Unique Electives

Unique electives are electives proposed by students who wish to do research in a specific field which will allow them more in depth exposure to that particular area of medicine.  Generally, a full-time work week of 40 hours is equal to 1 credit.  (Refer to Course Selection Book for further guidelines.)  Unique electives can be done at Upstate or at another institution/abroad if the student chooses.

The steps for filling out the paperwork for Unique Electives are as follows:

  • Students can obtain the Add/Drop Form and the Unique Elective Form from the Curriculum Office or from the online site.  The forms should be filled out six weeks prior to the date that the research/elective is scheduled to begin. 
  • Students should provide all requested information and detailed supporting documentation as to what they will be accomplishing during the unique elective.
  • Once all of the paperwork is filled out, a signature is required from the Department Chairperson (i.e. if the unique elective is in Surgery, a signature will be required from Dr. Cooney, etc.).
  • The completed forms and all supporting documentation should be dropped off in the Curriculum Office for processing and will be reviewed by the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Medical Education.
  • After the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Medical Education reviews the submitted paperwork, further information may be necessary to process the unique elective.  The student will be contacted via e-mail asking them to provide the necessary information.
  • If the unique elective is approved, a copy of all paperwork will be forwarded to the Registrar’s Office, and an e-mail will be sent to the student notifying them it was approved and has been sent to the Registrar’s Office for processing.

Note: For students participating in an elective outside of the United States, students much purchase the SUNY sponsored Study Abroad insurance which can be purchased through the Bursar's Office.

Add Drop Form
Unique Elective Form

Ambrish Patel, Class of 2011, Carteret, NJ

Ambrish Patel, Class of 2011, Carteret, NJ

"First year was tough, a little harder than I expected. The faculty here are understanding and they know we are overwhelmed with material. They try their best to accommodate us.

"Second year, it's like, 'Wow, I'm in med school!' There's more material to learn, but with the passing of each unit, you're that much closer to your clinical years.

"I've talked with friends at other med schools, and it's the same all over for second-years. A lot of work, but there's light at the end of the tunnel."