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Applying for Step 3

How to Apply

Confirm that you meet the Step 3 requirements

  • Possess an MD, DO or equivalent degree. (For recent graduates, apply only after the date of graduation on your diploma.)
  • Pass USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS.
  • If a graduate of a medical school outside of the US or Canada, obtain ECFMG certification or successfully complete a Fifth Pathway program. (Apply only after the issue date on your ECFMG or Fifth Pathway certificate.)  NOTE: Effective January 1, 2017, the USMLE program will no longer accept Fifth Pathway certificates for the purpose of meeting Step 3 eligibility requirements. Individuals who hold valid Fifth Pathway certificates issued through December 31, 2009, and are otherwise eligible, may use their Fifth Pathway certificates to meet Step 3 eligibility requirements for applications submitted through December 31, 2016.
  • The USMLE program limits all individuals to three attempts per Step within a 12 month period.
  • Your 4th and subsequent attempts must be at least 12 months after your first attempt and at least six months after your most recent attempt at the exam.

Review the USMLE Bulletin of Information

  • Familiarize yourself with the 2016 Bulletin of Informationor the 2017 Bulletin of Information if any of your testing dates fall in 2017, before applying for and taking Step 3. By submitting a Step 3 application, you certify that you have read the Bulletin of Information, are familiar with its contents, and agree to abide by the policies and procedures described therein. 

Submit an application and other required documents

  • Create an account and submit your application with proper payment.
    • Your application fee must be paid by American Express, MasterCard or Visa. The Step 3 fee is non-refundable and non-transferable from one eligibility period to another or from one application to another.
    • Provide an email address: This is the primary means for us to communicate with you regarding your application and will be used to notify you of your application status. Please provide an email address that will accept an email from
  • Print and mail a completed, notarized Certification of Identity form (be sure to attach a photograph). Your CID will not be approved if it there is any information missing or if a photograph is not attached; in such cases you will be required to submit a new CID form.
  • Your registration will be completed within 5-7 business days after we 1) receive your online application (with fees) and CID and 2) verify you meet all eligibility requirements. We will email you when your application is approved.

Use the Step 3 Candidate website to monitor the status of your Step 3 application, to check the availability of your scheduling permit and score report, and to schedule your exam. Scheduling permits are not available more than 6 months prior to the start of your eligibility period. 

At the end of your Step 3 online application process you will be asked if you would like to create an FCVS profile using your Step 3 information; this is optional. If you are applying for licensure with a board that is an accepting or requiring board of a FCVS profile, it may be beneficial to create your profile now. Learn more about FCVS.

Supported Browsers

This Step 3 online application may be completed using Internet Explorer Version 7 or higher, Safari Version 5 or above, Google Chrome Version 22 or above, or Mozilla Firefox Version 16 or higher. All supported browsers must allow cookies and have JavaScript enabled. All features may not be fully supported or available through other browsers.