3.22: United States Medical Licensing Examinations (USMLE) Requirements: Step 1 and Step 2 CK
To graduate, students must pass USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK (Clinical Knowledge). The National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) sets the level for passing the steps of the USMLE.
A. USMLE Step 1
Students must take USMLE Step 1 within 12 months of the start of their first clinical clerkship.
- Students may petition the Committee on Performance, Professionalism, and Promotion (CP3) should they need additional time to take the exam. CP3 is not obligated to grant an exception.
- Students with academic deficiencies in pre-clerkship courses may be required to take USMLE Step 1 prior to beginning clerkships. For additional information, see Section 6.5: Chart of Responses to Student Issues.
- Students stepping away to participate in additional degree programs may be required to pass USMLE Step 1 prior to beginning such programs. For additional information, see Section 3.29: Dual Degrees.
- Students failing USMLE Step 1 or failing to meet the deadline to take USMLE Step 1 will be reviewed by the CP3. For additional information, see Section 6.5: Chart of Responses to Student Issues.
B. USMLE Step 2 CK (Clinical Knowledge)
Students must receive an overall pass on Step 2 CK. Students should apply for Step 2 CK by November 1st of their last year and must sit for the examination no later than March 31st to ensure that test scores are received by the School of Medicine Registrar in time to clear students for graduation.
- Students failing USMLE Step 2 CK or failing to meet the deadline to take USMLE Step 2 CK will be reviewed by the CP3. For additional information, see Section 6.5: Chart of Responses to Student Issues.
- Passing an institutionally administered USMLE equivalency exam may, under certain circumstances and in the discretion of the CP3, serve to meet Step 2 CK requirements for the MD degree. Such institutionally administered USMLE equivalency exams do not, however, meet requirements for licensure to practice medicine.
- The USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK are administered by computer at Prometric Test Centers. Testing occurs throughout the year, except for the first two weeks in January. Visit the Prometric Website for up-to-date information on the availability of testing times.
- Scheduling permits for a practice test session: http://www.usmle.org.
- The NBME Self-Assessment Voucher Program is an optional resource made available by the School of Medicine to prepare for the USMLE Step 1 or the Step 2 CK exams.
- To apply for USMLE Step 1, log into the NBME website to complete the online application. At the end of the online application, there are instructions for completing a “Certification of Identification and Authorization Form." Print and complete the form. Attach a photo. Submit the completed form electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org for processing. Applications for Step 1 exams, and in some cases Step 2 exams, require an online enrollment verification on the NBME website by the Registrar. The online verifications are automatically completed at least once a week.
updated August 2023