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School of Medicine

Elective Program


Due to COVID-19, for the academic year AY 20-21 (July 2020 to June 2021), students are not permitted to participate in away rotations. Electives based at Baylor remain available.


The electives listing gives students the opportunity to supplement required learning experiences, allowing students to gain exposure to and deepen their understanding of medical specialties reflecting their career interests and to pursue their individual academic interests. To provide the student with wide latitude in pursuing their elective interests, the School of Medicine offers approximately 300 elective courses.

The elective credit requirements for graduation are outlined in the Student Handbook under Academic Standards and Requirements in the lists of graduation requirements for each graduating class.

Students receive advice regarding the scheduling of electives during the Student Affairs dean’s meetings related to rotation scheduling and residency planning held in the second and third years respectively. Students also obtain guidance from their faculty advisors during their bi-annual meetings about elective selection and from specialty advisor(s) as needed. Specific information about electives including prerequisites can be reviewed in the elective catalog.

A student may not take pathway elective courses concurrently with a clinical core rotation unless written permission is obtained from the clerkship director of the Clinical Core Rotation. The pathway elective cannot interfere with clinical course requirements including adherence to the duty hours policy.

If a student enrolls in a pathway concurrent with enrollment in a full-time clinical elective, the student must have the approval of the supervisor of the elective in order to take the seminar. The pathway elective cannot interfere with clinical course requirements including adherence to the duty hours policy.

Medical students in the first 18 months of curriculum cannot enroll in any elective which is scheduled to meet at the same time as a another required foundational sciences course for which the student is enrolled.

All outstanding grades in electives must be cleared by the end of each academic year. Students who have not completed requirements or withdrawn from the elective at that time will automatically be given a grade of "fail."

IMPORTANT: All electives performed away from Baylor College of Medicine must be certified by the Office of the Registrar prior to departure for the away elective. Without such prearrangements the student will not be functioning in the capacity as a Baylor student, will not be covered by Baylor malpractice insurance, and will not receive elective credit towards graduation requirements. These assurances, for malpractice and credit, are part of the AAMC Clinical Uniform Training Agreement. Failure to follow this procedure may result in the adverse action of academic probation against the student for unprofessional behavior. More information can be found on the Enrollment Procedures page.

We strongly advise students who want information regarding elective programs appropriate to eventual specialization to discuss career goals with their faculty advisors and/or a dean in the Office of Student Affairs.


Crediting of Electives


For foundational sciences electives, credit is awarded on the basis of 16 hours of in class instruction in a 19-25 week semester which represents one semester credit hour.

For clinical sciences electives and research activity, students earn one semester credit hour for each 40 contact hours of clinical service/research activity.

View the elective credit requirements for graduation in the Student Handbook under Academic Standards and Requirements.

View Credit Hour Policy (Baylor login required)


State Authorization – Away Rotations


Students should be mindful of the state authorization requirement for rotations outside the state of Texas. The state authorization requirement is constantly changing. The Office of the Registrar will email updates as changes occur. At this time, students are permitted to attend away rotations in all states.


Away Electives Evaluations


The Away Electives Site Evaluation Report (Baylor login required) provides Baylor medical students the opportunity to review other medical students' evaluations of completed away electives.




See a listing of pathways designed to help students explore their interests and customize their education to match their career goals.


Visiting Medical Students


Baylor College of Medicine is a Host School under the AAMC Visiting Student Learning Opportunities program for U.S. medical students and is partnered with GHLO for international applicants.

View Information for Visiting Medical Students

Distance Education


Visit the distance education webpage for information.