Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Medical Scientist Training Program


Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) students at Northwestern University earn an MD degree from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the PhD degree from The Graduate School. MSTP students fulfill the degree requirements of whichever program they choose for the graduate phase of training. See MSTP information on The Graduate School website.

Course of Study

MSTP students proceed through three interrelated stages in a “2 + 3½ + 1½” course of study.

  1. The first stage of MSTP training consists of Phase 1 of Feinberg’s MD Curriculum (renewed beginning with the class of 2016) comprising the preclinical phase of training during the first two years, followed by Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). In addition, students begin Phase 2 of the MD Curriculum and take Introduction to Clinical Clerkships and 20 weeks of clinical clerkships to gain valuable clinical exposure before advancing to research training. 
  2. The next stage of training is focused on research. Students for three or more years fulfill the requirements for the PhD degree. 
  3. In the third and final stage, students complete Phases 2 and 3 of Fienberg’s MD curriculum comprising required and elective hospital-based clinical clerkships and Step 2 of the USMLE. 

MSTP Courses

In addition to the MD and PhD curriculum, students have course requirements specific to MSTP. Learn more about these MSTP-specific courses.

Courses of Study