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Schools with a free 5th year for additional degree/coursework

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anosmic

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I would like to combine studying medicine with going after a second degree, like an MBA, or maybe just taking some coursework in the humanities during an additional 5th year. Some programs (e.g. Yale) offer the option of pursuing such interests free of tuition for the extra year.

In previous threads, there has been some confusion as to the purpose of such programs. I am not talking about programs that allow a leave of absence or spreading your pre-clinical curriculum over 3 years. I am asking specifically about programs that allow you to go through the MD coursework in 4 years and add on an elective year of extra education (not just research!) free of charge.

Could we try to make a list of such programs? Here are the ones I've read of this far:
  • Albert Einstein (extra year free of tuition for M.S.)
  • Cleveland Clinic (my understanding is their program is 5 years by default for the purpose of allowing you to pursue elective graduate coursework)
  • Emory
  • Stanford (for courses within the medical school, more information needed)
  • U of Chicago
  • U of Minnesota
  • VCU (extra year for M.S. with tuition waved and $15k scholarship)
  • Yale
I will periodically update this list based on your input.

NB: I have also seen Duke, Harvard, Rochester and UPenn thrown into the discussion, but more input on those would be strongly appreciated. As far as I know: Duke condensed their MD curriculum to 3 years, but this does not mean an additional 2-year MBA will come free of charge; Harvard's tuition is paid separately to the individual schools (so no guaranteed free extra year); Rochester's free 5th year is for undergraduates, not medical students; UPenn only offers research fellowships (which are like a job, not like coursework).

Thanks in advance! If you have sources, that would be splendid too!
 
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NickNaylor

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The University of Chicago has a similar setup where other courses can be taken at the university for free as long as they do not lead to an additional degree. You would have to pay tuition if you are formally seeking a degree (but, for example, many of my classmates took a couple of classes at the business school as electives).

While many programs can be condensed down to 5 years (including an MBA with enough planning), not all can. Also, being in school and just taking classes without pursuing a formal degree may have implications with respect to your loans (i.e., they may become due) depending upon the kinds of loans as you would no longer be a degree-seeking student even though you're still in school. Just something to keep in mind.
 
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Mansamusa

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VCU has an option for an extra year to do a MS in some sort of medical research area. Tuition is free and you get a $15K living stipend
 
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Officer Farva

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Man, I love being in school and losing out on an extra year of income!
 
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bc65

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If a school offers a year of "free" tuition, and you're going to do an extra year anyway, then I suppose that's a plus. But do keep in mind that the extra year will cost you an extra year of living expenses, a year of compounding interest on your loans, and a year of your peak earnings, not to mention a year of investment growth. So, be sure that extra year of taking "free" courses is worthwhile. If getting an MBA is part of a clear career plan, then by all means do it. If not, remember that you can always take classes at night later as an attending.
 
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anosmic

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Thanks to all who mention other financial disincentives, all valid points. I'm not too worried about the opportunity cost of missing a year's income - I value a significant new experience more than a year's monetary increment and anyway, I don't suppose I can predict the length of my medical career so as to feel the loss. I'll be taking a huge loan regardless, and while living expenses + compound interest for a year will add on to it, they won't have a pronounced difference on my financial situation, and in any case, once I make it out of residency they shouldn't present too much of an additional burden. On the other hand, I think an MBA (admittedly more so than other types of coursework I am also interested in) will significantly contribute to my career options, it will make me more competitive for some positions (for entirely clinical ones it will at worst set my growth back a year but again, I don't really feel the loss), and it could drive up my potential earnings. I love being a student too, so I attach a, let's call it "quality of life" value to that extra year which I would otherwise completely miss out on. So, if a school is offering to save me tuition for the second degree, I take it as $60k+ saved, which seems to me like a great deal.


Their website says you can extend for a 5th or even a 6th year, but there's no notice of it being free of tuition, would you happen to know anything about that? I've sent them an email too.
 

p0gono

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Their website says you can extend for a 5th or even a 6th year, but there's no notice of it being free of tuition, would you happen to know anything about that? I've sent them an email too.

I believe the 5th+ year is free of tuition (or close) if your courses are 'within the medical school' but the MBA would not be free, unfortunately. I think it would be rare or impossible to find a free MBA like that but I haven't looked into it. Stanford has AMPLE opportunities for other kinds of funding to do things outside of the med school, though (scholarships, grants to apply to, well-paid TA gigs, tuition-free courses anywhere in the university, etc).
 
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avgn

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There is no school out there that will give a free extra course-based degree over 5 years. As long as degrees are involved, you will be paying tuition to the degree-awarding school. There are schools that offer combined accelerated stuff like 4-year MD/MPH or something, but that's different from a free 5th year degree.
 
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Mansamusa

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There is no school out there that will give a free extra course-based degree over 5 years. As long as degrees are involved, you will be paying tuition to the degree-awarding school. There are schools that offer combined accelerated stuff like 4-year MD/MPH or something, but that's different from a free 5th year degree.
http://www.medschool.vcu.edu/md/year_out/
 

avgn

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What's the point of this? I said "there is no school out there that will give a free extra course-based degree over 5 years." The VCU link provides a stipended research year that 1) does not result in a degree and 2) is not based on taking courses, so this link has nothing to do with what I said
 
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TallPreMed

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Holy ****aki mushrooms I didn't realize a DO/MPH degree was possible! My concentration in college was health commissioner/health policy which I absolutely loved. Excuse me while I bump PCOM to my #1 and look into this... Thanks @avgn
 

pageantry

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There is no school out there that will give a free extra course-based degree over 5 years. As long as degrees are involved, you will be paying tuition to the degree-awarding school. There are schools that offer combined accelerated stuff like 4-year MD/MPH or something, but that's different from a free 5th year degree.
Einstein offers an MD/MS degree granting fifth year in clinical research that you apply for in third year. It's free, if you're accepted. https://www.einstein.yu.edu/centers/ictr/crtp/md-ms-program/

You can also apply to their MD/Ph.D program in first or second year as an "alternate pathway" and then they refund your previous tuition and you continue forward with free tuition and a nice stipend.

You can also just do a tuition-free fifth year for research there.
 
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avgn

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Einstein offers an MD/MS degree granting fifth year in clinical research that you apply for in third year. It's free, if you're accepted. https://www.einstein.yu.edu/centers/ictr/crtp/md-ms-program/

You can also apply to their MD/Ph.D program in first or second year as an "alternate pathway" and then they refund your previous tuition and you continue forward with free tuition and a nice stipend.

You can also just do a tuition-free fifth year for research there.
Great, but my point stands. A clinical research MS is still a research masters, not a taught masters (MBA, MPH, MPP, M.Ed, etc.). Course-based taught masters are never given out for free
 

pageantry

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Great, but my point stands. A clinical research MS is still a research masters, not a taught masters (MBA, MPH, MPP, M.Ed, etc.). Course-based taught masters are never given out for free
Hm maybe I don't understand what you mean then, because the Einstein MD/MS is based around courses like epidemiology, biostats, research ethics, and data analysis. It's not just an empty year for trying to pop out some pubs.

Not trying to argue with you tho. You're probably right about a point I'm not trying to make! Just trying to help people find the kind of info the thread's about.
 
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