Domestic Visiting Student Program

This webpage will be undergoing an overhaul in the next few weeks.  The information, links and layout will most likely change. During this change, informaiton for the 2019-20 Academic year for visiting students will be updated. 

The University of North Carolina School of Medicine’s Visiting Student Program offers those in their final year of medical school the opportunity to participate in educational, engaging and challenging clinical electives experiences. We offer experiences with UNC Health Care in Chapel Hill as well as with affiliated hospitals throughout North Carolina in cities such as Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh, and Wilmington. Participating students must be in the final year of medical school at the time the elective commences. Each elective is four weeks in duration. Students may take up to a maximum of three electives per academic year depending on a space-available basis.

It is not always possible to accommodate every student from other institutions; however, every effort will be made to fulfill your elective request. Our office is dedicated to guiding you through the application process and serving as a helpful resource during your time with UNC School of Medicine. We understand that your final year of medical school is a very busy year, and we want to make planning your elective at UNC as easy as possible.

For your convenience, we've included a lot of information on our website. Please take a moment to look at it all and feel free to contact the Visiting Student Coordinator with any questions that you may have.

Applications are accepted all year long with a few restrictions.

All applications must be submitted and completed (Eligible Status) five (5) weeks before the first day of the desired rotation in order to be considered for placement. It best to get your application in well before this deadline as space is limited.

UNC uses few different terms in reference to a student’s application.

  • Application: This is your overall application including transcripts, malpractice insurance, personal statements, etc.
  • Elective Request: This is the individual elective that you have applied for. EX. ANES 401

We recommend that you submit more than one elective request with your application. If your first elective request is denied, we may be able to grant acceptance to an alternate elective request. But we will only place you in an elective and time period for which you have submitted an elective request.

If you wish to be considered for alternative elective or n=months, please submit separate elective requests for each individual month and course.

VSAS Application Status Helpful Terms


Application has not been reviewed.


Application is complete and elective request is being considered for placement.

Conditional Eligible

Application has missing items and elective request are not being considered for placement.


The overall application has been denied and no elective request will be considered.


VSAS Elective Request Status Helpful Terms

Pending Host Institution Review

Elective request has not yet been sent to the department/elective course for placement consideration.

Pending Departmental Approval

The elective request has been sent to the department for consideration. There is no time frame on how long this process will take


The Elective request has been approved and offered. There is a one-week time limit on all offers.


The department was unable to accommodate that particular elective request. This is not mean that all elective requests have been denied.


No decision has been made by the Applicant on the elective request offered within the one-week timeframe.

Every student’s application will be checked to ensure requirements are met before a rotation offer will be extended. Applications may be denied for various reasons, but never due to missing items. The visiting student coordinator will review and let applicants know if their application is complete or incomplete. If complete, you will be marked for scheduling. If incomplete, you will be notified of missing items and have the opportunity to fix any issues before the Application Deadline for the desired rotation.

Elective request from applications that are in Conditional Status (Incomplete) after the Block's Application deadline, will be denied. You may submit another elective request for a different time and work to turn in missing materials.

Once your application is Eligible (complete), we will start working to process the elective requests. We work to place students based on the preference list. It is recommended that you arrange elective request in order of most desired elective and Block rotation.

All students will need to have completed in VSAS and meet the following information/requirements in order to be considered eligible for placement with the Visiting Student Program.

  • Final Year Medical Student (MD or DO)
  • Completion of all Core Clerkships
  • Must meet UNC Immunization Requirements (Please use AAMC Immunization form from VSLO)
    • Influenza: Vaccinated during current flu season
    • Measles
    • Mumps
    • Rubella
    • Tdap: Administered since 2006
    • Hepatitis B Series: Three separate dates
    • Hepatitis B titer: Quantitative Evidence required, >10mIU/mL
    • Varicella: Positive titer, History of disease not accepted
    • TB Screening: Vaccinated during current academic year
  • HIPAA and OSHA Training
  • Liability/Malpractice Insurance Coverage: $1,000,000 per instance/$3,000,000 aggregate coverage
  • Passing Score USMLE Step 1/COMPLEX-USA Level 1
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Medical School Transcript
  • Good Academic Standing at Home Institution
  • Health Insurance

UNC School of Medicine will open for you to start completing VSAS applications on Jan. 16, 2018.  Please keep in mind that you will have two weeks to submit applications for the March rotation block deadline on Jan. 29, 2018.  UNC students are registered for their electives first and the remaining availability of electives will be loaded on Jan. 16th.  If you are unable to apply for a certain month in VSAS, then that month is currently full and unavailable.

Elective availability is considered a fluid process and courses may become open as the year progresses so keep checking the VSAS offering as blocks that were closed on Jan. 15th may open as students drop and/or decline offers. 

An elective request is processed on a two-front base. First-come, first-serve based upon completion status and academic merit. Meaning, applicants who apply early and have completed applications will be revived by departments first, but being reviewed first does not guarantee acceptance as the entire application is taken into consideration.

All elective request must receive departmental approval before an offer can be sent. This is completed internally, so please do not email departments directly asking for permission and/or updates. All communication will be handled by the visiting student coordinator. Once the request has been sent to the department, elective request status will be updated to Pending Departmental Approval. After a decision has been made, applicants will be notified in VSAS of either the acceptance or denial.

An approved elective request will have one week to be accepted. If the offer expires, it will not be resent. Applicants who allow one (1) offer to expire with no communication to the visiting student coordinator will have all other elective request denied.

If the applicant accepts, more information will be emailed about the upcoming rotation and the next steps in the process. If the applicant indicates that only 1 experience is desired, all other elective requests will be denied. If 2 experiences have been requested, then the process will start over with attempts to secure a second placement

If the applicant declines, we will continue to find a placement based on the elective request.

If you no longer wish to be considered for an elective placement, please WITHDRAW all elective request that you have submitted. We will continue to process elective request as long as they are still active

*Note that the following departments/electives will not be blocked off if full as they hold a certain number of designated spaces for visiting students nor will they follow the exact scheduling process listed above. DERM 401, ERMD 401, ERMD 402, ERMD 416, ERMD 417, ERMD 421, FMME 453, All OPHT electives, All ORTS courses.

Students are allowed to request rotation dates that do not align with UNC’s Block schedule due to various different reasons. These requests are subject to approval by the department and are not guaranteed. You will need to submit an Off-Block Request in VSAS.  please submit one elective request for the custom dates and one for UNC’s block dates that your custom dates fall into and rank accordingly.  If you do not see UNC’s block dates listed, then the course is either full or not offered during that time.

2018-2019 Academic Calendar for UNC School of Medicine. 

Event DateApplication Deadline
Course offering Loaded to VSAS January 22, 2018
VSAS opens for applications January 23, 2018
Block 1 March 5 - March 30th January 29, 2018

Block 2

April 2 - April 27 Feb. 19, 2018
Block 3 April 30  - May 25 March 19, 2018
Block 4 May 29 - June 22 April 16, 2018
Block 5 July 2 - July 27 May 21, 2018
Block 6 July 30 - August 24 June 18, 2018
Block 7 August 27 - September 21 July 09, 2018
Block 8 September 24 - October 19 August 13, 2018

Block 9

October 22 - November 16 September 10, 2018

Block 10

November 19- December 14 October 08, 2018
Block 11 January 2 - January 25 November 19, 2018
Block 12 January 28 - February 22 December 17, 2018
Block 13 March 4 - March 29 Offered in 2019 - 2020
Block 14 April 1 - April 26 Offered in 2019 - 2020

*Note that the following departments/electives may not follow this schedule as they hold a certain number of spaces for visiting students.  DERM 401, ERMD 401, ERMD 402, ERMD 416, ERMD 417, ERMD 421, FMME 453, All OPHT electives, All ORTS courses

The University of North Carolina School of Medicine prides itself on the ability to offer a variety of clinical areas for potential 4th-year electives. While the Visiting Student Program has a general set of requirements for acceptance, some departments and individual electives require extra materials (personal statements, Step scores, etc) to be included with the VSAS application in order to be considered eligible for scheduling.   All supplemental requirements will be listed in VSAS and attached to the elective you wish to apply for. 

There is no fee charged by the UNC School of Medicine to submit an application for consideration.  However, once an elective offer has been accepted, there is a $50 non-refundable processing fee due for registration purposes and to hold the seat for the approved elective.

Please check the  At-a-Glance or Calendar section for Block rotation dates and application deadlines. All elective courses offered to students will be listed in VSAS, but you can visit our Course Directory for more detailed information. 

Acceptance Packets: Once a student has accepted an offered rotation and paid the $50 non-refundable processing fee, an Acceptance Packet will be emailed to the student and their school. The packet will include general elective and departmental contact information.

Evaluations: Evaluations are collected 30 days after the conclusion of the elective. UNC forms will be sent directly to the student’s school. A student’s Home Institutions grading form may be submitted to the Visiting Student Coordinator in lieu of UNC ‘s. Please keep the Office of Student Affairs informed if an evaluation form is provided directly to the preceptor so multiple forms will not be sent.

Housing: You are responsible for finding your own housing if you are confirmed for an elective. A list of names of people in the community who are interested in renting to students will be provided with the acceptance packet. The amount being charged is set by the person renting the property.

White Coats: All medical students are required to wear a short, white coat. Please bring one with you.

The University of North Carolina School of Medicine prides itself on the ability to offer a variety of clinical areas for potential 4th-year electives. While the Visiting Student Program has a general set of requirements for acceptance, some departments and individual electives require extra materials (personal statements, Step scores, etc) to be included with the VSAS application in order to be considered eligible for scheduling.   Please follow the links below for more information. 

The visiting student elective is an invaluable experience and opportunity for assessment and evaluation of a candidate's preparedness and potential for success in the most highly competitive medical specialty training programs. The Larry D. Keith Visiting Student Electives Scholarship serves to supplement the cost of this training opportunity and specifically targets underrepresented medical students and those committed to serving in underserved communities.  For more information, please visit the Scholarship's Webpage.
The Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS®) is an AAMC application designed to streamline the application process for senior "away" electives. VSAS enables medical students to submit just one application for all institutions, effectively reducing paperwork, miscommunication, and time.  All students wishing to be considered for elective placement must submit an application through VSAS. 

All courses that are offered to Visiting Students are listed in VSAS, but the system only allows a limited amount of information on each elective to be included.  For a more detail listing of the course offering, please visit our Online Course Directory.  

VSLO does not allow students and home institutions to update existing documents unless UNC School of Medicine request that the uploaded document be resubmitted.  We understand that things change, CV’s needed to updated, immunizations are an ongoing affair and that student and institutions should be able to update documentation whenever necessary.  We have created this form so that your institution or you may quickly request permission form UNC to upload a new document.  

Please submit your Request through our Qualtrics Form