Extending the MD Program


Many students request an extension of their medical education for an extra year to do research or other scholarly work, to obtain an additional degree, or to have some additional time for maternity/paternity leave. In general, the School of Medicine is supportive of students extending their program for a year, and approximately one-third of UCSF students do so. The purpose of this guideline is to describe the process for requesting an extended program, which must be approved by the Associate Dean for Students.


Planned extensions generally take place between third and fourth years, after completing third-year core clerkships and Intersession 3 in Current Curriculum or after Foundations 2 in Bridges.

Current Curriculum Students (matriculating 2015 and earlier)

In exceptional situations, students may apply to extend after completing their USMLE Step 1 exam and before starting third-year clerkships by contacting the Associate Dean for Students.

Bridges Curriculum Students (matriculating 2016 and later)

Students may apply to the Associate Dean for Students to extend their program.

For procedures and more information see the virtual Medical Student Center.

Last Updated: June 2016