Electives

RWJMS allows students maximum flexibility in designing their academic experience via a selection of electives. These electives permit students to gain exposure to and deepen their understanding of medical specialties reflecting their career interests.

These elective opportunities also provide a venue for students to pursue individual academic interests. Students in the first and second year may choose from several non-credit electives. Third year undergraduate medical education students are given 5 weeks of elective time, while fourth year students may use up to 32 weeks of the academic year for electives.

Strategies for elective planning are reviewed with students by the Office of Student Affairs as well as faculty advisors. Through these elective experiences, students have the opportunity to become self-directed learners.

Electives taken during the student's third year of medical school are counted toward the twenty-three weeks required for graduation.  Three of which must be in an Ambulatory Specialty Outpatient experience.  Two of which must be in a Boot Camp experience.  No two full-time electives may be taken concurrently.


Away Electives

Electives may be taken at other medical schools. For "away" electives, all documentation must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar prior to the projected elective.  Each student must make certain the RWJMS Registrar has received the necessary approvals from the Registrar at the 'host' medical school before the elective has begun. 

Note: This is the responsibility of the individual student, not the Registrar.  If all approvals are not obtained and received by the RWJMS Registrar prior to the start of the elective, the student will NOT receive credit for the elective.

To aid in exploring opportunities at other medical schools, the AAMC has comprised the Extramural Elective Compendium, which lists all the LCME approved medical schools which allow outside students to do electives at their institutions.  Also available, is the AMA Graduate Medical Education Directory (the "Green Book" located in the Office of Student Affairs.


VSAS, Visiting Student Application Service

Many schools are using VSAS, the Visiting Student Application Service.  This is an automated application process designed and managed by the AAMC to streamline the process. For more information Click Here to view participating institutions and navigate to the VSAS "How to Use" Guide for Students.  You may also call the 'Host' school or the RWJMS Registrar's Office.


Individually Designed Electives

Students have the opportunity to develop an individually designed elective in concert with a Faculty Member.  The experience must be clearly different from any preclinical or clinical elective currently offered by RWJMS.  Written approvals must be given first by the proposed Elective Director, then by the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, and finally by the Registrar.

Academic Warning Note: If on Academic Warning, a student must obtain written permission from the Associate Dean of Student Affairs before applying for an Individualized elective.

Travel Advisory Note: Students traveling to other countries need to be aware of the US Department of State Travel Warning or Travel Alert.  Any student traveling to a country listed on this site will NOT have that activity authorized as a school-approved activity.

Important: ALL documentation must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar prior to the projected start date of the elective.  The required form may be found on the FORMS web page.  Any Individualized Elective begun without signed, approved documents on file in the Registrar's Office will not earn credit toward graduation and the student will not be covered by Malpractice & Liability Insurance.  It is the student's responsibility to ensure that all documents are on file.

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