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The grading and remediation policies by curriculum phase. 

General Principles

Students will be granted a score of either Pass or Fail for each course during the Foundations of Medicine Phase (Phase 1). Percent scores will be maintained for each student in order to determine scholarships and AOA nominations, and for writing the MSPE letter. Students will have access to their final grade of Pass or Fail for each course and their percent performance on assessments in order to guide students in their progress and performance compared to their peers.

To determine a student’s percent score, a composite score consisting of all available points for a course will be determined. The total amount of available points for a course will arise from assessments within three domains (see below) and each course is expected to incorporate assessment in all three components to arrive at the composite score.

Example Assessments

  • Medical Knowledge Exams (MK): Multiple-choice, short-answer, and essay examinations and quizzes; written assignments
  • Application Exams (APP): OSCE; patient interviewing; physical diagnosis; procedural skills; lab activities 
  • Collaborative & Independent Learning (CIL): Small-group engagement rubrics, reflection rubric, multiple quizzes as completion (e.g., five 10-point quizzes=5 points total), etc. 

Guidelines for a grade of Pass

  • The minimum passing score in each block is calculated on a rolling basis annually, set at the average of final block scores that were 2.5 standard deviations below the mean for the preceding three years. This minimum passing score will be published in the syllabus and described during block orientation.
  • Students who have an overall composite score at or above this published score will receive a grade of Pass for the course.
  • Students who have an overall composite score below the published score will have de-identified assessment data reviewed by the Grading Committee who will determine the final grade for each of these students.
  • The Grading Committee cannot increase the minimum passing composite score to one greater than the published cutoff score.

Grading Committee

This Committee, a subcommittee of the COM Curriculum Committee, will consist of five COM general faculty members without administrative educational roles in Phase 1 who have requisite understanding of the COM program objectives. Members are appointed by the Associate Dean for Medical Education for a two-year term, renewable twice. The Chair of the Committee will be the Phase 1 Director or designee and is a non-voting member. The block directors may attend Committee meetings as non-voting members for advisory purposes. Any Grading Committee member who serves in a formal leadership role for the course (e.g. Block Director), including the committee chair, must recuse themselves from relevant discussions.

The Grading Committee will recommend a grade of Pass (P) or Fail (F). For students receiving a Fail, the Grading Committee will identify which of the assessments fell below their standards. See remediation plan for further details.

In the process of determining grades, the Grading Committee will review available assessment data including but not limited to the overall performance of the class and de-identified composite and component data of individual performances of those students that do not meet or exceed the passing score published in the syllabus. The Grading Committee may also consider any contextual factors related to a specific course (e.g., standard deviations from mean, extenuating circumstances related to the administration of the course or an assessment) to help determine the appropriate minimum passing score. Grades determined by the Grading Committee will be sent to the Associate Dean for Medical Education (or designee) for validation and only in exceptional circumstances (e.g. mathematical error) will the grade(s) be modified. After validation, grades will be reported to students by the Office of Medical Education within 7-10 days of the completion of the course. 


All students with a Fail will be contacted by e-mail from the Associate Dean for Medical Education or designee at the time of grade posting with a description of the assessment(s) to be retaken. Students will contact the Assessment Coordinator within 10 business days following grade receipt to discuss the logistics of retaking designated assessment(s). Note: students receiving a grade of Fail will be required to re-register for the block and pay tuition for the remediation per SEC guidelines. Note: the "Fail" grade for the first attempt, even if successfully remediated, will remain on the student's transcript. 

  • Phase 1 – Semester 1 and Semester 2: Remediation needs to be completed by July 10 nearest the end of that academic year. Students may complete during winter and spring breaks if agreeable to the block director.
  • Phase 1 – Semester 3: Remediation needs to be completed by the beginning of the Acute Care and Clinical Transitions Block.

The Grading Committee determines the remediation plan for a specific component(s) entailing retaking the same or comparable assessments to those taken previously in the above domain(s) demonstrating weakness. Students are not allowed to review examinations after the deadline described in the Exam Review Policy.

To determine the outcome of remediation, the results of remedial assessment(s) will replace the original one(s) and the student’s final grade for the block will be recalculated following completion of all activities designated by the Grading Committee. If this new grade is above the final minimum passing score for the block, the student will receive a Pass. If below the minimum passing score, the results will be reviewed by the Grading Committee for determination of the Final Grade.

Students who fail block remediations will be referred to the Student Evaluation Committee for action (see SEC guidelines). 

Approved by the Curriculum Committee: August 10, 2018
Approved by the Curriculum Committee: August 28, 2018
Modified by the Office of Medical Education and the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs: April 29, 2019
Approved by the Curriculum Committee: July 23, 2019
Modified by the Office of Medical Education: August 6, 2019
Approved by the Curriculum Committee: March 22, 2022
Approved by the Curriculum Committee: July 25, 2023 

Overall grades in the six core clerkships are determined by a combination of clinical performance, NBME Subject Exam score, OSCE score (if applicable), professionalism, attendance, and other assignments.  The contribution of each item to the final grade and minimum requirements to receive a Pass on the clerkship will be provided to students at orientation for each clerkship. Students who meet the minimum requirements for Pass are guaranteed a grade of Pass or higher. Each clerkship assigns Honors to the top 20%, High Pass to the next 30%, and the remaining students are eligible for Pass.

A grade of fail may be received for one of the following reasons:  final cumulative grade below the passing threshold, repeated instances of unprofessional behavior, failing performance on NBME shelf examinations, or unexcused absences.  Find additional details on criteria for failing performance in each area in the Fail Criteria for Core Clerkships.

The Acute Care and Clinical Transitions Block is a pass/fail event and will not be factored into class rank. A final course grade of 80% is required to pass.

Grading data must be communicated to the students no later than 6 weeks after the conclusion of the course or clerkship.

Approved by the Clerkship Directors: October 9, 2018
Approved by the Curriculum Committee: October 23, 2018
Modified by the Office of Medical Education: January 26, 2021
Approved by the Curriculum Committee: January 25, 2022

Curriculum Enhancement Seminars (CES): Pass/Fail (Successful completion of all components)

Residency Preparatory Course (RPC): Pass/Fail (Successful completion of all components)

Elective Rotations: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Marginal/Fail or Pass/Fail - Discretion of Sponsoring Department and as designated in the UNMC course catalog.

Grades for all rotations are to be posted within three weeks (21 days) of the completion of the rotation.

Approved by the Curriculum Committee: January 26, 2021
Modified by the OME: March 22, 2022
Modified by the OME: May 30, 2023
Approved by the Curriculum Committee: July 25, 2023