Duke-NUS – (MD/PhD Track)

Duke-NUS – (MD/PhD Track)


Duke-NUS also offers a combined MD/PhD track that is unique to Singapore. This option is most appropriate for students who are committed to intensive research-oriented careers, combining biomedical research with the practice of clinical medicine. Students who secure an appropriate fellowship may also elect to pursue their PhD in one of the many programs available at Duke University and NUS. The duration of the MD/PhD track varies, but is approximately 7 years. MD/PhD students start their PhD work after completing the 2nd year of the MD program. Upon completion of PhD, students will complete the final (4th) year of the MD program.

Service Commitment

As the cost of medical education at Duke-NUS is subsidized by the Singapore Government, all graduates of its MD program or the MD/PhD track are required to fulfill a service commitment.

According to MOH guidelines, the service commitment period is as follows:
• 4 years for Singapore citizens
• 5 years for international graduates and Singapore Permanent Residents

The service commitment period excludes the first year of postgraduate (residency) training, commencing only after satisfactory completion of the first postgraduate training year. The service commitment is fulfilled in a public sector hospital/institution in Singapore as determined by the Ministry of Health (MOH). Assuming satisfactory completion of the first postgraduate training year, trainees can fulfill their service commitment during residency training in Singapore ; or alternatively, in an MOH-approved public sector research setting in lieu of further residency training.


In alignment with our education mission, we review all applicants holistically. We also consider evidence of scholarly work such as research favourably. While we do not set pre-determined cut-offs for GPA and MCAT scores, these should reflect an academic background that is able to withstand the rigours of a fast-paced medical education at Duke-NUS. Studies have shown that a favourable MCAT score is positively correlated with certain indicators of success in medical school. We do consider the MCAT results together with other attributes, such as academic or personal strengths, in determining the suitability of a candidate.

The Admissions Committee reviews all application material, reference letters, and interviewer comments carefully to better understand each applicant. We seek to identify those with the traits and skills that will help them succeed as clinicians or clinician-scientists. These attributes include competent communication and interpersonal skills, integrity, teamwork, altruism, resilience, and critical thinking. In order to produce future clinician- leaders who can improve the practice of medicine, the Admissions Committee seeks applicants who are academically capable team players and who have demonstrated a strong commitment to the practice of medicine.

There is no restriction on re-application.


MD-PhD Track

• Bachelor's degree in any discipline.

• Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) results. More about MCAT.

• 3 – 5 recommendation letters, typically from professors, mentors and/or employers.

• Research experience is looked upon favourably.

Applicants are also required to meet the "Other Requirements" and "Technical Standards" below.

Other Requirements

English Language Proficiency

Results of TOEFL or IELTS are required only if English was not the language of instruction during undergraduate studies. English is the language of instruction at Duke-NUS. Applicants whose medium of instruction during undergraduate studies was not English must submit either TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign Language) scores or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores as evidence of their proficiency in the English language. The following are the minimum scores that should be achieved: 

• 600 on the TOEFL paper-based test; OR

• 85 on the TOEFL internet-based test; OR

• an overall band score of 7 on the IELTS

Duke-NUS does not accept TOEFL or IELTS scores earned more than two years ago. Please visit our FAQs section for further queries on admissions requirements.

Course Outline

The duration of the MD/PhD track varies, but is approximately 7 years. MD/PhD students start their PhD work after completing the 2nd year of the MD program. Upon completion of PhD, students will complete the final (4th) year of the MD program.


The tuition fees for the MD and PhD courses at Duke-NUS Medical School are reviewed by the Singapore Ministry of Education and subject to change annually. For each cohort, tuition fees are fixed for the four years of study (i.e. the amount of annual tuition is the same as that on entry into medical school.)

In addition, most of our students apply for merit scholarships and/or need-based scholarships (bursaries) to help finance their tuition and other fees. To find out more, visit Information on Scholarship and Financial Aid Schemes.


Tuition Fees for MD-PhD Track

Tuition fees for the MD-PhD track comprise two components.

For MD-PhD students admitted in Academic Year 2016-2017, annual tuition fees for the MD component are as follows
• Singapore Citizens: SGD 44,050 (GST subsidy provided) 
• Singapore Permanent Residents: SGD 49,950 (GST subsidy provided) 
• International Students: SGD 61,300 (inclusive of GST)

However, all MD-PhD students at Duke-NUS will also receive
• An MD-PhD Pre-Research Scholarship shortly after beginning their PhD, equivalent in value to their first 2 years of tuition fees in the MD programme; and
• An MD-PhD Final Year Scholarship in their final MD year, equivalent in value to their final MD year tuition fee.

For the PhD component, MD-PhD students will receive
• A scholarship covering tuition; and 
• A monthly stipend for the 4-year duration of the PhD.

 To find out about the financial aid available, visit Information on Scholarship and Financial Aid Schemes.


Application Timeline

Applications to our programmes open by June each year. For applications to the MD programme, 1st December is the final deadline. While particularly strong candidates are encouraged to apply by 1st September to be considered for early acceptance, admission requirements are the same for both the early and regular acceptance period. For applications to the PhD programme, 15th January is the final deadline. We select and accept candidates throughout the application period. Visit the online portal to apply: https://admissions.duke-nus.edu.sg/adm/

Other Info

Please visit our Financial Aid website for more information: Do visit our our Admissions page for more information.

Requirements Page: https://www.duke-nus.edu.sg/admissions/requirements-duke-nus-programs

FAQs Page: https://www.duke-nus.edu.sg/admissions/faqs/md-faqs

Contact Details

Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School
8 College Road
Singapore 169857
(Opposite Singapore General Hospital Blocks 6,7)
For MD and MD-PhD inquiries please contact:
Phone: +65 6516 5550
Email: info@duke-nus.edu.sg