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Available to M.D. students in their senior year of medical school, away rotations are generally elective activities that take place away from the student’s academic “home” institution and can be within or outside of the United States. The following information is provided to help guide you through the different application processes.

How can I apply for an away rotation?

A. Visiting Student Application Services (VSAS)

Many away rotations use the AAMC Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS), which makes it easier for medical students to apply to senior away electives. To read more about the service and application process, and to see a list of participating VSAS host institutions, please visit the VSAS website.

To access VSAS, the SOM Registrar’s Office will need to issue you VSAS authorizations (1 authorization = 1 application). To request authorizations, please submit the VSLO Invitation Form. The SOM Registrar will grant 20 authorizations initially. You will receive a “VSAS: New User Instructions” email once the authorizations have been issued.

Application requirements vary for each program, but in general, VSAS requires the following four standard documents to be uploaded to your application.

  1. Photograph (uploaded by applicant)
  2. CV (uploaded by applicant)
  3. Immunization records (uploaded by applicant)
  4. Transcript (must be uploaded by medical school - please submit a separate Transcript & MSPE Request Form)

It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of any additional supplemental documents that may be required by a program. Please review host institution’s individual program requirements, fee information, and application dates and deadlines through your VSAS Institutions page. In general, students should start researching program requirements and application deadlines at least 4-5 months in advance.

As a final step in applying for electives in VSAS, you will need to complete and submit to the SOM Registrar’s Office, the VSAS Student Verification Form. It is helpful to review the verification form in advance so you are aware of the information being requested. Our office will not be able to verify you in VSAS, or release your applications to programs, until it has been received.

B. Outside of VSAS

Students can also apply for eletives at institutions that do not participate in VSAS. They can use the Extramural Electives Compendium (EEC) for visiting student application information.

We recommend also visiting these institution’s websites for application instructions and forms. Please review their program and application requirements and deadlines carefully.

C. International Electives

International electives are elective activities that take place outside of the United States. All CWRU medical students are required to submit international rotations to the CWRU Office of Education Abroad using their electronic application. For more information about the application process, please review the information available on our website under Scheduling for International Electives.

What do I need to know about program requirements that vary between programs, institutions and state, if applicable?

The most common requirements and supplemental documentation are listed and described below. These requirements can pertain to any away rotation, and students are responsible for reviewing specific program requirements at other institutions. (Show/Hide Details)

Does my away rotation require State Authorization?

Effective September 16, 2015, CWRU was approved by the Ohio Department of Higher Education to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. It is intended to make it easier for students to take courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state.

If rotating out of Ohio, it is extremely important for students to submit the Unlisted Elective Form at least 45-30 days prior to the proposed start date. The SOM Office of the Registrar will review all Unlisted Elective requests to ensure that the institution meets state authorization requirements. Students will be contacted immediately if there are any questions or concerns.

CWRU currently is NOT AUTHORIZED but is pursuing authorization in Puerto Rico.

To review the list of states/territories in which CWRU is authorized, exempt, or permitted to operate under the terms of SARA, please visit the CWRU Authorization and Accreditation website and select the State Authorization pull-down.

Please also visit the Frequently Asked Questions page at

Ms. Yolanda Cunningham is Coordinator of State Authorization and Compliance at Case Western Reserve University. Please feel free to contact her at for additional information.

How will an away rotation be added to my transcript?

The SOM Registrar's Office has prepared detailed information about how to add an away rotation to your transcript on our website. Please review information under Scheduling for Unlisted Electives and International Electives.


1st & 2nd Year Electives

Unlisted Electives

International Electives (Processed through Education Abroad Portal)

<<Back to Scheduling