ACLS (Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support) Class Dates

Is ACLS required for IUSM students?

No, ACLS is not required for IUSM students. Although we agree that tenets of ACLS are important to be familiar with, all facilities in which medical students rotate do not expect/allow students to be part of the Code Blue response team beyond the important steps that are taught in Basic Life Support (BLS) training. BLS training is required for all IUSM students and this is much easier to obtain and to recertify every 2 years. The resources below, along with many others in the community can help you achieve this training. BLS training is required prior to ACLS training and is often offered concurrently.

Why do students at some IUSM Center Campuses have ACLS training supplied to them?

Some of the facilities that host our IUSM Center students across the state require ACLS training for their hospital staff and hold students doing clinical activities at their sites to that standard. Therefore, because it is required at some clinical sites, various IUSM Center Campuses have provided for ACLS training to 3rd and 4th year students.

Won't I need ACLS training for residency?

Yes, most residency training programs require ACLS training, but the overwhelming majority of residency programs supply that training at the time you begin your internship and then every two years thereafter. Therefore, you are not at a disadvantage if you do not get the ACLS training during medical school.

Don't I need ACLS training for some clinical "away" rotations, either at one of our IUSM Center Campuses or outside of the IUSM system or Indiana?

In some cases, outside rotations may require ACLS training. IUSM Centers do their best to inform incoming students of ACLS requirements as well as any other special requirements at their various clinical training sites. Due to the time requirements for ACLS training, it is important to know about the requirement in advance so that you can plan accordingly and arrange for completion of ACLS well before the start of your rotation. Options for that training are listed below.

Can I get time-off during a clinical rotation to do ACLS training?

Whenever possible, we encourage our students to find times outside of their clinical rotations to schedule events, even those that are related to your medical career, so that students do not miss important clinical experiences. This is one of the reasons we have created Campus Connections day between clinical rotations in the 3rd and 4th years, that allow for scheduling other activities outside of clinical rotation obligations. MSE is discussing the need for Clerkship Directors to consider granting leave for students that are unable to find alternatives options, but this will still require students to submit a Leave Request form to their Clerkship Director, well in advance of the expected absence, in order to officially be granted time away from a rotation.

Where can I get ACLS training in the greater Indianapolis area?

Other options that may be considered based on availability or the training time involved are listed below, but do have a cost to the student.
  1. SMRTIndiana/Redcross ( has a one day class held on Saturdays where you receive both ACLS and BLS. The cost is $150.
  2. Online training is now available through Advanced Medical Certification. MSE has negotiated a discounted price for IUSM students (by using a special IUSM code) and can be done at your own time and pace. ( ). We have negotiated the discounted price for ACLS to be $89 dollars, while the BLS training has a discounted rate of $40. To take advantage of this discount you can enter the following codes; for ACLS enter IUSMacls89 and for BLS enter IUSMbls40
  3. At the present time, other Indianapolis hospitals offer a 2-day initial ACLS training on weekdays (St. Vincent, St. Francis, Community) at a cost of ~$200 for non-employees. MSE will continue to work for discounted or free options with these facilities and will update options on the MSE website.

MSE will continue to explore additional options for ACLS and BLS training for our IUSM students benefit. Your Medical Student Council members are working very effectively on your behalf to look for other solutions.