The UC Davis School of Medicine is pleased to host visiting students! These opportunities (shadowing, volunteering, research, and clinical electives) have strict requirements and are available based on student level (high school, undergraduate, and medical student). If you are not sure which opportunity you are eligible for, please see the table below.

Shadowing opportunities are coordinated through individual departments. Please contact the department course coordinator for additional information.

Please note this is not a class, therefore course credit or grades are not offered.

For department use only: please view the UC Davis Health Observers policy (Kerberos login required).

Please visit UC Davis Health Volunteer Services for volunteer opportunities.

Please visit the Student-Run Clinics homepage to learn about the clinics.

UC Davis undergraduates are required to enroll in the Student-Run Clinic course through the Office of the University Registrar and then participate in the interview process. As a first step, all UC Davis undergraduates should visit the Internship and Career Center.

In an effort to engage with undergraduates at UC Davis to catalyze interest by undergraduates in biomedical research and the health professions, the process for volunteering in research buildings has been streamlined. Volunteers who have assignments exclusively in Sacramento research facilities (including Research 1, 2, 3, Oak Park Research Building, and Institute for Regenerative Cures, and the MIND Institute Biosciences Lab) will have expedited clearances.

Volunteers who have assignments in both clinical care and research and/or are working in mixed use buildings (e.g., MIND or Cancer Center) must continue to utilize the full clearance process. This is required given these buildings are public-facing and/or provide patient care.

Expedited clearance includes all necessary training (to be provided by Principal Investigator) and verification of volunteer's current enrollment and status of good standing. To request approval for a UC Davis undergraduate research lab volunteer, download and complete the Individual Placement Form and return to Volunteer Services at

2022 - 2023 VSLO Catalog Year

On what date can applicants begin browsing your elective opportunities?

April 15, 2022

On what date can applicants begin submitting elective requests?

May 1, 2022

On what date will applicants begin to be notified of decisions?

May 1, 2022

UC Davis School of Medicine welcomes eligible fourth year visiting medical students' participation in our fourth-year electives as space permits.


  • We do not accept visiting students for any required/core clerkships or required courses in the medical school curriculum.
  • We do not accept international students for clinical experiences
  • All visiting clinical elective experiences must be coordinated through the Visiting Medical Student Program. Please do not contact faculty or administrative staff directly to attempt to arrange clinical experiences.
  • Admission into the Visiting Student Program does not constitute admission or matriculation into the UC Davis School of Medicine.
  • Visiting medical students applying for fourth year clinical electives must have completed courses comparable to the UC Davis School of Medicine third year curriculum.
  • Any expenses required for disability accommodation of a visiting student must be borne by the student's home institution. Please refer to technical standards (PDF).

Application Process and Fees

Each department determines whether they will be able to accommodate visiting students and what criteria will be used to accept students into an externship. You may be asked to provide additional information such as: transcripts, United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 Score, a current Curriculum vitae (CV), etc. Visiting students may take up to 8 weeks of electives at UC Davis School of Medicine. 

UC Davis School of Medicine basic requirements for visiting students include: Good academic standing. Valid Advanced Cardiac Life support (ACLS) or Basic Life Support (BLS) training, malpractice ($1 million per occurrence/ $3 million aggregate), personal health insurance, all required immunization/vaccination records (note: some of these requirements have to be fulfilled within 90 days of the elective start date), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) training and passing of the USMLE Step 1 or Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX).

Application Process
Students should visit the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC's)  Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS), and complete an application as their first step. Students will be contacted by the Department they have applied to should more information be needed. (Transcripts, USMLE Step 1 scores, CV, etc.)

Processing Fees:  Visiting medical students pay $300 per elective. All applicants accepting an offer at UC Davis School of Medicine must go online and submit their elective processing fee within 48 hours of accepting the offer. Since a visiting student accepting an offer will keep the position from other interested candidates, UC Davis School of Medicine does not refund the fees. The fees are only refunded if a department has to cancel the elective.  For more information, please visit Sitepay.

The Office of Student and Resident Diversity offers financial assistance to qualified individuals. 


UC Davis Medical Student Non-UC Davis (visiting) Medical Students UC Davis Undergraduates Non-UC Davis Undergraduates High School Students
Shadowing X X X X
UC Davis Health Volunteers X X X X X
Student-Run Clinic Volunteers X X
Research Volunteers X X X X
Clinical Electives