Time to Graduation

Purpose

To update completion limits for successful completion of the UCSF MD degree. This includes students in joint and combined degree programs and non-degree research programs as well as students in the standard four-year MD program.

Overview

The standard UCSF MD program is a four-year curriculum. Medical students also have the opportunity to combine their MD program with other degree-based or research activities that increase the time-span of their time to the MD degree in a predicable amount. Additionally, due to academic or personal difficulties; a student may require additional time to complete the MD degree. For students with academic or personal difficulties, an academic plan may be established for the student that departs from the standard curriculum and that may require the repetition of all or a part of a year of study (i.e., subsequent to incomplete or unsatisfactory course work or approved leave). This Maximum Time to graduation policy identifies the completion limits for successful completion of the UCSF MD degree.

Related LCME Standards

10.3: Policies regarding student selection/progress and their dissemination

Principles

  1. Medicine is a field with a long training period and also a rapidly evolving practice base. Medical students need to demonstrate the ability for sustained progress to graduation competency over a reasonable period of time. The importance of steady progress is a basis for School limitations on quarters of financial aid (https://finaid.ucsf.edu/application-process/eligibility-requirements/satisfactory-academic-progress-medicine)(link is external) and on US state medical liscening’s requirements to complete the USMLE series within a specified number of years since passing the first USMLE exam. A maximum time to graduation policy is intended to be in the best interest of the student and the School, both of whom are spending time and resources on a student’s progression through medical school.
  1. In determing the maximum time to graduation, the School has settled upon two years of flexibility for academic and personal challenges in addition to the base time to graduation expection of a student’s individualized academic program.
  2. Leaves of absence from medical school count toward a student’s time to graduation.
  3. If a student withdraws from medical school in good standing and is readmitted, the time between withdrawal and readmission does not count toward the student’s time to graduation.

Policy

  1. For students in the four-year curriculum program, the maximum time permitted for completion of the MD degree is six years from the date of matriculation. This maximum time to complete the MD degree includes successful completion of the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 exams, which are UCSF MD degree requirements.
  2. UCSF has several programs that combine the MD program with joint and combined degree programs and non-degree research programs. Additionally, UCSF endorses the concept of a student taking a leave of absence from the UCSF MD program to complete a degree program (e.g, MPH) at another institution. For students in one of these types of approved combined programs, the maximum time permitted for completion of the UCSF MD degree is the sum of 4 years for the MD program, the standard number of years for the additional program (e.g, 1 year for the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program [JMP} master’s degree; 1 year for the UCSF/UC Berkeley MD-MPH program MPH degree; 8 years for the UCSF Medical Scientist Training Prorgram PhD degree; 1 year for approved intramurally, extramurally-, or self-funded year-long research programs) plus 2 years. Below is a table summarizes maximum time to graduations for common UCSF programs.

 

UCSF Program

MD Component

Additional Component

Maximum Time to graduation

MD

4 years

0 years

6 years

JMP

4 years

1 year

7 years

UCSF/UCB MD/MPH

4 years

1 year

7 years

UCSF MD/MAS

4 years

1 year

7 years

Extramural MPH

4 years

1 year

7 years

Approved year-long research*

4 years

1 year

7 years

MSTP

4 years

8 years

14 years

*In some cases, students receive approval for >1 year of research activity. In such cases, the maximum time to graduation is 6 years plus the years of approved research.

 

Accountable Dean or Director: Associate Dean for Curriculum

Procedures

  1. The beginning of a student’s time to graduation is the date of their matriculation.
  2. A student whose pace of progress in the MD curriculum precludes the completion of all required coursework for the degree of Doctor of Medicine within the maximum time to graduation designated by UCSF School of Medicine policy is subject to dismissal from medical school.
  3. Students who request a leave of absence that is likely to extend their time to graduation beyond 4 years plus, if applicable, an additional component time, will be counseled about this Maximum Time to Graduation policy

Related Policies

  1. UCSF Academic Senate Appendix IV Bylaws, Regulations, and Procedures of the School of Medicine: https://senate.ucsf.edu/appendix-IV
  2. UCSF Student Financial Aid, Student Academic Affairs Satisfactory Academic Progress – Medicine 
  3. Previous Maximum Time to Graduation policies for students matriculated before July 1, 2013 and those matriculated on or after July 1, 2013
  4. Guidelines for Extending the MD Program
  5. USMLE Board Exams During Medical School

Approval Date and Governing Body: October 30, 2017, CCEP

Last Updated: Updated Feb. 14, 2018