Student Eligibility and Policies

Note: Do not contact individual clinical sponsors for information on vacancies, elective availability, placement etc. All requests regarding the program should be coordinated with the Office of International Medical Student Education. Applicants who contact clinical departments directly will be disqualified from participating in the program.

Guidelines for Eligibility:

  • Electives are available to full-time, FINAL year international students in good standing at approved medical schools. Our program defines the final year as the year preceding your graduation date. Requested elective dates must fall within the year preceding your graduation date. If you are not sure you are considered an international student (i.e. US citizenship), please contact us via email at prior to applying.
  • Students must be fluent in English in order to participate in electives. We ask that applicants from medical schools where English is not the language of instruction contact us via email at prior to applying.
  • Students must submit applications at six months prior to their earliest elective date requested. For example, if you wish to apply for January, February and March elective dates, you should submit your complete application in July.  There are no placements in June, July and August.  

When Should I apply

  • Electives are either two or four weeks long as indicated in the course catalog. Students are limited to a maximum of eight weeks participation.
  • Students must be able to attend the full length of the elective if they are placed. Dates listed in the course catalog are not able to be adjusted.
  • It takes several months to fully process applications and receive a response from departments. Students typically are notified of a decision 2 months prior to their earliest requested elective date. If you need a response by a specific deadline as dictated by your university, you should email us to confirm this is possible prior to applyingPLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION MORE THAN SIX MONTHS PRIOR TO YOUR EARLIEST ELECTIVE DATE.
  • Applications for virtual electives can be submitted 3-4 months in advanced of the scheduled elective month.  Contact Dianne Young at for more details.

Weill Cornell Medicine Policies:

  • Visiting international students are subject to the same rules and regulations that apply to Weill Cornell students. Satisfactory academic performance, English language skills, and professional conduct determines registration and continued participation in electives.
  • Note: If student behavior, performance, or language skills is unsatisfactory, it may lead to administrative withdrawal from the program and the student returned home.

Government Regulations:

  • Accepted students will be required to obtain a visa in order to visit the United States. Students should apply for a visa after receiving the electives approval letter.
  • Note: If accepted to the program, visiting students are not considered degree candidates of Weill Cornell Medicine.
  • Accepted students will be required to submit an application to the New York State Education Department (NYSED), if approved for an elective at Weill Cornell.
  • Visit the Approved Students page if you have been approved for detailed instructions on securing your placement.

Apply to the Visiting International Student Elective Program

Elective Offerings and the Course Catalog

Application Requirements

FAQ for Students Applying

Visiting Student Reflections

Approved Students

Weill Cornell Medicine
Office of International Medical Student Education
1300 York Avenue (C-118) New York, NY 10065 Phone: (646) 962-8058