Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
MD Education

Application Requirements

Visiting student rotations are designed for students who are enrolled in their final year of medical school and have already completed one full year of in-hospital clinical training. Visitors must have previously completed basic clerkships in internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics and surgery. Certain specialty electives may have prerequisites; check each listing in the elective catalog for details.

Because we use the Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS) system for receiving and processing visiting student applications, we can only accept applications from students who attend the following types of institutions:

  • U.S. medical school: any LCME-accredited medical school located in the United States or Puerto Rico
  • Osteopathic medical school: any AOA-accredited Osteopathic medical school
  • Selected students from our Global Partner institutions: a current list of institutions can be found on the Global Partners page and on the Global Partner Application form

Unfortunately, we can no longer accept applicants from schools located outside the contiguous 48 states, Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, with the exception of Global Partner institutions.

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.

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
  • Immunization/Health Form: All applicants must use the Northwestern immunization forms. No other forms will be accepted. Upload the four-page form and supporting labs and documents as a single PDF in the immunization forms section of VSAS.

Supplemental Document Requirements

We require you to upload these documents to the "Supplemental Documents" section of the VSAS application as four or more separate documents. Your application will not be processed if all required documents are not uploaded with the initial application.

  • Letter of recommendation: This letter must be written by a faculty member who has observed you clinically and 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 that have a faculty member's signature and are written on official letterhead will be accepted. Letters should be uploaded by your school official (registrar, clinical coordinator, etc.).
  • USMLE Step 1 score or COMLEX score: Submit a scan your official score report.
  • Health Insurance: Submit a scan of the front and back of your insurance card.

Check the elective descriptions on VSAS carefully. Some departments have specific requirements in addition to those mentioned above. For example, many electives also require a personal statement.

No documentation will be accepted via postal mail, fax, in an email or email attachment. All application documents must be submitted through VSAS only. For more information, please visit the VSAS site or contact VSAS at vsas@aamc.org or 202-478-9878.

Stipend for Students Underrepresented in Medicine

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

More information and eligibility requirements can be found on the stipend application form.

The stipend must be received before you've received notice of a decision on your main application. If you upload the stipend application after initially submitting your VSAS application, you must notify us via email that this has occurred.

Elective Catalog

View the elective catalog.