Visiting Senior Students

2021-2022 Academic Year Update: UC San Diego School of Medicine will adhere to the recommendations of the Coalition for Physician Accountability. Key dates:

  • April 15: Students may apply to opportunities in VSAS/VSLO
  • May 1: UC San Diego will begin processing applications
  • June 28: First Block at UC San Diego open for visiting students. 

General Information

  • ​UC San Diego School of Medicine welcomes eligible senior visiting students in our senior electives as space permits.
  • Our program currently accepts applications from students from North American (US, Canada, Puerto Rico) LCME-accredited medical schools and COCA-accredited osteopathic schools.
  • UC San Diego does not accept students who attend international or off-shore medical schools for this program.
  • Our program only accepts senior medical students (i.e. fourth-year medical students).
  • Do not call/email the program to check on the status of your application. Updates are made only in VSAS. We review applications at least 2-3 months out from the rotation start date.
  • Do not contact faculty or administrative staff directly to attempt to arrange clinical experiences.
  • We do not offer observerships, shadowing opportunities, research electives, or pre-clinical experiences.
  • Senior elective descriptions can be found in the course catalog here (subject to change).
    • Important - not all courses are available to visiting students.

Application Process

Visit the AAMC's Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO) for complete information about our program, including the application process, electives offered, and dates available.

Required Documents

  • CV
  • Copy of core clerkship evaluation closest to the requested elective
    • This evaluation should include your final grade and comments regarding your performance
    • If you are unable to complete this because of COVID-19, please submit a letter from your core clerkship director regarding your performance, a mid-clerkship evaluation, or another clerkship evaluation.
  • Proof of personal health insurance
  • AAMC standardized immunization form
  • USMLE Step 1 Score - COMLEX scores are NOT accepted in lieu of Step 1
  • Transcript (Uploaded by home medical school)
  • Covid-19 Vaccination Record Card
  • Background check: A background check must be completed shortly before start of the third year of medical school (within the last 18 months). If your school is unable to do so, you must provide a background check. Applicants to electives that rotate partly or entirely at Rady Children's Hospital need to submit background checks that include the following:
    • National sex offender database search.
    • National criminal database search.
    • County criminal background checks on all counties of residence or work disclosed.
    • Social Security trace.
    • Office of Inspector General excluded parties list.
    • General Services Administration excluded parties list.
  • [Urology applicants] Letter of recommendation from a Urologist
  • [ORTHO applicants] Completion of supplemental questionnaire
  • [Rady Site Screening] Rady Children's Hospital currently does not allow for visiting medical students to come to their campus for 14 days post travel to CDC Warning Level 3 countries. See this site for the most updated list:

Eligible students who attend North American (US, Canada, Puerto Rico) LCME-accredited medical schools and COCA-accredited osteopathic medical schools that do not use VSLO should may complete this paper application. Students may use the VSLO website for information on elective courses and dates.

Visiting Elective Scholarship program (VESP)

UC San Diego welcomes students from all diverse backgrounds to apply for away clerkships. The following Departments offer scholarships for eligible students applying to rotations in their respective department:


Eligible students are full-time, fourth-year medical students who are underrepresented in medicine and/or from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Students must be in good standing at accredited U.S. medical schools and remain registered at their own schools while participating in the four-week clerkship at UC San Diego.


Before applying to the VESP, each student must complete an application form in VSLO/VSAS.

Admission into the Visiting Student Program does not constitute admission or matriculation into UC San Diego School of Medicine. Any expenses required for disability accommodation of a visiting student must be borne by the student's home institution. Please refer to UC San Diego's technical standards.