Three-Year MD Pathway FAQs

Q. What is the three-year MD (3YMD) degree pathway?

The Three-Year MD Degree Pathway provides an accelerated track for a select group of eligible students. All students graduating from the Three-Year MD Degree Pathway will participate in the Main Residency Match and will be offered acceptance into an NYU Langone Medical Center residency program of their choice at the time of admission.

Q. What are the advantages of the 3YMD pathway?

There are numerous advantages to students who wish to avail themselves of this opportunity, including but not limited to: (A) the ability for students to save one year of tuition, housing and fees, thus reducing debt burden; (B) a continuum of training between undergraduate medical school and graduate residency training; (C) conditional acceptance to an NYU Langone Medical Center residency program; (D) early access to potential mentors within the student’s designated residency program, enriching the medical school experience.

Q. How is it different than the Four Year MD (4YMD) degree pathway?

The bulk of the curriculum for the three-year pathway is identical to the core curriculum of the four-year pathway with a few modifications shown in the diagram below (in yellow). 3YMD pathway students will start the academic year 6 weeks earlier with a Special Topics in Medicine elective; they will also have the benefit of a mentor in their residency field from day one. Similarly, they will spend the summer between their first and second year doing a summer fellowship in their chosen department.

Q. What are the requirements for graduation?

In addition to the successful completion of all pre-clerkship coursework and the core clerkships, students must also complete:

  • One four-week Selective
  • Ten weeks of Electives
  • Four-week Sub-Internship
  • Four-week Critical Care Clerkship
  • Students must also pass the CCSE, Step I, and Step II (CS & CK) exams


Three-Year MD Pathway 

Three-Year MD Pathway

Four-Year MD Pathway

Four-Year MD Pathway

Q. How does the 3YMD pathway fit in the overall C21 system?

One of the key objectives of the School of Medicine's patient-centered and disease-focused Curriculum for the 21st Century (C21) has been the development of individualized pathways for medical students, allowing them to customize their program at different points during the training, including three-, four-, and five-year (i.e. dual degree) options leading to the M.D. degrees.

Q. Who is eligible to apply to the 3YMD pathway?

Students can apply to the 3YMD either at the time of acceptance to medical school or during February of their freshman year (opt-in feature, described below).

Q. How competitive is the program?

The program is competitive. For the Class of 2018 there are 34 positions, scattered across 20 residency programs, available for 3-year pathway students. These 34 positions can be filled by students prior to starting medical school or during the opt-in feature (described below).  Once the allotted positions are filled (either by entering students or opt-in students) no additional positions will be available for opt-in.  Residency programs have the remaining positions open for the match. For example, there is one position available in our surgery residency program.  If this position is filled by a student prior to matriculation, this position is not available at opt-in.  If the position is not filled by an entering student the position remains open for the "opt-in" feature.

Q. Do I have to know what residency I am interested in?

In order to apply to the Three-Year MD Pathway, you must know which residency you are interested in pursuing. The Three-Year MD Pathway is one that is designed for students who already know what type of physician they wish to become. The program includes mentoring, education and participation in the selected residency program so certainty regarding your residency choice is necessary. 

Q. What happens if I change my mind and wish to pursue a different residency option or do not meet satisfactory academic progress requirements?

If you change your mind while in medical school as to which residency program you wish to pursue, you can either apply to an open slot in a new residency program of your choice (if available), or you can transfer to the four-year MD pathway and apply to your new residency program during your fourth year. Students with academic difficulties would meet with the Dean of Student Affairs for further guidance.

Q. Which residency programs are available?

We are the first academic medical center in the nation to offer a Three-Year MD program that allows graduates to pursue a career in either primary care or the medical specialty of their choice. For the Class of 2018, 31 positions, scattered across 20 residency programs, are available for 3-year pathway students. All NYU Langone Medical Center residency programs are available. These include: Anesthesiology, Dermatology, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Orthopedic Surgery, Otolaryngology (ENT), Pathology, Pediatrics, Plastic Surgery, Primary Care, Psychiatry, Radiation Oncology, Radiology, Rehabilitation Medicine, Surgery, and Urology.

Q. How do I apply?

To apply, log into the applicant portal ( and complete the tertiary application by our deadline. On this application you will designate which residency program you are applying to, and will be required to complete two additional essays.

Q. When can I apply, and when are the deadlines?

Applications for the Three-Year MD pathway are available through the applicant portal beginning July 1st at 12:00 AM EST. Important deadlines to be aware of are as follows: (1) tertiary application deadline is March 1st by 11:59 PM EST; (2) interviews with residency program directors will occur in late March through April; (3) decision letters are sent in April.

Q. What happens to my acceptance offer to the 4-year MD pathway if I’m not accepted into the 3-year MD pathway?

If you apply to and are not accepted into the three-year MD pathway, rest assured that your acceptance and matriculation into our four-year MD is not impacted.

Q. When do classes start?

The Three-Year Pathway for students accepted at the time of admission will begin on July 1.

Q. How much will tuition costs be?

Annual tuition costs will be identical to the tuition costs associated with the four-year MD pathway students.

Q. Will I be eligible for financial aid?

You will be eligible for the same financial aid packages offered to our four-year MD pathway students provided you apply for financial aid on time. Students will first receive a financial aid package covering their 4 years of training at NYU; should they be accepted into the three-year pathway, this financial aid award will be revised appropriately to include the lack of tuition/fees/etc. normally associated with the fourth year.