Who can use VSAS®?

Who can use VSAS?

Students will only use VSAS if they are enrolled at a U.S. LCME-accredited medical school or a participating COCA accredited AACOM member college and are applying for senior away electives at any  VSAS host institution.

Review VSAS host institution application requirements, when the institution will begin accepting applications, fee information, and more by clicking on an institution's name through the VSAS Institutions tab!

If you are not applying to a participating host institution you should use the Extramural Electives Compendium (EEC) for visiting student application information.

Who can use VSAS?

Students will only use VSAS if they are enrolled at a U.S. LCME-accredited medical school or a participating COCA accredited AACOM member college and are applying for senior away electives at any  VSAS host institution.

Review VSAS host institution application requirements, when the institution will begin accepting applications, fee information, and more by clicking on an institution's name through the VSAS Institutions tab!

If you are not applying to a participating host institution you should use the Extramural Electives Compendium (EEC) for visiting student application information.

Can Canadian and international students use VSAS?

VSAS is not currently available for international students or students enrolled at Canadian medical schools to use. Please use the Extramural Electives Compendium (EEC) for visiting student application information.

Students from participating institutions worldwide can pursuing clinical, research, and public health electives outside their home country through Global Health Learning Opportunities® (GHLO®).

Can Canadian and international students use VSAS?

VSAS is not currently available for international students or students enrolled at Canadian medical schools to use. Please use the Extramural Electives Compendium (EEC) for visiting student application information.

Students from participating institutions worldwide can pursuing clinical, research, and public health electives outside their home country through Global Health Learning Opportunities® (GHLO®).

When can students submit applications through VSAS?

Students will only be able to submit applications to a host institution once the host institution uploads and activates their elective catalog.

Find out when institutions will begin accepting, and processing, applications through the VSAS institutions page.

When can students submit applications through VSAS?

Students will only be able to submit applications to a host institution once the host institution uploads and activates their elective catalog.

Find out when institutions will begin accepting, and processing, applications through the VSAS institutions page.

Which institutions use VSAS?

Home Schools: U.S. LCME-accredited medical schools and COCA-accredited medical schools will onlyuse VSAS as a home school if their students apply for senior away electives at any of our participating host institutions.

Host Institutions: Participating VSAS host institutions may be either a U.S. AAMC-member medical school or member of the AAMC's Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems (COTH).

Which institutions use VSAS?

Home Schools: U.S. LCME-accredited medical schools and COCA-accredited medical schools will onlyuse VSAS as a home school if their students apply for senior away electives at any of our participating host institutions.

Host Institutions: Participating VSAS host institutions may be either a U.S. AAMC-member medical school or member of the AAMC's Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems (COTH).

How do I gain access to the VSAS application?

How do I gain access to VSAS application?

Please contact your home school's office or staff person who assists with your 4th year schedule (e.g. student affairs office/visiting student coordinator) with your request for access to VSAS.

How do I gain access to VSAS application?

Please contact your home school's office or staff person who assists with your 4th year schedule (e.g. student affairs office/visiting student coordinator) with your request for access to VSAS.

What are the VSAS application requirements?

What are the VSAS application requirements?

Each student will be asked to submit the following information when filling out the online VSAS application:

  • Contact Information
  • Core Clerkship Completion Dates
  • Photograph (may be optional)
  • Curriculum Vitae (may be optional)
  • Immunization form (per host institution and it may be optional - this file can only be uploaded after you submit applications since it is specific to the host institution(s) you have applied to)
  • Other supplemental documentation (per host institution)

Once you certify and submit your application, your home school will add the following data to your application:

 Additional Requirements

Some host institutions may require additional documentation to supplement the VSAS application. We highly recommend you use the "Institutions" tab in VSAS to review each host institution's application requirements.

What are the VSAS application requirements?

Each student will be asked to submit the following information when filling out the online VSAS application:

  • Contact Information
  • Core Clerkship Completion Dates
  • Photograph (may be optional)
  • Curriculum Vitae (may be optional)
  • Immunization form (per host institution and it may be optional - this file can only be uploaded after you submit applications since it is specific to the host institution(s) you have applied to)
  • Other supplemental documentation (per host institution)

Once you certify and submit your application, your home school will add the following data to your application:

 Additional Requirements

Some host institutions may require additional documentation to supplement the VSAS application. We highly recommend you use the "Institutions" tab in VSAS to review each host institution's application requirements.

Which institutions participate in VSAS as Host Institutions?

Which institutions are receiving applications through VSAS?

Many U.S. LCME-accredited medical schools and independent academic medical centers that are members of COTH are currently participating as VSAS host institutions.

Which institutions are receiving applications through VSAS?

Many U.S. LCME-accredited medical schools and independent academic medical centers that are members of COTH are currently participating as VSAS host institutions.

When and how does an institution join VSAS as a host institution?

Each fall, U.S. AAMC-member medical schools and members of the AAMC's Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems (COTH) will be given the opportunity to join VSAS for the following academic year.

When and how does an institution join VSAS as a host institution?

Each fall, U.S. AAMC-member medical schools and members of the AAMC's Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems (COTH) will be given the opportunity to join VSAS for the following academic year.

Will all medical schools and members of COTH eventually be VSAS host institutions?

Host institution participation in VSAS remains optional. Each fall, U.S. AAMC-member medical schools and members of the AAMC's Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems (COTH) will be given the opportunity to join VSAS for the following academic year.

Will all medical schools and members of COTH eventually be VSAS host institutions?

Host institution participation in VSAS remains optional. Each fall, U.S. AAMC-member medical schools and members of the AAMC's Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems (COTH) will be given the opportunity to join VSAS for the following academic year.

Can Canadian and International Students use VSAS?

Can Canadian and international students use VSAS?

VSAS is not available for international students or students enrolled at Canadian medical schools. Please use the Extramural Electives Compendium (EEC) to find visiting student application information and requirements at a large number of U.S. institutions.The EEC contains valuable information to help students learn about application and institution requirements at a large number of US institutions.

Students from participating institutions worldwide can pursuing clinical, research, and public health electives outside their home country through Global Health Learning Opportunities® (GHLO®).

Can Canadian and international students use VSAS?

VSAS is not available for international students or students enrolled at Canadian medical schools. Please use the Extramural Electives Compendium (EEC) to find visiting student application information and requirements at a large number of U.S. institutions.The EEC contains valuable information to help students learn about application and institution requirements at a large number of US institutions.

Students from participating institutions worldwide can pursuing clinical, research, and public health electives outside their home country through Global Health Learning Opportunities® (GHLO®).

VSAS Document Tips

Why is it important that I assign documents to host institutions and applications?

Documents must be assigned to applications before they are made available to host institutions,unassigned documents will not be visible to your home school or to the host institutions to which you have applied. Only students can assign documents to applications. Documents can be assigned during the document upload process, during checkout or post-submission through the Documents tab.

Why is it important that I assign documents to host institutions and applications?

Documents must be assigned to applications before they are made available to host institutions,unassigned documents will not be visible to your home school or to the host institutions to which you have applied. Only students can assign documents to applications. Documents can be assigned during the document upload process, during checkout or post-submission through the Documents tab.

Why can't I view certain documents that my home school uploaded?

Home schools have the option of making documents 'private'. If a document is made 'private' then students can attach this document to applications but cannot view the contents of the file. Host institutions are able to see if an attached document was visible to a student or if the document was private.

Why can't I view certain documents that my home school uploaded?

Home schools have the option of making documents 'private'. If a document is made 'private' then students can attach this document to applications but cannot view the contents of the file. Host institutions are able to see if an attached document was visible to a student or if the document was private.

What is the maximum file size and file types for documents uploaded into VSAS?

The file size limits vary depending on the type of the document being uploaded:

  • Photograph: 1MB; JPG, GIF, PNG
  • CV: 2MB; DOC, PDF, TIFF
  • Immunization Forms: 3MB; DOC, PDF, TIFF
  • Supplemental Documents: 3MB; DOC, PDF, TIFF

What is the maximum file size and file types for documents uploaded into VSAS?

The file size limits vary depending on the type of the document being uploaded:

  • Photograph: 1MB; JPG, GIF, PNG
  • CV: 2MB; DOC, PDF, TIFF
  • Immunization Forms: 3MB; DOC, PDF, TIFF
  • Supplemental Documents: 3MB; DOC, PDF, TIFF

How can I reduce the file size of my PDF document?

For PC Users:
Once you have Adobe Acrobat open:

  1. Go to File menu and click Print
  2. Choose Adobe PDF as your printer
  3. Click Properties and under the Default Settings select Smallest File Size from the drop-down menu and click OK
  4. Click OK again to create the PDF file.

For Mac Users:
Once you have opened the file:

  1. Go to File menu and click Export As (or Save As)
  2. Select Reduce File Size from the Quartz Filter
  3. Name the file and click Save

How can I reduce the file size of my PDF document?

For PC Users:
Once you have Adobe Acrobat open:

  1. Go to File menu and click Print
  2. Choose Adobe PDF as your printer
  3. Click Properties and under the Default Settings select Smallest File Size from the drop-down menu and click OK
  4. Click OK again to create the PDF file.

For Mac Users:
Once you have opened the file:

  1. Go to File menu and click Export As (or Save As)
  2. Select Reduce File Size from the Quartz Filter
  3. Name the file and click Save

How can I merge multiple documents into 1 PDF?

For PC Users:
Once you have Adobe Acrobat open:

  1. Go to File menu and click Create PDF
  2. Choose From Multiple Files
  3. Click Browse to locate each file you wish to combine
  4. Click OK after rearranging the order of the files

For Mac Users:
Once you have opened the file in Preview:

  1. Go to View menu and click Sidebar (or Show Sidebar). A sidebar will appear on the right-hand side of the screen with a thumbnail of your PDF
  2. Drag the second PDF file (from a folder on your computer) into this sidebar window on top of the existing thumbnail.
  3. Repeat Step 2 for each file that should be merged.
  4. Click Save.

How can I merge multiple documents into 1 PDF?

For PC Users:
Once you have Adobe Acrobat open:

  1. Go to File menu and click Create PDF
  2. Choose From Multiple Files
  3. Click Browse to locate each file you wish to combine
  4. Click OK after rearranging the order of the files

For Mac Users:
Once you have opened the file in Preview:

  1. Go to View menu and click Sidebar (or Show Sidebar). A sidebar will appear on the right-hand side of the screen with a thumbnail of your PDF
  2. Drag the second PDF file (from a folder on your computer) into this sidebar window on top of the existing thumbnail.
  3. Repeat Step 2 for each file that should be merged.
  4. Click Save.

Definition of Terms Used in VSAS

Definition of Terms Used in VSAS

Home School

The term "home school" identifies the school from which a student will receive their medical degree. VSAS home schools are U.S. LCME-accredited medical schools whose students apply through VSAS and participating COCA accredited AACOM member colleges. Home schools support VSAS applications by uploading student transcripts, verifying student statuses, and releasing applications to VSAS host institutions.

Host Institution

The term "host institution" identifies any U.S. AAMC-member medical school or member of the AAMC's Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems (COTH) where students take electives as visiting students. VSAS host institutions are institutions that accept visiting student applications through this software.

Primary Contact

Home schools designate a VSAS Home School Primary Contact and host institutions designate a VSAS Host Institution Primary Contact. These primary contacts are the AAMC's contact as well as the institutional contacts for other home schools and host institutions. Please contact VSAS at vsas@aamc.org or 202-478-9878 if you would like to know the name of your institution's contact(s).

Authorization

An authorization gives a student the ability to sign in to VSAS and the amount of authorizations issued determine how many elective applications they can submit. One authorization can be used for one elective and date combination.

If a student was issued 10 authorizations, they could apply for up to 10 elective and date combinations. For example, the student can apply to the same elective 10 times by choosing a different date each time or they can apply to 10 separate electives.

If all authorizations are used, VSAS will not allow additional applications to be submitted until additional authorizations have been granted. Additional authorizations should be requested directly through the home school.

Standard document

There are four standard documents in VSAS:

  • Photograph
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Immunization Records
  • Transcript (uploaded only by a student's home school)

     

Supplement document

A supplemental document is any document a student or home school uploads in support of their application beyond the four standard documents. Please note that only standard documents are tracked by VSAS when determining an application's completeness.

Definition of Terms Used in VSAS

Home School

The term "home school" identifies the school from which a student will receive their medical degree. VSAS home schools are U.S. LCME-accredited medical schools whose students apply through VSAS and participating COCA accredited AACOM member colleges. Home schools support VSAS applications by uploading student transcripts, verifying student statuses, and releasing applications to VSAS host institutions.

Host Institution

The term "host institution" identifies any U.S. AAMC-member medical school or member of the AAMC's Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems (COTH) where students take electives as visiting students. VSAS host institutions are institutions that accept visiting student applications through this software.

Primary Contact

Home schools designate a VSAS Home School Primary Contact and host institutions designate a VSAS Host Institution Primary Contact. These primary contacts are the AAMC's contact as well as the institutional contacts for other home schools and host institutions. Please contact VSAS at vsas@aamc.org or 202-478-9878 if you would like to know the name of your institution's contact(s).

Authorization

An authorization gives a student the ability to sign in to VSAS and the amount of authorizations issued determine how many elective applications they can submit. One authorization can be used for one elective and date combination.

If a student was issued 10 authorizations, they could apply for up to 10 elective and date combinations. For example, the student can apply to the same elective 10 times by choosing a different date each time or they can apply to 10 separate electives.

If all authorizations are used, VSAS will not allow additional applications to be submitted until additional authorizations have been granted. Additional authorizations should be requested directly through the home school.

Standard document

There are four standard documents in VSAS:

  • Photograph
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Immunization Records
  • Transcript (uploaded only by a student's home school)

     

Supplement document

A supplemental document is any document a student or home school uploads in support of their application beyond the four standard documents. Please note that only standard documents are tracked by VSAS when determining an application's completeness.

What Web browser can I use to complete my VSAS application?

What Web browser can I use to complete my VSAS application?

When using VSAS, the preferred browser for both PC and Mac users is Firefox.

For PC Users, VSAS supports the following browsers and suggests using the most up-to date versions:

  • Internet Explorer
  • Firefox

For Mac users, VSAS supports the following browsers and suggests using the most up-to date versions:

  • Firefox

Failure to use supported browsers may result in application delays, lost data or other technical problems while using the software.

What Web browser can I use to complete my VSAS application?

When using VSAS, the preferred browser for both PC and Mac users is Firefox.

For PC Users, VSAS supports the following browsers and suggests using the most up-to date versions:

  • Internet Explorer
  • Firefox

For Mac users, VSAS supports the following browsers and suggests using the most up-to date versions:

  • Firefox

Failure to use supported browsers may result in application delays, lost data or other technical problems while using the software.

What are the fees associated with VSAS? Can I get a refund?

Who pays VSAS fees?

  • Students
Students pay VSAS application fees based on the number of institutions they apply to, not the number of electives they apply for. The fee for the first institution applied to is $35, regardless of the number of electives applied for at that institution. The fee for each additional institution is $15, again, regardless of the number of electives applied for at those institutions. 

For example, if a student applies for electives at three institutions, their total fees will equal $65:

     
  $35 1st institution fee
  $15 2nd institution fee
  $15 3rd institution fee
  $65 TOTAL fees

*If the student re-applies to one of these three institutions, they will not be charged a second application fee.

  • Home Schools 

U.S. LCME accredited medical schools pay an annual flat fee of $500 to be assessed each fall.

VSAS participating COCA accredited AACOM member colleges' annual fee is funded through AACOM collected fees remitted to AAMC.

  • Host Institutions 
Host institutions pay an annual flat fee of $750, assessed each fall.

Who pays VSAS fees?

  • Students
Students pay VSAS application fees based on the number of institutions they apply to, not the number of electives they apply for. The fee for the first institution applied to is $35, regardless of the number of electives applied for at that institution. The fee for each additional institution is $15, again, regardless of the number of electives applied for at those institutions. 

For example, if a student applies for electives at three institutions, their total fees will equal $65:

     
  $35 1st institution fee
  $15 2nd institution fee
  $15 3rd institution fee
  $65 TOTAL fees

*If the student re-applies to one of these three institutions, they will not be charged a second application fee.

  • Home Schools 

U.S. LCME accredited medical schools pay an annual flat fee of $500 to be assessed each fall.

VSAS participating COCA accredited AACOM member colleges' annual fee is funded through AACOM collected fees remitted to AAMC.

  • Host Institutions 
Host institutions pay an annual flat fee of $750, assessed each fall.

Will VSAS host institutions also charge application fees?

VSAS participating host institutions will not charge applicants additional application fees. But, the host institution reserves the right to assess a processing/registration/tuition fee at the time they offer an applicant a spot in an elective.

Will VSAS host institutions also charge application fees?

VSAS participating host institutions will not charge applicants additional application fees. But, the host institution reserves the right to assess a processing/registration/tuition fee at the time they offer an applicant a spot in an elective.

Refund Policy

VSAS does not offer refunds. Refunds will not be given if you do not meet the visiting student requirements of a host institution, there are no slots available or for applications sent to programs whose deadlines have already passed. Please ensure that you are aware of all host institution requirements and policies prior to submitting an application to that institution through VSAS.

If you receive communications from VSAS staff regarding any outstanding balances, please read and carefully follow the instructions contained in the communication. You may also contact VSAS directly with additional questions.

Refund Policy

VSAS does not offer refunds. Refunds will not be given if you do not meet the visiting student requirements of a host institution, there are no slots available or for applications sent to programs whose deadlines have already passed. Please ensure that you are aware of all host institution requirements and policies prior to submitting an application to that institution through VSAS.

If you receive communications from VSAS staff regarding any outstanding balances, please read and carefully follow the instructions contained in the communication. You may also contact VSAS directly with additional questions.

Post-submission Changes

Status of Submitted Applications

Students use their VSAS Tracking tab to view each submitted application and its current status. Common VSAS application statuses are defined below:

Pending Home School Release: The submitted application is at the home medical school and is NOT yet viewable by the host institution.

Pending Host Institution Review: The submitted application was released by the home medical school and is available to the host institution for review and processing.

Offered: Student has been offered an elective and may now accept or deny this offer.

Denied: Student's elective/date request was denied by the host institution.

Accepted: Student has accepted an elective offer.

Status of Submitted Applications

Students use their VSAS Tracking tab to view each submitted application and its current status. Common VSAS application statuses are defined below:

Pending Home School Release: The submitted application is at the home medical school and is NOT yet viewable by the host institution.

Pending Host Institution Review: The submitted application was released by the home medical school and is available to the host institution for review and processing.

Offered: Student has been offered an elective and may now accept or deny this offer.

Denied: Student's elective/date request was denied by the host institution.

Accepted: Student has accepted an elective offer.

How are submitted applications reordered?

Students may reorder submitted applications through their Tracking tab.

  • Go to Tracking tab
  • Select the "View by: Institution" option
  • Click on the "Change Order" button to modify the order of applications.

Once the new order is saved, this information will be automatically updated at the home and host institution.

How are submitted applications reordered?

Students may reorder submitted applications through their Tracking tab.

  • Go to Tracking tab
  • Select the "View by: Institution" option
  • Click on the "Change Order" button to modify the order of applications.

Once the new order is saved, this information will be automatically updated at the home and host institution.

How can I change the preferred date on my submitted application?

The preferred date of submitted applications may be modified by a student through their Tracking tab. Once on this tab, choose the pending application you would like to adjust and click the "Change Date" button next to the elective you wish to modify. You will be able to modify the date to any other available date at that institution. If the "Change Dates" box is not available, that means that the host institution does not allow applicants to modify their application dates at this point in the application process. The availability of this is available on a host institution by host institution basis, if the host does not provide you that option in VSAS please contact the host institution directly to inquire about your options. Students can also always submit a new applications for the new set of dates they are interested in attending.

How can I change the preferred date on my submitted application?

The preferred date of submitted applications may be modified by a student through their Tracking tab. Once on this tab, choose the pending application you would like to adjust and click the "Change Date" button next to the elective you wish to modify. You will be able to modify the date to any other available date at that institution. If the "Change Dates" box is not available, that means that the host institution does not allow applicants to modify their application dates at this point in the application process. The availability of this is available on a host institution by host institution basis, if the host does not provide you that option in VSAS please contact the host institution directly to inquire about your options. Students can also always submit a new applications for the new set of dates they are interested in attending.

Does an accepted offer affect pending applications at another host institution?

A decision on one application will not affect any others, nor will any host institution know what decisions have been made at another. For example, students can accept two offers at two different institutions as they work on choosing one to attend.

Please note that VSAS will send reminders to students if they have scheduling conflicts with accepted or offered electives, but the software will not take any actions on the applications themselves. The student's home school and affected host institutions will also receive periodic email reminders as well.

Does an accepted offer affect pending applications at another host institution?

A decision on one application will not affect any others, nor will any host institution know what decisions have been made at another. For example, students can accept two offers at two different institutions as they work on choosing one to attend.

Please note that VSAS will send reminders to students if they have scheduling conflicts with accepted or offered electives, but the software will not take any actions on the applications themselves. The student's home school and affected host institutions will also receive periodic email reminders as well.

How is a submitted application withdrawn?

Students may withdraw single applications through their Tracking tab. Once on this tab, "withdraw" buttons will be displayed for each pending application. Please note that withdrawing applications will notreturn authorizations or refunds to students; if additional authorizations are needed students must contact their home school with this request.

How is a submitted application withdrawn?

Students may withdraw single applications through their Tracking tab. Once on this tab, "withdraw" buttons will be displayed for each pending application. Please note that withdrawing applications will notreturn authorizations or refunds to students; if additional authorizations are needed students must contact their home school with this request.

Can documents be modified after an application has been submitted?

Yes! Students and home schools may upload new documents post-submission in support of their application(s). Only assigned documents are made available to host institutions. The following document changes can be made post-submission within VSAS:

Upload: New Documents can be uploaded

Assign: Newly uploaded documents or documents uploaded previously can be assigned to applications and host institutions

Modify: Uploaded documents can be replaced with new documents, or titles can be modified. Any assigned document that is modified will automatically be made available to the host institutions/applications it was assigned to.

Can documents be modified after an application has been submitted?

Yes! Students and home schools may upload new documents post-submission in support of their application(s). Only assigned documents are made available to host institutions. The following document changes can be made post-submission within VSAS:

Upload: New Documents can be uploaded

Assign: Newly uploaded documents or documents uploaded previously can be assigned to applications and host institutions

Modify: Uploaded documents can be replaced with new documents, or titles can be modified. Any assigned document that is modified will automatically be made available to the host institutions/applications it was assigned to.

How do I find short-term housing?

How can I find short-term housing?

VSAS recognizes the challenge visiting students face in finding housing during away rotations since not every host institution can offer housing for students and are pleased to share that the AAMC is showcasing a service that can help!

RotatingRoom.com is a free online service, designed exclusively for medical students, to find and offer short-term housing during away rotations.  The website offers robust search and visualization, comprehensive property details, and additional information such as public transportation options to nearby hospitals.

 

 

How can I find short-term housing?

VSAS recognizes the challenge visiting students face in finding housing during away rotations since not every host institution can offer housing for students and are pleased to share that the AAMC is showcasing a service that can help!

RotatingRoom.com is a free online service, designed exclusively for medical students, to find and offer short-term housing during away rotations.  The website offers robust search and visualization, comprehensive property details, and additional information such as public transportation options to nearby hospitals.