MD Curriculum

Feinberg’s MD curriculum is designed to prepare students as medical professionals in a time of many changes in health care delivery and exciting opportunities for further advancement in the science of medicine.  In fall 2012, the entering medical students began a new curriculum, organized into three phases and emphasizing integration of four main curricular elements: Science in Medicine, Clinical Medicine, Health & Society, and Professional Development.

Optional Experiences

Our students are given three afternoons a week to fill their schedule with activities of their choice. All activities are optional.

Research Programs

Take advantage of the research facilities here at Feinberg.

Health Clinics

Volunteer in clinics throughout the neighborhoods of Chicago.

Center for Global Health

Touch the lives of people in need across the globe.


Phase 1 of the curriculum is graded as pass/fail.  Phase 2 clerkship experiences are graded as honors, high pass, pass, or fail.  Regular feedback is provided throughout via examinations, skills assessments, and narrative evaluations; these details also serve to identify students eligible for various honors at graduation.

Each student’s various assessments are compiled in an ongoing electronic portfolio, organized around the Feinberg School of Medicine Competencies along with other work products (a research paper, documentation of work in a community clinic, etc.) provided by the student.  The student and his/her College Mentor meet twice annually to review the portfolio, reflect on the learner's progress toward achievement of each competency, and develop an individualized learning plan. 

Graduation Requirements

Feinberg expects students to complete the MD curriculum within six years of matriculation. Approved joint-degree programs that enhance a student’s medical education are encouraged and will not count towards the six-year limit. Appeals for exceptions to the six-year rule must be made to the Student Promotions Committee.

The MD degree will be conferred by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine to persons who have met the following requirements, as determined by faculty:

  1. Satisfactorily completion of all competency and coursework requirements;
  2. Achievement of passing scores on the National Board of Medical Examiners USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 (Clinical Knowledge and Clinical Skills);
  3. Payment of all fees in full;
  4. Return of any school property/materials;
  5. Completion of the mandatory exit interview for medical school borrowers.

Larry Cochard

The full-time MD program provides an opportunity for students to actively learn cross disciplinary medical knowledge in a collaborative environment while experiencing all that the culturally diverse city of Chicago has to offer.

This page last updated May 8, 2013

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