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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 Learning Opportunities (VSLO), formerly VSAS

Many away rotations use the AAMC Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO), which makes it easier for medical students to apply to senior away electives.  CWRU currently only participates in VSLO as a home institution within the U.S. network.  To read more about the service and application process, and to see a list of participating VSLO host institutions, please visit the VSLO website.

To access VSLO, the SOM Registrar’s Office will need to issue you a VSLO invitation. To request an invitation, please submit the VSLO Invitation Form. Once the invitation has been issued, students will receive an email from VSLO with an access code link.  Instructions for how to use VSLO can be found on the AAMC website here.

Application requirements vary between host institutions and the electives for which you are applying. but in general, VSLO 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 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 VSLO 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 VSLO, you will need to complete and submit to the SOM Registrar’s Office, the VSLO 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 VSLO, or release your applications to programs, until it has been received.

B. Outside of VSLO

Students can also apply for eletives at institutions that do not participate in VSLO. 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)

OSHA, HIPAA, TB Testing Students are expected to annually renew training in these areas and keep track of expiration dates.

For more information, see "OSHA, HIPAA, TB Testing Policies." To check OSHA training expiration dates, University students can contact the Environmental Health & Safety Office (EHS) at (216) 368-2907. CCLCM students should check COMET.
Immunizations and Flu Shots Students can print out a copy of their immunization records by going to:

For more details about immunizations, see "Immunization Records" in the Student Handbook.
Respiratory Mask Fit Testing (Any type is fine - in general we use 3M N95) Mask fit testing is not mandatory unless required for a specific rotation. For students who need respiratory training, review “Respiratory Training” on the Training webpage ( for Environmental Health and Safety or call EHS at (216) 368-2907.
USMLE Step 1 Pass Some programs require an official score. See "Requesting a Trancript of USMLE Scores". Also, see "Scoring and Score Reporting" in the USMLE Bulletin for more information.
Personal Health Insurance All enrolled students have proof of personal health insurance.
BLS (Basic Life Support)


ACLS (Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support) Certification
BLS and ACLS may be required for a specific rotation. Year 2 students will receive BLS training through the SIM Center prior to starting Core Clerkships. Please call 216.368.0064 or Email for details. It is the responsibility of the student to check program requirements and provide verification of certification if needed.

Third and fourth year students may also contact the SIM Center or the following organizations to check availability and costs for BLS, ACLS, or PALS training and certification. Advanced registration is required:

1) Cleveland Clinic Training Center at 216.636.2900,
2) University Hospitals EMS Institute at 440.735.3513,
3) American Heart Association at 1.888.97-ENJOY, or
4) American Red Cross at 1.800.REDCROSS.

Criminal Background Report

Drug Screen
Students are responsible for providing their own background check or drug screen. Specific requirements for the drug screen and for the level and type of background check can vary for each program.

Background checks are initially completed by the med school upon matriculation and are valid for five years only. Some students may complete a more recent background check, e.g., as part of their research credentialing. Anyone with a background check older than five years is responsible for obtaining an updated one and paying any necessary fees. It is highly recommended that students complete a background check within one year of the expected start date of the away rotation. For a Criminal Background Check, students can review Ordering Procedures. The CWRU Police provides electronic fingerprinting (BCI/FBI) for in-state licensure along with ink rolled FBI cards for out-of-state licensure or in-state agencies that require a fingerprint card submission. Call Sargeant Daniel Schemmel at 216.368-5993 or Email to make an appointment or ask questions.

Drug Screens: Students can obtain drug panel testing at University Health Service (UHS), if required. The fee is $88.00 and it is the responsibility of the student to pay UHS at the time of service.

Official verification: If official verification of a successful background check or drug screen is required, students are responsible for providing a copy of the results with a written request for verification (include the insitution name, address, and pick-up/delivery instructions) to the SOM Registrar.

Requests can be emailed to or complete a Student Request Form in person.
Malpractice Insurance All CWRU enrolled medical students are covered for $1,000,000 per instance / $3,000,000 aggregate.

Proof of malpractice insurance can be provided upon request (include the name, address, and pick-up/delivery instructions) by submitting the Student Letter Request Form (CWRU login required). The Form is availble online and at the SOM Registrar's Office in Room T408.
In Good academic standing;

In final year of study;

Completion of core course work
Specific letters can be provided upon request (include the name, address, and pick-up/delivery instructions) by submitting the Student Letter Request Form (CWRU login required). The Form is availble online and at the SOM Registrar's Office in Room T408.

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