Students learn through a sequence of interdisciplinary Blocks and Threads that are designed to gradually build student competency in our mission of education, research, clinical care, and community service.  At the University of Colorado, we provide future physicians/scientists with the scientific, clinical, and communication skills necessary to develop and effectively deliver state-of-the-art health care to an increasingly diverse population.

Currently, MSTP students complete both required Medical and Graduate School Curricula, USMLE, Preliminary Graduate Exam and lab rotations during their first two years (MS1-2).

This curriculum:

  • Is divided into five segments: the Essentials (Pre-Clinical) Core (MS1-2), PhD Research (GS1-4), the Clinical Core (MS3), and Advanced Studies (MS4).
  • Integrates basic science and clinical material throughout all phases.Encourages independent, self-directed learning.
  • Promotes advanced clinical examination and clinical reasoning skills.

MSTP Specific Courses:

  • Foundations of Doctoring for MSTP Students in Thesis Years (IDPT 7655) allows students to work with a preceptor 1 day a month during the duration of their PhD.  This course is a special Foundations Course specific for MSTP students.
  • Molecules to Medicine for MSTP students (IDPT 7805) is a modified version of the small group, case discussion section of "Molecules to Medicine" for MD students.

Program Learning Outcomes:

MSTP does not confer either the MD or PhD degree, but rather we recruit students who seek to complete both degrees. We have a highly integrated curriculum combining medical and graduate courses in the first year, complete of the Graduate Preliminary Exam at the end of the first year, medical courses in the second year, and the students then enter a degree-granting graduate program. Once they complete all of the requirements for the PhD, they return to medical school to complete the last two years of clinical training.

The MST Program trains combined degree students to become proficient and successful clinicians and investigators who are able to:

  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge of central concepts in the biomedical sciences.
  • Understand the current concepts in medicine and their chosen PhD field.
  • Read and critically evaluate the scientific literature.
  • Communicate research results effectively through oral presentations at scientific seminars, conferences, and other venues.
  • Write a competitive application for research funding.
  • Develop ancillary skills, where necessary, to obtain positions in a wide range of biomedical venues.


Trek Curriculum Diagram
Hybrid Curriculum Diagram
Legacy Curriculum Diagram