Policy on Fourth Year Mini Electives


MMS students are required to complete 7 electives (28 weeks) during the MS4 year. Students can complete electives as either a traditional 4-week elective or as a 2-week mini elective (see Policy on
Fourth Year Mini-Electives).

Mini-Elective Restrictions:

  • Students must complete two, 2-week mini-electives (4 weeks) to fulfill one elective credit
  • Students cannot take more than a total of four mini-electives (8 weeks)

When enrolling in mini-electives, students must indicate if they complete the coursework in the first or second half of the block using A to designate the first half of the block and B to designate the second half of the block.
Block 2A = first half of Block 2 = A02 | Block 2B = second half of Block 2 = B02

Policies Regarding Time Off

Holidays: July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Friday following Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, January 1, Match Day and Memorial Day.

The School’s policy regarding time off for interviewing for residency programs (not for general use) allows a maximum of five days from an elective to be granted at the discretion of the course director. Students wishing to be excused for any days must obtain approval from both OASA and the course director in advance. Students missing any days should be prepared to make up time and work missed.

Creating a New Elective

To create and build a mini-elective, department must submit a MMS Fourth Year Mini-Elective Description Form to the Office of Educational Programs to be reviewed by the Curriculum Committee. Mini electives can only be taken at UTHealth Houston.

Once approved by the Curriculum Committee, the information will be included in the official course catalog description and disseminated accordingly:

  • Office of the Registrar
  • MS4 Elective Course Catalog

Guidelines for Fourth Year Electives

  1. The objectives of the mini-elective are defined and indicated by specific topics the body of knowledge to be mastered. It is strongly recommended that these be given to students in writing st the beginning of the mini-elective period. The clinical and didactic experiences planned for the course must be designed to accomplish the objectives.
  2. The mini-elective involves at least 30 hours per week of time with at least 10 hours structured (clinical, conference, lecture).
  3. The mini-elective involves significant teaching by faculty.
  4. At least five hours of teaching per week are aimed at the MS4 level.
  5. The students are evaluated based on the demonstration of their accomplishment of the objectives.
  6. Students are observed closely enough by faculty to evaluate their performance meaningfully.
  7. Mid-rotation feedback is encouraged for all students, but feedback in writing is required for any students identified as having deficiencies, as soon as the deficiency is identified.