Frontiers in Medical Sciences

Frontiers in Medical Science (excluding Bioethics) are one- to two-week full-time courses offered in late September/October and February/early March. Frontiers courses are designed to: 

  • Present the latest advances in biomedical science and their relevance to medical practice 
  • Provide students with cutting-edge knowledge and concepts relevant to their intended area of specialization  
  • Provide students with a pedagogical model for lifelong learning 
  • Introduce some speculative or forward-looking ideas that may impact medical practice in the 21st  century. 

Format and Grading 

Course format is determined by course directors and usually includes lectures, small group discussions and independent study time. Grading is strictly pass/fail. Performance is based on a combination of class participation and an oral or written presentation. 


Frontiers courses are full-time and attendance at all sessions is required unless the course director grants special permission. Students must provide documentation to obtain an excused absence for such things as a residency interview that cannot be rescheduled or a medical issue. Students should not schedule other appointments or activities during the dates and times of a Frontiers course.  

Request for Absence 

Please fill out and submit the absence request form

Course Considerations 

Frontiers courses may be taken while engaged in a Scholarly Pursuit project, with permission of the Scholarly Pursuit mentor. The recommended ratio is one week of Frontiers during a three-month Scholarly Pursuit project and one to three weeks of Frontiers during a four-month project. 

 Requirements for students matriculating in 2018 and later

  • Frontiers (up to 3 weeks, depending on enrollment type see below(.75 credits)
    • Students earning an MD and not earning a second degree:
      • 3 weeks of Frontiers in Medical Science courses
    • Students enrolling in and earning any Master’s degree while enrolled in medical school:
      • 2 weeks of Frontiers courses (applies to students who matriculated in 2018 and later)
    • Students earning a PhD degree while in medical school:
      • Covers the requirement for Frontiers coursework
  • Bioethics (1 week) (.25 credits)

Frontiers Requirements for students who matriculated prior to 2018:

  • Students earning an MD/MBE and other medical students not earning a second degree: 
    • 3 weeks of Frontiers in Medical Science courses  
  • Students earning an MBA, ML, MSCE, MSHP or MSME degree while in medical school:  
    • 2 weeks of Frontiers courses  
  • Students earning a PhD, MPH or MTR degree while in medical school:  
    • These degrees cover the requirement for Frontiers coursework 

For a full list of graduation requirements for students matriculating in 2019 and later, go here