USMLE Examinations


Policy 540.70


Policy Statement


The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is a three-step examination for medical licensure in the United States. It is administered by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). Please visit their website for complete information. It is essential that all students take their preparation for the USMLE examinations very seriously. Residency programs require the release of USMLE scores as part of their application processes and use them in their evaluation of residency candidates. The Robert Larner, M.D. College of Medicine at the University of Vermont requirements:

  1. All students must pass USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS to graduate. Students must take the USMLE Step 1 exam in order to advance to the Clerkship Level of the curriculum. Students are encouraged to take this exam by the Sunday one week prior to the start of MD-611 Orientation Bridge; however, are required to take the exam prior to the start of MD-611 Orientation Bridge in order to begin the Clerkship Level with their class; failure to do so may result in entering the Clerkship Level with the following year’s class. Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS must be taken before January of the graduation year. Passing scores on Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS are required for graduation.
  2. The USMLE Step 1 Exam may only be taken after the successful completion of all Foundations Level courses and academic requirements. Students must take USMLE Step 1 prior to beginning Clerkships.  If a score is not received from the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) by the clerkship start date, students will be permitted to begin the clerkships.  If a student is notified of a failing score during the first clerkship, they will be allowed to complete that clerkship, however will not be permitted to continue into the subsequent clerkships until retaking the exam.
  3. All students who fail the USMLE Step 1 Exam on their first attempt will be administratively enrolled in Advanced Curriculum Preparation (MD-600), a 1-credit independent study. This course is scheduled in place of the student’s next clerkship rotation (6-7 weeks). If the student is then notified of a second failure, the student will be allowed to complete the clerkship they are engaged in at the time however will not be permitted to continue into subsequent clerkships until passing the exam.
  4. Students may attempt to pass each Step examination three times before being subject to dismissal by the Advancement Committee. The USMLE Program limits the total number of times and when an examinee can retake the same Step or Step Component.

Applicability of the Policy


All Students

Reviewed and Approved

  • Medical Curriculum Committee, on September 18, 2018

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