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The UNC SOM is a large and complex educational enterprise with 840 students in medicine, 484 in basic sciences, and 458 in Allied Health. We educate 190 future physicians per class (of whom over 80% are North Carolinians) with all completing their 18-month Foundation Phase in Chapel Hill before being distributed to our campuses across the state.


  • Expanding the FIRST (Fully Integrated Readiness for Service Training) program to include at least 20 students per class
  • Maintaining a USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination) step 1 score mean 2 points above the national mean
  • Expanding our PhD student class size

Education Strategic Priorities

  • Ensure the SOM is training professionals for the health care of the future, in collaboration with the Health Care System
  • Set clinical departments on a path toward national leadership in research
  • Optimize the MD curriculum and its delivery to ensure engaged and prepared learners
  • Invest to maintain excellence in our educational mission, building the infrastructure necessary to deliver cutting-edge curriculum
Through Forward Together, we are increasing our class size of PhD students; to not only educate more scientists prepared to address modern health problems, but also to conduct more research during their educational pursuit. Once the new medical education building is completed, we intend to increase our medical student class size to address the nation’s physician shortage. We anticipate this building opening in 2022.

At UNC School of Medicine,
Learners Add Value while
becoming leaders of the future.

An important component of Forward Together is optimizing the training of health professionals to ensure their readiness to practice within a rapidly changing health care environment. Enhanced leadership training, competence with technologies such as ultrasound and inter-professional practice skill development are major elements of this preparation for future-oriented practice.