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Office of the Registrar

Houston, Texas

The Registrar Office provides services for students, faculty, staff and alumni.
Office of the Registrar
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Procedures and Regulations Regarding Enrollment in Elective Courses

Note: All clinical/research electives must be certified (approved BCM elective application required) prior to the beginning of the experience by the Office of the Registrar in order for students to be covered by malpractice insurance and in order for elective credit to apply to graduation requirements. This also applies to electives arranged for through the AAMC VSAS process.

Students will receive advice regarding the scheduling of electives during the Associate Dean’s meetings related to rotation scheduling and residency planning held in the second and third years respectively. Students will also obtain guidance from their faculty mentor during their bi-annual meetings about elective selection. The Associate Dean in the Office of Student Affairs will work in conjunction with the Registrar’s Office, and the student’s faculty mentor to counsel the student regarding his/her scheduling of elective courses. In addition, the student can obtain information from the elective catalog and the supervisor of the elective.

  1. Enrollment in elective courses (clinical clerkships, seminars, research work or pre-clinical courses) must be completed four weeks in advance of each of the four 12-week quarters and for the entirety of each 12-week quarter; or for pre-clinical students, four weeks prior to the next block. Enrollment in electives for a block/quarter is not permitted after the enrollment date except for those students who are unmatched in the enrollment process. Students may receive credit for electives only if the enrollment in the elective is duly processed by the Office of the Registrar before the elective begins.
  2. Of the required 40 credits in electives required for graduation, a minimum of 32 (16 for M.D./Ph.D.) must be in the clinical electives. The definition of a clinical elective is one that has as a prerequisite one of the clinical core rotations. Note: All pathology electives are considered to be clinical.
  3. At least 24 elective credits must be earned on site at Baylor.
  4. Transfer students who have completed two years of pre-clinical courses at another medical college must earn 40 elective credits of which at least 24 must be in residence at Baylor.
  5. Clinical electives are usually constituted as four-week periods or multiples thereof.
  6. A student must have the necessary prerequisites in order to enroll in an elective course. Most clinical electives require the core clerkship in the particular discipline as a prerequisite. If students have doubts about the prerequisites, they should consult the Elective Coordinator in the Office of the Registrar.
  7. The maximum number of elective credits which may be earned during one 12-week quarter is 30, or during one 8-week term, 20. Students on academic warning or academic probation must have signed approval of a dean in the Office of Student Affairs to take any elective.
  8. A maximum of eight elective credits may be taken during the pre-clinical curriculum. The Introductory Preceptorship in Family Practice between Blocks 5 and 6 is not included in this total.
  9. A student may not take elective courses concurrently with a clinical core rotation unless written permission is obtained from the Coordinator of the Clinical Core Rotation.
  10. If a student enrolls in seminar electives 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.
  11. Pre-clinical students cannot enroll in any elective which is scheduled to meet at the same time as a pre-clinical course for which the student is enrolled.
  12. Enrollment in electives away from Baylor requires the signed approval of student's mentor or dean. This signed elective enrollment form must be filed with the Office of the Registrar no later than the enrollment deadline for the particular academic quarter.

    Special electives are courses, not represented in the elective catalog, which can be designed for an individvual student by a faculty member at Baylor College of Medicine. These electives may grant clinical or research credit. Clinical credit will count toward the 40 credit graduation requirement. Research credit will not count toward the graduation requirement but will be counted in the total elective credits achieved.

    Away electives are courses from approved institutions (LCME accredited medical schools in the United States and Canada). For study abroad opportunities, see International Medical Education.

    See the Office of the Registrar for assistance with registration for Special and Away electives (approved BCM elective application required).


    In addition, the student must furnish documentation indicating acceptance by the faculty members or physician at the extramural institution. Most elective applications (VSAS or otherwise) require that the College certify that the student is fully immunized, covered by malpractice and health insurance, HIPPA trained, Blood Borne Pathogen safety trained and is in good standing with the College. Other documentation not listed here may be required. This certification by the Office of the Registrar is not approval to take the elective, only certification of the above items.
  13. Students may not receive credit for graduation for "paid electives" taken in Harris County but may be compensated for expenses incurred in taking electives outside Harris County. Departmental/divisional approval (Coordinator of Electives) is required to take an elective outside Baylor College of Medicine or to take any elective (Special) bearing no assigned elective number.
  14. All "Incomplete" 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 be given automatically a grade of "Fail."

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