Class of 2015

Policies and Graduation Requirements

The Class of 2015 is required to complete a total of eight (8) elective rotations in order to graduate from the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Of the eight total electives,

          5 must be considered “clinical” (See P&S Electives Catalog for reference.)

          5 must be at P&S or its affiliates

          4 must be dedicated to a Scholarly Project

          1 must be a Subinternship

1 must be Back to the Classroom (Offered September, February, and March only.)

1 must be an Interview/Vacation Month (A maximum of 2 months can be taken.)


To illustrate how this works in the D&I phase, students can follow this equation:

1 Back to the Classroom month (1/14) +

1 Subinternship (1/14) +

4 months of Scholarly Project (4/14) +

2 max Interview/Vacation months (2/14) +

6 remaining months of electives (6/14) =

14 total months of D&I*


Specialty Restrictions
  • Except for medicine and pediatrics (which are unlimited), no more than two (2) electives can be taken in the same specialty. A total of three (3) electives are allowed if a subinternship in Medicine, SICU, or NeuroICU is also completed. This policy includes all electives at P&S and at away sites,
  • Only one (1) month can be taken in a Medicine or Pediatrics subspecialty.
  • All surgical subspecialties count together as Surgery.
  • All Emergency Medicine (including pediatric) count as Emergency Medicine.
  • All ICUs except pediatric count as Medicine (SICU and NeuroICU). NeuroICU will not count towards your total Neurology/Neurosurgery.
  • Neuro subspecialties (Neuroradiology, Neuroophthalmology, Neuropathology, Neurosurgery) count as Neurology AND the second specialty.


4 Week Policy

All schedule changes requested within 4 weeks of the elective start date will be considered an academic emergency, and will require approval from the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs. The accepted criteria for requests within 4 weeks are: personal emergency of the student; faculty not available to provide the course as described; urgent academic issue; or a change in career plans. Four weeks prior to a rotation, course directors and coordinators start to assemble their rosters for the next month. As a courtesy to faculty, staff, and other students, P&S students must contact the Office of Medical Education to request any emergency schedule changes. Email or call 212-305-1642.

To drop or add a course within 4 weeks,

1. Contact the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs to obtain approval to make the schedule change.

2. If approved, contact the course director to request permission to add or drop the course.

3. If approved, submit the Petition to Add form or the Petition to Drop form (whichever applicable) to or drop off in Room 3-401 in the P&S building.


Away Electives and VSAS

Adding Away Electives

P&S students are required to submit the Petition to Add form for all away sites, as well as the confirmation from the away site that includes the dates or month of the rotation. A maximum of three (3) electives may be taken at an away site.

P&S students are not allowed to drop a Columbia elective for an away site if it is within 4 weeks of the rotation. This does not meet the criteria for dropping a course, and P&S students are advised to not add a Columbia elective if planning to go away. If the away site falls through, it is much more convenient to add a Columbia elective after the fact, and the Office of Medical Education is happy to help those students in need of electives.

Visiting Student Application System (VSAS)

P&S students are responsible for knowing what materials are needed for their away site applications, and are expected to coordinate these applications in advance so as to avoid last-minute requests. Due to the volume of P&S students using VSAS, please note the following estimates for processing VSAS requests.

  • Transcripts: One week to upload. Only official copies from the CUMC Registrar will be uploaded.
  • Letters of Recommendation: One week to upload. Letter writers can email attaching your formatted letter, or you may submit a hard copy to the front desk in Room 3-401.
  • Verification and Releasing Applications: Every week day at 9:00am. For emergency requests, please contact P&S Electives at 212-305-1642.


Medicine Subinternships: March through September

Due to high volume of need for subinternships prior to residency applications (March through September), P&S students are permitted one (1) MEDICINE Subinternship from March through September. This policy does not apply to subinternships in other specialties.

Additionally, if you have completed or are registered for ANY subinternships between March and September, you will not be permitted to register for a second subinternship in MEDICINE specifically.

MEDICINE Subinternships Include:

  • MD09P **Aids Subinternship (NYP)
  • MD10P **Oncology Subinternship (NYP)
  • MD13P **Medicine: Hospitalist Subinternship @ Allen (NYP)
  • MD14P **ICU Subinternship @ Allen (NYP)
  • MD16P **Cardiac ICU @ Millstein (NYP)
  • MD17P **Medicine: Hospital Subinternship (NYP)
  • MD20C **Medicine Subinternship (Bassett)
  • MD20P **Heart Hostpial CCU (NYP)
  • MD23C **Intensive Care Subinternship (Bassett)
  • MD30S **Medicine Subinternship (Stamford)
  • MD31S **Critical Care Subinternship (Stamford)
  • MD44H **Critical Care Subinternship (Harlem)
  • PU02P **Critical Care Subinternship (NYP)


Self-Arranged Electives


Due to the volume of requests for self-arranged electives, all proposals and add forms must adhere to the 4 Week Policy. To add a self-arranged elective, please review the Petition to Add form and contact

Research Summaries

For self-arranged research electives, a two-page summary of the month’s activities and results will be required to receive a grade. Results of the research do not have to be shared if being published. The Office of Medical Education guarantees privacy of all research projects.