The grading and remediation policies are below.


Phase 1 Grading Policy  

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:

  • Students who have an overall composite score of >70% will receive a grade of Pass for the course.
  • Students who have an overall composite score <70% will have their de-identified composite and individual component grades (MK, APP, CIL) reviewed by the Grading Committee, which will determine the final grade for each of these students.
  • The Grading Committee cannot increase the minimum passing composite score to greater than 70%.

Grading Committee: To help determine a final grade for each student for a course, the COM Curriculum Committee will establish a committee of faculty to review preliminary grades based upon the guidelines listed above and adjudicate all grades that do not meet the guaranteed passing score.

This Grading Committee will consist of five COM general faculty members without administrative educational roles and the core/block director (advisory role) and who have requisite understanding of the COM program objectives.  The Chair of the Committee will be a non-voting member and will consist of either a representative from the SEC or the Associate Dean for Medical Education.  Faculty will serve for a two-year term.  The Phase 1 Director will be non-voting members of the Grading Committee, and individual block directors will participate in Grading Committee meetings related to discussion of their course, but will also not vote as a member of the committee.  Any Grading Committee member who serves in a formal leadership role for the course (e.g. Block Director) must recuse themselves from discussion.

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 data about the overall performance of the class and the de-identified composite and component data of individual performances of those students that do not meet or exceed the guaranteed passing score.  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) 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. 

Approved by the Curriculum Committee: August 10, 2018.


All students with a Fail will be contacted by e-mail from the Associate Dean for Medical Education or designee at the time of grades being posted.  Students will need to contact the block director within 1 week of receiving a Fail to develop a remediation plan.   A written remediation plan will be sent by the block director to the student, Assessment Coordinator and Office of Student Affairs.  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.

  • 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 Block.
  • Remediation scores are entered on spreadsheets & sent to block directors and the Associate Dean for Medical Education for the final determination of a grade.

The block director determines the remediation plan for a specific component(s) entailing retaking the same or comparable assessments to those taken previously in domain(s) demonstrating weakness. Exam review by the student for remediation must be completed within five (5) business days prior to the remediation exam. The domains are:

  • Medical Knowledge (MK) remediation: repeat or a new MCQ exam using prior questions
  • Applications (APP) remediation: Lab, OSCE or anatomy components must be successfully completed again according to block director discretion.
  • Collaborative & Independent Learning (CIL)—assessments as designated by the block directors. 

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 block director.  If this new grade is above the minimum passing score for the block as determined by the grading committee, the student will receive a Pass.  If below, the results will be reviewed by representatives of the OME, Office of Academic and Student Affairs, and Student Evaluation Committee for final action.

Students who have a Failure will be referred to the Student Evaluation Committee for action (see SEC guidelines). 

Modified by the Office of Medical Education: August 6, 2019.
Modified by the Office of Medical Education and the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs: April 29, 2019.
Approved by the Curriculum Committee: August 28, 2018.
Approved by the Curriculum Committee: July 23, 2018.

Phase 2 Grading Policy  

Overall grades are determined by a combination of the score on NBME subject examinations (medical knowledge), as well as performance on clinically-oriented activities such as OSCE, clinical performance, etc. (application) and other assigned individual/group activities or projects (collaborative and independent learning).  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. 

Grades of Marginal and Fail may be received on the basis of repeated instances of unprofessional behavior, low performance on NBME shelf examinations, or unexcused absences.   Additional details on criteria for marginal and failing performance in each area can be found here.

Grading data must be communicated to the students no later than 6 weeks after the conclusion of the 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
Phase 3 Grading Policy  
Curriculum Enhancement Rotation (CER): 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 - Discretion of Sponsoring Department.Honors/High Pass/Pass/Marginal/Fail - Discretion of Sponsoring Department.

Grades for UNMC Sub-internship rotations are to be posted within four weeks of the completion of the rotation.


Approved by the Curriculum Committee January 26, 2021