How to Apply to the MD-PhD

The Northwestern University Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) receives over 600 applications annually for 17 available positions.

MSTP Eligibility

All applicants should meet these minimum criteria:

  • A bachelor’s degree with advanced coursework in science, mathematics or engineering
  • Research experience of at least one academic year or three summers
  • A record of strong academic achievement
  • A commitment to a dual career in biomedical investigation and medicine
  • A well-rounded resume that shows leadership, a commitment to volunteerism and interests in and out of an academic setting
  • For additional information on application requirements, including recommended coursework, MCAT, letters of recommendation, etc., please see the Feinberg School of Medicine MD Admissions Requirements.

International students who have completed at least three years of full-time study (undergraduate, graduate and/or post-baccalaureate) at an accredited U.S. or Canadian college or university may apply. International students receive the same financial support as all other MSTP students. Current Feinberg MD students should contact MSTP Admissions for application information.

Individuals who have completed an MD or PhD and current PhD students are not eligible for admission.

At Northwestern University we value and celebrate diversity. Please see our Policy of Non-Discrimination and Disabilities Statement.

Application FAQ

MSTP Application Timeline: 2023-2024 Academic Year

Northwestern MSTP only accepts applications through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS), and you are strongly encouraged to complete your application (AMCAS, supplemental and letters of recommendation) as early as possible, as we invite candidates to interview on a rolling basis. Your invitation to complete a secondary application may only be sent once you are AMCAS-verified (which can take up to eight weeks).

Before November 1, 2023

Apply Through AMCAS

On the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) website, choose "Northwestern MD-PhD Program (MSTP)." Answer the two MD-PhD-specific questions. Submit your application plus official transcripts to AMCAS. Your invitation to complete the MSTP Secondary Application may only be sent once your AMCAS application has been verified, which may take up to eight weeks.

Before November 15, 2023

Submit Secondary Application and Letters of Recommendation

Your application must be complete (AMCAS, MSTP Secondary Application and minimum of three letters of recommendation) to be considered for MSTP admission. Request a minimum of three letters of recommendation to be sent as early as possible to the AMCAS letter service. These letters may be included within a committee letter or composite letter or be submitted individually. Applications will not be considered for interview prior to “complete” status. There is no maximum number of recommendation letters that may be submitted.

September 2023 - January 2024

Interview Invitations and Interviews

Applications are reviewed, and interview invitations are sent by email on a rolling basis starting in late August to early September and may continue as late as January. Interviews are held once per month, September through January. During interviews, applicants meet with Northwestern MSTP leadership, faculty and current students. All interviews will be conducted virtually for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle. 

October 2023 - May 2024

Admissions Offers Sent

Admission will be offered on a rolling basis from October 2023 through May 2024.

April 2024

Second Look

Second Look programming includes a variety of social and academic events and will be held in person in early April 2024. Accepted applicants are invited to visit the Northwestern MSTP to learn more about our program, meet current students, explore the city of Chicago and meet with potential thesis advisers.

May 1, 2024

National Acceptance Deadline

You must accept your MSTP admission by May 1, 2024. After May 1, you may only hold an offer of admission at one institution.