Thomas Jefferson University

Frequently Asked Questions

NOTICE: As of February 1, 2021 International Visiting Students are limited by the current travel policies of the State of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia, as well as from countries listed as a CDC Level 3 COVID-19 threat risk (or higher). All other policies regarding International Visiting Students are still in effect.

Domestic Visiting Medical students: SKMC has adopted the recommendations from the Coalition for Physician Accountability for the 2021-2022 Clinical  Year. 

  • We will not accept Visiting Students for rotations prior to an August 1st start. We may adjust the date based on conditions at the time.
  • Our application will open on April 15 in VSAS, learners may begin applying for and scheduling in-person away rotations with a start date of August 1, 2021, or later.
  • We will not send acceptances prior to May 1.
  • Visiting Students will be limited to 1 rotation away rotations in any specialty. Home institutions should verify learners have not completed or been accepted to other away rotations opportunities.
  • Some departments may offer Virtual electives. These are for credit and are full online courses. Those courses will be available for application through VSAS.
  • All Visiting Students must be fully vaccinated at least 2 weeks prior to starting their rotation at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

For the most recent CDC COVID-19 information, please visit the
CDC's Coronavirus website.

Rotations begin at the end April.  Please see the Visiting Student Clinical Rotation guide for exact dates.  The duration of an elective at Sidney Kimmel Medical College is four weeks, we do not offer two-week rotations.  Students must adhere to the dates of the academic calendar.

The earliest that a student may apply is early February, when the application becomes available.  Please note that decisions will not be made until late Feburary, after the clinical scheduling of currently enrolled students takes place. 

Starting in 2020, SKMC will be using VSAS for all domestic medical student applications.  The application will open in early February for rotation starting April of that academic year.

You are eligible to apply for more than one rotation, however, students will only receive 1 4-week rotation.

The current passing score of the Step 1 Exam is 194.  The USMLE site has information about passing scores for their exams. 

We do not offer a waiver in place of the USMLE Step 1 Exam.  Students must have a passing score prior to applying for a rotation.

Other exams from other countries are not accepted in its place. 

The number of students that apply varies from year to year.  The number of students accepted is based on availability. 

Yes; however, electives are based on availability and we cannot guarantee that certain dates/specialties will be available. 

For domestic students, students should cancel an elective in VSAS. You may also send an email to to cancel the elective. Please be sure to include the department, course, and elective dates. 

International Students should contact to cancel the elective

No, we do not offer deferments.

Domestic Students— Students apply through VSAS, therefore the VSAS fee applies, but no other fees are collected.

International Students— Course fees are waived for students in approved programs. Fees are subject to change.

Please review the requirements as indicated within your elective application and contact your insurance provider within your designated country.  Please note that the insurance purchased must correspond with the dates on the elective application if accepted.

Students must send in a completed application at least six weeks prior to the start of the block. Only completed applications reviewed by the department.

Once students receive an offer of acceptance for a visiting student rotation, students must accept their offer within 14 days before the offer is recinded.

Having had communication with a faculty member does not guarantee acceptance for an elective. All application processing initiates with the Visiting Student Coordinator in the Office of the Registrar and offers of acceptance can only be extended by the Office of the Registrar in conjunction with the course director after a completed application is received.

Students should be able to view their application status in VSAS.

Specific details regarding when a decision will be reached on your application is not available. Typically, decisions are given for rotations beginning in April by late February, and within 2-3 weeks of an application's submission thereafter.  When the application opens, there are a large number to process and responses may not be received for 4-6 weeks.

The clinical department, not the Registrar's Office determines availability for clinical rotations. Availability changes daily as both our students and Visiting Students register for rotations. Space availability will be determined by the department upon reviewing your completed application through VSAS.