Navigating the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine Academic Calendar

The academic calendar is an essential guide for medical students at the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine. With careful planning using the calendar, students can fully prepare for the rigors of medical education. This article provides an in-depth overview of the school’s three-phase MD program, Human Dimension curriculum, key dates and deadlines, as well as funding and research opportunities.

The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, the first private medical school in New Jersey in over 50 years, has an innovative curriculum designed to support the 21st century physician. For admitted students, organizing schedules around the academic calendar is crucial as they embark on this intensive yet rewarding journey.

Understanding program phases, components like the longitudinal Human Dimension curriculum, and staying on top of important dates allows students to get the most out of school. It also enables necessary budgeting and financial applications in advance. With proper planning, students can reduce stress and focus more fully on becoming competent, caring physicians.

Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine Academic Calendar Overview

The School of Medicine’s unique three-phase MD program equips students with progressive expertise. The curriculum consists of:

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Phase 1 (Fundamentals)

In the 1.5 year Fundamentals phase, students establish core knowledge and clinical skills, while also increasing medical decision-making abilities.

Phase 2 (Immersion)

The following 1.5 year Immersion phase exposes students to clinical settings through clerkships, electives, and a sub-internship to prepare for residency applications.

Phase 3 (Individualization)

The final 1-2 years involve tailored Individualization coursework, research, and specialty focused training aligned with career goals.

Additionally, the longitudinal 4-year Human Dimension curriculum cultivates communication acumen and self-awareness through community engagement.

Key Dates: 2023-2024

Here are some flagship dates on the academic calendar that students should be mindful of:

  • June 3rd, 2024: Beginning of Phase 2 Core Clinical Clerkships
  • September 2nd, 2024: Labor Day – No Classes
  • October 7th-11th, 2024: Fall Recess – No Classes
  • November 28th-29th, 2024: Thanksgiving Recess – No Classes
  • December 23rd, 2024-January 1st, 2025: Winter Recess – No Classes

Phase 1 (Fundamentals)

Encompassing the first 1.5 years, Phase 1 establishes understanding of biomedical and clinical sciences through an organ systems based approach. Students also partake in early aligned clerkships.

Core Curriculum

  • Human Biology Sequence
  • Physicians, Patients & Populations Sequence

Foundational Knowledge

  • Anatomy
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics
  • Histology

Clinical and Community-Based Experiences

  • Physical Diagnosis
  • Early Clinical Experiences
  • Quality Improvement & Patient Safety
  • Population Health & Community Medicine

This intensive exposure furnishes students with capabilities to carry forward.

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Phase 2 (Immersion)

The subsequent 1.5 year Immersion phase transports students into clinical settings through required core clerkships and electives to solidify skills.

Core Clinical Clerkships

Students rotate through:

  • Internal Medicine (8 weeks)
  • Pediatrics (8 weeks)
  • Psychiatry (8 weeks)
  • Surgery (8 weeks)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology (6 weeks)
  • Neurology (4 weeks)
  • Family Medicine (4 weeks)

Board Exam Preparation

During Phase 2, students prepare for Step 1 prior to core rotations. After rotations they study for Step 2 CK and CS in preparation for residency applications.

Phase 3 (Individualization)

The final 1-2 years enable students to customize learning for specialization through flexible pathways while rounding out competencies.

Customized Pathways

choices include:

  • Dual degree options (MD/MBA, MD/MPH, MD/PhD)
  • Primary care or community focus
  • Medical and/or surgical intensive programs
  • Global health concentrations
  • Research intensive tracks

Students consolidate skills for residency during this phase.

The Human Dimension Curriculum

The longitudinal 4-year Human Dimension curriculum runs parallel to the MD program. It distinguishes the school’s mission to develop well-rounded physicians.

Immersive Experiences

  • Students are paired with individuals/families in the community.
  • Over months and years, deeper understanding of that person’s life and context guides development of compassion.

Community and Health

By emphasizing community-based experiential learning, students gain insight into how environment and inequities impact wellbeing to better serve patients.

Key Dates and Deadlines

Marking down critical dates allows organized preparation. Here are key deadlines:

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2023-2024 Academic Year

  • March 1st, 2024: Beginning of Phase 2 Core Clinical Clerkships
  • May 15th, 2024: USMLE Step 1 Exam
  • June 3rd, 2024: Start of Core Clinical Clerkships (Phase 2)
  • September 29th, 2024: Application Submission Opens for the National Resident Matching Program

In addition, students should file the FAFSA yearly by April 15th and apply to the AAMC’s Fee Assistance Program by December 31st. Missing financial aid deadlines can impact funding for the upcoming year.

Research and Funding Opportunities

The school provides many options to offset tuition costs along with research grants for interested students:


  • Small Student Initiated Research Grants – Up to $1500
  • Student Travel Grants – Up to $400
  • Global Health Project Grants – Awards variable amounts based on proposed budget

Additional Opportunities

  • Paid summer research internships
  • PhD dual degree program (full tuition scholarship)

With proper planning, Hackensack Meridian medical students can alleviate scheduling stresses and fully engage in becoming caring, well-rounded physicians. Use this guide to map out your schedule.

Download The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine Academic Calendar

The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine provides its official academic calendar online for easy student access. The calendar outlines important semester dates, vacations, exams, and deadlines for the next 5 years.

Having this vital schedule at your fingertips allows for greater organization and planning. Simply visit the School of Medicine website, find the “Current Students” section, and click to download the full 5-year calendar PDF document.

Whether on a laptop, phone, or tablet, students can sync their personal calendars with this official schedule. Use it to map out study plans well in advance and ensure you never miss a critical due date. With the school calendar on hand, students can better budget their time and focus on learning.

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