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Advanced Studies Program


Recognizing that medicine is a highly complex and diversified field and that needs and interests of medical students are quite varied, the University of Massachusetts Medical School emphasizes a strong Elective/Advanced Studies program to complement the required areas of study.  It is anticipated that each student, with the advice of their mentor will plan a program beneficial to their educational experience and postgraduate goals.

An elective is defined as a structured learning experience in a field of medicine or related fields approved by the faculty of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, which is not specifically required as part of the basic medical school curriculum.  In addition to the required Subinternship, ECPC, ABTS and Transition to Internship, students must complete 24 weeks of elective time outlined in the student handbook. 

  • Of the 24 weeks of electives, 12 weeks must be Type A or B and 8 of these 12 weeks must be A or B1. Please see the handbook for complete details.
  • A maximum of 8 weeks of International electives can count towards graduation credit. Up to 8 weeks can be taken in blocks of 2 weeks.
  • Electives applied toward graduation credit are normally advanced fourth-year courses taken after required third-year clerkships are completed. Electives taken for credit at other times during the student’s medical school career may be considered for graduation credit with the approval of the Clinical Science Academic Evaluation Board (CSAEB). 
  • The school does not restrict the proportion of time spent on internal versus external electives.
  • Elective programs offered are posted on the Student Affairs Web site.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to arrange their fourth-year elective schedule, obtaining all necessary paperwork and approvals prior to the beginning of each elective.  The Office of Student Affairs is available for assistance with any questions or concerns.
  • Elective schedules are maintained by the Office of Student Affairs.  It is the student’s responsibility to check his/her online elective schedule to insure that an accurate elective program is on file.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to forward all elective confirmation correspondence to the Office of Student Affairs or email it to electives@umassmed.edu. Please note, because an elective is ‘requested’ or is listed on a student’s PEP is not confirmation that the elective was approved.  If the approved paperwork is not received by the Office of Student Affairs, it will not be added to a student’s Schedule.  Students should frequently check their Peoplesoft schedule, which is the ‘official’ schedule of record.

For changes to Elective/ Advanced Studies schedule please see the Student Handbook: Section Three: "Attendance, Withdrawal, Rescheduling; Changes or Withdrawing from Electives/Advanced Studies Program."

Types of Electives 
An elective is defined as a structured learning experience in a field of medicine or related fields approved by the faculty of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, which is not specifically required as part of the basic medical school curriculum. Detailed information about the types of electives available can be found here. Descriptions of Type A, B, and C electives can be found in the student handbook.

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