The second year continues the preclinical medical curriculum and continues patient-based clinical experiences initiated in the first year. The day-to-day schedule is similar to that of the first year, and a graduate school course is integrated into the afternoon schedule. Students may elect to take an additional research rotation instead of a graduate course. Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) must be completed before beginning graduate work. The new CWRU curriculum allows students to start the PhD phase at the beginning of March, accelerating progress to completion of the PhD.