M.D./Ph.D. in Tumor Biology

The M.D./Ph.D. in Tumor Biology is a dual doctorate program designed for students interested in careers as physician-scientists. Students in this program receive a top medical education combined with research training in the laboratories of premier investigators at Georgetown University. The Ph.D. in Tumor Biology curriculum is tailored to complement the medical coursework.


If you are interested in this program, please apply directly to the Georgetown University School of Medicine.

Course Schedule

Year 1 – Summer

Course NameCredit(s)
TBIO 9985 TBIO Lab Rotation – Summer0
0 Credits

Year 2 – Spring

M.D./Ph.D. students will be officially enrolled in graduate school and receive a stipend for the entire spring semester. However, they are not expected to actually begin their rotation until they have taken the USMLE STEP I board exam. M.D./Ph.D. students are required to take STEP I by the same deadline as students in the regular M.D. program. 

Course NameCredit(s)
TBIO 9986 TBIO Lab Rotation – Spring0
0 Credits

Year 2 – Summer

Course NameCredit(s)
TBIO 9987 TBIO Lab Rotation – Summer0
0 Credits

Year 3 – Fall

Course NameCredit(s)
TBIO 6508 Cellular & Molecular Aspects of the Transformed Cell4
TBIO 6528 Modern Methods in Molecular Biology3
TBIO 6599 Practical Data Analysis & Experimental Design3
TBIO 6546 Resources for Cancer Research0
TBIO 9985/9986/9987 TBIO Lab Rotations (taken until a thesis lab is chosen)0
TBIO 7030 Current Topics in Cancer Research0
TBIO 7110 Tumor Biology Student Seminar0
10 Credits

Year 3 – Spring

Course NameCredit(s)
TBIO 6562 Survival Skills & Ethics for Science2
TBIO 6588 Preparing a Scientific Paper2
BINF 5990 Next Generation Sequencing Data Analysis2
TBIO 7040 Current Topics in Cancer Research0
TBIO 7120 Tumor Biology Student Seminar0
9 Credits

Year 4 through Completion of Thesis

Course NameCredit(s)
TBIO 7030/7040 Current Topics in Cancer Research0
TBIO 7110/7120 Tumor Biology Student Seminar0
TBIO 9999 Thesis Research0
0 Credits


The M.D./Ph.D. in Tumor Biology requires students to complete 17 credits in core tumor biology courses (compared to the 33 credits required for Ph.D. students). The remaining credits are absorbed from medical coursework.

The following core courses are waived:

M.D./Ph.D. students are required to complete 3 elective credits. The elective credits can be fulfilled by taking clinical-translational courses (e.g., TBIO 6565 Clinical & Translational Oncology: Breast, TBIO 6566 Clinical & Translational Oncology: Neuro-oncology). Students can elect to take more than three electives if they choose to.

The number of laboratory rotations required before choosing a thesis lab is flexible. The following courses must be taken during every semester of graduate study: TBIO 7030/7040 Current Topics in Cancer Research and TBIO 7110/7120 Tumor Biology Student Seminar/Data Meeting.

Thesis Proposal

Students in their third year (or M.D./Ph.D. students in their second year) write and defend a thesis proposal before a committee consisting of their dissertation mentor, three (3) program faculty members, and an outside reader. This should be completed within one year of passing the comprehensive exam, by the end of Summer 3. The Tumor Biology Oversight Committee must approve the student’s Thesis Committee.

Students are required to meet with their Thesis Committee every 6 months and complete the Ph.D. Thesis Committee Report for each meeting.