MD-PhD program in Medicine and Medical Sciences

The curriculum combines medical studies toward an MD degree with research studies toward a PhD degree.

The program is designed for outstanding students at the Faculty of Medicine of Bar-Ilan University in the Galilee.

Students in the program will be exempt from tuition fees in  their  PhD studies, and receive a living expense stipend for the period during which they interrupt their studies of medicine in order to study toward the PhD degree.

Students will complete both curricula, as follows:

Program timeline:

1.5 years of pre-clinical work

3 years of research toward the PhD degree

2.5 years of clinical work

The research starts during the summer vacation at the end of the first year of medical studies (for those who finished one year of medicine). At the end of the summer break, students return to pre-clinical studies for six months, after which they engage in the PhD studies for three years. After the completion of the PhD stage, students return to the clinical studies of the medical course for 2.5 years. It is the responsibility of students and of their advisers to complete the PhD studies within three years.

The PhD diploma is awarded only after issuing the MD diploma and completion of the PhD requirements.


Academic requirements of students at the stage of PhD studies in the

MD-PhD track


  1. At the end of the first academic year, students submit a proposal for the doctoral thesis according to the guidelines published on the website of the Faculty of Medicine. Students participate in an oral discussion of their research proposal and of the relevant research areas before a three-member monitoring committee, including the adviser, appointed by the faculty committee for graduate degrees. After approval by the monitoring committee, the proposal is submitted for approval of the university committee for research students.
  2. The monitoring committee oversees the students’ progress over the period of their doctoral studies. Every six months, students must submit a report approved by the adviser. The monitoring committee summons students to present their work (demonstration) in order to determine their rate of progress.
  3. Upon completion of their research, students submit a summary report to the monitoring committee. After approval by the committee, the students can begin writing their doctoral dissertation.



Students are required to take 8 credits per year.

Courses are spread over three academic years.

The courses include two mandatory courses, to be completed in the first year (at the beginning of the year, after the first semester of research work).

Required courses

Course No. 81-900 – "New horizons in molecular and cellular biology" – one semester, 1 credit.

Course No. 81-901– "Research methods and principles of the use of scientific equipment and technology" – one year, 3 credits.

Students working with laboratory animals are required to take a crash course, "Using animals in experiments," before starting their work in the laboratory: course No. 81-899.

Students are also required to attend the “faculty colloquium" (lectures on research), course No. 81-898.

Four seminar papers must be submitted, each worth 0.5 credit (for the total of 2 credits out of 8).

Elective courses for doctoral students are selected with the guidance of advisers in the students’ areas of specialization in their research work, from the list of post-graduate courses.


The courses that are part of the MD program are not given credit for the PhD program.

Students must meet all requirements of the above courses, including exams and papers, with a GPA of at least 90.

Students must also complete basic courses (explanation regarding exemption from Judaic studies requirement for non-Jews, can be found in Hebrew, here) and obtain the grade mandated by the regulations, and obtain an exemption from English.


Heads of Program: Prof. Chaim Putterman, Dr. Shai Bel