COVID-19 Update

As of April 21, 2021, HMS has joined the AAMC’s VSLO/VSAS program for processing applications and will welcome back US medical students for clinical elective opportunities beginning August 2021.

Opportunities for international medical students are suspended at this time. Updates will be posted here.

The Office of the Registrar is currently working remotely. To contact our office, please email us at

Applying to the HMS Exchange Clerkship Program

Applicants are advised to read all the information provided about the program before applying to the HMS Exchange Clerkship Program. Incomplete applications will not be processed.  Failure to comply with application instructions may result in not being scheduled.

It is important to note that students remain registered at their home school while participating in visiting clerkships at HMS. Visiting students are not officially enrolled as students at Harvard University.

Due to the variable nature of clerkship offerings, HMS reserves the right to change clerkship assignments as necessary at any time. Information and eligibility criteria for the HMS Exchange Program are subject to change. All materials submitted become the property of the HMS Office of the Registrar.

The HMS Exchange Clerkship Program processes applications through the AAMC’s Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO) program aka VSAS. To ensure fairness to all eligible applicants, applications are reviewed only after the submission deadline. Online applications and supporting documentation cannot be submitted any earlier than six months prior to the start of the clerkship. Complete the application and submit all required documentation on VSLO.

Application Deadlines

Deadlines to apply for each clerkship month are listed on the calendar. Scheduling is assigned randomly based upon the demand and availability of clerkships. Applications are not processed based on date of submission so there is no advantage to early submission.

Selecting Clerkship(s)

Applicants can select from clerkships listed in the VSLO Elective Catalog. HMS students have priority for all advanced electives. Please read the course descriptions for detailed information - some electives are not offered year-round and some have restricted enrollment.

All eligible applicants can apply for a maximum of three months of clinical elective clerkships.

Application Process

Apply through the VSLO Application Services (aka VSAS) which includes the following:

  1. Transcripts – Must be uploaded by home institution in VSLO/VSAS.
  2. USMLE Scores – Step 1 (if applicable).
  3. AAMC Standardized Immunization Form – Download and have your health care provider complete the immunization form to submit with your application. 
  4. Personal Health Coverage – Proof of insurance coverage is required. You may provide this documentation once you are placed in a clerkship.
  5. Professional Liability and Malpractice Coverage  – Proof of professional liability and malpractice coverage is required for all students. If professional liability and malpractice coverage is not provided by your school, you will be required to purchase a policy on your own. HMS requires a policy with a minimum coverage of $1 million per incident and $3 million aggregate.  You may provide this documentation once you are placed in a clerkship.
  6. CORI Request Form – Massachusetts law requires a CORI check for anyone in a health care facility who has contact with patients or access to confidential patient records. Please complete and sign the form and HMS will submit for background check. A copy of your government issue ID must be submitted along with the CORI form.
  7. Application Fee – The application fee is a non-refundable processing fee of $115.00 USD for each experience selected and paid through the Harvard Marketplace Exclerk Application Fee link.   The application fee is based on the total number of separate clerkship experiences specified in the application. If you are applying for one clerkship experience at Harvard Medical School, the application fee is $115.00. If you are applying for two separate clerkship experiences, the application fee is $230.00.

     For example:

  • If you want to participate in only one clerkship, and could participate in either August, September, or October, the application fee is $115.00.
  • If you want to participate in only one clerkship, and would like to request multiple offerings to increase the probability of placement (ex., Clinical Cardiology, GI, and Infectious Disease), the application fee is $115.00.
  • If you want to participate in two separate clerkships for a total of 2 months, the application fee is $230.00.

Note: HMS does not require recommendation letters or CV's. Neither recommendation letter(s) or a CV will increase your chances of being scheduled.

Clerkship Rotation Dates, Application Deadlines & Tuition Fees

Harvard Medical School

Clinical Rotation Dates & Application Deadlines

AUGUST 2021 August 2 - August 29 May 15th
SEPTEMBER 2021 August 30 - September 26 June 1st
OCTOBER 2021 September 27 - October 24 June 29th
NOVEMBER 2021 October 25 - November 21 July 27th
DECEMBER 2021 November 22 - December 19 August 24th
RECESS December 20- January 2, 2022  
JANUARY 2022 January 3 - January 30 October 5th
FEBRUARY 2022  January 31 - February 27 November 2nd
MARCH 2022  February 28 - March 27 November 30th
RECESS March 28 - April 3  
APRIL 2022 April 4 - May 1 January 4th
MAY 2022 May 2 - May 29 February 1st
JUNE 2022 May 31 - June 26 March 2nd
RECESS June 27 - July 4  
July 2022 July 5 - July 31 April 6th
August 2022 August 1 - August 28 May 3rd

IMPORTANT NOTES:                
Tuition for the clerkship program is subject to change annually.  Students at US/Canadian medical schools pay tuition at your own institution.     

Participating in rotations during a RECESS break is not possible.  Harvard Medical School cannot certify any work completed over a recess break.                

Please note that the HMS Visiting Student Program is undergoing continuous review and improvement and is subject to change at any time.