4.5: Required Pre-Clerkship Curriculum and Pathways

The pre-clerkship curriculum is divided into three parts over a total of six required quarters: Foundations of Medicine (including the Early Clinical Engagement experience), Practice of Medicine, and Science of Medicine and consists of 123 (matriculating year of 2020-21) required course units.

The Discovery Curriculum provides the opportunity to complete the required pre-clerkship curriculum at a more individualized pace. Students can complete the pre-clerkship curriculum at full pace in two years or at a decelerated pace in three years. During the first year, all medical students will complete the required curriculum at the same pace. The second year of pre-clerkship can be completed at full pace, or prior to the Autumn Quarter of second year, students can apply to extend the required course workload over two years, allowing them to undertake more comprehensive longitudinal scholarly projects, obtain masters or other advanced degrees or change the pace of the curriculum for personal or academic reasons.

Pre-Clerkship Extended Curriculum Pathway

All students wishing to extend the second year of pre-clerkship courses over two years and “split” the coursework into 2A and 2B strand must complete an application and be approved to do so. Students must apply in the Spring/Summer of their first year of medical school in order to split beginning Autumn of the second year. Applications to begin a split in the Winter Quarter of the second year will not be considered.

Guidance for pursuing this pathway is outlined below:

  • Research and Scholarship: Students applying to split the curriculum for research and scholarship must have a sound, longitudinal proposal that fits the timeline to complete in the two-year split schedule as opposed to taking a full year. In addition, you must have a research mentor identified and they will be required to submit a brief statement confirming your ability to carry out the scholarly work in this timeframe, and the benefit of pursuing this work part-time over two years as opposed to taking a full year of research. Priority for approval will be given to those projects that are funded.

In addition, students must enroll in INDE 297: Planning and Writing a Research Proposal course that takes place each Academic Year in Winter Quarter during their first year of medical school.

  • Dual Degree: Students wishing to pursue a dual degree should apply to this pathway preferably prior to submitting an application for the dual degree program. If you are applying after, please provide your acceptance letter as part of your application. Additionally, students will need to provide a sample schedule showing the course requirements for the dual degree and a schedule highlighting the feasibility of meeting the requirements without interfering with the required MD Program coursework, which must take priority, and without being an unreasonable burden. Absences from required SOM or POM sessions because of such coursework will not be allowed.
  • Academic and Personal Reasons: Students wishing to pursue this pathway for personal or academic meetings must first meet with their Academic Advising Dean and Educators-4-CARE faculty to develop an individualized plan that would best meet the needs of the student. If it is decided that the option to split would be best, the Advising Dean will submit an application to the selection committee on behalf of the medical student.

Regardless of reason, all medical students are required to meet with their Academic Advising Dean prior to submission of their application to discuss their plans.  

All applicants may be required to meet with the application selection committee in order to present their plans and answer any questions the committee may have.

Please note that the extended pathway is not compatible with a 50% TAship  (i.e., Anatomy) and participation in other TAships may be limited based on curriculum and research requirements.

As always, the required MD curriculum takes precedence and students are expected to meet the attendance and all other requirements as outlined by the required courses regardless of pathway.

updated August 2020