Pre-Orientation Curriculum Materials

Critical Policies

Please review the following policies:

Day in the life of a Foundations medical student

This is the overall schematic for the UW School of Medicine curriculum: Curriculum Visual for 2024 Entering Students

However, a typical week in the Foundations Curriculum and Foundations of Clinical Medicine (FCM) course will differ slightly depending on the Foundations Site you are at.  Please follow link to your Foundations Site for more information on the day in the life of a medical student for your site.

Triple I

The Triple I Scholarship Requirement for UWSOM is to engage students in activities that will foster the skills of life-long learning essential for practicing physicians.  Please read this page on the Triple I Requirement

Curriculum FAQ

In the Foundation phase, students are required to attend all that is listed in the UW School of Medicine Attendance Policy

A complete list of all the graduation requirements for your cohort (Entering E22 class & Subsequent classes) is listed on the Graduation Requirements Policy webpage

This comprehensive list includes all the courses that you will register for in the Foundations Phase and the required clinical rotations and/or courses you must register for in the clinical Patient Care and Explore & Focus Phases. A quarterly breakdown of all the courses students register for and complete during the first year and a half are listed on the Foundations Phase Website

All students must be registered for courses before Thu, July 18, 2024 for Summer Quarter 2024.

  • Seattle and Spokane students: You will be required to register yourselves. Please pay attention to emails from with registration deadlines, courses, and instructions.
  • Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho students: Foundations site administrators will work to get you registered for the correct courses.
    •  NOTE: Effective Winter of your second year, all students will register themselves with the UW for coursework. Please pay attention to emails from with registration deadlines, courses, and instructions.

Different people will have different answers. These are the top 5 from the Curriculum team:

  1. Be an active participant in the curriculum: Attend classes, do your coursework, get to know your peers, faculty, and staff. This curriculum was created for you to succeed, and your faculty make improvements each year based on student feedback.
  2. Take time to care for yourself; medical school is hard so please do not be afraid to ask for help. Please reach out if you have questions and here are some good contacts for ANY questions:
    • General curriculum (all 4 years): – goes to the Curriculum Deans.
    • Foundations specific questions: – monitored by curriculum staff members. If we do not know the answer, we’ll find someone who does.
    • Complete list of all your Block Faculty and Staff at all campuses: Foundations Directory
  3. Stay on top of your coursework – Do your pre-class work for sessions before you get to class and complete the recommended follow-up. There are recordings of all large group sessions from Seattle. If you miss a session be sure to find a way to watch the recording as this will help reinforce learning. This curriculum is intended to build on content as students go through it.
  4. Try not to get overwhelmed with all the additional resources available to medical students. There are a million extra resources that are out there for students. If course directors think that there are resources that will benefit your learning, in a particular block then they will recommend it. Reach out if you have questions about additional resources.
  5. Complete your End-of-block evaluations. Your feedback is what makes the curriculum better! Every year each block undergoes a change management process that builds in reviewing student feedback to help improve the next iteration of the block. Your feedback on these evaluations is crucial to make constructive course improvements. Thank you so much for your time on these evaluations. WE APPRECIATE IT!

Course materials are available 2-weeks before the start of every block or course. You can access your course materials via Canvas (link to Canvas).

Exam schedules are sent to students at the start of every quarter from the School of Medicine Assessment team. Exams are on Monday or Friday mornings. Exam times vary depending on your Foundations campus and can be found on your Elentra calendar. Elentra contains all your required courses and schedule (you will need to log in, via SSO, your UW Net ID) . Email Testing Services at if you have questions about your exams/tests.

Everything about Assessment/Exams can be found on the Foundations Grading and Assessment webpage

In the summer between years one and two you will take two courses for NINE credits:

  • MEDSCI 501: Independent Investigative Inquiry (III or Triple I, 6 credits)
  • MEDSCI 524: Medicine, Health, & Society II (MHS II, 3 credits)

All fails or thread discrepancies will be discussed at the Student Progress Committee (SPC). SPC is the governing body that approves students for remediation. When approved, you will work with the Assistant Dean of Basic Sciences (Edith Wang, PhD) and your course directors to remediate your fail grade.

You don’t have to worry about your clinical phases yet!  There is some clerkship planning you will be doing while you are in your Foundations Phase (like applying to a Special Program– WRITE, Olympic LIC, and/or Track-  if you are interested), but not until the summer of your second year.  If you are curious about the Clinical Curriculum you can go to our Clinical Curriculum website to find out more.  A general timeline of clinical planning is below; you will receive communications from the Clinical Curriculum and Registration teams in the lead up to any processes noted below.