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Elective studies form an integral part of the Curriculum Plan. They may be considered the epitome of self-directed learning, since students must define goals for electives which are appropriate for their own learning objectives. These objectives represent specific areas of educational need or interest. The responsibility for planning electives rests with each student in collaboration with the student advisor.

Block Electives

Block electives are full-time elective placements. Over the course of the program, 24 weeks of block electives are required. The first block elective occurs after MF4, in the summer between first and second year. Students participate in 7 weeks of elective during that block. In the Clerkship, 17 weeks of elective time is available. 

Horizontal Electives

In addition to block electives, many students arrange horizontal elective experiences. These are part-time electives which students attend while still participating in the core curriculum. These are completely optional and do not appear on the student’s transcript.

International Electives

International electives are permitted at any time during regular block elective time-frames. Many students use international electives as an opportunity to travel and to experience different cultures and medical practice in other countries. Popular times for students to embark on international electives are during the post-MF4 summer elective block and late in Clerkship.


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