Matriculation begins with two years of a basic medical science curriculum as well as introductory laboratory research rotations in the summer before and the summer after the first year of medical courses. During the second year, the student selects a research mentor (if not already done so by this time) and begins to develop ideas for the dissertation research problem. Students complete the second year by taking Step1 of United States Medical Licensing Examination. Years three through five of the MD-PhD Program, depending on individual progress, focus primarily on the research problem and selected graduate curriculum. Up to eight hours of research credits during this time can apply toward the required Elective credits for the MD degree. Following completion of the dissertation, the student enters a transitional introductory medical clerkship prior to completing the required and elective clinical.