Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I become a Mount Sinai volunteer?

    We encourage you to explore the numerous volunteer opportunities on our website.  Once you have identified the program(s) with which you would like to volunteer, please complete and submit an online application. Please note:  Many of our programs have limited openings, so we cannot assure a placement for everyone who expresses interest.  Thank you in advance for taking the time to best express your interest in volunteering and what motivates you at this time in your life, and we will let you know if we have a suitable opening for you.

    If you are interested in The Mount Sinai Research Volunteer Program, due to program limitations, we are only able to accept applications from people who already have assignments with a Principal Investigator (PI) at this time.  If you have not already secured a placement in a laboratory or as part of a clinical research team, then we are unable to process your application.

  • Is there a time commitment to volunteer at Mount Sinai?

    While programs vary, Mount Sinai volunteers are typically asked to make a minimum six month commitment to volunteer for a minimum of 100 hours.  Unfortunately, we cannot provide short-term volunteer assignments given the time and cost associated with volunteer clearance.

  • How long does the clearance process take?

    The good news is that this answer mostly depends on you, and how quickly you're able to complete each step in the process. Generally speaking, we find that clearance can take about a month (particularly given the health requirements). Applicants who follow each step carefully can help expedite their own process.

  • Is there a minimum age requirement?

    Applicants need to be at least 15 years of age to volunteer, however, due to school schedules, there are a very limited number of hospital or research volunteer placements. If you already have a placement, then this department will be able to help onboard you.

  • What does medical clearance entail?

    All Mount Sinai volunteers are required to be cleared by the Employee Health Services (EHS) to be sure applicants are in good health and up to date with immunizations including the flu vaccine during flu season. Exceptions will not be considered. Your health records are private and will be shared directly between you and EHS, and not the Department of Volunteer Services (DVS) staff.

    Volunteers are required to take a toxicology (drug screening) test through Quest Diagnostics, at no charge to the volunteer. Quest will send the results directly to EHS, to be included in your health record. Urine toxicology includes screening for amphetamines (amphetamine, methamphetamine), barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cocaine metabolites, opiates (morphine, codeine), opioids (hydromorphone, hydrocodone, oxycodone, oxymorphone) and phencyclidine. If you fail a toxicology test by testing positive for any substance for which you do not have a current prescription, then you are not cleared to volunteer at Mount Sinai and are disqualified from re-applying in the future.

  • Can I volunteer if I am not a U.S. Citizen or Green Card holder?

    If you are not a U.S. Citizen or Green Card holder, then we need you to first be cleared through the International Personnel department. You can begin the online application, but you will be directed to International Personnel to complete this step.

  • Do you have summer volunteer programs?

    We are pleased to be able to welcome students to volunteer with Mount Sinai over the summer; however, there are no more openings available for summer 2023. If you already have a placement lined up, then we will be able to assist with your onboarding.

  • What is the application process for returning volunteers?

    If you have volunteered for Mount Sinai in the past, then please indicate that on your application. Depending on how long you have been away, we possibly can waive some of your requirements. We require every volunteer to maintain a single profile in our VSys system, as this enables Mount Sinai Hospital System (MSHS) and you to maintain one record -- often over multiple years and with different assignments - over time. All volunteers hours are maintained through the VSys portal as well.