Student Externship Program

Externships provide a unique opportunity to gain valuable experience and references through working with a department in your field of study.  

UC Davis Health is a world-renowned educational hospital, and an invaluable part of our training program is  Externship opportunities we offer throughout the hospital. There is no better way for a student to learn than to observe and study under the supervision of experienced pharmacists, radiologists, nurses, and doctors. Your participation in our program is critical to its success.

It is highly encouraged that you start the externship packet at least three months prior to requested start date. Work with your school coordinator and placement department utilizing the steps below and the Externship Checklist as a guide.


Returning Externs:

  • Returning to the same department: Externs are cleared for one year from start date, if outside of one year, you are required to resubmit their packet.
  • Returning to a different department: If you are a returning extern that is working for a different department you are required to complete a new externship packet (with new department and contacts).

Nursing Externs:

  • For information about NURSING clinical placements or preceptorships please email the Center for Professional Practice of Nursing (CPPN) School Liaison at hs-schoolliaison@ucdavis.edu


Getting Started:

Please follow the instructions listed below in order to submit your Externship Application Packet.

  • STEP 1: Secure Placement
  • Students are responsible for finding and securing their placements within UC Davis Health. It is highly encouraged that you to work with your school coordinator to find a placement location, as they have likely helped other students from your school find placements in the past. Record your placement information on the first page of your Externship Packet.   

    Frequent placement locations include:
    - Cancer Center
    - CAARE Center (Child and Adolescent Abuse Recourse and Evaluation Center)
    - Emergency Department
    - Interpreting Services
    - Occupational Therapy
    - Orthopedics Clinic
    - Pharmacy
    - Physical Therapy
    - PM&R (Acute care, physical or speech therapy)
    - Psychology
    - Pulmonary Services Lab
    - Radiology
    - Respiratory Therapy
  • STEP 2: Verify Affiliation Agreement
  • A student must be affiliated with an educational institution and collect credits/units for an externship. Affiliation agreements between UC Davis Health and potential externs home school are required to protect the liability of UC Davis Health. Since externships are traditionally unpaid experience that allows students to get credit for their work at leading hospitals, the students’ college must take legal responsibility for the student’s conduct during their externship at UC Davis Health.

    Please review the Affiliation Agreements Database (PDF) for a list of active affiliation agreements and record your Affiliation Agreement number on the first page of your Externship Packet.  

    Students that are attending a University of California school do not require an affiliation agreement (UC Berkeley, UCSF, etc.)
  • STEP 3: Complete Outside Clearance Form
  • Medical clearance is required for all students that want to extern at UC Davis Health. Medical clearance can be obtained by the student’s primary care physician or health care clinician (RN). Students without primary care physicians may have their vaccination information verified by the medical professional at their school’s hospital or clinic.

    Outside Clearance Form

    All areas of the Outside Clearance Form are required to be completed with dates for this form to be considered complete. You must submit your completed Externship Clearance Form with your Externship Packet.  

    HEP B: Hepatitis B is a series of vaccinations that could take up to six months to complete. If the student is not vaccinated prior to the expected start date, the placement department may choose to enter into an agreement by both parties signing the Hep B Vaccination Agreement.
  • STEP 4: Complete Mandatory Training
  • The following yearly training is required for students that want to extern at UC Davis Health to ensure the departments remains in compliance with hospital requirements. Complete the training at the following links online, then save your certificate of completion to submit with your completed packet:

    Privacy and Security
    Mandatory Annual Training Manual (MAT)
  • STEP 5: Submit Externship Packet
  • Complete all informational components of the Externship Packet. Ensure you attach the completed documents: Outside Clearance Form, Privacy and Security Certificate, and Mandatory Annual Security Training Certificate (MAST). Your packet cannot be processed by your placement department without all of the required documents.

    Submit completed packet to your placement department. Please allow sufficient time (6-8 weeks lead time recommended) for your department to review and verify your information prior to your Onboarding Appointment.
  • STEP 6: Pass UC Davis Health Background Check
  • The background check process is an essential part of ensuring hospital safety and compliance. Background check paperwork can take up to one month to process. Please make sure that your background check form is completed, signed, and submitted with you Externship Packet. Departments will be contacted if there is an alert that occurs during the background check process that will delay the students start date.

    Department: Please forward the Background Check Authorization Form and the Externship Clearance Form to HS-T-D@ucdavis.edu once you have approved the students packet.
  • STEP 7: Start your Externship!
  • Start date is set by your department, and students are cleared for one year from start date.