University of Arizona to let med students graduate early amid COVID-19 pandemic

University of Arizona medical students who want to join the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic can ask to graduate early.

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix announced it is offering eligible fourth-year students the chance to graduate before mid-May. Each student’s request will have to be reviewed by a committee next week. But, students could potentially be at work in a clinical setting by mid-April.

College Dean Guy Reed says these are “extraordinary times” and the school is “in admiration of our students who wish to pursue this option.”

This year’s graduating class is made up of around 90 students. Reed says more than half have already fulfilled the requirements to get their medical degrees.

To qualify, students have to put their request in writing and have a letter from the director of the program they will be serving.

The UofA is among several medical schools including New York University offering accelerated graduation in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic.

In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

LIVE: Interactive Coronavirus case data and map


Coronavirus (COVID-19)
How it spreads, symptoms, prevention, treatment, FAQ

Arizona COVID-19 Response
Public resources, FAQ, webinars

On, you'll find extensive coverage about COVID-19, including breaking news from around the country, exclusive interviews with health officials, and informative content from a variety of public health resources.