Academic Programs

Ph.D.—The doctoral program at Meharry leads to the interdisciplinary Ph.D. in biomedical sciences with major emphasis in biochemistry and cancer biology, microbiology and immunology, neuroscience, and pharmacology. The program is divided into core, major emphasis, and dissertation phases. The core phase occupies the first year of study; all students enroll in courses defined as the core curriculum courses. During the major emphasis phase, students complete advanced courses and begin research in one of the major emphasis areas. The major emphasis phase ends when the student passes comprehensive examinations, thereby designating the student a candidate for the Ph.D. degree. During the dissertation phase, the student completes his/her research and writes a dissertation. During the dissertation phase, the successful Ph.D. candidate completes the research begun during the major emphasis phase under the direction of the advisor and dissertation committee. The candidate writes a doctoral dissertation describing the research in detail and defends it in a public seminar. To be granted the doctoral degree, the student must either publish or have accepted for publication a manuscript as first author in a peer-review journal, as well as present a public seminar on his/her dissertation research. Read more about the program and its course of study.

M.D./Ph.D.—The M.D./Ph.D. program is offered jointly by the School of Medicine and the School of Graduate Studies and Research. The program trains leaders in academic medicine by providing education in medicine and immersion in a research program of excellence. Students considered for admission to the combined degree program must meet the admission requirements of both the medical and graduate schools, including outstanding performance on the Medical College Admissions Test, an excellent grade point average, letters of recommendation, a personal interview, and a research interest statement. Students enrolled in the M.D./Ph.D. program matriculate in the School of Medicine for the first two years of their training. After successful performance on the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) Part I, students begin their research training inclusive of graduate level courses. Once the Ph.D. requirements are successfully completed, which includes publishing a manuscript and successfully defending a dissertation, students re-enter their medical studies and complete the medical school curriculum. Contact Dean Maria de Fatima Lima at mflima@mmc.edu for additional information.

M.S.P.H.—The Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) is offered by the Division of Public Health Practice in the School of Graduate Studies and Research. The program is committed to training students who seek optimal health for individuals within the context of their communities. Students in the M.S.P.H. program receive a foundation in the basics of public health and participate in externships, which have included the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Department of Veterans Affairs, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Harvard University, Tennessee Hospital Association, and the American Cancer Society. These externships lead to excellent opportunities for future employment as health professionals in the public, private, and voluntary health agency sectors at the local, state, federal, and international levels. Read more about the program and its course of study. 

M.S.C.I.—Clinical investigation is critically important for personal health, community health, disease prevention, healthcare delivery, and health policy. Although the rapid growth in basic science discovery has generated knowledge and technology that hold the potential to improve health care, the effective translation of these discoveries into better practice requires a robust clinical research enterprise. The M.S.C.I. program teaches young doctors how to conduct well designed research to improve the care of patients with many types of illnesses, creating a necessary and balanced cycle of information and technology exchange between the laboratory and clinical scientists. Read more about the program and its curriculum.

Health Policy Certificate—The Health Policy Certificate Program at Meharry Medical College offers students, within various disciplines, the opportunity to expand their knowledge of health policy as it relates to health care planning, health care resource allocation, health maintenance, health promotion, health programs and interventions, and strategies specific to minority and underserved communities. Students learn from faculty in multiple specialties from both Meharry Medical College and Vanderbilt University. The program’s curriculum spans one and one half years of training and includes a supplemental paid externship at a national organization. Read more about the Health Policy Scholars, as well as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation at Meharry.