Changing app from MD/phd to md

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Full Member
May 6, 2010
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If I applied to an MD/phd program and would like to just pursue an MD the more I've thought about it. Any suggestions about the best time to notify programs? I'm afraid if I let then know prior to interviewing or having my application sent to committee, I'll be rejected from both the MD/phd and will ruin my chance of getting into the regular MD program.

If I get admitted, can I change to MD only prior to starting or would that be grounds for my admissions offer being rescinded?

Thanks for any info


Doctor Professor
10+ Year Member
Jul 7, 2008
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Once you are accepted, you are accepted. At every school that I know of, MD-PhD admission is contingent on MD acceptance (meaning that if the MD-PhD program accepts you and you back out, you are nevertheless still accepted in the MD program).

If you are in an MSTP, it would be best (for your personal finances) to drop out after you complete your first two years, as you would have your tuition and stipend covered during that time. If you are not in an MSTP, there may be a repayment clause.

If you have stronger morals, you can notify the program as soon as you are accepted so that you can get your financial aid in order. They cannot rescind your acceptance, although they may take issue with you depending on how late you tell them.


El Rey de Salsa
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jul 10, 2003
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Once you have acceptance in hand, but before FAFSA and other financial aid packages are completed, I would let them know of your intentions to switch.

Waiting till right before clinicals is a bit of a schmuck thing to do, unless you have a VERY legitamite reason. That money, which is from the government to pay for the future of our nations physician scientists may have gone to help some other future academic physician that would be making a fraction of what someone in a private workforce situation might make in order to bring new medical inventions and discoveries to light. Not a financial shortcut for others to take advantage of.

Also, these things have a way of coming around to bite you in the arse. The time and money that goes into organizing a school to have MSTP funds is pretty ridiculous. Don't think they won't remember that. Best to tell them sooner, or have a pretty good reason for your change of mind down the road.

Best of luck in your applications. Hope all works out. Take the high road.