The expected duration of the PLME is eight years. In keeping with Brown's open curriculum and the educational philosophy of the program, however, we encourage students to pursue opportunities related to their personal and professional goals. Such pursuits, of course, often require taking time off from the course of study that leads directly to the MD degree. With approval from the Associate Dean (PLME), PLME students may take advantage of this window and take up to two years to engage in research, teach or perform volunteer work, do fellowship work, or even start a business. The proposed leave must be for the purpose of promoting the student’s professional development. Students apply for deferral during their senior year in college and defer their entry into the Medical School.