University Policy

BU Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine Policy

First- and Second-Year Students

Final Course and Clerkship Grades

A student will not be promoted with any Fail, Withdraw, or Incomplete grades in required courses. A student may be at risk for dismissal from Chobanian & Avedisian SOM for:

  • Two or more Fail grades within one academic year.
  • Failure of a remediation exam.

Remediation of Course Grades by Reexaminations

Remediation of a course occurs when a student receives a failing grade for the course. If a student fails a course, they must take the remediation exam on one of the scheduled remediation days. A single round of assessments will be administered before the start of the second or third curricular year at a time selected and coordinated by the Medical Education Office and the Course Directors. If a student fails two or more courses, they must petition the Student Evaluation and Promotions Committee (SEPC) for permission to remediate those courses and take the remediation assessment. Any failure on the remediation assessment results in a final Fail grade for the course/rotation. The student must request permission from the SEPC to repeat the course/rotation.

Repeating the First or Second Curricular Year

The SEPC will require any student repeating the first or second curricular year to retake all courses in which the student received a Fail grade. To be eligible for promotion, a student must earn a grade of Pass in each repeated course after remediation. Students shall not be permitted to take a remediation examination for repeated courses unless specifically allowed by the SEPC. A student may not repeat the first or second curricular year more than once. A student must pass all components of a full curricular year within two academic years. A student who is required to repeat a year is not allowed to repeat any subsequent year. A student may petition the SEPC to enter a modified or decelerated curriculum in the third or fourth year.

USMLE Step 1

Each student must take the USMLE Step 1 examination to be promoted to the third curricular year. Each student must pass the USMLE Step 1 examination to be promoted to the fourth curricular year. Any student who fails USMLE Step 1 for the first time may finish their current rotation. The student’s course of study will stop until Step 1 has been retaken, after which, the student may reenter the curriculum. If the student fails Step 1 a second time, the student must leave the curriculum and may not reenter until the student passes Step 1. If a student fails USMLE Step 1 three times, the SEPC may dismiss the student.

End-of-Year Assessment (EOYA):

Students must pass end-of-year summative assessments to progress through the curriculum. Students must complete the defined remediation of any failed end-of-year assessment. In the third year, students must pass the end-of-year assessment remediation by November of the following academic year. Failure to remediate by November of that year will result in delayed graduation. Students who fail an EOYA may have subsequent curricular schedules modified/adapted by the Associate Dean of Medical Education.

Third- and Fourth-Year Students

USMLE Step 2

Any student who plans to graduate must take the Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK). A student must have registered and scheduled a date for the USMLE Step 2 exam by May 1 of the year prior to the student’s projected graduation.

Each student must take USMLE Step 2 CK:

  • by November 1 of the academic year in which the student is graduating
  • and in order to be certified in the match.

Remediation of a Fail Grade

A student must remediate any Fail grade according to the requirements established by the clerkship, rotation, or elective at a clerkship or rotation site within the Chobanian & Avedisian SOM system approved by the Clerkship or Rotation Director.

  • Remediation of a Fail grade in any clinical clerkship, rotation, or elective is not allowed while a student is enrolled in any other course or rotation being taken for academic credit.
  • No student will be allowed to repeat any clerkship, rotation, or elective more than once without SEPC approval.

Timing of Third-Year Grade Remediation

All third-year Fail and Incomplete grades must be remediated before a student is eligible for promotion to the fourth year. A student must remediate all third-year grades at the beginning of the fourth curricular year at the earliest possible date, depending on availability.