To outline the steps required for students considering extending the M.D. program to pursue non-required academic experiences including but not limited to pursuing an additional degree.     

All medical students, faculty and staff

10.3 Policies Regarding Student Selection/Progress and Their Dissemination  


  1. The UC Davis School of Medicine supports students extending their program for a year, or in some cases longer.
  2. Planned extensions are best suited to occur between the clerkship and post-clerkship phases and are strongly discouraged from occurring between the pre-clerkship and clerkship phases. Students will be responsible for the Graduation Requirements of the cohort  they will join upon their return.
  3. Students who interrupt medical school prior to the start of the clerkship phase are required to complete all the requirements for the pre-clerkship phase of medical school and pass the USMLE Step 1 prior to starting their non-required academic experience.
  4. Students who interrupt medical school prior to the start of the post-clerkship phase are required to complete all requirements of the pre-clerkship and clerkship phase of medical school, the USMLE Step 2 exam, and the required Clinical Performance Exam (CPX) activity before starting their non-required academic experience. (The UC Davis M.D./Ph.D. Training Program students are an exception; see item F.)
  5. When returning to medical school, all students are required to complete their second degree (or academic enrichment) coursework and be in “filed to graduate status” (for their second degree) before enrolling in either the required clerkship phase or post-clerkship phase (except for elective clinical didactic experiences) for medical school. Exceptions to this must be approved by the Committee on Student Promotions.
  6. UC Davis M.D./Ph.D. Training Program: Students in the UC Davis M.D./Ph.D. training program, an established and preapproved dual degree program, must fulfill the requirements for both the M.D. and the Ph.D. degrees. The typical M.D./Ph.D. student begins their Ph.D. training in the graduate program after completing all the requirements of the pre-clerkship phase of medical school and passing the USMLE Step 1 exam. After completion of the Ph.D. degree requirements and thesis submission, the M.D./Ph.D. students enter a structured transition into the clinical training stage of medical school, subsequently completing the clerkship and post-clerkship phases of the medical school curriculum.


  1. Students must notify the Associate Dean for Students as soon as they are considering a request to extend their medical education for any of the above reasons and no later than 6 months before the start of the medical school academic year that they otherwise would have been enrolled in.
  2. Students must schedule a meeting to discuss their extension with the Associate Dean for Students and be prepared to discuss the following:
    1. The specific program they are considering (name, duration, geographic location and exact start date).
    2. The rationale for enrolling in the program for their career path.
    3. How they plan on supporting themselves financially (including having health insurance) during this time.
    4. Their understanding of the implications of interruption on their medical education and trajectory through medical school (students must have reviewed this with the Pre-Clerkship and/or Clerkship curriculum managers, Financial Aid, and the Registrar before their meeting with the Associate Dean for Students).
  3. After students get verbal approval from the Associate Dean for Students, if they decide to pursue this option, they will need to complete School of Medicine leave paperwork.
    1. Students will need to meet with the School of Medicine Registrar to determine the type of leave they are requesting and eligibility.
    2. The paperwork must be completed and returned to the School of Medicine Registrar prior to the starting term of their approved leave.
    3. Leave paperwork requires authorization from the appropriate Curriculum Manager, Financial Aid Office, the Registrar’s Office, and the Associate Dean for Students.
  4. The relevant Curriculum Manager may require an in-person meeting to review this plan to address all graduation requirements and the steps necessary to transition back to medical school.

    Associate Dean for Students

    UC Davis School of Medicine Bylaws and Regulations, Regulation 60: Requirements for the Degree Doctor of Medicine

    Associate Dean for Students

    Associate Dean for Students*
    Committee on Student Promotions
    Curriculum Director
    Curriculum Managers
    M.D./Ph.D. Program Director

    February 2024; 3-year cycle

    * Indicates the Policy Owner