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University of Nevada, Reno    
  Jul 20, 2017

Four- year Medical School Program

Return to: Programs in the Division of Health Sciences

The School of Medicine was established in 1969 on the Reno campus as a two-year basic sciences program and was authorized to convert to a four-year, M.D. degree-granting school in 1977 by the state legislature. In 1981, the school graduated the first class of physicians trained completely in Nevada.

The goal of the school is to graduate students who are knowledgeable, caring, skillful, responsible physicians capable of entering any specialty training program and delivering high quality health care to the individual, the family and the community.

Classes, laboratories and clinical activities take place in a combination of on-campus buildings and community health facilities in both urban and rural Nevada. Affiliation agreements with hospitals located throughout the state provide students with access to clinical facilities.

The School of Medicine is fully accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.

Institutional Objectives for the medical school are located on our website at

Years 1 (Class of 2016) and 2 (Class of 2015)

During their first two years of instruction, students are provided with opportunities to learn the concepts, skills, and professional values essential to the practice of medicine. The Class of 2016 will experience the roll out of UNSOM’s integrated, systems-based block curriculum which is structured to approach the teaching of medical science concepts within a clinical context, with limited lecture hours, and with emphasis on lifelong learning strategies. Each block will utilize a “case of the week” format to align course content with clearly defined objectives that map out the work necessary for successful student learning. Each block concludes with an assessment week for clinical skills testing and a comprehensive examination. The longitudinal clinical skills courses that may also include a preceptorship in ambulatory care with local physicians, run parallel to the blocks.


Students are required to take Steps 1 and 2 of the United States Medical Licensing Exam before they graduate. Students must receive a passing score on Step 1 before progressing to the third year and must pass Step 2 – Clinical Knowledge (CK) and Step 2 – Clinical Skills (CS) in order to graduate.

Years 3 and 4

The second two years of medical school are spent in Reno, Las Vegas and rural Nevada communities in the clinical setting (in doctors’ offices, the affiliated hospitals and university-operated ambulatory care centers). The School of Medicine currently requires that students complete the following clinical rotations: Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Surgery. These rotations are conducted under close supervision of medical school faculty and residents.

Students prepare for their clerkships by participating in a week long Transition to Clinical Medicine ( MED 611) preparatory course. During their Family Medicine-Internal Medicine-Pediatrics blocks, students take Clinicial Reasoning in Medicine, a longitudinal course designed to refine students reasoning and diagnostic skills as well as acquaint them with common conditions from an interdisciplinary perspective.

A. Required Clerkships: Third and Fourth Years (Total 48 Weeks)


*Longitudinal for fall or spring semester.

B. Additional Required Clinical Courses: Fourth Year (Total: 36 Weeks)

  • Electives/Selectives (32 Weeks)


Fourth-year medical school students choose a number of elective and selective courses, both in Nevada and out of state, to develop depth and breadth in their clinical training. The choices are based on their interests, potential strengths and desire to enhance clinical skills.

Students also spend a required four-week rotation with a rural Nevada physician in order to become acquainted with the practice of medicine in a small community.

Requirements for Entrance

Students must submit their applications through the American Medical College Application Services (AMCAS), the centralized application service of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Applications may be accessed on-line at The earliest filing of an AMCAS application for the University of Nevada School of Medicine is June 1 and the latest is November 1.

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is required of all applicants. As of January 2007, the exam is offered numerous times throughout the year. Registration packets for the MCAT may be obtained from the Testing Services Office. The MCAT must be taken within three years of the anticipated date of enrollment and no later than September of the application year. Additional information regardingthe MCAT can be accessed at

Applicants are encouraged to have a broad educational background and to enroll in an in-depth course curriculum that will lead to a discipline-oriented major, e.g., biology, English, psychology. However, no specific major is favored over any other. In addition to academic course work, people-oriented activities and healthcare exposure are important. A minimum of 90 semester hours is required for admission to the medical school; however, completion of a bachelor’s degree is strongly recommended.

The School of Medicine does require specific courses as a prerequisite for admission. These include:

Minimum course requirements include:

  • Inorganic Chemistry (8 units)
  • Organic Chemistry (8 units; applicants strongly encouraged to take pre-professional level courses)
  • Biochemistry (3 units)
  • Biology (15 units; must include six hours of upper division credit)
  • Physics (8 units)
  • Psychology or Abnormal Psychology (3 units: lower or upper division credits accepted)

Please see the School of Medicine Office of Admissions and Student Affairs website for complete information at

Supplementary courses strongly recommended as useful to the study or practice of medicine but not required for admission include: microbiology, immunology, genetics, statistics,and mathematics through introductory calculus.

Students are required to demonstrate competency in English composition and language. Generally, students are expected to satisfy the English composition requirements of their undergraduate institution.

Accepted students are responsible for completing all prerequisite course work prior to matriculation. All required courses must be taken for a letter grade and in a classroom setting. Students will not be allowed to use credit by examination, satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) grades, pass/fail (P/F) grades, or audit grades in lieu of a letter grade for required courses. Graduate courses are not acceptable for prerequisite course requirements; correspondence and/or online prerequisite courses taken from an accredited 4-year institution will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Early submission of the AMCAS application permits its prompt evaluation during the process. Therefore, applicants are urged to submit their applications and supporting credentials as early as possible.

Selection Factors

Candidates are evaluated on the basis of academic performance; performance on the MCAT; the nature, breadth and depth of their scholarly, extracurricular and healthcare related activities during college years; their balanced knowledge of the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities; academic letters of evaluation; and personal interview, if requested by the Admissions Selection Committee.

Legal residents of Nevada are given the highest priority for admission. A small number of out-of-state applicants who are residents of Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming are also considered for admission. In addition, participants in the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) Program who matriculate and graduate from either UNR or UNLV will be considered for admission. WUE includes the following states: AZ, CA, CO, HI, NM, ND, SD, OR, UT, WA. Applicants who are not U.S. citizens must have permanent resident visas and be Nevada residents to be considered for admission. Individuals who do not meet these residential requirements are discouraged from applying to the University of Nevada School of Medicine. For more specific residency information contact the School of Medicine’s Office of Admissions and Student Affairs or refer to

Science majors who are accepted to medical school but have not completed their required coursework toward graduation may be eligible to receive credit toward an undergraduate degree while completing the first two years of basic science work in medical school. Prior approval from the undergraduate major and the medical school is required.

Matriculants for the 2011 entering year had the following profile: undergraduate major, 86% in the sciences including premedical and other health profession majors; mean age, 24; gender–53% male, 47% female; mean science GPA-3.64; mean total GPA-3.71; mean MCAT scores-VR-9.6, PS-9.8, BS-10.6.

The University of Nevada School of Medicine does not discriminate against faculty, students or staff on the basis of race, color; religion, sex; age, creed, national origin, veteran status, physical or mental disability; or sexual orientation, in any program or activity it operates.

For additional information on our program visit,

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