The MD-PhD Program enables medical students and graduates (in addition to their regular degree in medicine, dentistry, or veterinary medicine) to gain a basic natural science education which allows them to conduct regular doctoral studies at the Science Faculty of UZH, without previously attaining an MSc degree in natural science. The program serves as an entry point for medical students and graduates into the Life Science Zurich Graduate School. The role of the MD-PhD program is to select eligible candidates and to coordinate their integrated science education. All MD-PhD students must join one of the existing Life Science Zurich Graduate School PhD programs for their continuing education during their PhD studies.
The MD-PhD is oriented exclusively toward Master students and graduates of degree courses in human medicine, veterinary medicine or dentistry.
The MD-PhD program is supervised by an Interfaculty steering committee (IMPK), which consists of representatives of the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Medicine, and the Vetsuisse Faculty.
In addition to fulfilling the requirements of the regular doctoral studies at the Science Faculty, MD-PhD students are required to earn an additional 35 ECTS credit points in the framework of the MD-PhD propaedeutic studies.
Track I: The propaedeutic studies are entered in parallel to the medical Master studies at UZH. The doctoral dissertation is conducted after earning the medical Master degree.
Track II: Both propaedeutic studies and doctoral dissertation are conducted after attaining a medical Master degree (human medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry).
The doctoral dissertation can only be carried out in one of the research groups of UZH or ETHZ belonging to the Life Science Zurich Graduate School. Students must endeavor independently to secure a position in a host laboratory.
Dr. sc. nat.
Track I: Admitted to apply for the Track I MD-PhD program are students who have earned at least a Bachelor’s degree in human medicine, veterinary medicine or dentistry at any Swiss university.
Track II: Admitted to apply for the Track II MD-PhD program are students who have earned at least a Master’s degree in human medicine, veterinary medicine or dentistry. Admission of applicants from outside Europe is subject to the recognition of their degree by the Admission Office of UZH.
Selection of candidates is carried out by the Interfaculty MD-PhD Commission (IMPK). Selection criteria include examination scores during medical studies and an interview with the IMPK. In the interview candidates’ prior knowledge of and interest in basic scientific research are determined. Also examined is the extent to which candidates have looked into the research field of the chosen doctoral dissertation, dealt with it intellectually and whether they possess the aptitude to implement this research in an operative manner.
MD-PhD students can apply for a specific MD-PhD fellowship coordinated by SAWM. This is a prestigious, competitive fellowship which provides a salary for up to 3 years. Applicants need to be legal residents of Switzerland for a minimum of 2 years.