PhD Programs Of Study

Students in the MD-PhD Program pursue their PhD in any field of study offered at Harvard or MIT. You can view an illustrative list of programs here.

Students may apply as either a Basic Science or a Social Science MD-PhD student.

Basic Sciences: Applicants in the basic and translational sciences do not need to complete a separate application to graduate school at the time of initial application. Our students traditionally apply to graduate programs in their second year of medical school.

Admitted MD-PhD Basic Science students are guaranteed acceptance into a Harvard Division of Medical Sciences PhD program (Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Biomedical Informatics; Immunology; Program in Neuroscience; Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology; Virology)

Admitted MD-PhD Basic Science students may also apply competitively to MIT or other Harvard PhD programs.

MD-PhD Program students are required to complete research rotations in their anticipated fields of study at Harvard and MIT. Such research experiences may be carried out during M1, M2, and G1. Please refer to the Pathways and HST Curriculum Maps for details regarding optimal timing of research rotations.

Social Sciences: The MD-PhD Program supports students applying to any PhD program in Harvard's Division of Social Sciences, Division of Arts & Humanities, or MIT's School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. Admitted MD-PhD Social Science students are accepted into their graduate program of interest upon MD-PhD program acceptance.

The Harvard graduate programs in Anthropology, Economics, Health Policy, History of Science, Population Health Sciences (Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Global Health & Population, Nutrition, and Social & Behavioral Sciences) and Religion are part of a "One Application" process and therefore applicants do not need to submit a separate, upfront graduate school application.

MD-PhD applicants are welcome to submit applications to other social science program(s) at Harvard or MIT. For more information, please visit the program of interest's website and contact the PhD program directly with any admissions criteria questions. Social Science applicants required to submit a separate application must also provide a separate set of recommendation letters to their PhD program of choice.

Social Science Application Materials:

All Social Science applicants are required to complete a statement of purpose for the PhD program of interest as part of the Harvard Medical School secondary application.

Depending upon the program of interest, some social science applicants may also need to provide additional materials (ex. a writing sample, CV, or GRE General test scores, etc.). Please follow the PhD program's requirements. See the webpages below for supplemental application material requirements for our Harvard "One Application" Social Science PhD programs. Applicants are encouraged to contact the PhD program(s) of interest directly to learn more about PhD admissions criteria.