Grading Policy and Grade Appeals

UNR Med Student Handbook: Assessment of Student Performance

UNR Med requires that students must earn a grade of Pass or better in all basic science blocks, clinical clerkships and electives and demonstrate the appropriate level of professionalism to progress and to graduate. Students may be awarded a grade of Honors, High Pass, Pass, Fail, or Incomplete. The Policy for Final Grade Assignment stipulates that grades are awarded by the course directors. UNR Med strives to maintain the highest academic standards for our students and faculty. Formative and summative assessment of knowledge, skills and behaviors as defined in the UNR Med Medical Education Program Objectives is necessary to demonstrate that students are meeting these academic standards.

Blocks, Clinical courses, clerkships and electives require demonstration of content knowledge, clinical skills, and behavioral components like professional behavior. These are tested through a combination of cognitive examinations and clinical skills assessments that occur periodically throughout the curriculum. Final determination of grades for an educational experience is determined by the Block, Clerkship or Elective Director at UNR Med.

During the fourth year, students often complete elective courses at other institutions. So that OME receives a student's final evaluations and grades for away rotations, students may forward the Final Evaluation of Student Performance: Year 4 Clinical Electives available on-line to an elective supervisor to complete and return to OME at the end of the elective course.

It is understood that a student may disagree with the final grade assigned to him/her. The Grade Appeal Policy outlines the procedure for the appeal of a block/clerkship/elective grade for any portion of the medical education curriculum. All discussions regarding the grade appeal process are to remain confidential and should involve only those who need to have access to the information (such as Dean, Associate Deans, Department Chairs, Student Promotion and Conduct Committee, Curriculum Committees). A grade assigned by an instructor is only subject to the appeals procedure if:

  • There was a clerical/administrative error in the calculation and/or assignment of the grade;
  • The grade assignment was based on factors other than the student's performance in the course and/or completion of course requirements; or
  • The grade assignment meant that the student was held to more demanding standards than other students in the same section of the course.

All grade appeals are directed as presented in the UNR Grade Appeal Policy & Procedure (Revised September 2015). The Grade Appeal must be filed no later than 10 working days after the start of the next spring or fall semester (whichever comes first) after the grade is assigned. The steps by which a student may appeal a final course grade are:

  1. The student must inform the instructor, in writing, as well as the Associate Deans for Medical Education and Admissions and Student Affairs of his/her intent to appeal a grade.
  2. The student fills out a notice of intent to appeal a grade form.
  3. The instructor and department chair must communicate the outcome of each step in the appeal process with the student as well as the Associate Deans for Medical Education and Admissions and Student Affairs.
  4. The University Administrative Manual policies and procedures (3,510) are followed within the above parameters.

Unsatisfactory Performance

A passing grade in a block, course, clerkship, and elective is defined as a grade of Honors (H), High Pass (HP), or Pass (P). Failure to achieve a passing grade in any block, course, clerkship, or elective constitutes unsatisfactory academic performance and requires action by the SPCC. Block/Course/Clerkship/Elective directors (course directors) will assign final grades to students and determine if students have met the requirements established for the course. As such, it is the responsibility of the course directors to determine if a student meets criteria for initiation of a Formal Remediation Plan (FRP). Course directors will notify the student as well as the Office of Medical Education and Admissions and Student Affairs of any students who fail to meet the requirements established for the course.

  • The development of the FRP is the responsibility of the student under advisement of the block/course/clerkship director. The criteria for reassessing mastery are established by the individual department with responsibility for the block, course, or clerkship.
  • The student shall be directly supervised during this process by the UNR Med learning specialist and other appropriate course directors. The student will appear before the SPCC to discuss his/her performance and will present the FRP, including timeline, methods and outcome. The learning specialist and course director(s) supervising the remediation process shall monitor student progress until remediation is completed.
  • Satisfactory performance must be documented in the student's academic record.

Unsatisfactory Performance in Years 1-2

Students must meet all requirements established for each block. Performance in both academics and professionalism are assessed. Students who fail to meet the requirements established for a block, including, but not limited to receiving a grade of "Fail", inadequate academic performance in the block overall, inadequate performance in specific content areas or in professionalism, will be required to initiate and complete a Formal Remediation Plan (FRP). Adequacy of performance is determined by the Block Directors.

Details regarding block and course remediation can be found in the policy: Years One and Two Promotion Criteria

Unsatisfactory Performance in Years 3-4

Students must meet all requirements established for each clerkship, course, and elective. Performance in both academics and professionalism are assessed. Students who fail to meet the requirements established for a clerkship, course or elective, including, but not limited to receiving a grade of "Fail", inadequate academic performance in the clerkship overall, inadequate performance in specific content areas or in professionalism, will be required to initiate and complete a Formal Remediation Plan (FRP). Adequacy of performance is determined by the Clerkship/Course/Elective directors.