Fourth Year Electives


Course Master(s)
Michael Awad, M.D., Ph.D.

Course Description



Elective (Fourth) Year is a 44-week academic year.

To qualify for the Doctor of Medicine degree at Washington University School of Medicine, fourth-year students are required to participate in a minimum of 36 weeks of electives (full-time clinical or research courses). Two-thirds of the minimum required time for the elective year must be taken exclusively in residence in the Washington University School of Medicine elective course program. A complete listing of fourth-year elective offerings at Washington University School of Medicine is available through the Office of the Associate Dean for Medical Student Education. Students may participate in clinical electives of four weeks duration. If a student takes a research elective, that elective must be of at least six weeks duration.

A maximum of 12 weeks of credit is allowed for full-time elective coursework taken at other academic institutions. These may be clinical or research electives. Students desiring credit for work to be done at other institutions must petition the Associate Dean for Medical Student Education. Absolutely no credit will be granted for electives undertaken prior to approval from the appropriate administrative committees.

Credit may be given for elective work done at any point in the standard four-year Doctor of Medicine degree program as long as participation conforms to current elective guidelines, and a) the student is a duly registered, full-time student for a minimum of three years and nine months, including scheduled vacation time, and tuition is paid for four complete academic years; or b) if transferring into the third-year class, the student is a duly registered, full-time student for a minimum of 22 months and tuition is paid for two complete academic years.

Students are encouraged to take lecture-seminar elective courses, but such offerings are optional. Clock hours for the year total 1,386 (36 weeks).  Remuneration for work done while participating in electives for credit is prohibited.