hour - timing depends upon the track.

MD/PhD in Health Policy and Health Services Research

This program prepares students for careers in academic medicine, health policy, public health, and/or health care management. An important area of focus within this training program is methods and issues in study design that pertain to research examining the health and health care problems of urban and vulnerable populations.

Application to and acceptance in the PhD program in Health Policy/Health Services Research follows admission to the School of Medicine. Dual-degree students are fully integrated with graduate students in other tracks within the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Dual-degree students typically complete the PhD coursework and the dissertation requirement by their end of their fifth year after matriculation, with the MD awarded at the end of the seventh year. Support for tuition and a stipend is available for a limited number of students each year.

For more information, see Epidemiology and Biostatistics section or contact the departmental coordinator for Graduate Studies, Nickalaus Koziura, at 216.368.5957.

Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)

A combined MD/PhD program in biomedical sciences, the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) is available for students desiring research careers in medicine and related biosciences. This program takes seven to eight years to complete, depending on the time needed to complete the PhD dissertation research. Financial support includes a stipend and full tuition support.

Candidates must meet established prerequisites for admission to both the School of Medicine and the School of Graduate Studies. Criteria include demonstrated capabilities in research and superior undergraduate academic credentials. Applicants must have either U.S. citizenship or permanent residency status to be considered for admission to the MSTP. Information can be obtained by contacting the MSTP program or from the program website.  Admissions are coordinated via the School of Medicine admissions program and the AMCAS application.

The first two years of the MSTP are centered on the University Program pre-clinical core medical school curriculum, which occupies five mornings each week. Afternoons include time for graduate courses and/or research rotations, as well as clinical training, thus integrating the medical school and graduate school experiences. The next three to four years are devoted to completion of graduate courses and PhD thesis research in one of the multiple MSTP-affiliated graduate programs. During the PhD phase, MSTP students participate in the MSTP Clinical Tutorial, a program designed to enhance clinical skills and allow students to develop connections between their research and clinical interests (this further addresses the goal of integrating medicine and science). After completion of the PhD program, students return to medical school for two years to complete clinical clerkships and finish the MD curriculum.

The program is administered by the MSTP Steering Committee, which consists of faculty from both basic science and clinical departments. Its functions include selecting candidates for admission, designing and administering the program curriculum, advising students and evaluating student progress.

Please see the Doctor of Medicine (MD) page for information about the MD curriculum.  

MSTP Program by Year


Year 1

  • University Program MD curriculum

  • Summer research rotation

  • One graduate course or research rotation each semester (fall and spring)

Year 2

  • University Program MD curriculum

  • Summer research rotations (1 or 2)

  • Graduate course or research rotation in the fall semester

Year 3

  • PhD program

Year 4

  • PhD program

  • MSTP Clinical Tutorial

Year 5

  • PhD program

  • Optional MSTP Clinical Tutorial

Year 6 (If Needed)

  • PhD program

  • Optional MSTP Clinical Tutorial

  • All PhD work, including dissertation defense and publications, to be completed before starting the 3rd year medical curriculum

Year 7

  • Third year MD curriculum (core clinical clerkships)

Year 8

  • Fourth year MD curriculum (completion of core clinical clerkships if necessary, clinical and research electives)

The Medical Scientist Training Program in detail

General Description

The Case Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) provides training for future physician-scientists by integrating well-developed curricula in science and medicine. Unique aspects of the program include the integration of graduate school and medical school in many phases of the program to optimize dual-degree training, and a high degree of student involvement in running the program.

The MSTP includes three major phases of training.

First phase: During the first two years, each student completes the first two years of the University Program medical school curriculum, including early clinical experiences, completes at least three research rotations, takes graduate courses, and chooses his or her PhD graduate program and thesis lab. During the summers before the first two years of medical school, students complete research rotations. During the fall and spring semesters of year one and the fall semester of year two, students take a graduate course or complete a research rotation.

Second phase: During the PhD phase, students complete all requirements of their PhD program. They also participate in the MSTP Clinical Tutorial for at least one year in a patient-based clinical specialty. A second year of MSTP Clinical Tutorial is optional.

Third phase: In the final phase, students complete years three and four of the University Program medical school curriculum. The focus is clinical training, but research electives can be taken for part of year four.

Although each of these three phases has a different focus, opportunities exist for students to pursue both research and clinical training in each phase. The philosophy of the Case MSTP is to integrate medicine and science throughout the program as much as possible.

The Case MSTP is run by faculty, students and staff. The MSTP Council is a body of students that plans and runs certain aspects of the program. The administrative director, program coordinator, and program assistant have many important roles and run the day-to-day management of the program.  The co-director is involved in decisions at all levels of the program and is the primary advisor for students in the first two years of the program. The director is responsible for all aspects of the program and is available to students for advice at any stage. The MSTP Steering Committee makes decisions on MSTP policy, curriculum planning, student admissions, approval of mentors and evaluation of students.

Incoming MSTP students are expected to enter the program on July 1. The MSTP summer retreat, usually held in early July, provides an important orientation to the program and includes sessions and workshops for program and professional development.

Advising System

The program director provides advising to students in all phases of the program. The MSTP co-director advises students in the first two years on research rotations and course work. Students may also meet with an MSTP Steering Committee member representing an area of research interest or with the MSTP director. During the PhD training period, mentoring is provided by the thesis advisor and thesis committee, which includes a member of the MSTP Steering Committee and a member with an MD MSTP students are full members of the medical school class and enter one of the four societies of the University Program when they matriculate in the program. The society dean provides important advice for matters concerning the MD curriculum.

Classes and Research Rotations in Years One and Two

During years one and two of the University Program, MSTP students register for 9 credit hours of graduate course work each semester.

Plan of Study

First YearUnits
Integrated Biological Sciences I (IBIS 401)1 - 9  
Clinical Science I (IBIS 411)2  
Research Rotation in Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP 400)*0 - 9  
Integrated Biological Sciences II (IBIS 402)  1 - 9
Clinical Science II (IBIS 412)  2
Research Rotation in Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP 400)*  0 - 9
Year Total: 3-20 3-20
Second YearUnits
Integrated Biological Sciences III (IBIS 403)1 - 9  
Clinical Science III (IBIS 413)2  
Research Rotation in Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP 400)*0 - 9  
Graduate School courses  3-4
601 Research (in specific program)  5-6
Year Total: 3-20 8-10
Total Units in Sequence:  17-70

MSTP 400 Research Rotation in Medical Scientist Training Program or an appropriate graduate school course. If a 4-credit graduate course is taken, registration in IBIS 401 Integrated Biological Sciences I, IBIS 402 Integrated Biological Sciences II or IBIS 403 Integrated Biological Sciences III is reduced to 3 units.

IBIS 401 Integrated Biological Sciences I, IBIS 402 Integrated Biological Sciences II and IBIS 403 Integrated Biological Sciences III are 3-4 credits each.  IBIS 411 Clinical Science I, IBIS 412 Clinical Science II, and IBIS 413 Clinical Science III are 2 credit hours each.  In contrast to their fellow medical students, MSTP students are graded during years one and two of the medical school curriculum for these graduate courses, which provide graduate school credit for the medical school curriculum. These grades are for graduate school purposes and do not affect standing in the medical school.

In addition to the medical curriculum, students take MSTP 400 Research Rotation in Medical Scientist Training Program  or one 3-4 credit graduate school course per semester in the first two years. Graduate courses are scheduled in the afternoon in the fall and spring semesters to avoid conflict with the medical school curriculum. MSTP students will be registered for MSTP 400 during the summer terms before each of the first two years of medical school. Students also may complete a research rotation instead of a graduate school course during the fall or spring semester.

The PhD Phase

After completion of the second year of medical school, each student chooses a PhD thesis mentor, joins a specific PhD program, and completes any remaining graduate school course work and other requirements for the PhD degree. The following training programs are affiliated with the MSTP. (If the training program is not itself an independent PhD program, the program through which it is offered is indicated in parentheses.)

  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cancer Biology (Pathology)
  • Cell Biology
  • Clinical Translational Science
  • Developmental Biology (Genetics and Neurosciences)
  • Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • Genetics and Genome Sciences
  • Immunology (Pathology)
  • Molecular Biology and Microbiology
  • Molecular Virology
  • Pathology (Molecular and Cellular Basis of Disease)
  • Neurosciences
  • Nutrition
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology and Biophysics
  • Systems Biology and Bioinformatics

All MSTP students are required to take a one-week ethics course (IBMS 500 On Being a Professional Scientist: The Responsible Conduct of Research during the spring semester of their second year in the program.

Clinical Tutorial, Clinical Refresher Course and Years Three and Four of Medical School

During the PhD thesis phase, MSTP students take the MSTP Clinical Tutorial, which provides a unique longitudinal part-time clinical experience. The MSTP Clinical Tutorial is a year-long course that enhances clinical skills for year three of medical school. It also serves a special career development objective by allowing students to balance medical and scientific interests and explore the connections between these areas. The MSTP Clinical Tutorial, offered during the PhD phase, is an example of the integration of science and medicine in the Case MSTP. An optional MSTP Clinical Refresher course may be taken before the start of year three. After completion of the PhD, MSTP students are enrolled in medical school to complete the requirements for the MD (see description provided for the University Program).

MSTP Activities

The MSTP supports several activities that enhance the scientific and professional development of students. These activities also foster a vibrant and collegial MSTP community with a strong sense of mission in the training of physician scientists.

Summer retreat: The annual MSTP summer retreat is a two-day event focusing on scientific presentations, professional development and program planning for the upcoming academic year.

Winter retreat: This is a one-day retreat on campus, usually in early March.  Students in their research years present their thesis work through an oral or poster presentation.

MSTP Council coordinates many activities of the Case MSTP. The Council meets once each month to discuss activities that are run by different student committees. The overall goals of the MSTP Council are to identify objectives for the program, to allow students to initiate programs to enhance the MSTP, to encourage increased student involvement in the operation of the MSTP, and to enhance development of leadership skills of MSTP students. The president, vice president and secretary are all elected for a one-year period. Committees are led by 1-3 committee chairs who take charge of committee activities and coordinate the involvement of other students in the committee activities. All students are welcome and encouraged to participate in the various committees and to attend the council meetings. Recent Council committees and other program activities have included the following:

1.     Monthly Dinner Meeting Committee

This committee is responsible for planning monthly dinner meetings, selecting topics, speakers, and menus. The series is organized by students and is attended by students, Steering Committee members and research mentors. Invited speakers (students, faculty, alumni and outside speakers) address issues pertinent to research, professional issues, career development or other topics of interest. The informal environment at these gatherings promotes social and professional interactions.

2.     Communications and Webpage Committee

This committee organizes communications and the Case MSTP website content.

3.     Summer Retreat Committee

This committee plans the summer retreat.

4.     Intro to MSTP

This committee organizes events for first year MSTP students, to integrate them into the program and the community.  

5.     Community Service Committee

Plans events for involvement of MSTP students in community service.

6.     Social Committee

This important committee plans fun events throughout the year!

7.     Student Representative to Faculty Council

One student is selected to represent the MSTP on Faculty Council.

8.     Student Representative to the Committee on Medical Education

9.     Representative to the Graduate Student Senate

10.   MSTP Women’s Committee

Women in the MSTP organize luncheons or other meetings to discuss issues that face women pursuing careers in science. Students may invite a successful woman scientist who provides a role model as a physician scientist.

Scientific meetings: The program strongly encourages students to present their research at national or international meetings and provides financial support to pay for part of meeting travel expenses (other funding is obtained from the research mentor). In addition to the general meeting support for all students, each year two students are offered the opportunity to attend the annual MD/PhD national student conference in Colorado or the American Physician Scientist Association annual meeting in Chicago, with all expenses paid by the MSTP.

Research symposia: MSTP students are encouraged to present their research at Case student symposia, including the annual graduate student symposium and the Irwin H. Lepow Student Research Day. These symposia feature a nationally recognized keynote speaker, and students have the opportunity to interact extensively with the noted scientist. A committee awards prizes for outstanding student presentations.

Assessment of MSTP Students

Students in the MSTP are assessed for the medical school component of the program in the same manner as students in the University Program, with the exception that grades are awarded for those courses in the MD curriculum in years one and two that receive graduate school credit and are used to satisfy requirements for the PhD degree. Students must satisfactorily complete all requirements for both the MD and the PhD.

IBIS Courses

IBIS 401. Integrated Biological Sciences I. 1 - 9 Unit.

A four-semester sequence encompassing anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, and microbiology.

IBIS 402. Integrated Biological Sciences II. 1 - 9 Unit.

A continuation of IBIS 401.

IBIS 403. Integrated Biological Sciences III. 1 - 9 Unit.

A continuation of IBIS 402.

IBIS 411. Clinical Science I. 2 Units.

IBIS 412. Clinical Science II. 2 Units.

IBIS 413. Clinical Science III. 2 Units.

IBIS 424. Integrated Biological Sciences in Medicine. 6 Units.

This course is open only to candidates enrolled in the M.D./M.S. program (University plan). Registration is for the Spring semester of the second year in medical school. The course will cover the areas of cardiology, pulmonary, hematology, renal physiology and gastroenterology. Assessment will be by examination (to include quizzes, multiple choice questions, and essays). Recommended preparation: First three semesters of medical school and currently a medical student in good standing.

IBIS 434. Integrated Biological Sciences in Medicine. 6 Units.

This course is open only to candidates enrolled in the M.D./M.S. program (College plan). Registration is for the Spring semester of the second year in medical school. The course content includes the areas of hematology, gastroenterology and renal physiology. Students will also be required to participate in Process of Discovery. Assessment of performance will be through reaching required levels of competency for the medical areas identified above and by the evaluation of a term paper. Recommended preparation: First three semesters of medical school and currently a medical student in good standing.

IBIS 451. Clinical Science (for M.D./M.A. Bioethics Students). 3 Units.

IBIS 461. Clinical Science (for M.P.H./M.D. Students). 1 - 6 Unit.

IBIS 466. Medical School Electives (for M.P.H./M.D. Students). 1 - 6 Unit.

IBIS 600. Exam in Biomedical Investigation. 0 Units.

Students are required to pass an examination established for each student, generally reflecting the preparation and oral defense of a written report on the project. Prereq: Must be enrolled in MD/MS Biomedical Investigation program.

MSTP Courses

MSTP 400. Research Rotation in Medical Scientist Training Program. 0 - 9 Units.

All students must complete research rotations in a minimum of three different MSTP-approved laboratories and submit rotation reports and rotation evaluations for each to the MSTP office. All three of the rotations must be completed before the beginning of each student's third year of the program. The main purpose of research rotations is to aid the student in selecting a laboratory for their thesis work.