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Catalog 2013 - 2014

Dual Degree Programs

Michael L. Smith, PhD, Multidisciplinary Program Director
Research and Education 324
Phone: 817-735-2514
E-mail: michael.smith@unthsc.edu

UNTHSC offers several dual degree opportunities bridging the MPAS and DO degrees with the MPH, MS and PhD degrees within the School of Public Health (SPH) and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS). Future dual degree opportunities will also be offered to students pursuing the DPT and PharmD degrees and additional public health degrees.

DO/MS Format

Block 1. Block 1 consists of the preclinical years for the DO degree. During Block 1, the student will complete the first three years of the DO curriculum, must maintain a "B" average within the medical curriculum and must pass levels 1 and 2 of the College of Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX). During this block, the student will register only for courses within the TCOM curriculum. An exception to these rules may be made only with the approval of the Dual Degree Program Advisory Committee, the appropriate TCOM associate dean and the GSBS dean. Entry into the DO/MS program may occur during year 1, 2, or 3 of the medical curriculum. 

During Block 1, the student will select a graduate advisory committee and file an approved graduate degree plan of at least 30 SCH (which includes 6 SCH advanced standing awarded for the basic science didactic course work required in the DO curriculum) with the GSBS Office of Admissions and Services.

Block 2. Block 2 consists of at least one year dedicated to graduate study. During Block 2, the student is expected to complete all course work required for the MS degree, file an approved thesis research proposal, and make significant progress toward the completion of the thesis research.

UNTHSC may provide financial support during Block 2 to students in the MS/DO from sources including research grants, departmental assistantships and other departmental funds. This support can include tuition, and may include a stipend.  All dual degree program students are eligible to apply for financial aid.

During Block 2, the student will also participate in a half-day elective clinical rotation each week.  This experience will serve to maintain their clinical training experience and patient skills while the student is enrolled in their research training.  An additional elective month during Block 3 will be available to complete their research requirements. 

Block 3. During Block 3, the student will complete the required clinical rotations. During this block, the student may also continue work toward the MS thesis as necessary.  As noted above, an additional elective month will be available and can be used to complete the thesis requirement.

At the end of Block 3, the student is expected to have completed the curriculum required for the DO degree and to have completed at least 24 additional SCH of graduate courses under the GSBS, as required for the second degree, including the thesis. Following completion of the curricula required for both degrees, the student is awarded the DO degree through TCOM and the MS through GSBS.

 

DO/PhD Format

Entry into the DO/PhD program may occur either 1) at entry into medical school (Medical Scientist Training Program) or 2) by application to and acceptance into the PhD program of the GSBS during years 1, 2 or 3 of medical school.  Students accepted into the DO/PhD program can take one of two curricular paths as described below.   The decision as to which Path is chosen will be made by the student in consultation with his/her graduate program mentor, and must be approved by the deans of TCOM and the GSBS. 

PATH 1:  The curricular sequence for PATH 1 follows the three blocks described below and is illustrated in the Table.

Block 1. Block 1 consists of the preclinical years for the DO degree. During Block 1, the student will complete the first three years of the DO curriculum, must maintain a "B" average within the medical curriculum and must pass Parts 1 and 2 of the College of Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX). During this block, the student will register only for courses within the TCOM curriculum. An exception to these rules may be made only with the approval of the Dual Degree Program Advisory Committee, the appropriate TCOM associate dean and the GSBS dean.

Block 2. Block 2 consists of at least two years dedicated to graduate study.  The student will select a graduate advisory committee and file an approved graduate degree plan of at least 90 SCH (which includes30 SCH advanced standing awarded for the basic science didactic course work required in the DO curriculum) with the GSBS Office of Admissions and Services.  The student is expected to complete all course work required for the PhD degree, complete the requirements for advancing to candidacy, file an approved dissertation research proposal, and make significant progress toward the completion of the dissertation research. The student will receive a waiver of all TCOM and GSBS tuition as supported by the Multidisciplinary Program.  In addition, the student will receive an annual stipend consistent with the GSBS graduate stipend for doctoral students provided by the Multidisciplinary Program.

During Block 2, the student will also participate in a half-day elective clinical rotation biweekly.  This experience will serve to maintain their clinical training experience and patient skills while the student is enrolled in their research training.  An additional elective month during Block 3 will be available to complete their research requirements. 

Block 3. During Block 3, the student will complete the required clinical rotations during this block, the student will also continue work toward completion of the dissertation. At the end of Block 3, the student is expected to have completed the curriculum required for the DO degree and to have completed at least 60 additional SCH of graduate courses under the GSBS, as required for the PhD, including the successful completion and defense of his/her dissertation. Following completion of the requirements for both degrees, the student is awarded the DO degree through TCOM and the PhD through the GSBS.

PATH 2:  The curricular sequence for PATH 2 will follow the same sequence as PATH 1, except that 1) Block 1 will include only Years 1 and 2 of the medical curriculum and completion of only Level 1 of the COMLEX exam, and 2) Block 3 will include both Years 3 and 4 of the medical curriculum (clerkships).

This page last modified March 25, 2013