The Clinical Rotation Catalog contains descriptions of all clinical rotations offered at the University of Missouri - Columbia School of Medicine, as well as information concerning enrollment for rotations. Please read these introductory pages carefully so that you will know the procedures for proper clinical rotation enrollment. We encourage you to bookmark this website for reference throughout the academic year.

Visiting students from other institutions, see "Visiting Students".


Third-and Fourth-Year Requirements

The third and fourth years are the clinical phase of your medical education. There are seven core clinical clerkships. Most of these will be completed in the third year. Five of the seven core clinical clerkships are eight weeks in duration; medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, and family and community medicine. Psychiatry is six weeks and neurology is four weeks long. The clerkships are open to University of Missouri students only.

The fourth year consists of one clerkship and 30 weeks of required advanced biomedical sciences (ABS), selectives, and electives:

  1. Eight weeks of advanced selectives in four-week blocks (one surgical, and one medical). Selectives (sub-internships) are four-weeks experiences in which the student has a higher level of responsibility and shared decision-making with the preceptor. The selective is identified by the department as meeting this requirement. See Selectives for a complete listing. There are limits on the number of enrollees. Students must meet the pre-requisites for the selective including completion of the core clerkships and other department specific pre-requisites.
  2. Four weeks of advanced biomedical sciences (ABS). See ABS listing for courses or research options.
  3. Eighteen weeks of general electives; these satisfy categorical requirements. An elective is an optional experience offered by a department, with or without pre-requisites. See listing. Some electives require completion of the third-year clerkships and others do not. Student must have minimum of four four-week electives; and may not substitute two two-week electives for a four-week elective. 

Rural Scholars

Several fourth-year electives are available at rural sites coordinated by MU AHEC and regional AHEC offices. Courses shown as rural electives in this catalog count as on-site courses, even though they are offered in various rural community settings. Contact Whitney LeFevre, MD, Department of Family Medicine, or Allison Fuemmeler, MU AHEC office.

Fourth-Year Rotation Enrollment

All rotations, whether taken for credit or not, must be officially enrolled through the department student coordinator and the Medical Education office (LC 338) four weeks prior to the first day of the block. For the majority of the courses, students will add/drop through the online enrollment/registration system (accessible via the student home page).  For courses not available online, students enroll using add/drop forms and offsite agreement forms (when applicable).  Add/drop forms are available online through the M3-M4 informational page on Canvas and must be approved by the student’s advisor, the student coordinator, and the Medical Education office before enrollment is accepted.

Cancellation of Rotations

Each rotation has a very limited number of positions available in each block. In order to allow other students to sign up for rotations, it is essential that students immediately drop a registered rotation (either for credit or a free block). Failure to do so will deny classmates the opportunity to register for that rotation.

Except under unusual circumstances, a student may not drop any required or elective rotation within a two-week period prior to the first day of the block (or four-week for tutoring and ABS courses).

Throughout the academic year, most students will make many schedule changes. Therefore, if a student initially cannot schedule a rotation they wish to take, they should periodically check the online enrollment/registration system for available positions in that course.

Research Rotations

Most basic science and clinical departments offer a number of research rotations. Many of these opportunities are described in this publication. Students may also contact individual departments to learn of other research projects that might be of interest.

Off-Campus Fourth-Year Rotations

A student may request permission to receive credit for an off-site fourth-year clinical rotation by submitting an offsite agreement (available in the M4 Registration Guide) and a course description with goals and objectives from the host institution to the appropriate department. No off-site fourth-year rotation for credit will be allowed without prior approval from: 

  1. The student's advisor, who attests that the program offers a distinctly valuable experience to the student;
  2. The appropriate UMC course director (through the student coordinator), who must attest to the quality of the program and its advantages to the student; and
  3. The Associate Dean for Curriculum and Evaluation, who assures that the student is in good academic standing.

NOTE: The UMC Off-Site Agreement form must be completed two weeks before the start of the rotation. Completion of the off-site school forms does not register a student for credit at UMC.


Students may not receive both remuneration and credit for the same clinical rotation, except under the following circumstances:

  1. A research rotation, either at UMC or elsewhere;
  2. A clinical rotation elsewhere for which a stipend is given that covers only living and travel expenses; or
  3. Rotations in the Armed Services.