During the Application Phase, students spend 12 months completing core clinical clerkships in psychiatry, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, and family medicine. Students can complete the Application Phase in one of four campus programs, each of which offers a distinct but comparable experience. Regardless of the campus assignment, all students will be prepared for Individualization Phase and future career endeavors.

Campus Assignment Process

As the largest state medical school, UNC School of Medicine takes great pride in students serving and learning across the state during the clinical years. The school offers students the opportunity to complete the Application Phase at one of four campuses: Asheville, Charlotte, Wilmington, and Central (Chapel Hill area). Each campus has the same objectives and assessments, with unique curricular features. The school requires students to rank campuses according to preference, but also must ensure the full use of each campus’s capacity as a commitment to serve the public of the state. Students must rank the campuses, with 1 indicating first choice and 4 indicating their last choice. A student’s first choice is not guaranteed. Additionally, students must submit:

  • An essay explaining their ranking and why a specific campus would be a good match for them.
  • A possible request for a Chapel Hill exemption due to 1) care of child or children, 2) care of a sick relative or partner who is based locally, and 3) personal medical issues that require local healthcare. Identifying these students ensures they are placed in the Central Program. Dr. Dent, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, has ultimate authority and discretion to grant exemptions.

To inform rankings, the school offers a series of information meetings on the Application Phase and each campus. Additionally, campuses host open houses. Students are strongly encouraged to attend open houses to see the physical location, community amenities, and meet campus faculty and staff. Each campus also maintains a website where students can gather information. When assigning students to campuses, the school prioritizes student preference while also seeking good student-campus fit. Demand for a campus may fall under or over its capacity in which case a decision is made in the collective interest of all students. While the school prioritizes student preference, there may be circumstances where academic performance is a consideration. For example, if there are more students interested in a campus than there is capacity, academic performance in the Foundation Phase may be taken into account when assigning students to a campus.

Campus Profiles


Central Program

This innovative program offers three 4-month integrated clerkships across certain specialties, allowing students easy access to the rich resources of the UNC Chapel Hill campus while also providing powerful experiences in more rural and underserved areas of the state. Students will also participate in the Intensive Integration course, a monthly session designed to integrate foundational sciences and population health principles. The curricular structure of the Central Program allows students to learn in multiple settings over the course of the year.


Charlotte Program

Campus Video

Students remain in Charlotte, North Carolina in the Carolinas Healthcare System, spending half of the year on six inpatient rotations and the other half of the year in a longitudinal integrated curriculum, including half days in obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, family medicine, neurology, pediatrics, and psychiatry. The curriculum integrates foundational learning with experiences in the emergency department, a sequence of simulation sessions, and a course of ultrasound instruction.


Asheville Program

Campus Video

This program is a longitudinal integrated curriculum similar to the Harvard “Cambridge Model,” which places students in outpatient settings for the majority of the curriculum, allowing them to follow “their patients” in all health care settings. The Asheville community, with its diverse specialty practice settings, robust primary care services, and added emphasis on and experiences in Ethics and Humanism, Emergency Medicine, Cardiology and Radiology, provides an ideal setting for this type of curriculum.


Wilmington Program

Campus Video

Students complete core clerkships at New Hanover Regional Medical Center and surrounding SEAHEC clinics. The Wilmington Program follows the same curricular structure as the UNC-based Central Program while also offering the opportunity to complete a Physicians Leadership Certificate Program delivered through the business school at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Students are given the flexibility and support to complete a quality improvement project in an array of specialties, including surgery, internal medicine, and obstetrics.