Courses and Programs

The Medical Education Program

At the University of Louisville School of Medicine, an educational program has been developed that provides each student with the basic knowledge, skills, and attitudes considered essential to all 21st century physicians, yet has sufficient flexibility to allow effective development of a student’s individual abilities and interests. The three major components of the program are:

Core Curriculum

The core curriculum, which extends over the four-year course of study, stresses understanding concepts and general principles. It provides vertical and horizontal integration of the sciences so that information in one block of study reinforces ideas and builds upon concepts developed in another.

Year One begins with the normal anatomic structures and their embryologic development, and then explores the molecular basis of life and molecular basis of life and molecular mechanisms of disease, infection, and immunity.  Year Two investigates the normal cellular structure and function, the pathology and pathophysiology of disease, and corrective treatment for each major organ system.  The Introduction to Clinical Medicine course runs throughout Years One and Two and teaches communication and humanism skills, medical history taking, physical exam skills, foundations of medical ethics, culturally competent patient-centered care, interprofessional team care, healthcare systems, and evidence-based medicine.

The core curriculum for the last two years follows a track system of clerkship and elective rotations that exposes students to the major clinical fields of medicine. Required Third-Year clerkships include Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Surgery. As part of the Family Medicine clerkship, students complete a four-week rotation at rural or urban AHEC sites to gain experience in caring for underserved areas of the Commonwealth. The Fourth-Year schedule includes a sub-internship, selectives in intensive care, and a palliative care rotation, plus at least 26 weeks of elective opportunities.

Additionally, select students have the opportunity to complete their entire Third and Fourth Years of clinical training at the Trover Campus in Madisonville, KY.

Pre-clinical Electives

Pre-clinical electives are not required; however, there are several offered for credit. The purpose of preclinical electives is to allow each student to extend his/her education in certain areas of scientific knowledge. The electives make it possible to construct a program of medical education that best meets the needs, abilities, and goals of the individual student. Electives can occur in the local or global community and include clinical experiences with under-served populations or global experiences.  Students also are permitted to take classroom courses as electives in divisions of the University of Louisville other than the School of Medicine, class schedule permitting. In addition to the courses offered, students with a research interest are permitted to participate in an approved research activity for credit. Elective courses constitute an integral part of the student’s total program in medical school. 

Clinical Electives

Third-Year students are offered a four-week block enabling them to explore a career in sub-specialty areas of medicine that are not required within the core third year clinical clerkships.  Fourth-Year students are offered an additional 26 weeks of electives. Of those 26 weeks, approximately 12 of those weeks are spent in electives directly related to the student’s choice of residency. Virtually every member of the full-time clinical faculty participates in electives, as do many members of the basic sciences faculty. Students may select an intensive exposure to any of the clinical areas or a research experience in any of the basic science or clinical areas. 

For more information about the medical education program mission and objectives, curriculum and curriculum overview visit:

Dual Degree Programs

The PhD can be earned from any of the basic research departments in the School of Medicine. A wide variety of research experiences are available in top-flight research laboratories. The small size of the program ensures great flexibility in designing a research program and access to the best laboratories on campus.

Read more at:

Questions, contact: Dr. Russell Salter at (502) 852-3740 or Victoria King at (502) 852-1626 or via email at:

With the healthcare industry rapidly changing, strengthen your depth of business operations with the dual UofL MD/ MBA program.  UofL Medical School students are eligible to participate upon completion of their second or third year of medical school, or as a UofL Medical School Alum. Dual degree seeking students must gain admission to both programs independently. As a dual degree student, all business electives are waived in the MBA program although you have the option of enrolling while a student at no cost. 

Note: MCAT scores are accepted in lieu of GMAT. Whether your career goals include managing your own practice, developing and marketing biomedical discoveries and medical devices, working to enhance the delivery of outstanding clinical care or improving the health care system, the MD/MBA dual degree will serve you well.

More information is available at:

Questions, contact: School of Medicine – In Kim, MD, MBA at: College of Business – Melanie Higgs, MBA Admissions Director, College of Business, UL at: or by phone at (502) 852-2169.