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Student Initiated Electives

About Student Initiated Electives

In addition to the approved electives described in the OASIS elective Catalog a student may take one or more electives in an activity of his/her own design in a sponsoring department of the College of Medicine or in an institution not affiliated with the College of Medicine. The responsibility for identifying such electives, contacting the proposed sponsor, obtaining tentative agreement for participation, and gaining approval from the College of Medicine for the proposed experience will rest with the student.

Note: Student Initiated Electives will be approved only if they meet the stated criteria - the provision of a unique educational experience, that is not formally offered by our school or another school. All Student Initiated Electives must have written goals and objectives; teaching and learning activities; a stated evaluation system; and an identified elective administrator (faculty) when submitted to the Student Initiated elective administrator in the sponsoring department for their approval. All elective administrators will be asked to provide flexibility by allowing two week electives to be expanded to three weeks, and four week electives to be expanded to five weeks.

*More information about Elective Scheduling

Student Initiated Electives generally will fall into one of the following three categories

On - Campus SIE - 999 Opportunities in any academic department of the College of Medicine that are not defined herein. Experiences may include clinical research, basic science research, library research, other basic science department activities, and other clinical activities in College Station and Temple. Students interested in developing an elective of this type should contact the head of the appropriate department for additional details.
Formally described elective courses at another medical school - 985
Medical schools and their departmental websites often include most or all the information that the Texas A&M College of Medicine requires for approval. However, any information required by the College of Medicine, which is not contained in the prepared description must be obtained by the student before approval can be granted.
Off-campus SIE - 999
Opportunities that are not formally approved electives. Included in this category are individualized experiences at another medical school or opportunities that are not associated with a medical school (a clinical externship on an Indian reservation). In these cases, the student should contact the proposed sponsor, and develop a proposal using the Student Initiated Elective Form. In addition, the curriculum vitae of the proposed sponsor should be included.

The following policy will guide the eligibility for, selection of, and enrollment in Student Initiated Electives

1. To be eligible for an off-campus Student Initiated Elective, the student must be in good academic standing in The Texas A&M College of Medicine. Students on probation may be considered for an off-campus elective with the concurrence of the Student Promotions Committee. No good standing letter can be written, however.
2. All Student Initiated Electives which are done at a location without a medical school affiliation must be approved and sponsored by an academic department of the Texas A&M College of Medicine with signature approval from the Student Initiated Elective administration in that department.
3. It will be the student's responsibility to plan and propose Student Initiated Electives not included herein using the Away Electives link from your waitlisted rotation in OASIS.
4. It is the student's responsibility to submit the appropriately completed Away/SIE applicationin OASIS in accord with the process noted above (No. 3) BEFOREthe elective is initiated. A student who begins any elective without obtaining prior approval and completing the appropriate forms WILL NOT receive academic credit for that elective. Final approval is given by the associate dean for student affairs.
5. The student should include on the Student Initiated Elective Form the name, address and phone number of the elective administrator for any off-campus elective and a phone number and address where the student and also spouse or parent may be contacted so that important information can be conveyed.
6. No one-week Student Initiated Electives will be allowed with the exceptions of Medical Informatics coordinated by Dr. Gail Hannigan; one week of Indigent Health Care; and one week of Medical Missions.

Information to provide for proposed on-campus/off-campus electives

On-campus electives

1) Complete the Student Initiated Elective form; 2) Have the form signed by the student initiated elective administrator in the sponsoring department; 3) Consult their faculty adviser (signature no longer required); 4) Submit the form to the associate dean for student affairs for approval and signature

Off-campus electives

1) Complete the Student Initiated Electives form; 2) Obtain written agreement on the form or in an email from the host institution, program or individual to accept the student, to provide a written narrative student evaluation utilizing the Texas A&M University Health Science Center Clinical Evaluation Form in Blue, to submit a final grade of satisfactory/ unsatisfactory; 3) Have the Student Initiated Elective form signed by the student initiated elective administrator of the department sponsoring the elective. Signature is not required if the elective is offered in a fourth-year curriculum of an LCME accredited medical school; 4) Consult their faculty adviser (signature no longer required); 5) Have the Student Initiated Elective form signed by the elective administrator at the host location (a formal letter may be provided in lieu of a signature on this form); 6) Submit the form to the Office of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs for review, approval and signature.

Elective Scheduling

Students are advised to seek the expertise and guidance of their faculty adviser and other faculty members in preparing their fourth-year curriculum. The student's final plan for a fourth-year curriculum will be submitted by the student, in consultation with the student's faculty adviser, to the student affairs dean for review and final approval. Class meetings are arranged by the Office of Student Affairs to distribute the paperwork and review procedures for scheduling fourth-year curriculum.

Things to remember when scheduling electives:

1. All scheduling requests must be submitted by April

2. All students must follow the required rotations/course curriculum.

3. Students who plan student initiated electives should initiate planning as soon as possible. These requests must be submitted in OASIS in the outlined format and have a  letter of approval by the Student Initiated Elective administrator of the department sponsoring the elective. A signature is not required if the elective is offered in a fourth-year elective curriculum of another LCME accredited medical school. All Student Initiated Electives (which include all off‑campus electives) must be approved by the Office of Student Affairs prior to beginning the elective.
Students who fail to complete all of the following will not receive credit for the elective:

  • Enter the SIE request in OASIS
  • Include an evaluator email and contact info
  • Submit a letter of confirmation of the elective from the host school or institution.

4. Proposed fourth-year schedules must be submitted on forms available from the Office of Student Affairs. Final computer generated schedules will be sent to each student. If a successful match is not obtained by the initial computer scheduling, the student will be asked to meet with the Office of Student Affairs staff to work out a schedule.

5. Perception of an elective's value are not valid reasons for altering schedules. The student is responsible for assuring that any proposed changes are feasible and acceptable to the departments concerned.
No schedule changes will be allowed after Dec. 15 of Year IV.

6. Student performance on all electives will be graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

7. Students will be asked to evaluate each elective through Blue within two weeks of completing the elective.

Completion of an evaluation is necessary to receive academic credit for that elective.

8. No more than 20 weeks may be spent off campus. Schedules at variance with this policy must be approved by the Phase IV Curriculum Subcommittee.
Remember: When taking any elective off campus, the student must notify the student affairs dean of an address and phone number where the student and a spouse or parent may be contacted so that important information can be conveyed.