Medical Student Research Electives

Students wishing to conduct research during the course of their medical school training may do so for elective credit. This elective is for full-time research for the four-week blocks and cannot be taken at the same time as another elective. Credit earned during this elective can only be applied to the electives needed in the MS3 and MS4 years.

Before You Register

Electives must be arranged in advance with the Associate Dean by submitting all the information requested below:

  • Proposal for Research Elective Form
  • Research Elective Approval Form
  • A description of project, detailing your study and what you wish to accomplish during this elective. Specifically, the Associate Dean is looking for research projects that demonstrate the advancement of a hypothesis. This should include an overview of the background, the methods that will be employed, and the expected outcomes and analytic methods that will be used. Specific details of the student role in the proposed project should be outlined. Project description example

Completed forms should be sent to the Associate Dean for Medical Student Research for approval. The Associate Dean will review the application to ensure the project meets the above criteria. Once approved, the Associate Dean's office will forward the forms to the registrar, but students are responsible for consulting with the Registrar's Office to confirm they have the required number of credits to participate.

After You Have Completed the Course

Before a grade is issued for this course, a narrative of the research activities should be submitted to the Associate Dean. Though we understand that an entire project cannot be completed in a four-week period, we do expect the narrative to include proof toward the demonstration or negation of the hypothesis. In this summary, please include any plans for submission of abstracts or manuscripts. Template example

The mentor will also be asked to submit an evaluation of the student’s participation and progress of the project before any grade is issued.

Please note: 

  • For the sake of legibility and durable record keeping, the text of the project descriptions should be submitted in a digital format (preferably emailed).
  • The student is responsible for consulting with the Registrar's Office to confirm that they have the required number of credits to graduate.
  • Students enrolled in yearlong research programs are required to take a leave of absence from UT Southwestern and are not eligible to receive elective research credit.
  • A maximum of two credits (total) can be awarded for research electives; however, a third course can be completed for no credit.
  • Students may not receive elective credit for research activities for which they are being paid.