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D.O./Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences Dual Degree

The Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Sciences (D.O./Ph.D.) program is offered to medical students interested in medical research and/or academic medicine. This degree is designed for the future physician who desires to see patients in a clinical setting while still maintaining an active interest in research.


Areas of emphasis include biochemistry, cell biology, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology and physiology.

Program Sequence

The D.O./Ph.D. program is typically completed in seven years. All degree requirements must be completed within nine years of entering the dual degree program.


# Years Links
Year 1-2 Complete first and second year medical school curriculum (D.O)
Year 3-5 Complete Ph.D. degree requirements including courses, comprehensive qualifying examination, research, dissertation, (approximately three years)
Year 6-7 Complete third and fourth year medical school curriculum (D.O)

D.O./Ph.D. students are required to complete all of the medical school MSI and MSII courses offered in the first and second year of the medical school curriculum; these courses account for up to 20 semester hours of credit toward the Ph.D. degree. During the first year of the Ph.D. degree component, D.O./Ph.D. students must take remaining required graduate courses, as well as elective graduate courses appropriate to the student’s educational needs.  An advisory committee will provide guidance for selecting elective course work.


D.O./Ph.D. students receive up to 20 hours of graduate credit for the medical school courses taken in the first two years of the medical school curriculum. Therefore, D.O./Ph.D. students are typically not allowed to transfer graduate credit from other institutions. However, under specific circumstances, additional transfer credit may be endorsed by the advisory committee.  Under these rare circumstances, the transfer credit must comply with the transfer guidelines as stated for the Ph.D. program, be endorsed by the student’s advisory committee, and then approved by the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Committee as part of the student’s Plan of Study, and by the Director of the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program. 


D.O./Ph.D. students are expected to conduct original research and must take a minimum of 20 hours of research and dissertation.  The research conducted will culminate in a written dissertation that must be approved by the advisory committee and publicly defended. Admission to Doctoral Candidacy, Research Proposal, and Qualifying Examination also will follow guidelines as described in the student handbook. In addition, D.O./Ph.D. students must prepare a draft of their dissertation and submit it to the advisory committee before entering the third year of medical school.  


The total number of graduate hours shall not be less than 60. Note that 60 hours is the bare minimum requirement. Required courses and Advisory Committee requirements may result in a greater number of hours. The Ph.D. portion of the D.O./Ph.D. program, which includes graduate courses, comprehensive qualifying examination, research and a dissertation, will take approximately three years. Thus, the time for completion of the D.O./Ph.D. degree program is approximately seven years.  All D.O./Ph.D. program requirements must be completed within nine years.


This information can be found on pages 16-17 of the student handbook. A link to the handbook can be found here.


Application Process for the D.O./Ph.D. Degree

In addition to submitting the biomedical Ph.D graduate application materials listed in the Biomedical Ph.D., dual degree students must apply separately to the D.O. program. The student must submit an AACOMAS application online by February 28 their year matriculation and pay the AACOMAS application fee.


Please consult the D.O. admissions webpage for a complete list of application materials and procedures. D.O./Ph.D. students may apply upon acceptance to medical school or within their first two years of medical coursework.


Application Requirements Specific to the D.O./Ph.D. Program

Transfer Credits

D.O./Ph.D. students are typically not allowed to transfer graduate credit from other institutions. Under specific circumstances, additional transfer credit may be approved by the advisory committee. Transfer credit must comply with the transfer guidelines as stated for the Ph.D. program. Required courses must be taken at the OSU Center for Health Sciences.



Students are required to maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better in their biomedical coursework. An academic review will occur in May at the end of each year of coursework to evaluate the progress of the student in the program. The D.O./Ph.D. student is required to enter the Ph.D. portion of the program after completing the first 2 years of the medical curriculum.


All other coursework, credit hours, research proposal, and qualifying examination requirements are the same as outlined in the Ph.D. program requirements and restrictions.



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