Frequently Asked Questions

Statistics & FAQ


MSTP Admission Statistics

Number of Applicants: 174 Total Students Enrolled 2020-21: 61
Interviewed Applicants: 50 Men: 36
Number Matriculated: 9 Women: 25
Average MCAT Interviewed: 514
Under Represented Minorities: 10
Average GPA Interviewed: 3.8
Medicine Phase: 27
  Graduate Phase: 34

In recent years, the ranges of GPA and MCAT scores of accepted students are 3.14 - 4.00 and 502 - 524, respectively.

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What are the average standards for applicants?

  • The Admissions Committee looks for evidence of serious and enthusiastic commitment to research, an average GPA of 3.5 or higher, superior performance on the MCAT, receipt of a baccalaureate degree prior to matriculation into the program. We also suggest that the applicant complete courses in anatomy, biochemistry and physiology, however, these are not required.

What are the average standards for a successful applicant?

  • GPA of 3.75, MCAT of 80th percentile or higher and significant research experience.

Do you consider students who are not SC residents?

  • Yes. The program attracts exceptional applicants from educational institutions across the nation.

Are non-US citizens eligible for support?

  • Yes.

Do applicants from certain schools have an advantage?

  • No. Applicants are reviewed based on their research experiences, GPA, MCAT and recommendations.

What are my chances of getting into the program?

  • We receive close to 200 applications per year, we interview approximately 50 students and admit 6-8 per year.

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How do I apply?

Is the MCAT required?

  • Yes.

Will you accept my MCAT score taken prior to January 2018?

  • No

Is the GRE required?

  • No.

Does the outcome of my MSTP application affect my medical school application?

  • If applicants are not accepted for the MSTP and are interested in applying for the MD only program, they must notify the College of Medicine Admissions office ( These applications will be reviewed separately from the MSTP.

How are admissions decisions made and what is the application deadline?

  • Once the AMCAS application, letters of recommendation and the supplemental application are received by our office, the Admissions Committee will review the completed packet to decide whether to invite the applicant for an interview or place on the wait list. Following the interview, the MSTP Admissions Committee meets monthly to review the evaluations of the applicants interviews. As we have a rolling admissions process, many students are placed on the wait list until the end of the interview season when they are all reviewed together.

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How many letters of recommendation are required?

  • At least 3 letters of recommendation are required. At least one of those letters should be from a scientist with whom the student has conducted research.

Where should the letters of recommendation be sent?

  • All letters are submitted through AMCAS.

Does the MD/PhD program have a rolling admissions process?

  • Yes. However, most offers are made toward the end of the interview season.

Does the MD/PhD program interview non-science majors?

  • Not typically.

If not accepted to the MD/PhD will I be considered for the MD program?

  • If applicants are not accepted to the MSTP program and are interested in applying for the MD-only program, they must notify the College of Medicine Admissions office by emailing  These applications will be reviewed separately from the MSTP. Preference is given to South Carolina residents or out-of-state applicants with strong Close Ties to SC.

Does the program accept transfer applicants?

  • No.

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Does the program cover tuition for medical school and graduate school?

  • Yes.

Will I have special responsibilities as an MSTP student?

  • Yes. We invite all MTSP students to play an active role in recruitment and evaluation of incoming MSTP applicants. Students in the MSTP are also active in leadership roles in both the College of Graduate Studies and the College of Medicine.

If I am currently pursuing a PhD at another institution or already have a PhD, am I eligible for this program?

  • No.

I have already begun the PhD program at MUSC; may I apply to the MD/PhD program?

  • Yes, during the first two years.

Can I apply to the MSTP after I've started medical school at MUSC?

  • Yes, during the first two years.

When and how will I hear from MUSC?

  • Communications from MUSC will be via email from Amy Connolly. You will be contacted at the following intervals:

  • Following receipt and verification of the AMCAS application, recommendations and Supplemental application

  • Prior to your interview to make arrangements and be given a schedule

  • After your interview with update of status in the program

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When are interviews held?

  • The initial round of interviews run from October through the end of January. Second visits are typically held in February or early March.

Do I have to select a PhD department when I begin the program?

  • No. You will have a chance to experience at least 2 laboratory research experiences.

Does MUSC provide reimbursement for travel and lodging when coming to Charleston for interviews?

  • MUSC MSTP provides lodging on the first round of interviews. If an applicant is invited for a second interview, the program covers flight or mileage and lodging expenses.

Does your program emphasize translational research?

  • Yes.  While we believe that our trainee should develop a strong basic science research project, we have several opportunities for the trainees to learn how to conduct translational research.  For example, the Translational Science Clinic and a Month in Research Nexus provide rich training opportunities.

Does your program help students with the transition back to the third year of Medical School?

  • Yes.  We have a refresher session for all returning students.  In addition students during their PhD years maintain their clinical skills through the CARES clinic and the Translational Sciences Clinic.

Do I have to start the Program by a specific date?

  • Students are required to start no later than July 1.  Exceptions to this requirement must be approved by the Program Director.

How many rotations are required?

  • The MSTP requires a minimum of 2 rotations before choosing a Dissertation Mentor.

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