Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine


Visiting Student Application Requirements

Basic Eligibility Requirements

Visiting Student rotations are designed specifically for students enrolled in their final year of medical school who have already completed one full year of in-hospital clinical training prior to an anticipated elective at Northwestern University.  It is required that visitors first complete basic clerkships in Internal Medicine, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Pediatrics, and Surgery before participating in any electives. Certain specialty electives may have prerequisites. Please check each individual listing in the elective catalog for details.

Clerkship assignments for visiting students are made after our own students’ schedules have been completed for the upcoming academic year. Northwestern students always have priority on available clerkships. We have begun scheduling applications as of April 11, 2016.

You can find our VSAS institution page on the VSAS website.

**PLEASE DO NOT contact course directors, coordinators or faculty for any reason during the application process. Contacting any of these parties may result in your ineligibility for current and future rotations.**

VSAS Application Requirements

  • Photo
  • CV
  • Complete Transcript
  • Immunizations Form

Additional NUFSM Requirements

  • Letter of Recommendation:
    All students must submit a letter of recommendation from a faculty member who has observed you clinically. The letter must comment on your clinical abilities and performance. Some departments have specific letter of recommendation requirements. Please refer to the elective descriptions on VSAS for details. Only documents with a faculty member's signature AND on official letterhead will be accepted. LOR's should be uploaded by your school official ONLY (Registrar, Clinical Coordinator, etc.).
  • USMLE Step 1 score or COMLEX score:
    Please submit a scan your official score report.
  • Health Insurance:
    Please submit a scan of the front and back of insurance card.
  • Check the elective descriptions on VSAS carefully. Some (but not all) departments have specific requirements in addition to the VSAS requirements and those mentioned above. For example, many electives also require a personal statement. Refer to the FAQ for personal statement information.

All of the above should be uploaded to the "Supplemental Documents" section of the VSAS application as 4 or more separate documents. Your application will not be processed if all required documents are not uploaded with the initial application.

No documentation will be accepted via postal mail, fax, in an email or email attachment. All application documents must be submitted through VSAS only.

Important Information

All applicants are responsible for reviewing the following important information!

All applicants are required to review the Policies and FAQ page regarding application processing and Visiting Student Program policies prior to beginning the application process:

  • Accepted Students:
    In addition to accepting the elective offer on VSAS, a registration fee of $150 per elective is required in order to secure your elective and must be received within 14 days of an offer. The Registration fee is non-refundable.  Failure to submit this fee will result in the withdrawal of the offer. Please use the Acceptance & Registration Payment Form 16-17 to submit this fee and secure your elective.

    If the offer is withdrawn due to lack of response/ payment within the 14 day time frame, you are not allowed to re-apply for the same elective at the same time. You may apply for the same elective during a different time frame or for a different elective; however, if you are again accepted and fail to respond/ submit payment by the deadline, you will no longer be eligible to apply for any electives.
  • Changes in electives:
    Once a student has been scheduled to rotate, no change in elective choice or rotation block will be allowed. This policy cannot be overridden by a department or an attending.
  • Cancellation Policy:
    If you can no longer attend an elective which you have accepted, you must notify the Visiting Student Coordinator via email no later than 4 weeks prior to your start date even if you have dropped the elective on VSAS. The Visiting Student Coordinator will then notify the department that you cannot attend. No re-scheduling of electives is permitted.If you fail to notify the Visiting Student Coordinator at least 4 weeks prior to your start date, Northwestern will drop you from any future scheduled elective and your home school will be notified.

    If you are dropped from any elective due to failure to notify the visiting student of a cancellation within the appropriate time frame, you are no longer eligible to apply for any other elective clerkship at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine.

Stipend for Students Underrepresented in Medicine:

We welcome students from diverse backgrounds to apply for rotations.  We are providing stipends ranging from $500 to $1,500 to qualified students to help defray the cost of an away rotation. 

For more information, eligibility and the supplemental application form:

Fill out the Stipend application form.

**The stipend application must be received PRIOR to receiving notice of a decision on your main application. Stipend applications uploaded to VSAS after you are notified of a decision on your clerkship application will NOT be considered. If you upload the stipend application AFTER initially submitting your VSAS application, you MUST notify us via email that this has occurred.

Immunization Forms

Applicants must use the Northwestern Immunization forms (4 pages). No other forms will be accepted. Upload the 4 page form and supporting labs/documents as one PDF in the Immunization Forms section. The forms can also be found on the “Forms” page of our website.

Other Resources

View the 2016-2017 Elective Catalog