General Information


Course selection and registration are coordinated through the Clerkship & Elective Program Manager’s Office of the School of Medicine under the supervision of the Electives Sub-Committee. Students scheduling courses must make arrangements through the Clerkship & Elective Program Manager’s Office, and must comply with regulations noted on the following pages.

The Doctor of Medicine Degree

Requirements for the medical degree include seven full-time fourth-year courses, each of four weeks' duration. A full time course has the credit value of six hours, and courses meeting the equivalent may be substituted with advisor approval.

Each student's curriculum must include at least four courses in which the student has primary responsibilities for patient care:

· one in Advanced Practice,
· one as an acting intern in a community hospital,

. an elective at UNC with a basic science component that will count as your Science of Medicine Selective, and
· one in the recognition and care of critically/acutely ill patients

The Advanced Practice Selective requirement must be selected from the series of courses designated APSM (Advanced Practice Selective); the acting internship from the series of courses designated AHEC; the critical care requirement from the series of courses designated SURS (Critical Care/ Surgery Selective); and one elective from the electives list coded as the Science of Medicine Selective. In addition, each student must have three six-credit hour electives. Two three-credit hours are equivalent to one six-credit hour elective. Graduation from the School of Medicine with the degree of Doctor of Medicine is dependent upon the completion of the required and elective curricula in a manner satisfactory to the Student Promotions Committee, acting for the faculty.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill awards degrees in August, December, and May. The School of Medicine has a formal hooding ceremony at the May commencement. In order to be considered by the Student Promotions Committee for graduation, the minimum requirements must be completed by the end of the elective period immediately preceding the degree date.

Students who wish to postpone graduation to take additional courses must obtain permission from the Associate Dean of Student Affairs.


Student performance must be evaluated by the responsible preceptor(s) at the conclusion of each course. The evaluation is a part of a student’s permanent academic record and is available for review by the student. Faculty with legitimate educational reasons may also review student records. There is a policy for appeal of an evaluation, should the need arise (see “Article 9 Appeals") An evaluation of Incomplete in an elective converts to a grade of Fail at the end of one year.

Each course must be evaluated by students. Reports of the aggregated course evaluations (without student names) are forwarded annually to the appropriate course directors, department chairs and curriculum committee.


Faculty Approvals

Courses for credit must be approved by the appropriate advisors and documented on forms provided by the Office of the Clerkship & Elective Program Manager prior to the commencement of such courses and by published deadlines. Specific instructions are given on subsequent pages.

When first or second-year students wish to take an elective, they must have the approval of the Educational Resources Coordinator, and the course director. Students who earn elective credits during the pre-clinical years should be aware that the Student Promotions Committee reviews the entire program as it relates to the quality of performance. If the program is judged to be deficient by this committee, studies beyond the minimum seven courses may be required for graduation.

When planning the fourth year, students should select a career goal advisor who represents their career goal. Students’ courses for the fourth year must be approved by this career goal advisor. Students will view their schedule in the One45 program. Opportunities for changing scheduled selectives are very limited. Students who want changes in their schedule can request them during the designated drop-add period, or in the case of electives at other schools, as early as possible. Enrollment in non-credit seminars is informal and requires only the approval of the course director.

Schedule Changes

Established drop-add deadlines for 2014-2015 electives are as follows: fall semester, May 12 – May 23, 2014; spring semester, September 14 - September 25, 2015. The AHEC AI cannot be dropped or added but can be switched with another student. The Advance Practice Selective, Critical Care Selective and Science of Medicine Selective can be dropped and added where there is space available.

It is the student’s responsibility to obtain his/her career goal advisor’s signature of approval, to secure any other documentation necessary, and to submit these to the Clerkship & Elective Program Manager by the published deadlines. For courses dropped and added, students are enrolled in courses and course directors notified only after all documentation has been filed with the Clerkship & Elective Program Manager. Students cannot drop or add any course once it has started.

Fourth Year Electives Outside the UNC School of Medicine System

Students may arrange to take an elective in the Student Exchange Program at Brody School of Medicine. Students wishing to take an elective at Duke University School of Medicine and/or Wake Forest University School of Medicine, must apply through VSAS (Visiting Student Application Service). Students may also take electives in other schools of this university, in other universities, and in appropriate non-university environments. At least four of the required seven courses must be taken within the University of North Carolina School of Medicine's program; these are the AHEC Acting Internship, Advanced Practice Selective, Critical Care/Surgery Selective and Science of Medicine Selective. UNC elective periods may not be altered to facilitate scheduling electives at other institutions.

It is the student’s responsibility to assure that the outside program receives all appropriate documentation and evaluations. See “Away Rotations”. If students are receiving financial aid, they are also responsible for notifying the Financial Aid Officer of any approved electives taken outside the UNC system. Students enroll at the UNC School of Medicine and pay tuition and fees for such courses here. Most medical schools have a reciprocal arrangement so that students are charged tuition and fees only at their home institution. Students taking electives away will be covered by UNC liability insurance if the course is taken for credit, and if the insurance carrier is notified one month prior to the starting date of the away elective. Most schools require visiting students to show proof of liability insurance coverage.

Students are responsible for making their own housing arrangements while participating in an elective outside the UNC system.


Registration must be done in the summer, fall, and spring of the fourth year. Students must register for each period in which one or more courses have been scheduled, and this registration must be done by deadlines which are posted on the general forum. Students who expect to be out of town at the time of registration should notify the Clerkship & Elective Program Manager. Fourth-year students are not required to register for credit for a session if they do not have courses scheduled. However, students who are receiving financial aid are not eligible for aid if they are not registered for a session. Students planning such a fourth-year schedule should review the university requirements outlined in the school’s policy on “Modifications of the Standard Educational Program.”



The school’s policy on “Delay of Examinations, Required Coursework, and/or Clinical Responsibilities” stipulates that students are expected to meet the attendance requirements of every course. Minor absences of a day or two from an elective must be approved in advance by the course director. Otherwise, dates of scheduled courses may not be altered.