PhD Programs

In keeping with our mission to train the best and most original practitioners in medical and biomedical sciences, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) offers three programs leading to a PhD degree, as well as an integrated track leading to a simultaneous MD/PhD degree.

PhD in Biomedical Science or Neuroscience

Today, more than at any time in history, the study of contemporary science crosses the boundaries of many disciplines; it overlaps with old and new fields and in the process creates new ones.  When new fields are developed they present opportunities to provide fresh and inventive approaches to important biomedical problems.

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at ISMMS exemplifies the changing and challenging nature of the contemporary field, and our students follow a study track that focuses on a single important research area. Students are supported in these endeavors by learning how to translate the lessons learned in the laboratory to the day to day needs of the clinic.

Learn more about the PhD in Biomedical Science

Learn more about the PhD in Neuroscience

PhD Training Areas

PhD training areas or multidisciplinary training areas (MTAs) are a core characteristic of graduate education and provide our students with the opportunity to expand their areas of study beyond the confines of one discipline. We currently have eight such training areas in which multiple departments participate:

There are currently about 180 students in the program, and the training faculty represents more than 250 research laboratories. ISMMS's research faculty continues to grow in numerous important areas of research. Students enjoy interactions with faculty and the novel programs and viewpoints they bring to the Graduate School.

ISMMS’ pre-doctoral education prepares students to take innovative approaches to scientific problems, as well as to help students investigate new ones.  Upon graduation, students are awarded the PhD degree in biomedical sciences or in neurosciences by ISMMS.

PhD in Clinical Research

The Clinical Research Education Program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is an outstanding training ground for those health-science professionals interested in clinical and translational research. Applicants include clinical and postdoctoral fellows, junior faculty, nurse PhDs, veterinarians, and allied health professionals, as well as MD, MD/PhD, and basic science PhD students. 

Learn more about the PhD in Clinical Research

Physician Scholars PhD Program

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has long been at the forefront of challenging the traditional parameters of medical and science education. Our Physician Scholars PhD program represents one of our many commitments toward promoting the clinical and research abilities of our students.

The Physician Scholars PhD program is designed for those who already have a medical degree and later developed an interest in research, or for those who want to pursue PhD training after they have attained a clear clinical focus to better guide their PhD thesis work.  The program provides an integration of clinical training during residency/fellowship with PhD training, and offers the potential for post-residency research depending on the fellowship.

Learn more about the Physician Scholars PhD Program

MD/PhD Program

The MD/PhD Program offers students a well-rounded education by combining clinical education with next-generation research in one of the nation’s foremost biomedical research communities. Our cross-disciplinary approach to addressing complex biomedical problems promotes inventive collaborations, and exposes students to initiatives that bridge the gap between science and medicine. Our graduates are poised to embark upon careers as leaders who drive basic science discoveries toward improved clinical care. 

Preclinical Years

The MD/PhD student’s Preclinical Years begin the summer prior to the start of medical school with a laboratory rotation, and move to the fall semester, with a course load that combines the first year medical school curriculum with introductory graduate courses.

PhD Years

The PhD years follow the conclusion of the second year of the medical school curriculum and a study period leading up to taking Step 1 of the National Board Medical Licensing Exam.  During their PhD years many MD/PhD students maintain and hone their clinical skills through work in the East Harlem Health Outreach Partnership (EHHOP), our free, student-run clinic for uninsured patients in East Harlem.

PhD research typically draws to a close around the fifth year of training, after which the trainee is called upon to defend their thesis and start the third year of medical school.

Clinical Years

The final year, during which trainees apply and interview for residencies and fellowships, parallels the fourth year of the medical school curriculum wherein students perform additional clerkships and take up to 21 weeks of electives allowing for rotations at potential residency sites, scholarly work at affiliate institutions or an international venue, or longitudinal clinical experiences.

Learn more about the MD/PhD Program