MD4 Independent/Away/Research Electives

MD4 Independent Elective/Away/Research Registration Process

As we embark upon the new registration term, we wanted to outline specific instructions regarding the Independent Elective/Away/Research Registration Process. Students may participate in elective work in their area of interest (not offered through the standard YR4 curriculum), and are allowed to register for up to three in your MD4 year. 

NOTE: Approval must be received in our office at least 90 days prior to the start date of the rotation.


Deadlines for Submission

Month of Elective                       90 Day Required Approval by

April                                                        1/1

May                                                         2/1

June                                                        3/1

July                                                         4/1

August                                                    5/1

September                                              6/1

October                                                   7/1

November                                               8/1

December                                               9/1

January                                                   10/1

February                                                 11/1

March                                                      12/1

April                                                         1/1

May                                                          2/1



Away Electives

For Away Electives/VSLO Away Electives, please register for the Away Elective Placeholder Course MD4 8391. These opportunities are available on the VSLO (Visiting Student Learning Opportunities) site. Once you have submitted your application, we will receive notification and begin the uploading process of your transcript. Please allow up to 3 business day for this to be completed.

Please be mindful that some sites may ask for proof of a Covid Vaccine. If that is the case, you can attach that document independent of your Immunization Record. In regards to rotations, most institutions have not added their course catalogs yet so please be patient and you should see them up within the next month.

Please note that most questions you will have can be found in the links below:


AAMC Immunization Form

How to Use VSLO Service


Independent/Research Electives

For Independent/Research Electives you will NOT register for a Placeholder Course.  Subsequently, it is your responsibility to complete the Independent Study Elective Form and seek approval by the 90 day deadline to update your schedule and register for the course.  

The Form can be found at: Independent, Research, and Non-VSLO Away Form

  • The Form must be completed  and then provide confirmation from your preceptor in the affirming this statement in the form.
  • A detailed plan of work or research proposal is required
  • The Department/Subject should reflect the area you are studying (example: Dermatology, Surgery, etc.) 
  • The Course Number on the form should be one of the following Course Numbers:
Subject Course Title Credit Hour
MD4 8914 Orthpedic Srgry Rsch 6
MD4 8130 Dermatology Research 6
MD4 8150 Emrgncy Mdcn Resch 6
MD4 8380 Gastroenterology Research 6
MD4 8460 Infectious Disese Resch 6
MD4 8530 Oncology Research 6
MD4 8560 Otolaryngol Resch 6
MD4 8600 Pulmonary&Sleep Rsch 6
MD4 8760 Neurosurgery Research 6
MD4 8900 Ophthalmic Research 6
MD4 9264 Psychiatry Research 6
MD4 9320 Rsrch&Practc:Addictn Psychtry 6
MD4 8350 Endocrinology Research 6
MD4 8264 Independent Study in Medical Education 6

If one of these course numbers does not meet the specialty of your request please reach out to


Home Rotations.

1. For WSU faculty (those with a email) a preceptor signature and email address is all that is needed for faculty status.

2. For clinical rotations at affiliated hospitals, we need to have these approved by the hospital educational office prior to assignment (so that they can provide EMR access, etc.)


Away Locations

1, We will need to confirm that the preceptor is a faculty member at the host institution.  You can provide the .edu email, provide the university faculty appointment, or submit the Preceptor's CV.  Note that this is a university faculty appointment, not just a hospital appointment.  For other preceptors, a CV review by the Associate Dean is mandatory. Rationale: for university credit, faculty status is an accreditation requirement.

2. An Affiliation Agreement must be in place for any facility in which you plan to work.  For those that are not VSLO this requires at most 90 days as it needs approval by the Provost's office, General Counsel and the Facility Administration.  Our specialist Ms. Shanae Pruitt will assist with this process.  Rationale: for legal protection, a binding contract must be in place between the facility and the university.


Once all is complete, submit the Form (in PDF format) and Appropriate Documentation to

Note:  It is also your responsibility to make sure all of the proper documentation is received, according to the 90-day submission deadline, so that we can process your registration in a timely manner. 

***At the end of your Elective/Research month, you must have your Preceptor complete the evaluation in New Innovations, and submit a short report of your progress to the Associate Dean in the Academic and Student Programs office (currently Dr Steffes)***

If you do not receive approval, or are no longer pursuing this path, you must notify our office at least 45 days befor the course was to begin and submit CRN's for an alternate rotation. Please follow the process below for Schedule Changes.


Add/Drop Policy for Independent Electives/Research

To drop an Independent Elective and replace it with a Standard Course Offering, complete the Schedule Change Request, as usual. You will follow this procedure for dropping Independent Electives you have been officially enrolled in, as well.


Schedule Change Requests

All Schedule Change Requests must adhere to the 45 day add/drop policy for all locations. 

Go to to browse the list of available courses for the appropriate Term and provide us with the corresponding CRN for the Course, using the Schedule Change Request (Add/Drop Form) at MD4 Medical School Schedule Change Request for the Class of 2025- Student - Wayne State University.  

Please ONLY provide us with CRN's/sections that have not yet reached capacity, and make note of electives that require Departmental Approval.

If you have any other questions or concerns regarding this process, please do not hesitate to contact us or send us an email at .