MD/PhD Admissions

We participate in the American Medical College Application Services (AMCAS) of the Association of American Medical Colleges.

COVID-19 UPDATE – The MD/PhD Admissions Committee recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic may have disrupted coursework, research, or other activities as you prepared to apply to MD/PhD programs. Therefore, the Admissions Committee will give each application a holistic review, as has been its policy, and will take into consideration special circumstances that might have affected the application. With respect to the MCAT, we understand that applicants may still have pending scores. Due to the circumstances this year, applicants will be considered for interview invitations with a pending MCAT score but will not be considered for admission unless the score has been reported. We recommend taking the exam no later than August to allow 4-6 weeks for score reporting in time for admissions decisions.

The MD/PhD admissions process begins with the submission of your primary materials to the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS)You should file your AMCAS application no later than October 15 of the year preceding the one for which you wish to be admitted. We will require additional information from all applicants. Once your AMCAS application has been submitted and verified, we will contact you by email and direct you to complete our online secondary application. This supplemental application will allow you to more fully describe your reasons for applying to the School, as well as indicate your specific areas of interest. We use this information to select the most appropriate faculty members to meet with you, should you be invited to ISMMS for an interview.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit the AMCAS application as early as possible.

You may submit the secondary application from July 1 through November 1. The earliest date of notification of acceptance to the MD/PhD program is generally January of the year of matriculation. If you are admitted to the School, you must acknowledge receipt of the offer within two weeks after receipt of notification 

Important Dates for MD/PhD Entry:


MD/PhD Program Application Timeline
Month Admissions Cycle
May AMCAS Application Available
July through November 1 Invitations for secondary applications are sent via email
July through November Application Screening
August Invitations to interview begin to be sent via email
September through February Interviews
October 15 AMCAS Application Deadline
November 1 MD/PhD Secondary Application Deadline
December through June Decisions Released
March/April  Revisit for Accepted Applicants
late June Orientation begins for the entering class

When submitting to the AMCAS, make sure to designate the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai as the recipient, and indicate that you are interested in our MD/PhD program––this will then lead to additional essay prompts. Upon selecting our MD/PhD program, you will be asked to choose potential fields for your PhD (these choices are purely informational and not binding).

Please send all admissions materials, with the exception of the supplementary application, to AMCAS. All letters of recommendation should be submitted to AMCAS via their letter reception services. There is no need to send duplicate copies to our admissions office.

PhD Training Areas

You may choose your PhD program from one of seven different multidisciplinary training areas (MTAs) offered by the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Your final choice of MTA is made after you have matriculated. PhD research is often performed in collaboration with one of the Health System’s Research Institutes. Completion of the program leads to conferral of a PhD degree in Neuroscience or Biomedical Sciences.


In addition to meeting the minimum subject requirements for admission to the MD program, you must have significant research experience. You should also have taken advanced courses in the sciences. Completion of the MD program also requires adherence to the technical standards for admission. Preference will be given to applicants who will join the program during the first year of MD/PhD training. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Application Review Policy and Procedure

Each completed application is evaluated by faculty members of the MSTP Admissions Committee.   After screening, the Committee, a team of ISMMS faculty and senior MSTP students, conducts admission interviews, and is charged with identifying those applicants who have a strong motivation to become physician scientists  in diverse areas of biomedical sciences research conducted at ISMMS.

In the screening of approximately 400 applications annually, evidence of significant research experience, with strong recommendations from their mentor(s), is weighed as highly as strong evidence of intellectual ability and academic strength in sciences. We also consider the depth and duration of prior research experience.


We conduct interviews throughout the admissions season, which typically begins in October and concludes in January. The interview session typically begins on a Monday afternoon and concludes the following afternoon.  We interview approximately 100 students per season, out of a pool of approximately 400 applications. 

You will have the opportunity to meet with the program director and administrators, members of the admissions committee, multidisciplinary training area directors, ISMMS faculty members, and current students. Formal interviews will be conducted by four or five faculty members from the Graduate School and the School of Medicine, as well as one advanced MD/PhD student. Interviewers will be selected based on the research interests you specified on your supplementary application. If invited to interview, you should be prepared to discuss past scientific and clinical experiences, your reasons for applying, and notable aspects of your application.

Attributes of a Successful Candidate

 The characteristics of an ideal MSTP candidate include:

  • A love of science
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Problem solving skills
  • Collaborative
  • Empathetic    
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Willingness to challenge paradigms
  • Drive to help others
  • Effective communication skills
  • Commitment to a career as a physician scientist

What if I am not invited to interview?

Applications that are not selected for interviews may be routed to the Medical School admissions department for consideration. In order to be considered for the MD program, you must send a request to the MD/PhD Director. MD admissions decisions are made independently from the MD/PhD review process.


If you are invited to interview for a space in the MD/PhD program, we will cover some of the costs associated with staying in New York City. Typically, we provide lodgings near the ISMMS campus. Full details will be provided in your interview invitation. In addition, meals will be provided.  Information on public transportation, maps of the ISMMS campus, and a hotline number for directions are available online.

Admissions Decisions

We holistically evaluate all applications. As part of our decision making, we consider factors such as undergraduate performance, courses taken, MCAT scores, and recommendations from research mentors and other undergraduate faculty. We look for a commitment and serious exposure to research. Admission offers and waitlist decisions will be made beginning in December or January and will continue until we have filled the class. 

All admission offers include a guaranteed stipend for the entirety of the program, coverage of all medical school tuition, an excellent medical insurance package, and access to subsidized on-campus housing. An approximate admissions timetable will be discussed at the conclusion of your interviews.

We are able to matriculate approximately 12 students each year. Offers are made on the expectation that you will regularly update our office as to your consideration of our offer. Your ability to weigh your program preference will greatly facilitate the admissions process here at ISMMS, and at other programs across the country.


Accepted applicants will be invited to attend our MD/PhD Revisit, which is usually held in March or April.  Accepted applicants will also be invited to attend the Medical School Revisit.  These revisits are an opportunity for you to meet your future classmates as well as visit our research faculty, some of whom you may wish to work with the summer before you matriculate.


The MSTP, which is supported by the National Institutes of Health, offers matriculating students a fellowship package, which consists of a stipend, the full cost of tuition, and a comprehensive medical insurance package.