Applying to Out of State Electives

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Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VLSO)

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Immunization records, including up-to-date TB documentation, hepatitis, varicella or other health information. Schools may require immunizations and/or titers which the School of Medicine does not require. Research these requirements so your application is not delayed. Use the institutions form in VSAS that is required to verify immunizations. Review the form to be sure you have all the requirements. In some cases, you may need additional vaccinations or titers to meet a school's requirements.


Request these online through UNR. Have transcripts sent directly to Brandi Aiazzi. Non-VSAS schools: have transcripts sent to Reno or Las Vegas based on where you are and who is helping process these applications for you. Specify Med only or dates you attended medical school if UNR was your undergraduate institution. There is a fee for transcripts. Wait to receive an email that Year 3 fall grades are posted before requesting transcripts so your Fall clerkship grades are posted.

Elective Application Timeline and Strategies


  • Use the internet to "shop" for electives, narrow down the institutions/communities where you might want to do an elective.
  • Talk to your advisor about where you should apply for an elective for your specialty.
  • Some students should seriously consider at least one elective at a "big name" school. Letters of recommendation from these well-known institutions may help students increase the number of invitations for residency interviews if you are applying for positions in more competitive specialties. Check with your advisor if this a good strategy for your specialty goals.
  • Check out the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) website. It includes a compendium of electives for all member medical schools.
  • Check out the VSLO online application service. See VSLO handout for more complete information.
  • Attend the Office of Medical Education Planning Your 4th Year workshop held in January.
  • A small number of schools open electives as early as February. Be sure to closely check the elective opening date you are planning to apply to.
  • Electives will open from February through May, and some even into June.


  • Begin to research electives. Every program/school is unique and will require different information - for VSAS and non-VSLO schools.
  • Don't forget to consider non-VSLO electives - although paper applications are so 1990s, some of these have fewer applicants, and will confirm with you sooner than VSLO schools who are sometimes overwhelmed with applicants for electives slots. There are also some very good electives still using this 'old-fashioned' method.
  • Use the school's visiting student webpage to learn specific requirements and how early the school/program accepts applications. VSLO schools will have their own deadlines and they will all be different.
  • Students should contact the Office of Student Affairs, in either Reno or Las Vegas, once you have decided which medical schools to apply to. Please provide the information sheet, either a copy or electronic link, to the summary information about what the school requires. Students should start organizing elective applications long before the deadline for submitting your SOM 4th year electives schedule to the Office of Medical Education.
  • The Office of Admissions and Student Affairs will process and mail your applications.


  • Complete your applications. The Office of Admissions and Student Affairs will process and mail your non-VSLO applications and release your VSLO applications.
  • All application information will be available in both the Reno and Las Vegas offices for review and reference so students can use the most convenient location, regardless of where you'll be based 4th year.
  • A cover letter of recommendation from the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine is included with all non-VSLO applications. Some electives (usually competitive subspecialties) require a letter from a faculty member in the specialty area. You can request these for specific programs as needed.
  • Be flexible. If your first choice clinical elective is not available on the dates you need at your first choice institution, either choose another elective that is related to your specialty or choose another institution that has the dates available that fit your schedule.