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Tufts University School of Medicine

Student Ethics and Promotions Committee

Standards for Promotion

Students must complete (and pass) all courses successfully from one year before beginning the courses/rotations in the next year. Students must pass the Step 1 of the USMLE Exam prior to the start of the Advanced Clerkship & Elective phase of the curriculum. Students must take step 2 CK and CS by early fall of their fourth year. See Graduation Requirements.

The Student Ethics and Promotions Committee (SEPC)

The Student Ethics and Promotions Committee is the official faculty committee that reviews ethics violations and instances of unprofessional behavior as well as approves the advancement (promotion) of students from one academic year to the next. A student who receives an incomplete or failing grade in a course, or a low pass or failing grade in a rotation or who has otherwise not fulfilled Tufts University School of Medicine’s graduation requirements will be brought before the SEPC where the student’s entire record is reviewed. In addition to academics, the Committee takes into account an assessment of characteristics considered desirable in a good physician, maintenance of the school’s integrity, and the well-being of patients under the student’s care. Issues regarding professionalism and conduct are brought before the SEPC for review.

SEPC has the right to temporarily remove a student from a course or rotation, or place a student on leave of absence, pending a required medical or psychiatric evaluation, if remaining in the course or rotation is felt to be detrimental to the student, classmates, faculty, or to the delivery of patient care. Such action may also be taken by the Dean of Student Affairs on a temporary basis until the committee can meet or until the situation is otherwise resolved. Students in academic difficulty may be suspended from participating in the academic program until a recommendation is made by the committee. The guidelines under which the committee functions are outlined below.

Any student who is reviewed by the Student Ethics and Promotions Committee has the right to appear before and address the committee at the scheduled Committee meeting. Students may meet with the OSA Deans prior to the meeting for support and advice. Other individuals are not permitted to attend the meeting. A student may bring a support person (other than legal counsel) to a final dismissal hearing. This individual is there only for moral support and may not engage in any discussion during the meeting. Any student who is denied advancement by the Student Ethics and Promotions Committee has the right to appeal this decision to Student Appeals Committee.

Tufts University School of Medicine Student Ethics and Promotions Committee (SEPC) Promotions Guidelines »
(Effective 2018-2019)

Maximum Time for the M.D. Degree

The maximum time permitted for completion of the M.D. degree excluding approved leaves or other approved academic experiences is six academic years.

The standard time frame for completion of requirements for the M.D. degree is four academic years. Due to academic or personal difficulties or approved academic enrichment activities, a student may require additional time.

To be making satisfactory academic progress, a student must complete the pre-clerkship phase of the curriculum within a three academic years. Students must also complete the clinical phase of the curriculum within three academic years. The student can, therefore, be expected to receive the M.D. degree within a six-year period, excluding approved leaves of absence and/or participation in the Research Concentration Program or Active Citizenship Program.

Leave of Absence and Maximum Time for the M.D. Degree

A student may be granted a leave of absence, of not more than one year, for a variety of reasons. The approved period of leave is excluded from the maximum time frame in which a student must complete all degree requirements. However, a student will not be allowed to take more than 8 years (10 years for MD/PhD students) from the time of matriculation to complete the requirements for the M.D. degree, inclusive of leaves of absence.