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Academic and Student Success

Course Scheduling

Pre-Clinical Course Scheduling

During the first two years of medical school, all students will complete the same pre-clinical coursework. Once students have successfully completed all compliance-related requirements, students will be automatically enrolled in their pre-clinical coursework.

Clinical Course Scheduling

Students in the third and fourth year will complete the clinical curriculum. Students must take and pass Step 1 of the USMLE prior to being promoted to the third year. MS3 requirements include core clerkships in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Surgery as well as two Selectives. Clerkship and course schedules are assigned based on a lottery. MS4 requirements include two Selectives, a fourth-year Capstone course, a 4-week Subinternship rotation, and 22 weeks of Elective courses.

Academic Advising

One-on-One Academic Coaching

Individual academic coaching and support is available to any student experiencing academic difficulty. Students can meet one-on-one to identify ways to adapt learning approaches for coursework or USMLE Step exams. Students are also encouraged to contact their Course Director early and often to receive feedback and guidance on mastering the course material. To schedule an appointment for academic coaching, e-mail

Peer Assisted Learning (PAL)

The Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) program is a confidential student tutoring program to help students with their preclinical courses.  Tutoring by trained students has been used successfully in many medical schools in the U.S. and internationally.  This program is meant to supplement course materials, lectures and assistance by course directors.  Students with academic difficulties often value advice from other successful students about study techniques, time management, test-taking skills and course content, since peer tutors are perceived as having relevant experience and knowledge about the curriculum.  Tutors are recommended by faculty and peers for their communication skills and academic performance in preclinical courses.

Through the Community Health Alliance, PAL tutoring time may count toward 12 hours of the Health Education Initiative for the Community Health Alliance I elective for participating tutors.  To receive this credit, tutors would need to fulfill all other criteria for this course in order to receive fourth year elective credit and would need to document your time spent in tutoring activities on the CHA forms in Room 100. Tutoring fellow students is a volunteer service that can be added to the tutors' MSPE (Dean's Letter) when applying for residency programs.

Accessibility and Disability Resource Center

A student in need of accommodations for examinations will be required to schedule an appointment and meet with the Accessibility and Disability Resource Center on the Norman campus. The Director of the Accessibility and Disability Resource Center will notify the College directly if special accommodations need to be arranged for the student.

Student Counseling Services

OUHSC Student Counseling Services can help with a wide range of common concerns such as ADHD/Learning Disabilities, improving study and test-taking skills, stress management, and test anxiety among others. Personal, relationship or emotional issues may also be affecting academic performance. Confidential counseling for these and many other issues is available to all students at no cost through Student Counseling Services. 

Student & Employee Health Clinic

Medical concerns that may be affecting academic performance can be addressed by the OU Physicians Student & Employee Health Clinic. This clinic provides acute and chronic care for injuries and illnesses, as well as routine preventative care. Health professionals who provide psychiatric or psychological counseling or other sensitive health care to medical students will have no involvement in supervision, academic evaluation, or promotion of students.


Three exams (Steps 1, 2, and 3) comprise a uniform route to licensure. Students must register and complete the USMLE Step 1 exam during their second year of medical school and complete USMLE Step 2 (CK) during their fourth year.


Step 1

  • Register during October through December
  • Take Step 1 between May and June (recommended early June)
  • Optional study guides are UWorld Qbank (about $400) and DIT (about $750)

Step 2 

  • Register February through April during third year
  • Take CK during Capstone course (recommended July or August)
  • Study Materials
    • UWorld Qbank, Master the Boards, FirstAid