Master of Science in Medicine Degree Program

The Master of Medicine (MSM) program is a master's degree program that provides PhD candidates serious exposure to clinical medicine with a view to fostering translational research. The incredible pace of basic science discovery today stands in dramatic contrast to the slow rate of development of useful medical advances. There is urgent need for a more efficient mechanism to generate a larger pool of scientists knowledgeable about human biology and disease. The goal of the MSM program is to train a new generation of PhD students about human biology and disease, and thus better prepare them to translate new scientific discoveries into useful medical advances. Stanford University School of Medicine has long been a world leader in medical training and research and is therefore an ideal location for this program. As the Medical School and this program are located on the central campus of Stanford University, chemistry, physics, biology and bioengineering students - as well as those students enrolled in the various Biosciences PhD programs housed at the School of Medicine - will be able to participate.

The MSM program admits an elite group of highly talented people who have a serious commitment to translational research but are not interested in becoming clinicians. Students admitted to any of the PhD programs offered at Stanford have the opportunity to apply for MSM admission on a competitive basis. The first group of MSM students was admitted in 2006 (see Admissions). The program matriculates approximately six students per year and competition for these slots is intense. Funding for each student during the first year of the program is completely covered by scholarship support from the MSM program. Beginning in the second year financial support is covered by each student's home PhD program. Thus all students selected to participate in the MSM program are able to do so regardless of financial need since all stipend, tuition and health insurance costs are fully covered by the MSM and PhD programs.

In practice, the program will extend the total training time by one-year beyond the usual length of PhD training. During the program’s first two years MSM participants will take basic biomedical science courses with the School of Medicine's MD students, This course schedule allows MSM students to concurrently undertake some PhD course requirements and lab rotations. By early in the second program year, students will choose labs for thesis research and elect clinical mentors. The Master of Science in Medicine degree will be conferred upon successful completion of the required coursework and clinical experience.

MSM In the News

SOM News Release
April 6, 2009

Stanford Report
March 1, 2006

Wall Street Journal
January 20, 2006

SoM News Release
December 19, 2005