We recognize that our system is a little bit different from other schools and can be confusing when you don’t know the whole process- so here’s a detailed explanation to help students understand what’s going on at each phase of the application.

Application Submission, Review for Completion, Application Fee

You must first submit your completed application and application fee via our personal application system or through GHLO. This should be done approximately 4-6 months before the start date of the block you wish to attend. The application fee can sometimes take a few days to process in the financial department before it is sent to the OIA. This payment is what triggers the OIA to check your application for completion. Once it has been checked (usually a day or two after the payment is received), you will receive an email either stating that your application is complete, or requesting the documents that you are still missing. If you were missing documents, you must notify the OIA when you have uploaded them, as this is the only way that we are notified to re-review your application for completion. If you do not get a notification about the completion status of your application within a week of making your payment, please contact us, as payments sometimes go missing or are not correctly submitted, which would keep your application from being reviewed.

Acceptance Review

Once your application is ‘Complete’, your name is added to the Review List. Every month, once a month, our review committee meets to go over approximately 30 applications at a time, and either pre-accepts or rejects them for the IVS program. The list is sent out to reviewers approximately one week before the review date, and any applications received after the list is sent out will be put onto the list for the following meeting. As soon as the review is complete, all applicants are notified of their acceptance status via email the same day. Note that “pre-acceptance” does not mean that an elective has been secured for you, and does not guarantee that one will be, so please do not book any flights or make travel/visa plans on the basis of a pre-acceptance.

Scheduling Pre-Accepted Students

If students are “pre-accepted”, they are placed onto our scheduling sheet. Based on the information that was listed on each application, we organize students in order of when their application was completed and begin the scheduling process. Each block opens at its own time- typically about 2-3 months before the block begins. Only when it is open will we be able to view the availability of the courses you have selected. Do not ask about course availability before applying, as we will not have this information at that time.

Once a block is open for scheduling, we begin making our way down the list of students who selected that block, and checking the availability, one by one, of each of their preferred electives in the order in which they are listed. Many electives will already be full with UNC students by the time scheduling opens up to International Students, and many times departments will deny an international student request for various reasons. We request one course at a time for each student, and give Departments approximately 1 week to respond to each request before we request another elective for the same student. Our goal is to accommodate as many students as we can in their preferred electives. It is not our goal to fill all electives spots regardless of student interest, and we will not simply place students into “any open elective.”

It is important to keep the OIA aware of your changing course preferences or block availabilities by emailing our office. We schedule with the expectation that you have put electives and blocks that you intend to accept if offered to you. If you are offered one of your preferred courses in one of your preferred blocks, and you decline it, then you will likely not be offered another course. Please keep in contact with us via email so that we are not using resources to secure an elective/block that you no longer wish to attend.

Scheduling for each block closes approximately one month before its start date, regardless of course availability.

Elective Offers and Confirmation

If we make a request for a course, and a department approves it, then the course will be offered to the student via email. Students have one week to respond to their course offer. If you do not respond, the offer will expire, and be offered to someone else. You will be removed from the scheduling list if your offer expires. Please keep in mind that course requests are unique by each course-block combination, and being offered a course in one block does not mean that you can “move” that offer to another block, or change to another course within the same block.

Once you confirm a course, you are committed to that elective. Our program has limited capacity for students and we are not able to offer courses to every pre-accepted student. For this reason, we take elective confirmations very seriously. Confirming a course, only to later drop it, will result in us notifying your Home Medical School in reprimand. DO NOT confirm a course that you do not intend to attend, as this has taken a spot from another student who was eagerly waiting for it.

Students who have confirmed courses will begin receiving more regular emails from our office regarding the appropriate elective preparations and requirements due before arrival at UNC. For any questions after acceptance, please email international@med.unc.edu.