Delay of First Clerkship Policy

Delay of First Clerkship Policy

Policy Statement

The below policy addresses the expectations for students who delay their first third year rotation to allow additional time to prepare for the USMLE Step 1 examination.

Defined Terms

  • Third Year Rotation: clinical clerkship, clinical selective, or research selective
  • Requisite clerkship NBME subject exams: Third year students must complete NBME Subject exams for: Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Surgery.


Step 1 Delay Decision

Students must inform the school of their decision to delay at least one (1) week prior to the Transitional Clerkship start date.
Students submitting requests within one (1) week of the Transitional Clerkship must submit their petition to the Student Evaluation & Promotion Committee (SEPC)

Step 1 Delay for Students on Leave of Absence

Students on Leave of Absence must complete the USMLE Step 1 by the end of fall semester during their leave.

Required Delay of First Third Year Rotation

Any student who is required to take two (2) remediation exams will be required to delay their first third year rotation.

Transitional Clerkship

The Transitional Clerkship that precedes the start of clerkships is required curriculum for all students.

Impacts on Fourth Year Curriculum

Students who delay the first block of their third year are required to make up the missed rotation in their fourth year. The missed rotation will be scheduled during the student’s fall semester. Students cannot take the missed rotation in the spring semester. Students scheduled to complete the missed rotation in late fall may request an extension to the November 1st deadline for the USMLE Step 2 Exam.
Students may not take time off for residency interviews while completing the missed clerkship rotation.

Students may begin their fourth year rotations prior to completing their missed rotation. Students may take any available rotations except for those within the discipline they need to make up.

Students may not take the shelf exam for the missed clerkship or the USMLE Step 2 Exam until the missed rotation has been completed.


Students may petition the Student Evaluation and Promotions Committee (SEPC) for an exception to the above guidelines.


Compliance with the scheduling restrictions is monitored by the Registrar’s Office.

Relevant LCME Element(s): 9.9 Student Advancement and Appeal Process
Related Policies and References: Policies and Procedures for Evaluation, Grading and Promotion of Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine MD Students

Approved by the Medical Education Committee (MEC) on January 20, 2022.
Revised by the Medical Education Committee (MEC) on April 11, 2024.