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)

This designation is used only for third- and fourth-year clerkships and rotations and indicates 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)

High Pass is used only for third- and fourth-year clerkships and rotations and indicates performance just short of Honors, exceeding satisfactory or acceptable performance.

P (Pass)

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 have all Pass grades to be eligible for promotion and for graduation.

I (Incomplete)

Work in the course, clerkship, or rotation is incomplete.

If a student is unable to complete a course, clerkship, or rotation due to circumstances beyond his or her control (e.g., an emergent illness in which the student is incapacitated), the student may receive an Incomplete if s/he is 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.

Students 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 unacceptable, then the “Incomplete” grade is inappropriate, and a grade of “Fail” (see below) will be given.

A student who does not complete course requirements by the end of the curricular year will be placed on the agenda of the SEPC to determine if the incomplete grade is converted to a “Fail.”

F (Fail)

Work in the course was at a level of quality too low to meet the minimum requirements determined by the department or faculty.

All Incomplete (I) and Fail (F) grades must be remediated prior to promotion, or, for BUSM 4, prior to graduation. When the SEPC judges that a student is qualified for promotion or for graduation, grades of H (Honors), HP (High Pass), P (Pass), and F (Fail) followed by a P (Pass) for repeated courses, are recorded in the official transcript.


Prior to matriculation, students may apply for an exemption from courses for which they previously completed coursework outside of BUSM. Applications should be directed to the individual Course Directors who determine the credentials necessary to award exemption status (which may include satisfactory completion of a placement examination). The official transcript will record these courses as “Exempt.”


The transcript will record the word “Repeat” next to the grade for repeated courses.

Grade Reconsideration

A student may request a Course Director or Clerkship/Rotation Director to review a grade for reconsideration no more than two months after the date the grade is officially recorded in the Registrar’s Office, or three months for an “away” clerkship or rotation.