History and Background: Then & Now

About the School of Medicine

the history of the school of medicine

Then: the University of Nevada School of Medical Sciences


The University of Nevada School of Medicine was established in 1969 by the Nevada State Legislature as a community-based medical school with a mission of educating primary care physicians for rural Nevada. Initially what started as a two-year school with the first class entering in the fall of 1971, the School later became a full four-year medical school. The School of Medicine in 1981 saw its first students receive all four years of undergraduate medical education in Nevada.


The University of Nevada School of Medicine had campuses and medical training programs in Reno and Las Vegas for many years as it embraced its Statewide mission. Originally, students completed the first two years of medical school – the basic science years – in Reno and then transferred to Las Vegas for the third and fourth years to complete their clinical requirements. In 2016, students no longer were required to complete training in Las Vegas and could remain in Reno for all four years of medical school.


The University of Nevada School of Medicine's accreditation is from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the only accreditation authority for medical education programs leading to the M.D. degree. The LCME is sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges and American Medical Association.

Now: the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

The State's first public medical school

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine proudly has served Nevada for nearly 50 years as the first public medical school. The School of Medicine is a research-intensive, community-based, statewide medical school with campuses in Northern Nevada's metropolitan and rural areas. Through targeted growth and investment in education, clinical services and research, we are a resource for improving health care regionally and across the country.


The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine admits approximately 70 students each year, many of whom are Nevada residents. The first two years of the curriculum-the basic science years-are taught at the Reno campus. The third and fourth years-the clinical years-are spent in hospitals and clinics throughout the state.

Degree Programs

  • Doctor of Medicine
  • Bachelor of Science, Master's and Ph.D. in Speech Pathology and Audiology
  • Master's and Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Cell Biology and Physiology, Microbiology, Pharmacology
  • Master's in Physician Assistant studies

Combined degree programs

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine also offers students the opportunity to earn combined degrees.

  • The BS-MD program offers a seven-year accelerated pathway to medical school for highly motivated high school seniors who are focused on a career in medicine.
  • The M.D.-Ph.D. program is designed for students who are intrigued with the idea of using their medical skills in research as well as patient care.
  • The MD-MBA and MD-MPH dual degrees are five-year programs for students who are interested in either health care administration or illness prevention and population-based healthcare.

Graduate Medical Education (GME)

In order to become a medical doctor, medical school graduates must complete a minimum of three years of GME in the specialty area in which they intend to specialize-from primary care areas such as family, pediatrics or internal medicine, to specialties such as surgery, cardiology or neurology. The School of Medicine provides residency and fellowship training in a variety of specialties with future expansion plans to grow training opportunities in Reno.