For Current Students

MSTP Student Milestones Overview

Summer semester year 1

  • MSTP Summer Retreat
  • Med School orientation, immunizations and other med school requirements
  • Purchase laptop (or defer purchase to later year)
  • Register for courses
    • Go to the Student Information System (SIS) and log in with your Case network ID and password.
    • Make sure the semester is set to Summer for the current year.
    • Set the Course Career to "Graduate." Do not use "Medicine."
    • You need to sign up for zero credits of MSTP 401 (Introduction to MSTP). 
    • Yes, you need to register for this even though it’s for zero credits!
  • Intro to MSTP course
  • Training grant appointment

Fall semester year 1

  • Register for graduate courses
    • The SOM Registrar will register you for your med school courses, but you need to sign up for your graduate courses yourself.   
    • Go to SIS and log in with your Case network ID and password.
    • Make sure the semester is set to Fall for the current year.
    • The Course Career is "Graduate." Do not use "Medicine."
    • You need to sign up for a total of exactly 9 graduate credits as shown below.  Remember that Agata or Derek need to approve all rotations and graduate courses.
      • MSTP 400 (research rotation):  3 credits
      • IBIS 401 (grad credits for med courses):  4 credits
      • IBIS 411 (grad credits for med clinical courses):  2 credits
    •  Make sure that your registration is complete and that you have not left courses in your Shopping Cart.  If a course is in your Shopping Cart you are not registered for it.
  • First research rotation
  • First Individual Development Plan (IDP) -- required every year until both degrees completed

Spring Semester Year 1

  • Register for graduate courses
    • The SOM Registrar will register you for your med school courses, but you need to sign up for your graduate courses yourself.   
    • Go to SIS and log in with your Case network ID and password.
    • Make sure the semester is set to Spring for the new year.
    • The Course Career is "Graduate." Do not use "Medicine."
    • You need to sign up for a total of exactly 9 graduate credits as shown below.  Remember that Agata or Derek need to approve all rotations and graduate courses.
      • 3 - 4 credits Grad course OR 3 credits MSTP 400 (research rotation)
      • IBIS 402:  3 or 4 credits, depending on what you take above
      • IBIS 412:  2 credits
  •  Make sure that your registration is complete and that you have not left courses in your Shopping Cart.  If a course is in your Shopping Cart you are not registered for it.

Summer Semester Year 2

  • Register for summer research rotation
    • Go to SIS and log in with your Case network ID and password.
    • Make sure the semester is set to Summer for the current year.
    • Set the Course Career to Graduate.
    • Register for zero credits of MSTP 400 (research rotation). 
    • Yes, you need to register for this even though it's for zero credits!
    • Remember that Agata or Derek need to approve all rotations.

Fall Semester Year 2

  • Register for courses
    • Go to SIS and log in with your Case network ID and password.
    • Make sure the semester is set to Fall for the current year.
    • Set the Course Career to Graduate
    • You need to sign up for a total of exactly 9 graduate credits as shown below.  Remember that Agata or Derek need to approve all rotations and graduate courses.
      • 3 - 4 credits Grad course OR 3 credits MSTP 400 (research rotation)
      • IBIS 403:  3 or 4 credits, depending on what you take above
      • IBIS 413:  2 credits
  • Selection of PhD program and advisor
  • USMLE Step 1 exam
    • Register by November 30
    • Schedule an exam date by January 1

Spring Semester Year 2

  • Register for IBMS 500 (or can be deferred to PhD 1) and other courses
    • Go to SIS and log in with your Case network ID and password.
    • Make sure the semester is set to Spring for the new year.
    • The Course Career is Graduate
    • You need to sign up for a total of exactly 9 graduate credits as shown below.  
      • 3-4 credits grad course
      • 4-5 credits 601 (The 601 credits are research credits for your PhD program, for example, PATH 601.  You will need to check with your research advisor or the PhD program advisor to find out exactly how you should register.)
  • Complete a Planned Program of Study (PPOS) in SIS
    • The School of Graduate Studies requires that students in their second year complete a Planned Program of Study (PPOS) in SIS. Until students complete the PPOS, they will have a Grad Records hold on their SIS account, and will not be able to register for spring semester.
    •  An example of a completed PPOS is on the Resources, Links, and Forms page.   
    • You must include courses you’ve already taken, including the IBIS courses, and the correct number of credit hours.  You can see these in your Course History, which is in the Academic pull-down list in SIS.
    • You must also include courses you plan to take.  This course list is not binding and can be changed later if needed.
    • Include 601 research credits, but not 701.
    • When you log into SIS, the screen defaults to your medical school “career”. On this page, the tab for "My program" does NOT appear. You have to go to "My planner" and change the "Institution/Career" from medicine to graduate. Then the "My program" tab appears so that you can complete the PPOS.
    • Derek Abbott or Agata Exner will approve the PPOS in the spring semester of year 2.
  • Complete USMLE Step 1 by April 30
  • Begin full-time work in PhD lab by May 1

PhD Year 1+

  • Present posters at each annual MSTP Winter Retreat
  • Present a talk at a Summer or Winter Retreat (required only once)
  • Present research at national and international meetings, use $300 annual travel support from MSTP
  • Take IBMS 500 if needed
  • Attend RCR +4 seminars
  • Meet annually with your assigned MSTP director and Society Dean
  • See your PhD program advisor regarding course registration
  • Complete first thesis committee meeting no later than September.  Committee must include at least one MD and one member of the MSTP Steering Committee. Your thesis advisor can fill the MD role, but not the Steering Committee role.

PhD Year 2+

  • Pass PhD qualifying exam within ~1 year of entering PhD phase. This may vary a bit by PhD program.
  • Clinical Tutorial/CPCP
  • Consider applying for individual grants or fellowships
  • See your PhD program advisor regarding course registration

PhD Year 4 (approximately)

  • MSTP students are required to satisfy the publication requirements of their PhD program.
  • The MSTP requires at least one significant first-authored research publication in a reputable scientific journal.
  • See the timeline for PhD graduation requirements on the Graduate Studies website
  • Complete scheduling of dissertation defense, and notify Grad Studies, no later than 5 weeks prior to M3 start date
  • Defend thesis no later than two weeks prior to M3 start date
  • Complete all revisions of thesis, obtain final approval and signatures, deliver to Graduate Studies before M3 start
  • See the Return to M3 to-do list
  • Begin M3 year
  • Doctoral Graduation Instructions

MD Year 3

MD Year 4

  • MSTP support letter for MSPE
  • Residency applications and interviews
  • Residency match
  • Graduation