MD Program Curriculum

​​​​Office of Curriculum

The Curriculum Office is responsible for developing, implementing, managing, evaluating and continuously improving the quality of the courses and clerkships that comprise the curriculum for medical students.  These aims have been accomplished through the leadership and involvement of the Associate Dean for Curriculum, Curriculum Committee Chairs, basic science and clinical faculty, students and professional staff serving on year-based, Oversight, Theme, and ad-hoc committees, the administration, faculty and staff of Academic Affairs, and through the direct support of our Curriculum Office staff.

The undergraduate medical school curriculum at the University of Washington is dynamic. Ongoing changes in the curriculum are actively managed by the curriculum committees. The current structure of the basic science curriculum represents a combination of "discipline-oriented" courses and “organ system-based” courses. The curriculum is educationally equivalent at all of the WWAMI first year sites, and common examinations are given to ensure that all students are achieving the same level of competence. Many courses utilize computer-based information, and almost all communication with students outside of the classroom is through our Web pages and email. Thus, there is a requirement for all students to have a laptop computer with wireless capability.  Specifications needed to access computer-based instruction are sent to entering students and are available from the Curriculum Office by calling 206.543.5562.

The "Essential Requirements of Medical Education at the University of Washington School of Medicine:  Admission, Retention, and Graduation Standards" is sent to applicants for review. It is expected that students enrolled in the School of Medicine have indicated as part of the completion of their admissions application that they have read, understood, and are able to meet these essentials with or without reasonable accommodation.

Curricular Requirements for the 2009 Entering Class and Subsequent Classes

The curriculum is designed to give students a broad and strong foundation in the basic and clinical sciences. As the field of medical science is constantly changing, the graduation requirements for the M.D. program set forth at matriculation may undergo modification that will apply to students already enrolled. The requirements include satisfactory completion of such comprehensive examinations as may be adopted by the Medical School Executive Committee. Currently, the United States Medical Licensing Examination Steps 1 and Step 2, clinical knowledge and clinical skills (formerly, National Boards Parts I and II), serve this function. Passage of the second year and senior OSCE is also required.

Basic Sciences Curriculum

Generally defined as 500-level courses 
  1. Required Human Biology (Basic Science) first and second year courses
  2. Required Preceptorship

Clinical Curriculum

Generally defined as 600-level courses
  1. Required clinical clerkships in the third year:
    • Family Medicine (6 weeks) 12 credits
    • Internal Medicine (12 weeks) 24 credits
    • Obstetrics/Gynecology (6 weeks) 12 credits
    • Pediatrics (6 weeks) 12 credits
    • Psychiatry (6 weeks) 12 credits
    • Surgery (6 weeks) 12 credits
  2. Required clinical clerkships in third or fourth year
    • Emergency Medicine (4 weeks) 8 credits
    • Rehabilitation Medicine/Chronic Care (4 weeks) 8 credits
    • Neurology (4 weeks)​ 8 credits
      • ​​​Requirement can also be fulfilled by Neurosurgery (4 weeks) 8 credits
    • Surgerical Selectives (4 weeks) 8 credits
  3. Other required clinical electives:
    • (16 weeks) 32 credits

Independent Investigative Inquiry

Non-clinical selectives

Capstone: Transition to Residency


Concurrent Degree Options

Concurrent degree programs, leading to the MD and MHA/MPH/MS, are available at the University of Washington.  More information can be found at concurrent degree programs.

By Academic Year