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Degree Programs

Students at the School of Medicine are candidates for the degree of Doctor of Medicine (M.D.). Students receiving competitive fifth-year research fellowships are eligible for the combined degree M.D./M.H.S. (Master of Health Science). Students completing a curriculum of didactic, research, and clinical experiences in global health are eligible for the Certificate in Global Medicine. Jointly with the School of Public Health, the School of Medicine administers a program leading to the degrees of Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) and Master of Public Health (M.P.H.). Jointly with the Graduate School, the School of Medicine also administers the combined degrees of Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). In addition, special arrangements may be made with the appropriate associate deans to receive the combined Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) and Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) degrees, the combined Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) and Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degrees, and the combined Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) and Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degrees. The School of Medicine also offers a Physician Associate program leading to a Master of Medical Science (M.M.Sc.) degree. Jointly with the School of Public Health, the School of Medicine also administers the PA/M.P.H. program leading to the combined Master of Medical Science (M.M.Sc.) and Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degrees.

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Doctor of Medicine

The degree of Doctor of Medicine is conferred upon students who have satisfactorily completed the requirements stated below.

  • 1. Pass all of the required basic science courses.
  • 2. Pass all of the required clinical clerkships.
  • 3. Pass the examinations of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), Steps I and II.
  • 4. Submit an approved dissertation by mid-March of the year of graduation.
  • 5. Pass the clinical skills assessment, performed at the University of Connecticut (UConn 4) at the end of Year 3 or early in Year 4.
  • 6. Meet all of the requirements of the Progress Committee and Board of Permanent Officers concerning academic standing, moral and ethical character, emotional stability, and professional conduct.

Because of the heavy demands in terms of time and energy required for the study of medicine, the Yale School of Medicine discourages students from assuming extracurricular activities that may prove burdensome. Such extracurricular work and/or professional activity will not justify inadequate academic performance. Any student wishing to work or pursue a professional activity other than medicine that would consume a significant amount of time must have the permission of the associate dean for student affairs.


The Yale School of Medicine seeks to provide an education in the scholarly and humane aspects of medicine and to foster the development of leaders who will advance medical practice and knowledge. The Committee on Admissions, in general, seeks to admit students who seem best suited for the educational programs and aims of the School. In particular, the committee looks for intelligent, mature, and highly motivated students who show the greatest promise for becoming leaders and contributors in medicine. The Committee on Admissions also considers very carefully personal qualities necessary for the successful study and practice of medicine. These include maturity, integrity, common sense, personal stability, dedication to the ideal of service, and the ability to inspire and maintain confidence.

School of Medicine graduates must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. In addition to scholastic accomplishments and potential, applicants must have the physical capacities and personal characteristics to meet the full requirements of the School’s curriculum and to graduate as skilled and effective practitioners of medicine. The policy of the School of Medicine regarding nonacademic considerations in the admissions process is available upon request from the Office of Admissions.

The School also attempts to ensure adequate representation of women and all minority groups and a diversity of interests and backgrounds. All applications to the Yale University School of Medicine are given careful consideration without regard to sex, race, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or financial status. For a complete statement of the Yale University policy on nondiscrimination, refer to www.yale.edu/equalopportunity/policies.

In evaluating candidates, the committee takes into consideration many factors including academic record; MCAT scores; medical experience; research experience; extracurricular and community activities and accomplishments; leadership potential; recommendations from premedical committees, individual science teachers, or research mentors; and personal interviews.

It is recommended that students enter medical school after four years of study in a college of arts and sciences. Students holding advanced degrees in science or other fields are also considered. International students (other than Canadians) must have completed at least one year of study in an American college prior to application. Students who have been refused admission on three prior occasions are ineligible to apply for admission to the first-year class.

The minimum requirements for admission to the first-year class are:

  • 1. Attendance for three academic years, or the equivalent, at an accredited college of arts and sciences or institute of technology.
  • 2. Satisfactory completion of the following courses including laboratory work:
  • General Biology or Zoology (one year)
  • General Chemistry (one year)
  • Organic Chemistry (one semester)
  • Biochemistry (one semester)
  • General Physics (one year)

(Acceptable courses in these subjects are usually given six to eight hours credit per year, or three to four term hours credit per semester.) These courses should be completed in a U.S., Canadian, or U.K. college or university. Advanced courses may be substituted for introductory-level courses in each of these subjects.

The Committee on Admissions has no preference as to a major field for undergraduate study and leaves this decision to students, with the advice that they advance beyond the elementary level in the field of their choice rather than pursue an undirected program. A liberal education is the supporting structure for graduate study and must encompass understanding of the humanities, arts, and society as well as the scientific foundations of technology and civilization. The student of medicine enters a profession closely allied to the natural sciences and must be prepared to cope with chemistry and biology at the graduate level. Students entering college with a strong background in the sciences, as demonstrated by Advanced Placement courses, are encouraged to substitute advanced science courses for the basic requirements listed above.

Application Process

The Yale School of Medicine participates in the “common” application process of the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). Applicants must first submit their AMCAS application, on which they indicate that they wish to apply to the Yale School of Medicine. After submitting the AMCAS application, applicants must complete the Yale Supplemental Application, which must be submitted online (see below for details).

Inquiries regarding AMCAS should be addressed to the American Medical College Application Service, 2501 M Street NW, Lobby 26, Washington DC 20037-1300. AMCAS can also be reached by telephone at 202.828.0600 or by e-mail at amcas@aamc.org. Extensive information can also be obtained at the AMCAS Web site: www.aamc.org.

Inquiries to the Yale School of Medicine regarding the degree of Doctor of Medicine should be addressed to the Office of Admissions, Yale University School of Medicine, Edward S. Harkness Memorial Hall D, 367 Cedar Street, New Haven CT 06510. The e-mail address of the admissions office is medical.admissions@yale.edu. Information and a link to the Yale Supplemental Application can also be obtained online at http://medicine.yale.edu/admissions. Inquiries are welcome at any time.

AMCAS applications must be submitted no later than October 15 of the year prior to the fall in which enrollment is sought. Yale Supplemental Applications must be submitted online no later than November 15. Applicants seeking admission under the Early Decision Plan must submit the AMCAS application by August 1 and the Yale Supplemental Application by August 31. The number of students admitted each year for studies leading to the M.D. degree is approximately 100.

A complete application consists of the following components:

  • 1. AMCAS application and all required components of the application (see 2 and 5 below).
  • 2. Complete official transcripts from all colleges attended. Transcripts should be sent from the colleges directly to AMCAS.
  • 3. Yale Supplemental Application submitted online no later than November 15. The Supplemental Application may be found at http://medicine.yale.edu/admissions.
  • 4. An evaluation from the applicant’s Premedical Advisory Committee or individual letters from three of the applicant’s instructors, two of whom should be in science fields. These evaluations must be sent to the Office of Admissions, either directly or (preferably) via AMCAS Letter Service. Detailed instructions regarding electronic transmission of evaluation letters will be found in the General Information section of the Supplemental Application.
  • 5. Scores from the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) must be submitted in conjunction with the AMCAS application. For information on the MCAT, applicants should communicate directly with the MCAT Program Office, PO Box 4056, Iowa City IA 52243. Information on the MCAT can also be obtained online at www.aamc.org. Scores of tests taken earlier than three years prior to submitting an application will not be accepted.
  • 6. A fee of $95 or an AMCAS fee waiver must accompany the Yale Supplemental Application. The fee is not refundable.

During the course of the admissions process, selected applicants will be invited for personal interviews with members of the Committee on Admissions at Yale. Regional interviews can be arranged when necessary.

Early Decision Program

The Yale School of Medicine participates in the AMCAS Early Decision Program (EDP). Under EDP, a student may make a single early application to the school of his or her choice and is guaranteed a prompt decision by the school. AMCAS applications for the EDP program must be submitted by August 1. Yale Supplemental Applications must be submitted by August 31. EDP applicants will be notified of the decision of the Committee on Admissions no later than October 1.

Admission to Advanced Standing (Transfer Admissions)

Because of a limited number of available positions, the Yale School of Medicine does not routinely consider requests for transfer with advanced standing. The only exception to this policy is that the School will consider applications into the second-year or third-year class from students who are enrolled in LCME-accredited medical schools in the United States or Canada and who have a compelling personal need to be at Yale.

The following three circumstances constitute “compelling personal need” under this policy:

  • 1. The applicant’s spouse holds, or has been accepted for, a position in the Yale-New Haven Medical Center community as a student, a member of the house staff at Yale New Haven Hospital, a postdoctoral fellow, or a faculty member.
  • 2. There is a serious illness in the immediate family of the applicant, requiring the ill person to be in New Haven for treatment and the applicant to be in New Haven as the primary supportive member of the family during the time of the illness.
  • 3. In collaboration with a faculty member of the Yale School of Medicine, the applicant has completed exceptional biomedical research, which both the applicant and the faculty member wish to continue. Completing medical studies at Yale would enable the applicant to pursue this collaborative research and achieve important and unique educational and scientific objectives that would not be possible at the original medical school.

The distance of the applicant from New Haven will also be taken into consideration. Regardless of other factors, students attending medical school in New York City, Connecticut, or Rhode Island will not normally be eligible to apply for advanced standing.

Transfer into the second-year class is possible only from medical schools with a basic science curriculum compatible with that at Yale. Transfer into the third-year class is contingent upon passing Step I of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). An applicant who fails USMLE Step I will not be considered for admission under any circumstances. Transfer into either the second- or third-year class is also contingent upon successful completion of courses being taken at the current medical school and upon the availability of space at Yale.

Eligible applicants will be evaluated competitively by the School’s Committee on Admissions, with decisions based on academic credentials, supporting material, interviews, and the urgency of the personal need to transfer. Overall qualifications are expected to be comparable to those of Yale students admitted through the regular admissions process.

All accepted applicants must matriculate in the year accepted. Applicants whose eligibility is established by marriage must be married at the time of matriculation, and the applicant’s spouse must be in residence in New Haven and holding a position in the Yale-New Haven Medical Center community. Transfer students must complete all required clinical clerkships (including the fourth-year Primary Care Clerkship and the Integrative Clinical Medicine Clerkship) and the thesis requirement at the Yale University School of Medicine. If a transfer student wishes to spend an extra (fifth) year at Yale, the tuition for that year will be waived.

Completed transfer applications consist of Yale School of Medicine application forms, letters of recommendation, MCAT scores, college transcripts, a transcript from the current medical school, and a letter from the dean of students (or comparable official) at the current medical school. Inquiries regarding transfer applications should be addressed to the Office of Admissions, Yale University School of Medicine, 367 Cedar Street, New Haven CT 06510 or medical.admissions@yale.edu. Transfer applications, including all supporting credentials, must be submitted by April 1 of the year the student wishes to enter Yale.

Educational Objective

The mission of Yale School of Medicine is to educate and inspire scholars and future leaders who will advance the practice of medicine and the biomedical sciences. The educational program is designed to develop physicians who are highly competent and compassionate practitioners of the medical arts, schooled in the current state of knowledge of both medical biology and patient care. It is expected that Yale-trained physicians will establish a lifelong process of learning the medical, behavioral, and social sciences by independent study. The aim is also to produce physicians who will be among the leaders in their chosen field, whether it be in the basic medical sciences, academic clinical medicine, or medical practice in the community. Belief in the maturity and responsibility of students is emphasized by creating a flexible program through anonymous examinations and the elimination of grades in pre-clerkship courses, and by encouraging independent study and research.

Educational Philosophy: The Yale System

The Yale System of Medical Education remains unique among medical schools. It has been an important part of life at the Yale School of Medicine since 1931. Although it has undergone modifications in the intervening years, its essential spirit has remained intact, and it is a major reason why many students choose to come to Yale for their medical education.

The fundamental element of the system is the concept that Yale medical students are mature individuals, strongly motivated to learn, requiring guidance and stimulation rather than compulsion or competition for relative standing in a group. The corollary of this concept is that students must assume more than usual responsibility for their education. Students should be considered adults in a graduate school and be permitted to enjoy as much freedom as is consistent with the fulfillment of requirements for the degree of Doctor of Medicine. Memorization of facts should be far less important than a well-rounded education in fundamental principles, training in methods of investigation, and the acquisition of the scientific habit of mind.

During the pre-clerkship years, the students acquire knowledge and develop clinical skills. In the integrated basic and clinical science courses, lectures are held to a minimum, and there is a focus on interactive learning in small-group workshops and conferences. Students are evaluated through examinations that they take anonymously. Performance is assessed by the faculty based upon participation in small-group sessions, by anonymous qualifying examinations at the end of each course, and by passing of the United States Medical Licensing Examinations. Competency in performing a complete history and physical examination is assessed at the end of the pre-clerkship period using standardized patients in an observed structured clinical examination (OSCE). Student attendance is expected in all skill-building sessions and sessions in which interactive learning, clinical reasoning, or collaboration are necessary for optimal learning.

In the pre-clerkship period (first eighteen months) there are no grades, and there is no class ranking throughout medical school. While grades are not given and rank order not established, evaluation of students is an important part of the educational process. The faculty considers small-group teaching with formative feedback interchanges between faculty and students to be the most effective means of teaching and evaluation. Students should expect direct questioning in workshops and labs as an important adjunct to the evaluation process. The final decision of acceptable performance for a given course or clerkship is determined by the course/clerkship director based upon the successful completion of the assessments described above. Freed from the usual anxieties provoked by high-stakes summative examinations, students tend to learn for their future rather than for tests. Competition for grades is eliminated and students are eager to help one another. Class spirit is remarkably high year after year. Upon completing a course, all students are expected to submit a programmatic evaluation so that course/clerkship directors can make changes based on student feedback.

Finally, the Yale System requires each student to design, carry out, and successfully complete a research thesis, intended to foster the development of a lifelong commitment to learning (see Required Thesis, in the chapter Degree Programs).

Pre-Clerkship Curriculum

The first eighteen months of the curriculum focus on providing students with a foundation in the basic and clinical sciences and the art of medical practice. During this period, students engage in eleven Integrated Courses, the Clinical Skills Program, and the Interprofessional Longitudinal Clinical Experience. The course work includes eight integrated master courses (Introduction to the Profession, Scientific Foundations, Genes and Development, Attacks and Defenses, Connection to the World, Homeostasis, Energy and Metabolism, and Across the Lifespan); and three longitudinal courses (Ethics, Professional and Ethical Responsibility; Human Anatomy; and Scientific Inquiry).

The Clinical Skills Program (CS) introduces students to the principles and skills of medical interviewing and physical examination. CS course sessions meet weekly and provide an opportunity for students to observe and develop clinical skills.

In addition to didactic sessions, students will also participate in the Interprofessional Longitudinal Clinical Experience (ILCE), where students will work in interprofessional teams with students from Yale School of Nursing and the Physician Associate Program in a consistent clinical setting. Students meet at their clinical settings one afternoon per week.

In the fall of the second year, students are assessed on their acquired clinical skills utilizing a two-case Observed Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE).

Pre-Clerkship Requirements

In order to proceed to the clerkship year, a student must satisfy the following requisites:

  • 1. Pass the mandatory qualifying examinations for all first- and second-year courses.
  • 2. Pass the Pre-Clinical Clerkship (Clinical Skills) course by attending all didactic and skill-building sessions.
  • 3. Meet all requirements of the Interprofessional Longitudinal Clinical Experience (ILCE) program.
  • 4. Achieve clinical competence as ascertained by the second-year OSCE assessment.
  • 5. Comply with all immunization requirements.
  • 6. Evaluate all of the basic science required courses and modules.

The Clerkship Year

Clinical Clerkships

The clerkship curriculum consists of four twelve-week integrated clerkship blocks:

  • • The Medical Approach to the Patient (Internal Medicine and Neurology)
  • • The Surgical Approach to the Patient (Surgery and Emergency Medicine)
  • • Women’s and Children’s Health (Obstetrics & Gynecology and Pediatrics)
  • • Primary Care and Psychiatry (Ambulatory Internal Medicine, Psychiatry, Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynecology)

Clerkship scheduling will be arranged through the registrar in the Office of Student Affairs. There is no required order for taking clerkships, and there is no advantage to any particular order. Students are required to complete and pass all clerkships before proceeding to the Advanced Clinical Training and Research period.

Advanced Clinical Training and Research

The final phase of the curriculum includes a time of maximum flexibility and choice for students to engage in a variety of clinical electives and subinternships, research, thesis preparation, and residency preparation.

The Office of Student Affairs holds an informational meeting in the spring of the third year (last six months of the clerkship period), and students meet with their advisers to discuss scheduling and requirements during the advanced clinical training and research period. The informational meeting focuses on the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP), Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS), and the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE), also known as the dean’s letter. Scheduling subinternships, electives, and the thesis requirements are also addressed.

Graduating students are required to submit a thesis plan to the Office of Student Research prior to fall registration of their final year. Students must provide a tentative thesis title as well as identify their major activities of the fourth year.

Clinical Skills Assessment (UConn 4) Requirements

It is important to have a formal assessment of clinical skills to determine whether students have achieved the required level of competence in history taking, physical examination, communication, and clinical reasoning.

For Yale medical students, this formal assessment occurs in the clinical skills facility at the University of Connecticut. Students evaluate simulated patients, who portray patients with common clinical presentations, and are evaluated using checklists and rating scales. All encounters are videotaped. Passing standards are determined with accepted procedures.

If a student fails the assessment, he or she meets with a member of the Yale Skills Assessment Team to review his or her performance based on established criteria and create an action plan for improvement. The student then returns to UConn for reassessment in six to eight weeks.

  • 1. Students must demonstrate competence in clinical skills, determined by passing the UConn 4 assessment, as a requirement for graduation.
  • 2. UConn 4 is offered in the months of May, June, and July. Students will be scheduled to take it in one of those months as close to the completion of their clerkships as possible, recognizing that some students such as those who have postponed a clerkship will have to take the assessment before they have completed all of their clerkships.
  • 3. If a student fails on his or her first attempt, the student and his or her academic adviser are notified and a plan is made for remediation. Two additional attempts to pass within the next twelve months are permitted.
  • 4. Failure on three attempts results in dismissal. Based on extraordinary circumstances, the Progress Committee may direct the Clinical Skills Assessment Committee (CSAC) to independently evaluate the student’s clinical skills, drawing upon observations in the two recent remediation periods and, if needed, new assessments. If the CSAC confirms insufficient clinical skills, the student will be dismissed. On the contrary, if the CSAC determines that the student demonstrates a minimum competence in clinical skills, the student will be credited for this graduation requirement.

United States Medical Licensing Examinations (USMLE) Requirements


The Office of Student Affairs holds a USMLE Step I Fair and informational session. Students apply for the USMLE online at the NBME (National Board of Medical Examiners) Web site at www.nbme.org. Information on how to register for the USMLE examination is available online at http://medicine.yale.edu/education/osa/registrar/Copy_of_index.aspx. The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Steps I, II Clinical Knowledge, and III are computer-administered at Prometric Testing Centers. This system has given students considerable flexibility over choice of test time and place. Students should consult the USMLE Web site for more information (www.usmle.org).

Matriculation on or before 2014 All students are required to sit for Step I of the United States Medical Licensing Examination for the first time by December 31 of the third chronological year of medical school, but students are strongly encouraged to take it before starting clinical clerkships in June of the third year.

Matriculation on or after 2015 All students are required to sit for Step I of the United States Medical Licensing Examination for the first time by December 31 of their fourth year of medical school, but students are strongly encouraged to take it after they complete their clinical clerkships.


Passing USMLE Step I and both parts of Step II is required for graduation from Yale School of Medicine.

The written Step II exam is called Step II Clinical Knowledge (Step II CK). Step II CK must be taken by December 31 of the final year. It is strongly recommended that students take Step II CK early in the advanced clinical training and research period immediately after completing the clinical clerkships, when the information is fresh. Like Step I, this computer-based exam is administered at Prometric Test Centers throughout the world.

Step II Clinical Skills (Step II CS) is a separate, required component of Step II and must be taken by December 31 of the final year as well; but again, it is to the student’s advantage to take it as soon as possible after completing the clinical clerkships. Utilizing standardized patients, this exam is administered at regionally located centers operating year-round. Information on how to register for the USMLE examination is available online at http://medicine.yale.edu/education/osa/registrar/Copy_of_index.aspx

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that both parts of USMLE Step II are scheduled and taken by December 31. Disregarding this requirement is considered an unprofessional response and may be considered by the Progress Committee in deciding whether a student has satisfactorily completed the requirements to graduate. If a student schedules the exams but then fails to take them as scheduled, the Progress Committee and the dean of the medical school will be notified. In addition, the student may be prevented from putting in a match list, or the residency programs to which the student has applied may be notified that the student, in addition to behaving unprofessionally, may be in jeopardy of not graduating on time to start residency.

Failure of USMLE Step I, II CK, and Step II CS Policy

Any failure of Step I, Step II CK, or Step II CS will be brought to the attention of the Progress Committee and the student’s academic adviser. In general, a student in good standing will be allowed three attempts to take and pass each of these examinations. The timing of the repeat exams should be determined in consultation with the academic adviser. If a student fails an exam three times, the Progress Committee will review the student’s overall academic progress. Under extraordinary circumstances, the Progress Committee may permit a fourth attempt, but barring that permission, the student will be dismissed from the medical school.

If a student who fails one of these exams is also experiencing other academic difficulties, including issues related to unprofessional behavior or failure to progress through the clinical clerkships, or is already on academic probation, the Progress Committee will review the student’s overall academic progress. The Progress Committee will then determine how many times and under what circumstances that individual may be permitted to repeat these exams, which may be fewer than three times.

Course Schedules, 2016–2017

Integrated Course Curriculum (eighteen months)
  • Introduction to the Profession
  • Scientific Foundations
  • Genes and Development
  • Attacks and Defenses
  • Connection to the World
  • Homeostasis
  • Energy and Metabolism
  • Across the Lifespan
  • Ethics, Professionalism, and Health Care Systems
  • Anatomy
  • Scientific Inquiry: Biostatistics, Research Method, and Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Clinical Skills Program
Clerkship Year

Four required clerkship blocks:

  • • The Medical Approach to the Patient (Internal Medicine and Neurology)
  • • The Surgical Approach to the Patient (Surgery and Emergency Medicine)
  • • Women’s and Children’s Health (Obstetrics & Gynecology and Pediatrics)
  • • Primary Care and Psychiatry (Ambulatory Internal Medicine, Psychiatry, Family Medicine, and Pediatric Primary Care)
Advanced Clinical Training and Research

Students matriculating in 2015 and 2016 Students are required to take one four-week subinternship, thirty-three weeks of scheduled clinical electives or research time, and the capstone course at the end of the fourth year. Students will also schedule time for the USMLE Step I, Step II CK, and Step II CS board examinations and for interviewing and residency preparation.

Students matriculating in 2013 and 2014 Students are required to take one four-week clinical subinternship or elective and the three-week capstone course. Students will also schedule time for the USMLE Step II CK and CS board examinations and for interviewing and residency preparation.

Students matriculating in 2012 or earlier Students are required to take the Primary Care Clerkship and the three-week capstone course. Students will also schedule time for the USMLE Step II CK and CS board examinations and for interviewing and residency preparation

Required Thesis

Yale is the only medical school with a long tradition requiring a dissertation based on original research. The M.D. thesis, a requirement since 1839, is an essential part of the curriculum, designed to develop critical judgment, habits of self-education, and application of the scientific method to medicine. The thesis requirement gives students the opportunity to work closely with faculty who are distinguished scientists, clinicians, and scholars. The investigation may have its origins in basic science or in clinical, laboratory, epidemiology and public health, or medicine and the humanities (medical ethics, history of medicine, etc.). A hypothesis must be defined, experimental methods developed, and data gathered to prove or disprove the hypothesis. Students are expected to use state-of-the-art methods appropriate for research and scholarship in each discipline. Stipends are provided for summer and all other short-term research periods (four deadlines throughout the year). In addition there are many national (Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Institutes of Health, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Sarnoff Foundation, American Heart Association) and Yale-sponsored one-year research fellowships available. Conduct of the research is begun in the summer following the first year and is continued during free periods in the third and fourth years, often over vacations. A significant percentage of students (currently 55 percent of Yale medical students) elect to take an additional year of medical school to pursue their research projects in greater depth, but this is not a requirement. These students are eligible for a joint M.D./Master of Health Science (M.H.S.) if all requirements for the joint degree are fulfilled.

A doctoral dissertation in the biological sciences previously accepted as a part of the requirements for the Ph.D. degree may be submitted in lieu of a School of Medicine dissertation at the discretion of the director of the Office of Student Research and the Thesis Committee. Information about the thesis and research opportunities and funding may be obtained from the Office of Student Research, at 203.785.6633 or on its Web site, http://medicine.yale.edu/education/osr.

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Joint Academic Programs

Students from the Yale School of Medicine accepted into another Yale degree program will be considered to be participating in a “Joint-Degree Program” and will receive the benefit of sharing tuition between the medical school and the other program’s school so that each program gives up a half-year of tuition. For example, a student accepted to the M.D./J.D. Program will pay three and one-half years’ tuition to the School of Medicine and two and one-half years’ tuition to the Law School, completing seven years of school in six. This arrangement holds for Yale schools only. A student wishing to create such an arrangement at a school outside of Yale must receive permission from the associate dean for student affairs at the School of Medicine and, of course, must have the consent of the other school.

School of Medicine students enrolled in a joint-degree program or in a program to obtain a degree at another school must complete three years in the School of Medicine and pass Steps I and II of the USMLE before beginning in the other program.

M.D./Ph.D. Program

A limited number of highly qualified students will be admitted into the M.D./Ph.D. Program each year. Students accepted into this program have an excellent academic record and a strong motivation toward a career in academic medicine and the biomedical sciences, and will have had previous research experiences of a high caliber.

The goal of the M.D./Ph.D. Program at Yale School of Medicine is to train physician-scientists and provide them with a broad exposure to human biology and medicine and to an in-depth and rigorous training in one of the scholarly disciplines relevant to medicine. It is expected that these individuals will develop into academic physicians capable of assuming faculty positions in either basic science or clinical departments of schools of medicine, and in these positions will provide leadership in academic medicine and in research related to medicine and human welfare.

The joint-degree program is intended for students who wish to obtain a research degree in an established Ph.D. program. Participating in the M.D./Ph.D. Program are the School of Public Health, the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, and the departments of Biomedical Engineering; Cell Biology; Cellular and Molecular Physiology; Chemistry; Experimental Pathology; Genetics; History of Science and Medicine; Immunobiology; Medical Anthropology; Microbiology; Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry; Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology; Neuroscience; and Pharmacology. Students interested in taking the joint degree in another department may be able to do so, provided they can work out, in advance, a program that is approved by the department concerned, the director of the M.D./Ph.D. Program, the dean of the School of Medicine, and the dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Applicants to the M.D./Ph.D. Program should be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Applications by foreign nationals will be considered on a case-by-case basis. All applicants selected for admission currently receive support from the program for stipend, tuition, and health fees. Funding is provided largely by the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), a grant provided from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Continuing in the program is contingent on satisfactory progress in both the School of Medicine and the Graduate School. The average length of time students spend completing the requirements for the M.D./Ph.D. Program is seven to eight years.

Requirements of the M.D./Ph.D. Program

Students who have matriculated at Yale School of Medicine and are interested in applying to the M.D./Ph.D. Program should meet with Dr. Barbara Kazmierczak to discuss the internal application process. An important consideration for admission to the M.D./Ph.D. Program is adequate research experience. This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. It may be necessary to complete a summer (or the equivalent in time) of research in a lab at Yale for an application to be considered. Applications for admission are reviewed by the same committee that evaluates outside applicants to the M.D./Ph.D. Program.

Beginning with students who matriculated in fall 2015, candidates for M.D./Ph.D. degrees will normally begin their thesis research after completing the first four terms of the School of Medicine curriculum. Students will complete a series of clinical rotations at the end of the second year of medical school that will enable them to participate in longitudinal clinical experiences during their Ph.D. years; students following this schedule are expected to affiliate with a graduate program by the beginning of the third year of the program. During the first and second years of medical school, the majority of M.D./Ph.D. students take, for credit, graduate-level courses primarily designed for them. These courses supplement the core medical school curriculum and can be applied toward the course requirements of the student’s chosen Ph.D. program. The summer between the first and second years is spent in lab rotation(s), the purpose of which is to orient students in the selection of a thesis mentor and research area. However, students must request affiliation with a particular department in the Graduate School by the beginning of their third year of study in the joint-degree program. Any exceptions must be approved by the director of the M.D./Ph.D. Program and the dean of the Graduate School.

A student admitted to the combined-degree program must satisfy the Graduate School Honors requirement by the end of the second year of study and must complete all remaining predissertation requirements within four terms of affiliation with the Ph.D. department. These include course requirements, teaching requirements if applicable, a departmental qualifying examination, and the submission of an approved prospectus. At that point, the student is then admitted to candidacy. Students in the M.D./Ph.D. Program must be admitted to candidacy one full year before they expect to be awarded the Ph.D. degree. An average of three to four years is spent completing the Ph.D. requirements.

The remainder of the program encompasses clinical clerkships and electives. The integrated curriculum of clinical clerkships begins in January of the second year of medical school, and MSTP students participate in six months of clerkships prior to beginning Ph.D. work. After the student’s thesis defense, the student returns to the medical wards to complete six months of integrated clinical clerkships and the final twelve months of medical school. Only under unusual circumstances will students be allowed to take more than six months of clerkships prior to the beginning of their Ph.D. work. Students are encouraged to take the twelve-week Medical Approach to the Patient integrated clerkship and one other twelve-week integrated clerkship prior to beginning research. This will enable the student to participate in outpatient clinical activities during dissertation work.

The Ph.D. dissertation will be accepted as the thesis requirement for the School of Medicine, providing the Ph.D. degree is received before or at the same time as the M.D. degree. If the M.D. degree is to be awarded before the Ph.D., an approved thesis must be submitted to the Office of Student Research at the School of Medicine by May 1 in order to meet the School of Medicine thesis requirement for graduation. Students will be eligible for the M.D. and Ph.D. degrees, provided the degree requirements for both the School of Medicine and the Graduate School have been fulfilled, usually at the end of seven years. If requirements have not been completed, additional time will be required.

Joint M.D./Master of Health Science (M.D./M.H.S.)

Yale School of Medicine has established a joint degree, the M.D./Master of Health Science (M.D./M.H.S.), for students completing a competitively funded full fifth year of research and other requirements. This program was approved by the Yale Corporation in January 2006.

There are two pathways to the M.D./M.H.S. degree for medical students: a clinical research pathway and a laboratory/translational research pathway. The M.D./M.H.S. degree is centered around a fifth-year pull-out supported by a fully funded one-year medical student research fellowship at Yale (currently funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute-Yale Program, Yale NIH TL1 grant, NIH-NIDDK fellowships, and Yale Endowment Fellowships).

The independent research project in the fifth year is the centerpiece of the M.D./M.H.S. degree program. In addition the following requirements apply:

  • 1. The project mentor and a three-person thesis committee must be approved by the Office of Student Research and the M.D.-Master of Health Science Advisory Committee.
  • 2. Additional course work is required:
  • a. Clinical research pathway—Courses: Principles of Clinical Research; Introduction to Biostatistics; Organization and Leadership; Responsible Conduct of Research (during master’s year)
  • b. Laboratory/translational research pathway—Courses: Intensive Pedagogical Experience in Techniques and Strategies for Laboratory Research or Selected Seminars in Clinical and Translational Informatics; Introduction to Biostatistics; Organization and Leadership; Responsible Conduct of Research (during master’s year)
  • These courses can be taken prior to the research year or during the research year.
  • Additional electives are also required.
  • 3. Participation in monthly research-in-progress seminars, journal clubs, Leadership in Biomedicine Lecture Series and dinners, and other announced activities throughout the master’s research year is required. Further information is available in the Office of Student Research or online at https://medicine.yale.edu/education/osr/mhs.

M.D./M.P.H. Program

Students enrolled for the M.D. degree at the School of Medicine may apply to the Yale School of Public Health for admission to a combined program leading to the degrees of Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health. This program (Advanced Professional Program) is designed for students with special interest in aspects of medicine dealing with biostatistics, epidemiology of acute or chronic disease, organization and management of health services, or aspects of preventive medicine and public health.

Normally the combined program requires five years of study. One thesis satisfies both degree requirements provided it is approved and carried out under the supervision of a faculty member of the School of Public Health and is in an appropriate subject area.

Applications for the M.P.H. portion of this combined degree program must be submitted through www.sophas.org. The SOPHAS application opens in the fall of each year, and medical students are encouraged to apply during their third year of study. The M.P.H. program is on rolling admissions, and the final application deadline is January 15. Medical students may contact the YSPH director of admissions at ysph.admissions@yale.edu or the director of the AP M.P.H. Program, Dr. Mayur Desai, for more detailed information regarding the curriculum and areas of study.

M.D./M.Div. Program

Students who have been admitted to the Yale School of Medicine and are enrolled for the M.D. degree may apply to the Divinity School for admission to a combined program leading to the award of the degrees of Doctor of Medicine and Master of Divinity. Students who apply to the joint M.D./M.Div. Program are expected to do so at the same time that they apply to the School of Medicine or by the end of their second year at the School of Medicine in order to qualify for the special tuition arrangement. Students enrolled in the program pay three and one-half years’ tuition to the School of Medicine and two and one-half years’ tuition to the Divinity School.

The joint program is tailored to the individual interests and needs of those students seeking professional education and training in a theological understanding of the self, society, and work; in bioethics; in international health and missions; in relating a ministry of healing to hospice or similar patient-care facilities; in a biblical understanding of person; or in academic work in teaching, counseling, and chaplaincy.

Six years are required for the combined M.D./M.Div. Program.

M.D./J.D. Program

The Yale School of Medicine has a formal relationship with the Law School to allow students to seek degrees from both schools. This can be done in six years instead of seven, as would be the case if these disciplines were studied separately. Students pay three and one-half years’ tuition to the School of Medicine and two and one-half years’ tuition to the Law School. Students interested in this program must confer early with the appropriate deans at each school to plan curriculum and find out if they qualify for the special tuition arrangement. Students at the Law School must petition for approval of a joint-degree program, and they may only petition after they have matriculated in Law School and completed their first term.

Students who apply to the joint M.D./J.D. Program are expected to do so at the same time that they apply to the School of Medicine or by the end of their second year at the School of Medicine in order to qualify for the special tuition arrangement. Students must be found acceptable by both admissions committees. It is suggested that the student state on each application that he or she is applying to both schools in order to pursue the combined degree program.

M.D./M.B.A. Program

The purpose of the joint-degree program in medicine and management is to develop clinician-managers capable of pursuing careers that balance delivery of patient care with sound management in a changing health care environment. The joint-degree program normally requires five years of study and simultaneous award of the degrees of Doctor of Medicine and Master of Business Administration at the conclusion of the five-year period. A joint-degree student pays three and one-half years’ tuition to the School of Medicine and one and one-half years’ tuition to the School of Management, in a pattern determined in advance by the two schools. Students interested in this program must discuss their intentions with the associate deans of student affairs at both schools and with Howard P. Forman, M.D., M.B.A., director of this joint-degree program.

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School of Public Health

The School of Public Health (YSPH) is an accredited school of public health where students may earn the Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree. The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Master of Science (M.S.) degrees in public health are awarded through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

The M.P.H. degree program is available as a two-year program; as an eleven-month program for individuals with a doctoral-level (or international equivalent) degree in a field related to public health (e.g., physicians, dentists, veterinarians, attorneys, and those with a doctorate in the biological, behavioral, or social sciences), individuals with a master’s degree and at least two years of relevant work experience, individuals with a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of relevant work experience, and students who have completed their third year in an accredited medical, dental, or podiatric school in the United States; or as a five-year joint B.A.-B.S./M.P.H. program with Yale College. See the YSPH Bulletin for details on each degree program.

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The Yale Physician Associate Program

The concept of a physician assistant (or Physician Associate) was first developed in 1965. Today the Physician Associate is a highly valued member of the health care team. Physician Associates are distinguished from other advanced health care practitioners by the extent to which they are given decision-making authority regarding patient care, diagnosis, and treatment. The twenty-eight-month Yale program, established in 1970, is committed to educating students for generalist medical practice. As of December 2015, the Yale Physician Associate Program has graduated 1,160 Physician Associates who are employed in a variety of settings throughout the nation. Graduates practice in rural as well as urban areas, in emergency rooms, health maintenance organizations, clinics, and solo and private practices. They possess a variety of skills, which enable them to take a medical history; perform a physical examination; diagnose illness and formulate patient treatment plans; counsel patients; perform medical procedures; and assist in surgery.

Mission of the Yale Physician Associate Program

The mission of the Yale School of Medicine Physician Associate Program is to educate individuals to become outstanding clinicians and to foster leaders who will serve their communities and advance the PA profession.

Curriculum Structure and Goals of the Yale Physician Associate Academic Program

The program is divided into a didactic phase of twelve months and a clinical phase of fourteen months. In addition, a research component is included in the clinical phase of the curriculum, with two one-month periods for research-related activities. The program provides a rich combination of medical courses and clinical experiences to ensure that Physician Associate students are prepared for their careers as professionals in interprofessional medical teams. Through problem-based learning, case studies, hands-on patient care, and research, the Yale Physician Associate students are well prepared to join hospitalist teams and private practices in both primary care and specialties.

A Master of Medical Science (M.M.Sc.) degree is awarded upon completion of the program.

The Didactic Phase

The first calendar year is devoted to course work in basic and clinical sciences. Courses include:

  • Anatomy I, II, III
  • Basic Science I, II, III
  • Behavioral Medicine I, II, III
  • Clinical Medicine I, II, III
  • Diagnostic Studies I, II, III
  • Patient Assessment I, II, III
  • Pharmacology I, II, III
  • Preparing Future PA’s I, II, III
  • Research I, II, III
The Clinical Phase

Each student completes fourteen four-week rotations, in a variety of medical specialties, in order to acquire broad experiences in primary, emergency, and surgical care. Two additional four-week blocks during the clinical phase are reserved as research/thesis months. Ten rotations are mandatory: Internal Medicine I, Internal Medicine II, General Surgery, Primary Care I, Primary Care II, Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Geriatrics, and Emergency Medicine. The remaining four rotations are reserved for subspecialty electives.

Although many rotations are in the New Haven area, the experience of the student is expanded by exposure to rotations in other geographic settings. Consequently, students entering the program should expect to spend at least one rotation outside of New Haven or Connecticut. Students should expect to provide their own transportation and housing for all rotations away from New Haven. Students may also choose to broaden their experience by applying for international rotations. Students have chosen clerkships in China, Spain, Uganda, Rwanda, and Peru.

In order to graduate from the program, a student must successfully complete all rotations, summative evaluation using standardized patients, a written examination, and a thesis proposal. The thesis proposal must present a rationale for the topic of study, a comprehensive literature review, and a detailed description of the methodology to be used. A Yale School of Medicine faculty adviser serves as a thesis mentor to each student.

Mandatory Rotations
  • Emergency Medicine
  • General Surgery
  • Geriatrics
  • Internal Medicine I
  • Internal Medicine II
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Primary Care I
  • Primary Care II
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatry
Elective Rotations
  • Ambulatory Medicine
  • Anesthesiology
  • Cardiology
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Dermatology
  • Diagnostic Imaging/Radiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Gynecologic Oncology
  • Hematology
  • Hospitalist Medicine
  • Infectious Disease
  • International Medicine
  • Interventional Radiology
  • Maternal-Fetal Medicine
  • Medical Intensive Care
  • Neonatology
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Oncology
  • Orthopedics
  • Otolaryngology
  • Pediatric Cardiology
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Rheumatology
  • Surgical Intensive Care
  • Thoracic Surgery
  • Transplant Surgery
  • Trauma Surgery
  • Urology

Tuition and Fees

Tuition for the Physician Associate program for the 2016–2017 academic year is $38,938 for first- and second-year students, and $12,948 for third-year students. Fees and other expenses—including books, supplies, and equipment; room and board; personal expenses and transportation; Yale Health Hospitalization coverage; and travel to rotations—are estimated at an additional $28,625 for first-year students, $30,185 for second-year students, and $10,200 for third-year students. For more information, see http://medicine.yale.edu/education/finaid/pa_program.

Admission to the Yale Physician Associate Program

The admissions process is highly selective and competitive. Selection is based on a multitude of factors including academic history, community or leadership involvement, patient care experience, and interpersonal effectiveness. For additional information regarding admissions, please visit the PA Program Web site at http://paprogram.yale.edu/admissions.


Students must have a baccalaureate degree prior to matriculation. The Admissions Committee closely examines applicant records for evidence that individuals are capable of successfully completing graduate-level science work. An undergraduate science major is not required, but applicants must complete the following prerequisites: one semester of statistics or calculus, one semester of organic or biochemistry, one semester of anatomy with or without lab, one semester of animal or human physiology, one semester of microbiology, and one semester of genetics. Please visit http://paprogram.yale.edu/admissions/prerequisites/academic.aspx for further details. A cumulative science grade point average of 3.0 is required. The program considers Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores (required) and performance in science courses as indicators of academic ability in light of applicants’ past records.


Applicants must have some awareness of the intricacies of medical care delivery as it exists today and demonstrate their commitment to a profession that helps the sick and injured. The majority of the PA Program’s students have had one year of direct patient contact experience in a variety of health care roles such as orderly, nurses’ aide, military corpsman, nurse, medical scribe, phlebotomist, or emergency medical technician. Experience need not be in a hospital setting. One thousand hours of direct, hands-on patient care experience is highly recommended to be considered for admission.


The program values ability to work skillfully, thoughtfully, responsibly, and constructively with people. The Admissions Committee screens applicants to determine their career commitment, interpersonal skills, and willingness to work with the supervision of a physician.

In addition to scholastic potential and interpersonal skills, applicants must have the physical capacities and personal characteristics necessary to meet the full requirements of the program’s curriculum and to graduate as skilled and effective physician assistants. Policy on nonacademic considerations is outlined in our Technical Standards, which are available on the Web site at http://paprogram.yale.edu/admissions/prerequisites/technical.aspx.

Application for Admission

The application deadline for the class entering in August 2017 is September 1, 2016. Program information is available on the PA Program Web site, http://paprogram.yale.edu/admissions/apply.aspx. Online applications for admission are processed through the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) at www.caspaonline.org. The program also requires a supplemental application.

M.M.Sc./M.P.H. Joint-Degree Program

The M.M.Sc./M.P.H. joint-degree program at Yale School of Medicine affords individuals interested in pursuing clinical and public health training a unique opportunity to complete both degree programs in thirty-nine months. The goal of this program is to expose students to the core competencies needed for shaping both local and global health systems as physician assistants and policy makers. Students must choose the area of academic concentration for the public health portion of their training from among the following: Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Social and Behavioral Sciences, or Health Policy.

Applicants must apply for admission and be accepted to both the Physician Associate Program and the Yale School of Public Health during concurrent admissions cycles. Although the deadline for application to the School of Public Health is January 15, individuals interested in the joint-degree program should apply to the PA Program and the School of Public Health as early as possible. For individuals granted an interview with the PA Program, the School of Public Health will expedite the review of the application.

Tuition and fees are billed to the student by the corresponding school during matriculation. Satisfactory academic progress is required for continued matriculation in both schools. Only students who have begun their studies at Yale are eligible for the joint degree.

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Certificate in Global Medicine

The Certificate in Global Medicine is awarded upon graduation to Yale School of Medicine students who demonstrate competence in global health and provides recognition that a student has completed required didactic course work, scholarly work, international clinical experience, and language, culture, and leadership activities relevant to global health. This certificate allows students to develop expertise and prepares students for leadership in global health by providing the knowledge, skills, and attitude essential for success in this field. In addition to directly benefiting students at Yale, this program will establish the Yale School of Medicine as a model for excellence in global health education. Requirements for earning the certificate can be completed over four (or five) years, while maintaining flexibility in terms of both the timing and content of these opportunities. It is expected that students pursuing the certificate will engage with the community of practitioners and scholars working on global health at Yale and around the world. International field experience in global health is an integral part of the program.

Additional information is available at http://medicine.yale.edu/globalhealth/yale/global-certificate.aspx.

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