Quick Links

Non-McGill (Away) Electives

Electives can be undertaken anywhere in the world in any discipline. It is entirely the student’s responsibility to make contact with the supervising physician/host institution and to arrange all details of the elective. The McGill Global Health website is an excellent starting point for ideas (see particularly “International Electives” and “Student Reports”).

Students must attend a MANDATORY McGill Pre-Departure Orientation – sessions that is held in Fall and Spring each year for all students traveling outside Canada (including US) for University related clinical rotations and or research. Students need attend only one Pre-Departure Orientation (not one orientation per experience abroad)

Students must complete a McGill Travel Registry form on Minerva for each US and international experience – the electives coordinator will create the electronic form and advise the student by e-mail that it is ready for completion. Students should also register their travel with the Government of Canada registry.

Safety: In general, the Faculty will not approve electives in regions for which the Canadian government has issued a Travel Warning.

For Criminal Background Checks see - SPVM or Morpho or RCMP

Financing Away Electives

Since non-McGill electives are not a curriculum requirement, the Faculty is unable to provide financial support for such.  Most universities charge an administrative fee to process your elective application request, ranging from $100-$400 per 4-week rotation.  You will also have to plan for transportation, housing, and living costs while undertaking away electives.

There is, however, funding available for electives at rural sites in Quebec.  Contact the university with which the rural site is affiliated for details.

A small amount of funding is available to students undertaking electives in under-resourced international settings through the Osler Medical Aid Foundation program.

Insurance for Away Electives

Health Insurance: Students leaving Quebec for electives must ensure they have appropriate personal health insurance.  Information on your McGill student plan is available here

Liability Insurance: McGill University provides malpractice/liability insurance for its medical students undertaking away electives; details can be obtained from the mcgillelectives [dot] med [at] mcgill [dot] ca (McGill Electives Coordinator).

How to Book an Away Elective

  • Students must submit an electronic Elective Placement Form for each elective at least 8 weeks (two academic periods) in advance of the elective rotation start date
  • Make an application to the desired host institution according to their requirements and guidelines (see following sections of this webpage for details)
    • The mcgillelectives [dot] med [at] mcgill [dot] ca (McGill Electives Coordinator) can provide letters of good standing and proof of insurance, as required by the host institution
    • Students can obtain copies and/or verification of their immunization records from Student Health Services
  • Once confirmation of the elective has been received from the host institution, scan the acceptance letter or save the confirmation e-mail to an electronic file
  • Click LOGIN enter your Minerva username and password in order to access your electives dossier.”
  • Complete an electronic Elective Placement Form
  • Upload the non-McGill elective confirmation (Word, jpg, or pdf formats only)
  • Submit the Elective Placement Form, which will automatically enter the elective into your electives dossier.

NOTE: Failure to upload proof of confirmation at the time of form submission automatically removes the elective from the system

Cancelling an Away Elective

  • Click LOGIN to access your electronic electives dossier.
  • View “Details” of the relevant elective, and click the “Cancel” button at the bottom
  • Contact the host institution directly in order to advise them of your cancellation

NOTE: You must abide by the host institution’s cancellation deadlines or McGill cancellation deadlines (whichever comes first) as failure to do so may result in receipt of a letter of unprofessionalism that will be added to your academic file. If you must cancel/change an elective after the cancellation deadline and you believe there are legitimate, mitigating circumstances (i.e., family emergency, etc.), please contact the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs in order to discuss the situation.

Special Requirements for Quebec Electives

Credit Transfer: In order for elective credits to be transferred to McGill from the host institution, a CREPUQ form MUST be submitted on-line. Follow the link "Autorisation d'études hors établissement" to complete the form.

Université de Montréal:
Consult their electives catalogue, complete the application form and then contact their site coordinator as listed in the catalogue.

Université de Sherbrooke:
Consult their available stages à option, and then use their online application form. (Contact for Sherbrooke - nathalie [dot] theberge [at] usherbrooke [dot] ca (Electives Coordinator) (or 819-564-5207).)

Université Laval:
Consult their website. Contact the johanne [dot] lemieux [at] fmed [dot] ulaval [dot] ca (Electives Coordinator) (or 418-656-2131 x5704) directly.

Special Requirements for Other Canadian Electives

The standard application period for electives across Canada is 4-9 months in advance of the proposed elective start date. 

See elective offerings and application instructions on the host institution’s website:

University of British Columbia >>
University of Calgary >>
University of Alberta >>
University of Saskatchewan >>
University of Manitoba >>
Northern Ontario School of Medicine >>
University of Western Ontario >>
McMaster University>>
University of Toronto >>
Queen’s University >>
University of Ottawa >>
Dalhousie University >>
Memorial University of Newfoundland >>

Criminal Background Checks:
You may be required by the hospitals affiliated with some Canadian universities to produce a criminal background check.  Be sure to undertake this process well in advance of the proposed elective. When registering for the check, mention that you are a full time student in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University and that you require it for study purposes only.

SPVM

Morpho

RCMP

Proof of Immunizations:
You may be required to submit proof of immunization forms to certain Canadian universities, in order that they process your elective request. To have these forms completed, you may either bring them to McGill Student Health in person or send them by fax (514-398-2559). You must also complete the Authorization to Release Information form which can be found at the following website:
http://www.mcgill.ca/studenthealth/notes.

Please be sure to indicate where the completed form should be sent or if you will be picking it up.

McGill Student Health has committed to a 5 to 7 business-day turnaround time for such requests. Contact information for McGill Student Health is found here: http://www.mcgill.ca/studenthealth/contacthours

Special Requirements for U.S. Electives

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act):
Some American universities require that students have HIPAA certification (formal training in health information security, patient protection and privacy). Although McGill does not formally certify students in this area, the Dean's office will attest on the elective application form that the Faculty of Medicine at McGill provides core teaching on confidential issues and patient records.
 
Mask Fit Testing: If you are required to undertake a respiratory mask fit test in order to apply for electives at an American university, contact Student Health Services to make the necessary arrangements.
 
Criminal Background Checks:
You may be required by the hospitals affiliated with some American universities to produce a criminal background check.  Be sure to undertake this process well in advance of the proposed elective. When registering for the check, mention that you are a full time student in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University and that you require it for study purposes only.

SPVM

Morpho

RCMP

Visas: Canadian citizens and permanent residents are not required to obtain a visa prior to going to the US for an elective.  Students will likely be issued B-1 visa status at the border upon presentation of a piece of Canadian ID/passport, proof of residence in Canada (i.e., current driver’s license), and documentation proving the purpose of travel to the US (i.e., the elective acceptance letter from the host institution).  See the B-1 Temporary Business Visitor section of the United States Embassy: Consular Services Canada website.

Formal Agreements:  If applying/intending to apply to a U.S. institution that requires a formal agreement with McGill University, please be aware of the following:

  • The elective application process will take much longer than usual – factor in 2-6 weeks for McGill’s legal review of the agreement
  • After review, McGill may determine that the agreement cannot be signed, which would render the proposed elective impossible

As a result, please develop a “backup” plan for any elective period during which an application for elective at an institution requiring a formal agreement is being considered.

Special Requirements for International Electives

Formal Agreements:  If applying/intending to apply to an international institution that requires a formal agreement with McGill University, please be aware of the following:

  • The elective application process will take much longer than usual – factor in 2-6 weeks for McGill’s legal review of the agreement
  • After review, McGill may determine that the agreement cannot be signed, which would render the proposed elective impossible

As a result, please develop a “backup” plan for any elective period during which an application for elective at an institution requiring a formal agreement is being considered.