Office of Global Health

Educational Programs

The four year curriculum at KSOM is compacted. As with anything, planning ahead is essential. Frequently asked questions include: When do I have time to go? Can I get elective credit? Are there international rotations? Some of the questions are addressed below.


Year I
Summer break

Year II
Limited time due to required clerkships beginning the first week of July and contingent upon scheduled USMLE Step I exam.

Year III
Limited time based upon required clerkship schedule. It is recommended that students complete all Year III required clerkships before participating in an international rotation.

Year IV
Students must complete 16 weeks of elective credit. An elective must be at least 3 contiguous weeks. International clinical rotations and research will count towards fulfilling the 16 weeks of elective credit. Timing in Year IV is the most flexible and you may consider rotations, at one of our International Affiliated Institutions, or create your own international elective.


Students can create their own international elective by securing the following elements:

1. Program Proposal – outline where you would like to go; the objectives you plan to accomplish while you are in the host-country.
2. USC faculty advisor approval of the program proposal
3. Host-country mentor to provide confirmation of proposed program prior to departure and upon return, an evaluation of the student’s performance.
4. Approval of program proposal by the Director of the Office of Global Health, Dr. Alejandro Sanchez (
5. It is required that the student share their experiences by giving a Powerpoint Presentation.

Year III & IV students must contact Estella Turla in the Office of Student Affairs to initiate the elective credit process.

Estella Turla
Clerkship Coordinator
323-442-2418 or


KSOM has created student exchange agreements with several international institutions. Check out their websites to learn more about their schools. Contact the Director of Global Health, Dr. Alejandro Sanchez ( or the Office of Student Affairs at (323) 442-2553 if you are interested in attending one of our partner institutions.


Medical Spanish at KSOM

The KSOM students are exposed to a culturally diverse patient population, with a large percentage being native Spanish speakers. The School strongly encourages students to hone their second language skills and specifically provides a Medical Spanish elective as part of the curriculum. This is an optional course where Years I & II students receive course credit in their education portfolios.

University of Southern California University of Southern California