Grades and Course Credits

University Policy

School of Medicine Policy

The BUSM grading system is used to report grades for all courses. Evaluation of student performance must be expressed as one of the following grades:

H (Honors)

Awarded only for third- and fourth-year clerkships and rotations and signifies that the student’s performance and achievement are outstanding. Consistent performance at this level throughout the curriculum is required for graduation with Academic Honors.

HP (High Pass)

Awarded only for third- and fourth-year clerkships and rotations and indicates performance just short of Honors, exceeding satisfactory or acceptable performance, but not at the level necessary for Honors.

P (Pass)

Indicates an acceptable performance and achievement. Consistent performance at this level throughout the curriculum is expected of a student qualified for promotion and graduation. BUSM students must earn all Pass grades to be eligible for promotion and for graduation.

I (Incomplete)

Indicates that work in the course, clerkship, or rotation has not been completed.

If a student is unable to complete a course, clerkship, or rotation due to circumstances beyond the student’s control, the student may receive an Incomplete if the student is otherwise in good standing in that course, clerkship, or rotation. The Course Director/Clerkship Director/Rotation Director will provide a plan for the student to complete the course.

When possible, a student must contact the appropriate Course Director or Clerkship/Rotation Director and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs in advance whenever possible to explain any inability to take a scheduled examination or to meet other course obligations. If the Course Director or Clerkship/Rotation Director finds the reason acceptable, e.g., serious illness or a death in the immediate family, arrangements should be made for the student to complete the course requirements as soon as possible. If the reason is not acceptable, then the “Incomplete” grade is inappropriate, and a grade of “Fail” (see below) will be awarded.

An incomplete grade will become an internal grade markers and will not appear on the Official Transcript. All Incomplete grades must be remediated within one year of the original start date of the course or clerkship. If not remediated within one year, the Incomplete will be converted to a Fail grade.

W (Withdraw)

Assigned as the final grade in any course in which the student withdraws. The grade can be assigned at any time prior to the completion of a course. A student who is assigned a grade of “Withdraw” will be required to retake the course.

F (Fail)

Awarded when a student’s work in the course fails to meet the minimum requirements determined by the Department or Faculty.

Grades for all completed courses will appear on the Official Transcript. All Incomplete and Fail grades must be remediated in order to be eligible for promotion and graduation. Any repeated course will be listed on the transcript and the word “Repeat” will appear next to the course name. Courses in the first two years of the curriculum in which a student receives a grade of Fail, but is able to remediate by re-examination, will appear on the transcript as “Fail/Pass.” A transcript note will be made to designate that the remediation was completed by re-examination.

Grade Reconsideration

The Module, Course, Clerkship, and Rotation Directors determine grades in consultation with the course or clerkship faculty based on the criteria described in the module or clerkship syllabus.

A student who chooses to appeal a grade must follow these procedures:

  • Contact the Registrar to review the grade appeal process. The Registrar will serve as a liaison between the student and Department to ensure that all requirements are met.
  • Submit a written grade appeal to the Module, Course, Clerkship, or Rotation Director no more than 15 business days after the date on which the grade is officially recorded in the Registrar’s office.

The Module, Course, Clerkship, or Rotation Director must provide a written decision to the appealing student within 30 calendar days of receipt of the appeal.

  • BUSM 3 and 4: A student should first contact the Clerkship or Rotation Director with any specific concerns about their clinical evaluation. A student should not contact preceptors directly about grade complaints or reviews before discussing their concerns with the Clerkship or Rotation Director. Preceptors provide recommendations based on their observations of the student’s clinical skills but do not provide a final grade for students. A student may request sequential reviews of the appeal in the following order within 10 calendar days of receipt of the appeal.
    1. The relevant course leadership committees (e.g., PrISM [BUSM 1] or DRx Leadership Committee [BUSM 2], Director of Medical Education office [IP or ICM], Chair of the Department [EPH, HBM, clerkships]): The leadership committee must provide a written decision to the student in writing within 15 business days of receipt of the appeal.
    2. The Associate Dean of Academic Affairs: The Associate Dean must provide a written decision to the student in writing within 10 business days of receipt of the appeal. The decision of the Associate Dean is final.

A student should file an appeal with the Appropriate Treatment in Medicine (ATM) Committee only if the student contends that a grade was based on discrimination based on the student’s protected class status (i.e., gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity).