Pritzker Initiative Overview

In order for medical school curricula to remain vibrant and responsive to changes in science and society it is important periodically to take a broad look at the way we teach.  It was in this spirit that we undertook the Pritzker Initiative in 2005, with the establishment of several key principles for the curriculum of the future.  Those principles are:

  • An emphasis on active learning
  • Integration among disciplines when possible and appropriate
  • A requirement for a scholarly project for all medical students

Over the ensuing years, faculty members and students have worked diligently to systematically examine our courses and clerkships, to identify strengths and weaknesses, and to evaluate new teaching modalities in light of our known strengths in biomedicine.  The result of these ongoing efforts was the rollout of the first year of the Pritzker Initiative in August 2009, with progressive implementation through 2012.  The links to the left reflect the new changes to our curriculum.

The curriculum at the University of Chicago provides a solid foundation in the basic sciences, building on a rich tradition at our institution in developing new knowledge. Realizing that scientific discovery impacts clinical practice, our curriculum is designed to emphasize the relationship between the basic and clinical sciences.

To further promote an atmosphere of shared learning and collaboration, the Pritzker curriculum utilizes a Pass/Fail grading system. The Pass/Fail system encourages cooperation among students, develops lifelong learners, and allows students to prioritize their learning and extracurricular experiences.

Follow the link for a visual representation of the Pritzker Initiative (PDF).

The school is accredited by the Liasion Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the governing body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit the M.D. degree. The school will be undergoing its next accreditation cycle during the 2020-21 academic year.


“The Pritzker Initiative builds on the strengths of the traditional Pritzker curriculum to prepare our students to become critical thinkers, effective leaders, and humanistic practitioners within the world of medicine and science. With an increased emphasis on active learning and integration of science and clinical medicine, our students will be well prepared to make the transition into their roles as physicians and physician scientists of the 21st century.” - Halina Brukner, MD, Associate Dean for Medical School Education