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MD Curriculum

For all students, the four years of medical education follow an established structure beginning with the core basic science curriculum in the first two years and moving to the more clinical hands-on training in the third and fourth year.

The information included here gives students an overview of the curriculum (Year 1 through Year 4). Each campus has specific information, please refer to the campus specific curriculum pages under the respective phases for more information.

Using their NetIDs, students have access online to their individual schedules and grades.

In addition to the curriculum charted out in the detail included here, there are also opportunities for students to pursue their own individualized research opportunities.

Pre-Clerkship Years (Phase 1): Year 1 and Year 2 Heading link

Phase 1 at the University of Illinois College of Medicine is a 20-month pre-clerkship curriculum that provides students with a strong foundation in the basic sciences and clinical skills needed to become a physician. During Phase 1, students gain foundational knowledge about the body in health and illness, then learn in integrated organ-system based Block courses. They move from the skin and musculoskeletal system, to the cardiopulmonary, renal and gastrointestinal systems, and they end with the neurological, psychiatric, endocrine and reproductive systems.

Throughout phase 1, students build skills and knowledge in the Doctoring and Clinical Skills (DoCS) course, which addresses organ systems in the same order as Block courses. DoCS provides opportunities for hands-on experience through clinical simulations and patient interactions. Two additional courses, Synthesis and Medical Colloquia, allow for reflection and deeper inquiry into topics essential to modern medicine. All courses have content from our Professional Development, Health, Illness and Society and Health Care Systems themes, which recognize interactions between science and society.

In addition to coursework, students in Phase 1 may also participate in research or volunteer activities related to healthcare. Phase 1 culminates with the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1, a comprehensive standardized exam that assesses the knowledge a student will need for the clinical phase of their medical education.

The Clinical Years (Phase 2 & Phase 3) : Year 3 and Year 4 Heading link

The clinical curriculum of the University of Illinois College of Medicine is designed to prepare students for the challenges of modern medicine. Through 9 required courses and many elective opportunities, students will learn the basic competencies required of medical school graduates, including:

  • Patient-centered communication
  • Diagnosis and treatment of medical symptoms and conditions
  • Management of chronic diseases
  • Health promotion and disease prevention
  • Medical ethics and professional responsibility

Students will also have the opportunity to explore particular fields of interest in a variety of settings through elective courses.

Upon completion of the program, students will be well-prepared to provide care to patients in both ambulatory and hospital settings. They will also be skilled in the knowledge acquisition tools required for lifelong learning and will be prepared professionally to thrive within their medical careers