Grading Policies

Grading System

Evaluation of students in the first two years is reported using a Pass/Fail grading system. Information for evaluation may be derived from examinations, from student-faculty contacts in laboratory sessions and conference groups, or other requirements defined by the Course Director.

Evaluations of student performance on third year and fourth year clerkships at Tufts-affiliated hospitals are completed by the clerkship site director. They are usually are a compilation of observations by the house officers and/or attending doctors who have worked closely with the student. The evaluations include indications of the student's fund of knowledge, motivation, skill, interpersonal skills, house officer potential and general comments on the student's performance. A clinical grade of Honors, High Pass, Pass, Low Pass, or Fail is given. The overall clerkship director will receive these evaluations and assign the final grade for the clerkship. The end of clerkship exam is used in determining the final grade for the clerkship. Once the final grade is assigned, the evaluation form is submitted to the Registrar’s Office. A copy of the evaluation is provided to the student. Performance resulting in grades of Low Pass or Fail or instances of unprofessional behavior is reviewed by the Student Ethics and Promotions Committee. Should a student wish to challenge a grade, he/she must do so within 30 days of the date the grade is entered at the Registrar’s Office (see the Grade Appeal Policy below).

Policy on Grade of Incomplete

Course directors, satisfied that students have met any of the following three conditions, will report a grade of "Incomplete" to the Registrar.The three conditions are as follows:

  • Illness - In order to qualify for this category, a student should provide a Student Affairs Dean with written confirmation of his/her illness from his/her physician.
  • Personal Emergency - In the case of a family or personal crisis, a student must confer with a Student Affairs Dean and obtain his/her approval for being excused, prior to the final examination or deadline for submission of the final paper.
  • Cheating - If a student is thought to have been cheating and the issue is not resolved within two (2) weeks after the final examination.

The course director will submit the grade of "Incomplete" to the Registrar. The student will then complete the required work at a time mutually agreed on by the course director and the student. This completion will not be considered a make-up examination and, therefore, does not require approval by the Student Ethics and Promotions Committee. If a student interrupts his/her course schedule (i.e. by taking a Leave of Absence or participating in the Research Concentration Program) which does not permit the completion of incomplete coursework during the same academic year in which the incomplete was granted, the student will receive a final grade of Incomplete for those courses.

Students cannot begin an academic year without satisfactorily completing the previous year's work. Failure to complete course work without fulfillment of these criteria will result in a grade of "Fail". The Student Ethics and Promotions Committee must then authorize any make-up attempt. The basis for the failure should be indicated on the student report form submitted to the Registrar.

Grade Appeal Policies

Preclinical Written Exams: Following the return of an examination to the class, there is a period of ten academic days during which a student may review the exam with the course director in order to determine if the grade on the examination should be changed. Usual reasons for making a change would include incorrect grading or an arithmetic error in computing the grade. Changes to interim exam scores are accepted in writing from the course director to the OEA. Changes that alter final grades are accepted in writing from the course director to the Registrar with a copy to the OEA. If the student does not discuss the issue with the course director during the ten academic day period, the student forfeits the right to have the grade change considered.

Standardized Patient or OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Exam) Exams: Course, clerkship or OSCE directors automatically review the data (including reviewing videotapes as necessary) of students who fail to achieve a satisfactory score on any standardized patient or OSCE exam. Students may not appeal the grading of these exams. Students may not review the videotapes for the purpose of challenging the scoring/grading of the exam. At the discretion of the course, clerkship or OSCE director, a student may review videotapes of the exam (in the presence of the course, clerkship or OSCE director or other designated faculty member) for the purpose of receiving feedback.

Clerkships: Students who believe they have received an incorrect grade (either due to an arithmetic error or other cause in computation of their grade) must begin the appeal process by contacting his or her clerkship site director and Carol Duffey (Registrar’s Office) within 30 academic days of receipt of the clinical evaluation. If the site director feels that there is merit to the student’s appeal, the site director must contact the Clerkship Director to re-open the grading process. If there is found to be a basis for changing the grade, the clerkship director will notify the Registrar’s Office. If the clerkship site director feels there is no basis for the grade change, the student will be notified by the site director that their grade will not change. Maine Track LIC students who want to appeal a grade should contact Dr. Bob Trowbridge, Dr. Amy Kuhlik and Carol Duffey.