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D.O./Ph.D. Program

Dual-Degree Programs

Become a physician-scientist

The enormous complexity of biomedical, behavioral and clinical science today prevents the standard course of study at most medical and other health professional schools from providing the experience necessary to develop researchers. Integrated curricula that combine training for a health professional degree (e.g., D.O., M.D., D.D.S., Au.D.) with extensive research experience, leading to a second advanced degree, have been developed because individuals who are both physicians/clinicians and trained scientists play a vital role in basic biomedical, translational, clinical, behavioral, epidemiologic, prevention and services research. There is a critical need for physician- and clinician-scientists to study human disease through rigorous research.

The Heritage College D.O./Ph.D. program is specifically designed for those who want to become physician-scientists. Graduates of the Heritage College D.O./Ph.D. program go on to become faculty members at medical schools, universities and research institutes. Regardless of where they eventually work, the Heritage College D.O./Ph.D. candidates will develop the skills necessary to conduct or direct clinical, basic or epidemiological research in addition to providing patient care.

Students in the program select research mentors engaged in health-related research from the Translational Biomedical Sciences Program.

Applicants must be accepted to the Heritage College before being considered for admission to the D.O./Ph.D. The application deadline is two weeks after receipt of the acceptance email from the Heritage College Admissions. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with priority given to those received by December 1. Applications received after December 1 may be considered if slots are available.

A short application specific to the dual degree program is required. If invited to interview at the Heritage College, applicants can request to meet with a representative from the D.O./Ph.D. program.

Please note that GRE scores are required by the D.O./Ph.D. program, and must be submitted with the application or no later than December 1.


The D.O./Ph.D. program typically requires seven years to complete.

The first two years of the curriculum combine the biomedical and anatomical foundation of medicine with real patient clinical experiences. Students spend the next three years pursuing doctoral studies in a biomedical or biobehavioral discipline. Students spend their last two years at hospitals and medical care facilities with the Centers for Osteopathic Research and Education, our statewide osteopathic medical education consortium. Here students explore the full range of medical specialties, gaining the clinical skills necessary to thrive in today's rapidly changing patient care environment.

Graduate courses are taken as dictated by the requirements of the specific topic of the dissertation research, and in consultation with the research advisors.

Financial support will include a research fellowship for years three through seven. Graduate school tuition for doctoral studies in years three through five is waived.


If you would like more information or are interested in applying to the program please contact us here.

Current Students

Photo of DO/PhD student alison Brittain
Alison Brittain, PhD (OMS 4) Mentor: John Kopchick, PhD


Photo of DO/PhD student Ian Ackers
Ian Ackers, PhD (OMS 4) Mentors: Ramiro Malgor, MD and Amir Farnoud, PhD


Photo of DO/PhD student Quyen Luong
Quyen Luong, PhD (OMS 4) Mentor: Kevin Lee, PhD
Photo of DO/PhD student Elizabeth Jensen
Elizabeth Jensen (OMS 3) Mentors: Darlene Berryman, PhD, RD, LD and Erin Murphy, PhD
Photo of DO/PhD student Sophia Mort
Sophia Mort (OMS 3) Mentors: Liz Beverly, PhD and Dawn Graham, PhD
Photo of DO/PhD student William Koch
Bill Koch (Year 4- TBS) Mentors: Craig Nunemaker, PhD and John Kopchick, PhD
Photo of DO/PhD student Cody Criss
Cody Criss (Year 3- TBS) Mentors: Dustin Grooms, PhD, ATC, CSCS and Brian Clark, PhD