Underserved Pathway Policies


We encourage you to enroll in the Underserved Pathway as early as possible so you have as much time as possible to complete the requirements and build a relationship with your mentor. However, we recognize that some students discover an interest in care of the underserved later in medical school, so we accept applications until JULY 1 between your MS2 and MS3 years (e.g. if you are an E-21 student, you have until July 1, 2023 to apply for the Pathway). Important note: Students enrolling after the end of Foundations Phase need to show mentorship over time prior to enrolling (see below regarding mentorship).

If you are an expanded student and have not yet started clinical rotations or Patient Care Phase, it may still be possible to join the Undeserved Pathway. Having an existing mentoring relationship and having demonstrated interest in and work with underserved populations will be the main criteria for acceptance. Applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The Underserved Pathway is a curriculum that spans medical school. Participation in this program is predicated on Pathway students having a longitudinal experience with the entire Pathway curriculum: this includes an UP mentor, undeserved non-clinical selectives, underserved community experiences, clinical rotations, and modules. It is for this reason that it is not possible to join the Underserved Pathway in the third or fourth year or during the Patient Care or Explore & Focus Phases.


You take the lead on identifying a mentor. We expect that you will have many different mentors throughout your time in medical school, but please confirm with one as your formal UP mentor.

Read about who qualifies as an UP mentor and more information on our mentorship page.

All students must confirm their mentor with the UP Program Manager by the end of Foundations phase. Students enrolling after the end of Foundations Phase need to show mentorship over time prior to enrolling.

Remember to update your UP Tracker and email upath@uw.edu when you have confirmed your UP mentor. Be sure to include your mentor’s name, email address, and practice site name and location.

Underserved-focus Scholarly Project

If you do not complete RUOP, GHIP, or MedStAR, please talk with the Underserved Pathway Program Manager about how you will fulfill this requirement. You’ll need to submit your proposal for your underserved-focus scholarly project before you begin. After your proposal is approved, your final project (varies; paper, project documentation, poster, etc.) is due to upath@uw.edu by June 1st of the year you prepare your MSPE — assuming you plan to include your participation in the UP in your MSPE. Otherwise, it is due March 1st of the year you’ll graduate with the UP.

Including the UP in your MSPE

If you want to include your Underserved Pathway participation in your Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE), the deadline for completing all of the below is June 30th of the year you are applying to residency (and therefore needing your MSPE). Policy change effective August 1, 2022 — prior deadline was July 31st.

By the deadline:

  1. Complete the following Underserved Pathway requirements
  2. Document these in your UP Tracker
  3. Notify upath@uw.edu that your UP Tracker is updated and ready for review.

UP requirements for including your UP participation in your MSPE (for details on each required element, please see the Requirements page):

  1. Pre-clinical Experience: RUOP, GHIP, and/or preclinical preceptorship in underserved setting. If this was not possible, then:
    1. the student can complete an additional two weeks or four credits in an underserved setting in Patient Care Phase.
  2. Clinical Rotations: 12 credits or six weeks — if not entirely completed, then they must be scheduled for the year.
  3. Non-clinical selectives: 2 credits.
  4. Underserved-focus Scholarly Project.
  5. 12 of the required 24 hours of service, service learning, advocacy, and/or community engagement in an underserved setting.
  6. 5 of the required 10 modules.
  7. Continued quarterly meetings with the student’s UP mentor.

NOTE: for expanded students, or those concurrently working toward their PhD, please contact the UP Program Manager at upath@uw.edu for requirements and deadlines.

Hooding Ceremony Recognition & UP Certificate

For your Underserved Pathway certificate to be noted in the Hooding Ceremony program, the deadline to complete the following is April 1st of the year you are graduating.

Thus, if you do not complete the following by April 1st of your graduation year, your certificate will not be noted in the ceremony program.

To graduate with the Underserved Pathway and earn a certificate, the deadline to complete the following is April 25th of the year graduating.

By the relevant deadline:

  1. Complete all Underserved Pathway requirements
  2. Document these in your UP Tracker
  3. Notify upath@uw.edu that your UP Tracker is updated and ready for review.

Discontinuing Participation

If you are considering leaving the pathway, we strongly recommend that you speak with someone from the Underserved Pathway team and your mentor. We understand that the competing demands of medical school can be stressful, and if at all possible, we’d like to provide you with the support you need during this time.

If you determine that pursuing a pathway certificate is not going to work for you, please let us know by emailing upath@uw.edu. You are free to continue accessing the online modules and remaining on our e-mail list, if you’d like, so you’ll receive notices of relevant events.