M.D. and Master of Science in Clinical Research

MUSC offers a combined MD degree and Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR) degree program.

The MD-MSCR degree aligns with MUSC’s mission as it prepares physicians to participate in biomedical clinical research and advance new knowledge. The MD-MSCR degree provides currently enrolled medical students with the opportunity to acquire core competencies in clinical research. Students completing the prescribed course of study for the MSCR degree, either in a concentrated full-time option or a blended part-time option, will complete the combined degree in 5 years.

Description of the Program

Program Timing

The earliest entry into the MD-MSCR degree program is the second semester of the MD degree program. Students submit their application as early as fall of year 1 and no later than December 15th of year 4. Students in the accelerated MD degree curriculum track are not eligible to apply. Students in the Primary Care Parallel track at MUSC AnMed Health clinical campus are eligible to apply.


Only students who are enrolled in good academic and professional standing in the MD degree program may apply to transfer into the combined degree program. To apply, students should email the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Student Wellness or the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Professionalism in the College of Medicine to explain their rationale for seeking acceptance into the combined degree program and state when they would like to enter the program; the respective associate dean will meet with the student for academic advising prior to notifying the Director of the MSCR program. Students must submit the following to the Director of the MSCR degree for review by the College of Graduate Studies Admissions Review Committee: an official medical school transcript and a letter from the COM Student Progress Committee confirming support for the student’s enrollment in the combined degree program.

Acceptance and Approval of Transfer

Students are accepted/approved to transfer into the program if the following occur:

1. Confirmation from the College of Medicine Dean’s Office - Student Affairs that the requested timing of entry into the combined degree program is compliant with college and university policies.

2. Review and approval from the Student Progress Committee (SPC) confirming their confidence that the student will be able to succeed professionally and academically. If a student seeks to enter the blended curriculum, the final curriculum plan must be approved by both the Director of the MSCR and the associate dean(s) for curriculum for the relevant phases of the MD degree in order for the SPC to approve transfer.

3. Approval from the Admissions Review Committee in the College of Graduate Studies.

4. Verification that the student has met with the Office of Financial Aid.


The cost for pursuing the MSCR as part of the MD-MSCR combined degree is a one-time MSCR fee of $20,661 (in-state or out of state status) when the student is transferred from the MD degree program to the MD/MSCR degree program. All regular medical school tuition and fees are collected for each of the 4 years of the MD degree portion of the MD-MSCR program. The bill is triggered by student enrollment in the course MCR 970 MD Mentored Research: 0.25 credit hours.

Policies and Procedures

All students enrolled in MD-combined degree programs are fully responsible for following all of the policies of the MD degree program including but not limited to professionalism, progress, and student responsibilities, including phases in which they are enrolled solely in MSCR coursework. Students are also fully entitled and encouraged to utilize all of the resources available as an MD degree student.

Clarification: Stop-Out Option

MD/MSCR students are eligible for the Master of Science in Medical Sciences stop-out option if they have completed the requisite preclerkship curriculum/semesters designated. MSCR coursework does not count toward the MSMS degree.




The MUSC combined MD/MSCR degree is more flexible than similar combined degrees in that MD students can enroll in the combined degree as early as the second semester of medical school compared to after year 1 at other institutions. The recommended course sequencing is listed below for two different options students may choose. For more information, please visit the Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR) program page.

This curriculum plan applies to a student who completes the entire MSCR curriculum in one dedicated year between year 3 and year 4 of the medical school curriculum (38 credit hours completed over 3 semesters).

Year 1, Fall

MDCOR 711 Clinical Skills 1 3
MDCOR 720 Foundations of Health 8
MDCOR 722 Foundations of Disease 8
MDCOR 725 Cardiovascular System 9
Semester Total 28

Year 1, Spring

MDCOR 712 Clinical Skills 2 3
MDCOR 727 Respiratory/Renal Systems 7
MDCOR 728 Gastrointestinal 9
MDCOR 731 Reproductive/Endocrine System 8
IP 711 IP Foundations & Teamstepps 1
Semester Total 28

Year 1, Summer

MDCOR 713 Clinical Skills 3 3
MDCOR 733 Women and Pediatric Health 5
MDCOR 735 Ethics and Biostatistics 5
MDCOR 736 Autoimmunity and Hematology 3.5
Semester Total 16.5

Year 2, Fall

MDCOR 714 Clinical Skills 4 3
MDCOR 739 Sensory and Motor Systems 13
MDCOR 741 Special Senses and Cognition 8
MDCOR 742 Behavioral & Geriatric Health 4.5
MDCOR 892 AMP Research II 3.5
IP ### IP Concentration Course 1
Semester Total 33

Year 2, Spring

MDCOR 750 USMLE Step 1 Board Review 2
Choose from the following concentrations:
Global Health
MDCOR 764 FLEX1 Global Health 5.5
MDCOR 766 FLEX2 Global Health 5.5
Health Humanities
MDCOR 760 FLEX1 Health Humanities 5.5
MDCOR 762 FLEX2 Health Humanities 5.5
Physician as Teacher
MDCOR 768 FLEX1 Physician as Teacher 5.5
MDCOR 770 FLEX2 Physician as Teacher 5.5
MDCOR 772 FLEX1 Research 5.5
MDCOR 774 FLEX2 Research 5.5
Semester Total 13

Year 2, Summer

MDCOR 891 AMP Research I 5
Clinical Foundations 3
2 x 6-week Junior Clerkship* 16
Semester Total 24

Year 3, Fall

2 x 6-week Junior Clerkship* 18
2 x 2-week Junior Selectives 5
Semester Total 23

Year 3, Spring

MDCOR 893 AMP Research III 3.5
MDCOR 835 Topics in Clinical Medicine 1
3 x 6-week Junior Clerkship* 24
Semester Total 28.5

Year 3, Summer

MDCOR 705 Fundamentals of Patient Care 3 3/td>
MDCOR 865 Clinical Competency Exam 3 1
MDCOR 866 Transition to Clinical Med 1
4-week Critical Care Elective 5
Semester Total 10

Year 4, Fall

MCR 700 Clinical Biostatistics 3
MCR 738 Clinical Research Intro 1
MCR 736 Clinical Epidemiology 3
MCR 770 Contemporary Topics Seminar 1
MCR 750 Ethical Issues in Clin 1
MCR 970 Mentored Research 2
MCR 731 Critical Review 2
Semester Total 13

Year 4, Spring

MCR 724 Intro to Clinical Trials 3
MCR 746 Informatics and Data Mgmt 2
MCR 752 Team Science in Clinical Resch 1
MCR 771 Regression Analysis 2
MCR 777 Intro to Grant Writing 1
MCR 732 Comparative Effectiveness Resch 3
MCR 970 Mentored Research 3
Semester Total 15

Year 4, Summer

MCR 775 Clinical Research Training 1
MCR 772 Community Engaged Research 1
MCR 773 Industry/Regulatory 2
MCR 774 Leadership 2
MCR 970 Mentored Research 4
Semester Total 10

Year 5, Fall

ELEC 20 weeks of Electives 25
Semester Total 25

Year 5, Spring

MDCOR 706 Fundamentals of Patient Care 4 3
MDCOR 626 Internship 101 2.5
4-week Externship 5
4-week Advanced Medicine or Surgery Elective 5
Semester Total 15.5
M.D. Credit Hour Total 244.5
MSCR Credit Hour Total 38
Curriculum Total 282.5

* All third year students are required to take seven clerkships in the following disciplines: Family Medicine, Medicine, Neurology, OB/GYN, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Surgery. These clerkships may be completed in any sequence over Summer, Fall and Spring of third year.

With approval from the academic advisor, a student who enrolls in the combined degree program in the spring semester of year one of medical school (i.e., the earliest entry point) could be permitted to complete MSCR coursework concurrently with the MD degree curriculum (38 credit hours completed over 11 semesters). While the majority of the MSCR curriculum is still completed in year 4 (fall, spring), this curriculum plan provides advantages for students who wish to engage in research earlier in the program in order to increase competitiveness for application to residency programs.