Degrees & Curriculum


Twin Cities & Duluth campuses

  • Dedicated faculty mentor
  • 24 hospitals and 30+ clinical training sites (Twin Cities)
  • Conduct research with faculty
  • MPact Minnesota Health Courses

Twin Cities campus

  • Dual degree
  • Scientific training in our graduate programs
  • Gain experience in biomedical research
  • Choose from 100+ faculty for thesis mentor

New Curriculum for the Class of 2027

Beginning in Fall 2023, the class of 2027 will be the first class to navigate a new, systems-based curriculum at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

The renewed curriculum will have three phases: Foundations, Clinical Immersion, and Specialty-Specific Transitions. The Foundations phase will also include a component called MPact Minnesota Health Courses. Our Pathways have become MPact Minnesota Health Courses - with individual experiences called out as "MPact Rural Health", "MPact Urban Community Health", etc. courses. After all, that's what our curriculum revisions are all about—the impact on health for the patients and families we serve.

The Foundations phase will unify the curriculum between our two campuses and provide evidence-based education with guaranteed outcomes. The MPact Health Courses will give students options for in-depth exploration of health disparities in regional and/or underserved populations. All courses will be available at both campuses.


Frequently Asked Questions

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Why is there a new curriculum?

The new curriculum will be the result of 3 years of detailed work which started with a charge from the main faculty governance committee at the medical school in 2018, called the Medical School Education Committee (MSEC). The task force started its work in September 2020 and included faculty, leadership, and students from both campuses.

The goal of the new curriculum is to:

  • have a single, shared curriculum across both campuses: Twin Cities and Duluth.
  • know all of our intended outcomes and individualize the MPact courses for students to get to those outcomes.
  • use evidence-based strategies to design the curriculum and continue to incorporate evidence-based teaching methods to achieve the outcomes.
  • continuously monitor the success of the curriculum by monitoring the outcomes for each student, and if students were having difficulty achieving an outcome, we would know where to look in the curriculum to make improvements.

How long is the Foundations phase?

Foundations will start in the Fall of the first year and continue through the Fall of the second year. It will end at winter break of the second year. The curriculum is designed with a 6-week block to prepare for and complete the USMLE Step 1 exam. This will be followed by the next phase of the curriculum, called Clinical Immersion, where students will move into the full time clinical learning environment and complete their required clerkships.

View the 2023-2024 Foundations Calendar

What is taught in the Foundations phase?

Students at the University of Minnesota Medical School will complete the Foundations phase on either the Duluth or Twin Cities campus. This phase will move through nine organ systems of the human body and explore the foundational basic and clinical science that prepares students for their immersive clinical training in the next phase.

The design of the Foundations phase is systems-based. Each organ system provides a convenient context to understand foundational knowledge and skills and link them to clinical examples. These organ systems include:

1. Skin
2. Musculoskeletal
3. Nervous & Human Behavior
4. Cardiovascular
5. Respiratory
6. Renal & Urinary
7. Endocrine & Reproductive
8. Hematological
9. Gastrointestinal

As each student moves through the organ system courses, they will achieve learning objectives in each of these thirteen threads:

1. Anatomy and Embryology
2. Clinical Skills
3. Genetics
4. Microbiology and Infectious Disease
5. Pharmacology
6. Immunology and Inflammation
7. Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Metabolism
8. Delivery of Care
9. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
10. Histology and Pathology
11. Life Stages
12. Physiology and Pathophysiology
13. Public Health

The threads will be continuous throughout the curriculum and will be designed with sessions in a strategic sequence so knowledge and skills build gradually and get reinforced throughout the Foundations phase.

When do I select my campus preference?

Information regarding campus preference for Cycle 2024 will be available mid-May 2023.

Where will I complete the Clinical Immersion phase?

After winter break of the second year, each student’s geographic location will depend on how they’ve scheduled their Clinical Immersion phase. As capacity allows, Clinical Immersion will be able to be completed in Duluth, in the Twin Cities, in Greater Minnesota, or in some combination of those three locations.

Why are there MPact Health Courses?

The State of Minnesota reflects one of the paradoxes of the American experiment. Overall, Minnesota has one of the healthiest populations in the country. However, when demographic groups are analyzed separately, Minnesota also has some of the starkest health disparities in the country. The MPact courses will be designed to explore and investigate these disparities. In particular, how does this kind of striking disparity originate? What are the structures, policies, beliefs, and practices, past and present, that produce these disparities?

What is taught in the MPact Health Courses?

The MPact Health Courses curriculum will represent about 10-20% of the required components of the Foundations phase. The MPact Health Courses were chosen because they reflect regions and populations that experience health disparities, underservice or both.

Students will work with colleagues on that MPact Health Course and others to achieve the learning outcomes. While on the MPact Health Course, students will engage directly with community members, community organizations, early clinical placements, and physicians who have built a career serving these populations.

What is the goal of creating the MPact Health Courses?

We believe the MPact Health Courses will embody and exemplify compassion, dedication, critical thinking and perspective-taking that will serve developing physicians on any career path. We also hope to inspire and nurture interest and engagement in as many students as possible. Ultimately, we hope to increase the number of our graduates who go on to serve the Pathway populations as a central part of their career.

What are the five MPact Health Courses?

The five MPact Health Course include two with a regional focus and three with a population focus:

1. MPact Indigenous Health Course
2. MPact Rural Health Pathway Course
3. MPact 2SLGBTQIA+ Health Course
4. MPact Immigrant/Refugee/Global Health Course
5. MPact Urban Community Health Course

When I select my MPact Health Course, does that mean I won't learn about the distinct regions and populations of the other MPact Health Courses?

No, in fact, the ways in which these regions and populations intersect will be integral to the design of our new curriculum. The MPact Courses will all be developed out of a shared set of learning goals and, from the beginning, will share outcomes across all five MPact Health Courses. They will be designed to integrate, intersect, and reflect each other. The MPact Health course design will expect and plan for these intersections and will intentionally plan combined sessions to deepen and enrich each student’s understanding by sharing lessons, perspectives, and examples grounded in each course. All students will engage with concepts that relate to all five MPact Health Courses while they complete the learning objectives but selecting a MPact Health Course will allow them to develop a level of expertise within that specific community.