International Electives Policy and Procedure

Medical Students (M.D.)


International electives include any educational activity that takes place outside of the fifty federated states of the United States.

Students may not apply to participate in an elective rotation that occurs in a country, territory or region that
(1) is listed on the US Department of State list for travel warnings or alerts , (2) is located in a geographic area that is deemed politically unstable or (3) poses risk of harm to the student or threatens the health of the student. The initial approval of an elective may be revoked at any time prior to or during a rotation if circumstances in that region or practice setting change.

The College of Medicine is not responsible for any costs associated with the travel or the rotation experience, including but not limited by costs incurred for travel or travel delays, immunizations, additional background checks, etc.

Students must complete an Application for International Independent Study. An application must meet the College of Medicine academic and student safety requirements and receive approval for course credit by the COM Selectives and Electives Committee and the Associate Dean for Curriculum – Clinical Sciences.

The College of Medicine will recognize for credit no more than one approved 4-week international elective.


The procedure for arranging extramural international electives is as follows:

The student must contact a physician/faculty member at the hosting institution and their Office of Student Affairs, or a similar designated office responsible for managing electives. The student must obtain an application from the hosting institution to arrange for the program. The student must also obtain a letter from the preceptor, at the institution where the elective is planned, detailing the following: description of the elective, educational activities and objectives, method of assessment, confirmation of dates for the program offering, confirmation of the faculty member’s appointment/licensure, and the preceptor’s agreement to sponsor and supervise the student for the experience.

An Application for International Independent Study must be completed and submitted to the COM Dean’s Office Manager for Clinical Coordination, Credentialing and Compliance for Medical Students at least 3 months before the rotation dates. In addition, the student may be required to complete an application or submit documentation to the host institution. The applicant should contact Student Health at least three months in advance for any immunizations or travel medicine consultation for international electives.

Approved by UCC in January 2012; revised and approved in December 2012.