University of Pittsburgh


Medical student curricula are packed with essential courses and content that all students must master, yet most students find time to pursue areas of personal interest. A goal of the recent curricular revision was to provide increased opportunities for such exploration and growth. We believe, and students confirm, that pursuing studies beyond the required curriculum helps students understand the connection between their basic science coursework and medical practice, and provides exposure to topics and specialties that cannot readily be included in the core curriculum. A mini-elective structure was developed to provide well-structured, rigorous and high quality experiences in areas not typically available to students (especially students in the pre-clinical years).

These courses are offered to any first- or second-year student who is able to commit to attending all course sessions, typically four to eight of them. A student must be in good academic standing to enroll. Most mini-electives are only offered during the Spring Term of each academic year. Updates to the course list as well as date changes typically occur in the late Fall. An email is sent to students in early December announcing registration dates. Please note that the longitudinal mini-electives begin in the fall and registration for those mini-electives are made separately by contacting the course director or student association coordinator. Any other minis listed that begin in the fall will have a separate registration date in late August or early September. Students will be contacted about the details via email.

Students who have other assigned academic commitments at the course times must meet those commitments. Therefore, some students may not be able to enroll in some mini-electives.

Course space is limited, based on the maximum number of students designated by the course director.

Students who successfully complete a mini-elective course will receive a certificate of completion. It will not be shown on their official University transcript.

Additional questions about mini-elective courses should be directed to Betsy Nero in the Office of Medical Education at 412-648-9829 or

Courses for first year students


Courses for second year students


Longitudinal Mini-Electives