As a medical student at NYU School of Medicine, you have the freedom to complete your MD degree in the way that best supports your career objectives. You can personalize your education with options including an accelerated three-year pathway, a four- or five-year dual MD/master’s degree pathway, and a four-year MD pathway.
On the four-year pathway, our curriculum integrates preclinical and clinical studies.
A Four-stage MD Curriculum
Regardless of which pathway you choose, we track your progress toward the MD degree by using curriculum stages that correspond with your coursework, rather than academic years.
Stage One: Preclerkship
As a first-year student at NYU School of Medicine, you complete an 18-month preclerkship course of study that lays a foundation in biological sciences that’s traditionally provided in the first 24 months of medical school. Preclerkship modules include the Practice of Medicine, in which you learn practical skills, including how to interview patients, make physical diagnoses, write notes, communicate effectively, and navigate the healthcare system.
The preclerkship curriculum is designed to complement concepts taught in the classroom, including those fundamental to anatomy, biochemistry, cell biology, embryology, genetics, immunology, histology, pathology, pharmacology, physiology, and other disciplines.
Stage Two: Core Clerkships
You participate in 12 months of core clerkships that emphasize evidence-based care strategies and interactions with others on a healthcare team. These take place at NYU Langone, NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, or the Veterans Administration New York Harbor Healthcare System. You may also rotate through additional inpatient and outpatient clinical training sites throughout our healthcare network, including the Hospital for Joint Diseases and NYU Lutheran Medical Center.
In 4 12-week blocks, the core clerkships provide firsthand patient-care experience—in ambulatory care, medicine, surgery, neurology, pediatrics, psychiatry, and obstetrics and gynecology—about 6 months earlier than at most other medical schools.
Two of the core clerkship blocks are followed by one-week intensives, in which teams of students discuss concepts learned and their clinical applications.
Stage Three: Individualized Exploration
As a student on the four-year pathway, you have six months of individualized exploration after completing your core clerkships. The first two months provide protected study time to help you prepare for and take Step 1 of the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE)—the first of the three-part national examination required to earn U.S. medical licensure.
You also complete NYU School of Medicine’s comprehensive clinical skills examination, an assessment that provides individual feedback on the clinical skills you developed throughout the preclerkship and clerkship stages of your training. The exam helps prepare you for the USMLE Step 2: Clinical Skills.
Stage Four: Career Preparation
During the career preparation stage, you complete a critical care clerkship and select an advanced subinternship in surgery, medicine, or pediatrics. These allow you to take on additional patient care responsibilities and to prepare for your residency.
Four-Year MD Pathway
The following chart shows an MD student's typical progression through our four-year MD degree program.