Student Eligibility and Policies

NoteDo 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, prior to applying, please contact us via email at 
  • U.S. ciizens must contact us via email at prior to applying.
    • US citizens who hold a US Bachelors are typically not eligible to apply.  If there are questions about eligibility, please email us at BEFORE paying the non-refundable application fee or sending an application.  
    • If a completed application is deemed ineligible based on a failure to adhere to these criteria, the application processing fee will not be refunded.
  • Students must complete 6-8 weeks of clerkship in the area of interest.  MEDC clerkship is required for all electives. 
  • Students must be fluent in English to participate in electives. TOEFL score of at least 100 is required from applicant who are from medical schools where English is not the language of instruction. Proof of exam/result must be submitted.   
  • Students must submit applications six months prior to their earliest elective date requested. For example, if you wish to apply for electives in the months of January, February and March, you should submit your complete application in July.  There are no placements in June, July and August.  Refer to chart below.

When Should I apply

  • Electives are either two or four weeks long as indicated in the course catalog. There is a minimum participation requirement of 4 weeks and there is a maximum of 8 weeks participation limit. 
  • Students must be able to attend the full length of the elective if they are placed. Dates listed in the course catalog are not adjustable. 
  • 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 the start of elective date placement. PLEASE 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 advance of the scheduled elective month.  Contact Dianne Young at for more details. 
  • There is a $300 non-refundable application processing fee that must be paid at the time of application.  This fee does not guarantee placement in an elective and cannot be refunded if the student does not get placed.  

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