Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program

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Transfer Policy

Policy for transfer into the Weill Cornell/Rockefeller/Sloan Kettering Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program

Please find below the policies covering:

  1. Transfer from Weill Cornell Medical College into the Weill Cornell/Rockefeller/Sloan Kettering Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program ("Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program")
  2. Transfer from an outside single-degree MD or PhD Program
  3. Transfer from another MD-PhD Program due to the recruitment of a thesis advisor to one of the institutions comprising the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program

Transfer from Weill Cornell Medical College into the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program

The Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program welcomes applications from medical students enrolled in Weill Cornell Medical College who wish to transfer into the MD-PhD Program.

Eligibility

To be considered for transfer into the MD-PhD Program after having been accepted into Weill Cornell Medical College, a medical student must have completed at least one major research experience with a faculty member who has a graduate school appointment in either the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences (WCGS), the David Rockefeller Graduate School (RU), or the Louis V. Gerstner Jr. Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSK). Usually, applicants will be in Year 2 of their medical school training. In exceptional cases, applications from students in Year 1 will be considered. The Program will also consider applications for transfer from students in Year 3 who are working on their Area of Concentration (AoC) project, which may involve a year or more of research leave from their medical training.

All applicants for transfer must be in good academic standing in the Medical College. Applicants in Years 1 and 2 are expected to have satisfactorily participated in the Frontiers in Biomedical Science courses. Applicants in Year 3 and above are expected to have taken their USMLE Step 1 examination.

Application Procedure

  1. Any Weill Cornell Medical College student who is contemplating applying for transfer into the MD-PhD Program should contact the Program Office as soon as possible to meet with the Program Director.

  2. The application process differs slightly for MD students in their first two years of training (pre-clerkship) and for students in their third year of training (post-clerkship) who may be on a research leave.

  • For pre-clerkship students, the application deadline is October 1. Before applying, the student should meet with the MD-PhD Program Director and the Medical College’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to discuss her/his interest in transferring and plan her/his clerkship schedule in the spring semester of Year 2. It is essential that this plan includes taking and passing USMLE Step 1 before transferring into the Program.
  • For post-clerkship students, the application deadline is May 1. Before applying, the student should meet with the MD-PhD program Director and the Medical College’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to discuss her/his interest in transferring and to develop a plan to take and pass USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK/CS before transferring into the Program.

    For both groups of students, the application should include:

    1. A Personal Statement in which the applicant summarizes his/her research background and scientific interests, as well as the reasons for wanting to pursue the combined degree.

    2. Recommendation letters from at least two science faculty members who can evaluate the applicant's research potential and suitability for a combined degree program, including at least one letter from a member of the graduate faculty in the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program.

    3. The applicant’s original AMCAS medical school application package and Medical College transcripts, which the applicant should request be forwarded to the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program Office by the application deadline. Students in Year 3 and above should also submit their USMLE Step 1 score.

Evaluation and Decision

Applications for transfer into the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program will be evaluated by the Program's Executive Committee. Applicants will usually be interviewed by the Committee members before a decision to accept or reject the application is made.

If the decision is made to invite the applicant to join the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program, the Program Director will consult with the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program's Executive Committee to devise a plan of study to ensure that the applicant's research training is comparable to that for all students in the Program. This plan will be spelled out in the Letter of Acceptance, which will be signed by the Program Director.

Transfer from a single-degree MD or PhD program

Except for students matriculated in Weill Cornell Medical College, the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program does not accept applications for transfer from students enrolled in a single-degree MD or PhD Program.

Transfer from another MD-PhD program due to the recruitment of thesis advisor to one of the institutions comprising the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program

The Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program accepts applications for transfer from students in another MD-PhD Program if the student is doing her/his thesis research in the laboratory of a faculty member who is being recruited to one of the institutions comprising the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program.

Eligibility

To be considered for transfer from another MD-PhD program into the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program under this policy, the applicant must satisfy the following three conditions: First, s/he must be enrolled in good standing at an MD-PhD program in an LCME-accredited medical school; second, s/he must be conducting thesis research in the laboratory of an advisor who is being recruited to one of the three institutions, and who will be a member of the graduate faculty in the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program; and third, s/he must have qualifications comparable to those of our current students. It is expected that the applicant is well underway in her/his thesis research; typically this means that s/he has completed the first two years of medical school training and at least one year of graduate school training. Usually, an applicant for transfer from another MD-PhD program will have at least two years of laboratory research remaining before s/he is able to defend the thesis, meaning that a significant part of the thesis research will be conducted in the institutions comprising the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program. It is expected, but not required, that the applicant has completed all graduate school requirements, including the "qualifying examination" in the Program in which s/he currently is enrolled. 

Application Procedure

  1. When a faculty member is recruited to the Tri-Institutional Campus and the faculty member wishes to bring one or more MD-PhD students with her/him, the recruiting institution should contact the Tri-Institutional Program Office as soon as possible in order to arrange a meeting between the faculty member, the student(s) and the Tri-Institutional Program Director.
  2. Applications for transfer should be received no later than April 1 in order to matriculate into the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program effective July 1. The application should include:
    • A Personal Statement in which the applicant summarizes her/his research background and scientific interests
    • A research plan and tentative timetable for the completion of the thesis research
    • A letter of support from the applicant's research advisor
    • Recommendation letters from at least two science faculty members who can evaluate the applicant's research potential and suitability for a combined degree program
    • A letter of support from the Director of the MD-PhD Program in which the student currently is enrolled
  3. Applicants must also ensure that their original MD-PhD and AMCAS medical school application package, official undergraduate, Medical College, and graduate school transcripts, and USMLE Step 1 score are forwarded to the MD-PhD Office by April 1.

Evaluation and Decision

The applicant is not guaranteed admission; and the application will be subject to the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program's usual review and discretion, including availability of institutional resources and funding.

Applications for transfer into the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program will be evaluated by the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program's Executive Committee with approval of the Committee on Admissions. Applicants will usually be interviewed by the three graduate school representatives on the Committee, by the Medical College's Director of Admissions, and by the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program Director.

The applicant's admission to the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program will be subject to such conditions as may be determined by the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program, Weill Cornell Medicine, and the appropriate graduate school.

Other Transfer Situations

For all other questions not addressed above regarding transfers, please contact the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program Office