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Medical Education
Medical Student Education

USMLE Board Exams During Medical School

Guidelines for Steps 1 and 2

Step 1

Current Curriculum Students (Class of 2019 and earlier)

All students should take Step 1 of the US Medical Licensing Examination at the completion of second year and before beginning Transitional Clerkship or taking an extended curriculum or leave of absence. Students may proceed to the third-year core clerkships as soon as they have taken Step 1. However, a student who fails cannot continue on through their planned clinical clerkship schedule. S/he will be permitted to re-enter clerkships after having taken Step 1 for a second time; depending on the situation, the student may be able to re-enter clerkships with their class or will need to extend and re-enter clerkships with the next class. All students taking Step 1 for the first time should be enrolled in the UCSF School of Medicine, not on leave of absence, at the time they take the exam.

The School routinely permits two attempts on Step 1, and a third attempt may be allowed in special circumstances, with approval by the Vice Dean for Education (or designee). Students studying for a third attempt must take a leave of absence from school in order to have sufficient time to prepare. They may not re-enter the third year until notification of a passing score has been received. Students who fail Step 1 on all three attempts will be subject to dismissal from the School of Medicine.

Bridges Curriculum Students (Class of 2020 and later)

All students should take Step 1 of the US Medical Licensing Examination at the completion of Foundations 2 and before beginning Career Launch or taking an extended curriculum or leave of absence. Students may proceed to Career Launch as soon as they have taken Step 1. However, a student who fails cannot continue on through their planned clinical clerkship schedule. S/he will be permitted to re-enter clerkships after having taken Step 1 for a second time; depending on the situation, the student may be able to re-enter clerkships with their class or will need to extend and re-enter clerkships with the next class. All students taking Step 1 for the first time should be enrolled in the UCSF School of Medicine, not on leave of absence, at the time they take the exam.

The School routinely permits two attempts on Step 1, and a third attempt may be allowed in special circumstances, with approval by the Vice Dean for Education (or designee). Students studying for a third attempt should take a leave of absence from school in order to have sufficient time to prepare. They may not re-enter Career Launch until notification of a passing score has been received. Students who fail Step 1 on all three attempts will be subject to dismissal from the School of Medicine.

Step 2 CK and CS

Current Curriculum Students (Class of 2019 and earlier)

Students planning to graduate in Spring quarter should take Step 2 CS by the first week* in November and CK by the third week* in November of their fourth year, unless they have explicit permission to extend beyond this deadline from the Associate Dean for Curriculum. Students do not need to be currently enrolled in the School of Medicine at the time they take Step 2 CK or CS. 

Students who intend to graduate in Summer or Fall quarter (rather than Spring quarter), must demonstrate passage of the Step 2 CK and CS exams by the end of the quarter prior to the quarter they plan to graduate. Any student who has not passed by this deadline will go on LOA until they demonstrate passage of both Step 2 exams. After demonstrating passage of both Step 2 exams, the student will enroll in the subsequent quarter in order to complete curriculum requirements and/or the requirement of enrollment during the term of graduation.

*Deadlines for taking Step 2 CS and CK are determined each year based on the USMLE Step 2 reporting schedule and are subject to change. Please pay close attention to communications directly from the NBME (also available on their website) and from UCSF School of Medicine for updates regarding the most current information.

Bridges Curriculum Students (Class of 2020 and later)

Students are encouraged to take Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS as soon as possible after completing Foundations 2. Students planning to graduate in Spring quarter should take Step 2 CS no later than the first week* in November of their fourth year, unless they have explicit permission to extend beyond this deadline from the Associate Dean for Curriculum. Students do not need to be currently enrolled in the School of Medicine at the time they take Step 2 CK or CS.

Students who intend to graduate in Summer or Fall quarter (rather than Spring quarter) must demonstrate passage of the Step 2 CK and CS exams by the end of the quarter prior to the quarter they plan to graduate. Any student who has not passed by this deadline will go on LOA until they demonstrate passage of both Step 2 exams. After demonstrating passage of both Step 2 exams, the student will enroll in the subsequent quarter in order to meet curriculum requirements and/or the requirement of enrollment during the term of graduation.

*Deadlines for taking Step 2 CS and CK are determined each year based on the USMLE Step 2 reporting schedule and are subject to change. Please pay close attention to communications directly from the NBME (also available on their website) and from UCSF School of Medicine for updates regarding the most current information.

 

Updated June, 2016

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