Choosing an MD Track

Applicants to the HMS MD Program choose between two curriculum tracks—Pathways and HST. Applicants may apply to the HST track, to the Pathways track, or to both. Application to both tracks in no way prejudices the chance of acceptance to either one. Applicants may also indicate candidacy for the Medical Scientist Training Program of the MD-PhD combined degree. Applicants should gain familiarity with the unique aspects of each track before applying.

Applicants who wish to pursue a dual degree may apply to one of our combined degree programs after matriculation into the MD program. Combined degree programs are offered in conjunction with other Schools of Harvard University and with MIT and are open to both Pathways and HST students.


The Pathways MD curriculum incorporates pedagogical approaches that foster active learning and critical thinking, earlier clinical experience, advanced clinical and basic/population science experiences, and a scholarly project that will allow every student to plan an individual pathway to the MD degree — 135 students per year are admitted into Pathways.

Read more about Pathways

Health Sciences and Technology (HST)

Combining the extensive resources of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the HST curriculum will prepare you for an interdisciplinary research career in academic medicine as well as clinical care. Through a rigorous and quantitative curriculum, you will focus on biological, chemical, physical, and engineering sciences and collaborate with Harvard and MIT faculty on substantive, groundbreaking research. Courses are taken at both Harvard Medical School and MIT — 30 students per year are admitted into HST.

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The MD-PhD combined degree prepares students to become leading physician-scientists. Typically, the strongest applicants have also completed advanced coursework in science and mathematics and have substantial prior research experience. Applications are evaluated on academic performance, and also on the strength of applicants’ research experience, personal statement, description of research interests, and inherent passion and commitment to research.

Applicants must complete the standard course requirements for consideration by Harvard Medical School and meet the minimum requirements for admission into graduate program(s) in their area of interest for the PhD degree. Admission to the MD-PhD Program is contingent upon admission to the HMS Pathways and/or HST track. 

Read more about MD-PhD