Elective experiences are a critical part of medical student personal and professional development. The ULSOM curriculum increases the availability of elective time and offerings as students advance in training to support their career development and specialty interest. Links to information sheets about electives available to students for each phase of training are found below.

Currently, there are no required electives for first- and second-year students. If electives are offered such as student-run clinics, global health electives, mindfulness and mind-body medicine courses, and/or career exploration experiences, students can participate and receive elective credit and it will be noted on their transcript. Elective credit earned in the first and/or second year of medical school will not count towards third- or fourth-year elective requirements. The school encourages students to participate in community and service-learning opportunities.

In the third year of the program, there are no required electives; however, students may choose to complete up to six weeks of elective time. Student choices in this phase include clinical and non-clinical electives, research electives, and career exploration electives that focus on meeting the student’s interest in areas of medicine outside of those encountered in the core clerkships. Up to four of the six weeks can be used for career exploration electives; other types of electives can be taken during the remaining two weeks. Up to six elective credit hours taken during third year can apply toward the fourth-year elective requirement.

In preparation for the 26-28 weeks (if none taken during third year) of elective time needed in the fourth year, students are required to meet with a career advisor or senior faculty member and create a fourth-year schedule that balances completing electives in their area of residency interest vs. electives that broaden their experience prior to residency. Students are encouraged to spend approximately 12 weeks in their specialty area and approximately 12 weeks in electives outside of that specialty area. The information sheet below outlines electives that are recommended by program directors in each specialty to assist students in picking helpful electives related to their area of interest. Students wishing to participate in the Visiting Student Learning Opportunities program (VSLO) can spend up to 16 weeks of elective time at participating institutions outside UofL. Students will also meet one-on-one with the Registrar prior to approval of their fourth-year schedule to ensure requirements are being met.

o   Third Year Elective Information Sheet

o   Recommended Fourth Year rotations by Residency Choice

o   M3-4 Curriculum and Elective Policy

o   Clinical Course Elective Catalog (go to MD Courses A-Z and select category of interest)