Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
MD Program

Graduation Requirements

 Mandatory courses for each Core and year of the curriculum must be completed for each enrolled student to advance to the subsequent Core or year. Students will adhere to the required courses and Cores set in the year in which they matriculated.

Academic Requirements

  • Core 1: Pre-Clerkship
    • Fall 1st Year (4.5 credits) 
    • Spring 1st Year (6 credits) 
    • Fall 2nd Year (4 credits) 
  • Core 2: Clerkship
    • Spring 2nd Year to Fall 3rd Year (12 credits) 
  • Core 3: Post-Clerkship
    • 4 week sub-internship (Sub-I) in Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, or Pediatrics (1 credit)
    • 16 weeks of standard Penn clinical electives as listed in the online course catalog. One month may be an away clinical rotation, if the student has already completed two months of away rotations  (4 credits)
    • 8 weeks of other electives: In addition to standard Penn clinical electives, students may fulfill this requirement with 2 additional months of Scholarly Pursuit beyond the required 3 months, clinical away rotations, non-clinical MD rotations/courses completed in Core 3, or coursework counting towards a second degree completed during medical school  (2 credits)
    • MD/PhD students' elective requirement: 14 total weeks of electives (8 weeks of clinical electives, 2 weeks of clinical/non-clinical electives, 4 weeks of research post-PhD)
    • 4 weeks of direct patient contact time are required in or after September of the final year. Requirement must be completed via a standard Penn elective, an away U.S. elective, or Botswana elective
    • Scholarly Pursuit: minimum of 12 weeks dedicated, ideally consecutive, OR completion via MD/PhD, dual degree (MD/Masters), OR a yearlong research project post-Core 2 (3 credits)
    • STeP to Residency (.75 credits)
    • Bioethics (1 week) (.25 credits)

Examination Requirements

  • United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)
    • STEP 1:
      • All students matriculating in and after 2015 must take and pass Step 1 to graduate.
      • Step 1 must be taken by June 30 of the student’s 3rd year of study. 
      • Step 1 for MD/PhD students must be completed before graduate school orientation begins. 
      • A passing grade on Step 1 must be obtained prior to a student beginning a master's, a PhD, or a research year. 
      • A passing score is required prior to submitting a Match Ranking List and prior to graduation for students matriculating in and after 2015.
    • STEP 2:
      • All students matriculating in and after 2015 must take and pass Step 2 to graduate.
      • Step 2 must be taken by Nov 15 of the graduating academic year. 
      • A passing score is required by February 1, prior to being approved to submit a Rank Order List.
  • Clinical Skills Inventory (CSI) Examination
    • CSI must be taken early in the calendar year after all Core 2 clerkships have been completed. 
    • It is recommended that students take and pass the CSI exam prior to taking the USMLE Step 2 exam.
  • ACLS Certification

Every student is required to attend graduation in order to publicly recite a commitment to the precepts of the profession by stating the Declaration of Geneva, the modern version of the Hippocratic Oath. Should there be extenuating circumstances that preclude attendance at graduation, the student must recite the Oath in the presence of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Wellness and at least one other member of the community (staff, family, friend, faculty). Attendance at the White Coat Ceremony and the Student Clinician’s Ceremony is similarly required. Any extraordinary exceptions must be presented to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Wellness.

All of the above categories must be fulfilled. Substitutions are not permitted.