i. Satisfactory Academic Progress
The academic requirements for the MD degree include the satisfactory completion of the MD curriculum at CUNY School of Medicine (CSOM). The progress of each student working toward the MD degree is monitored carefully, and the determination of satisfactory academic progress is reviewed annually. At the end of each academic year, students must have academic standing consistent with SOM’s curricular and graduation requirements.
Federal law and regulations require that all students receiving financial assistance maintain satisfactory academic progress. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the successful completion of degree requirements according to established increments that lead to awarding the degree within published time limits. The following policy delineates the standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress at CSOM, which apply to all matriculated students, whether or not they are recipients of financial aid.
1. Requirements for Academic Progress and Graduation
Each student at CSOM is required to successfully complete all of CSOM’s required courses, clerkships, and examinations in order to graduate with the MD degree. CSOM does not measure academic progress by means of a cumulative grade point average but rather with grades of Pass or Fail in Years M1 and M2 and in all electives, and with grades of Honors, High Pass, Pass, or Fail in clerkships in Years M3 and M4. Specifically, all courses in M1 must be completed with a grade of Pass for progression to M2, and all courses in M2 and the USMLE Step 1 must be completed with a grade of Pass to progress and remain in M3. All students are required to Pass all Year M3 core clerkships, the M4 OSCE and, if applicable, elective experiences or approved activities to progress and remain in M4. In the final year(s), students must complete all courses, clerkships or approved activities and Step 2CK and Step 2 CS with a minimum grade of Pass to meet graduation requirements. Students must also successfully meet all applicable program competencies including those that pertain to professional behavior in order to progress to the next academic year, phase or graduation.
2. Maximum Time Frame
The normal time frame for completion of required course work for the MD degree is four academic years. Due to academic or personal difficulties or scholarly enrichment activities, a student may require additional time. In such situations, an academic plan may be established for the student that departs from the norm and that may require the repetition of all or a part of a year of study (i.e., subsequent to incomplete or unsatisfactory course work or an approved leave). To be making satisfactory academic progress, students ordinarily must complete the first two years of the curriculum by the end of the third year after initial enrollment; the remaining requirements of the curriculum ordinarily must be completed by the end of the sixth year after initial enrollment. Requests for exceptions are subject to review by the Student Academic Progress Committee (SAPC). The maximum time permitted for completion of the MD degree is six years. A student is eligible for institutional financial aid for a maximum of six years of enrollment, excluding time spent on approved leave of absence.
3. SAP and Leaves of Absence
A student may be granted a personal leave of absence for a variety of reasons. The period of leave for which the student has been approved may be excluded from the maximum time frame in which an individual student will be expected to complete the program. However, under no circumstances will a student be allowed to take more than 10 years from the time of matriculation to complete the requirements for the MD degree, including leaves of absence.
4. Review and Notification of Lack of Satisfactory Academic Progress
During the annual review of a student’s SAP by the CSOM Registrar, progression to the next academic year is based upon a review of all grades, including withdrawals, incompletes and failing grades. Any student who has not achieved a minimum of a passing grade in all core courses/clerkships cannot progress to the next year.
The SAPC in consultation with the Registrar, will notify annually, in writing, all students who have not met the standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress outlined above (Qualitative Measures and/or Maximum Time Frame). The notification will indicate the nature of the deficiency, any methods that may be available for correcting the deficiency, and any consequences that have resulted or may result, such as Monitored Academic Status (MAS), Academic Probation, or withdrawal. A student who fails to meet one or more of the standards for SAP (qualitative and/or time frame) is ineligible for financial aid beginning with the term immediately following the term in which the SAP requirements were not met, pending results of the appeal process, outlined below. A designation of MAS can occur for a variety of reasons and does not necessarily affect SAP if the student is still considered to be progressing toward the degree.
Eligibility for continued financial aid will only be re-established if the student subsequently meets Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements, or if the student successfully appeals the decision to the SAPC. The appeal must state the reasons for failing to meet SAP requirements, including, if applicable, special circumstances that contributed to the student’s failure to make satisfactory academic progress (e.g., an injury or illness of the student, the death of a relative, or other special circumstances), and the changes in circumstances that will allow the student to demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress at the next evaluation.
The assistance of the student’s advisor may be sought in the preparation of appeal. A student may also be required to submit a degree audit, course plan, and/or letter from the faculty advisor. All relevant materials will be presented to the SAPC. If the SAPC determines that the student’s appeal should be approved, the student’s aid will be reinstated.
6. Financial Aid Probation
Once an appeal has been approved, a student is placed on financial aid probation and is eligible for financial aid. The SAPC, in conjunction with the Deputy Dean for Medical Education and Associate Dean for Student Affairs, the student and the Registrar, will develop an academic plan for the student that will ensure, if followed, that the student is able to meet CSOM’s SAP standards by a specific point of time. Ordinarily, this time frame will be for an academic year. The student is eligible for financial aid during the time frame stated in the academic plan. During this time, the student will be monitored on a semester basis to ensure that the conditions of the academic plan continue to be met. The academic plan will be reviewed by the SAPC when assessing a student’s status. At the end of the time frame stated in the academic plan, the student must have met the SAP standards. A student who does not comply with each SAP standard by the end of the financial aid probationary period is suspended from financial aid eligibility. A student shall be reinstated for financial aid eligibility when he/she has satisfactorily completed sufficient coursework to meet the standards of progress within the maximum time frames delineated above.
NB: A student who has lost eligibility for financial aid due to deficiencies in satisfactory academic progress cannot automatically regain eligibility by paying tuition for a semester or by sitting out a term. Eligibility may be regained only by eliminating all SAP deficiencies at the student’s expense until all requirements of this policy are met.
Students who are withdrawn from CSOM are not making satisfactory academic progress and are not eligible to receive financial aid.
The Offices of the Registrar and Financial Aid, the SAPC, the Learning Resource Center, and the Deputy Dean for Medical Education and Associate Dean for Student Affairs collaboratively shall have the responsibility for monitoring and enforcing Satisfactory Academic Progress. The CSOM Registrar will notify the SAPC annually of any students who are not making satisfactory academic progress. The SAPC will determine whether academic sanctions are warranted and will inform the student thus. The Financial Aid Office will inform any student whose financial aid has been impacted.
ii. Grades awarded in M.D. Program courses
Grades in the M.D. program courses are awarded according to the following Grading System:
Years 4 and 5
Successful completion of all course
Failure to meet all course requirements.
Years 6 and 7
Outstanding performance in the
subject area, far exceeding the clerkship
requirements; limited to the top 10-20% of students.
For performance significantly above expectations, up to the top 40 % of students,
but not qualifying for honors.
Successful completion of all clerkship
Failure to meet all clerkship requirements.
Does not meet expectations in one or more competencies.
Did not meet expectations in competency and successfully remediated.
Did not meet expectations in competency and failed the remediation.
Passed the course/clerkship elements, but failed the initial attempt of the NBME
Passed the second attempt of the NBME
subject exam; passed the course/clerkship
Failed the second attempt of the NBME
subject exam; Failed the course/clerkship.
The course/clerkship requirements have
not been completed, for reasons beyond the student’s control. A grade of INC will be
replaced by the final grade when the student completes the course/clerkship
Year long course
Year or longer course of study; must
continue to completion
Withdrawal from a course/clerkship prior
to the completion of 60% of the allotted time for the course.
Never attended and did not officially withdraw
Attended at least one class session, but dropped after Financial Aid certification
date and prior to the end of the refund period.
Note: Electives will be graded P/F only
* Withdrawal Grades have financial implications.
iii. Course Reassessment Policy
Students who fail a course will be assigned a grade of U, and will be given the opportunity to take a reassessment exam. Students who reassess successfully will be assigned a grade of U/P. Students who fail the reassessment examination will be assigned a grade of U/F and will be referred to the Student Academic Progress Committee for action.
For courses or clerkships that include a separate NBME subject examination, students who passed the course elements but failed the NBME examination will be assigned a grade of C (Conditional), and will be given the opportunity to re-take the NBME examination. Students who pass the NBME re-examination will be assigned a grade of C/P. Students who fail the NBME re-examination will be assigned a grade of C/F.
Students who receive a final grade of U/F or C/F in any course or clerkship will have failed the course and will not be allowed to proceed to the subsequent semester or year in the Program.
Students who fail any courses will have their record reviewed by the SAPC. In the event that this is the student’s first failure, the SAPC may allow the student to repeat the whole semester corresponding to that in which the course was failed. If the student already repeated a semester prior to a failed course or clerkship, the SAPC may recommend the student for dismissal.
Students will be allowed to reassess up to a maximum of 3 courses in any given year. A student who exceeds the allowed number of reassessments will be referred to the SAPC for corresponding action. Such action may include allowing the student to repeat the incomplete semester. If the student already repeated a semester previously, the student may be considered for dismissal.
iv. Requirements for advancement to clinical training.
Before advancing into the final two clinical years of the curriculum (clerkship years), each student must complete all requirements for the pre-clerkship curriculum, be certified in Basic Life Support and CPR training, and achieve an overall passing grade in the United States Medical Licensing Examination, Step 1, administered by the National Board of Medical Examiners. Students may begin the first clerkship while awaiting the results of Step 1. A student who fails Step 1 may not continue with clerkships until a passing score is achieved. A student may take the Step 1 exam a maximum of three times. By action of the Student Academic Progress Committee, students not making satisfactory academic progress may be refused permission to sit for The United States Medical Licensing Examination, Step 1.
3. Adverse Academic Actions and Appeals Procedures (B.S. and M.D.)
i. Guidelines for Academic Due Process
If a student does not meet the academic standards of the school and his or her record will be considered for academic probation, prescription year, or dismissal, a representative for the Deputy Dean for Medical Education officially notifies the student by email that his or her academic status will be reviewed by the Student Academic Progress Committee. The student is advised to meet with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, who acts in the capacity of student advocate, to learn about the proceedings and to assure that due process occurs.
When the student fails a MED course, the email notification includes information on his or her right to submit a written statement in advance of the Student Academic Progress Committee meeting, with information relevant to his or her academic performance (e.g., personal, family or medical hardship) a n d / or the option of appearing in person before the Student Academic Progress Committee with an advocate.
Although the Student Academic Progress Committee meetings are closed and the deliberations are confidential, a student may bring as an advocate a fellow student, an advisor, a faculty member or a family member. Legal representation is not permitted at the Student Academic Progress Committee meetings and the proceedings of the meeting may not be recorded by the student or his or her advocate. The student is scheduled to meet the Student Academic Progress Committee for seven minutes: five minutes to present his or her case, and two minutes for questions.
At the meeting, the Student Academic Progress Committee will consider the student’s overall academic record and his or her statement(s) (written or personal presentation) and will decide on the appropriate action including, but not limited to, prescription year or dismissal.
ii. Grade appeals procedure (preclerkship)
If there is a disagreement on a final MED course grade, between the Course Director and the student, the following guidelines govern the grade appeals.
• Within two weeks after posting of the final course grade, the student must submit a written communication, via citymail account, to the Course Director, outlining the reason(s) for the grade appeal, and requesting a meeting to review his or her course grades. Objective information presented must adhere to course requirements and grading policies.
• Upon receipt of the student’s appeal, and prior to meeting with the student, the Course Director will review the criteria by which the final grade is determined, the student’s course grades and preceptor’s written evaluation(s), if applicable. The Course Director may deem it appropriate to obtain additional information based upon the student’s allegations and/or review the case with the Deputy Dean for Medical Education.
• When all pertinent documentation has been gathered and if necessary, the Course Director has discussed and reviewed the grade appeal with the Deputy Dean for Medical Education, the Course Director will convene a meeting with the student, and if the student is appealing a grade based on a preceptor evaluation, the Course Director may request the presence of the preceptor(s) involved in evaluating the student.
• The meeting will serve as a venue to clarify, verify or rectify any discrepancies found in the final course evaluation for the student in question. The Course Director would ultimately decide to maintain the original grade or submit an amended grade to the Office of Academic Records.
• If the student is dissatisfied with the results of his initial appeal, the student may appeal to the Student Academic Progress Committee, within two weeks of receiving written notification from the Course Director’s findings. The student will be required to submit documentation to support his or her grade appeal. The Committee may require a face-to-face meeting with the student.
• Within two weeks of receiving written notification from the Student Academic Progress Committee, the student may appeal an adverse decision to the Dean of the School, if the student believes that he or she was not accorded due process or if the adverse decision was arbitrary or capricious or reflected prejudice against the student. The Dean’s decision will be final.
iii. Clerkship grade clarification and appeals procedure
1. Students can request a clarification meeting with the clerkship director within 10 business days of receiving their clerkship grade. This meeting will be a face to face meeting where the clerkship director can explain how the grade was determined.
2. Within 10 business days after the clarification meeting the student must submit a written communication, via citymail account, to the Deputy Dean’s designate outlining the reason(s) for the grade appeal, and requesting a meeting to review his or her course grade. Grade appeals should be made only in the case of a grade which the student feels the grade to have been unfairly awarded.
3. The designate will conduct a formal review of the clerkship grade or summative evaluation along with any other information that has become available, such as a letter provided by the student with contextual information.
4. After the review, the designate will have 10 business days to inform the student of his or her decision. The designate can advise the clerkship director to maintain the original grade or to submit an amended grade to the Office of Academic Records.
5. The student may appeal to the Dean of the School within 10 businees days of receiving the decision of the Dean’s designate, if the student believes that he or she was not accorded due process or if the adverse decision was arbitrary or capricious or reflected prejudice against the student. The Dean’s decision will be final.
The Student Academic Progress Committee may recommend dismissal from the CUNY School of Medicine / Sophie Davis Biomedical Education Program if a student has such serious academic deficiencies that, in the committee's opinion, the student is unable to continue with the program. Dismissal may be recommended, for example, if a student:
• Fails to earn removal from academic probation within one year, especially when the student has multiple or repeated academic deficiencies;
• Fails any course during a prescription year;
• Fails a course the student is repeating;
• Fails a course during the BS Program (first three years of the Program), but the student has reassessed the maximum of five (5) courses, and the student has had a prescription year; (see “Course Reassessment Policy,” above).
• For the BS Program, meets any of the criteria for dismissal established by City College (e.g., fails to earn removal from GPA probation), as specified in the CCNY Bulletin of Undergraduate Programs.
Generally students are dismissed for academic reasons at the end, or before the beginning, of an academic year. Students may, however, be dismissed at the end of the first semester if they fail to meet the academic standards of the Program or if they fail a course which was being repeated.
The Associate Dean for Student Affairs and the CUNY School of Medicine / Sophie Davis Biomedical Education Program Counseling Center staff are available to provide transition- career counseling for any student who is dismissed from the CUNY School of Medicine / Sophie Davis Biomedical Education Program.
Sometimes students dismissed from the BS Program are able to transfer to the College of Liberal Arts and Science (and possibly pursue a medical education by the traditional route) or
to another School of City College. If a dismissed student wishes to continue his or her studies at another School of City College, the student must apply for a transfer to that School after meeting with the School's academic advisor to discuss the School's requirements and the student's planned program.
Students have the right to appeal dismissal decisions to the Dean of the CUNY School of Medicine(see "Notifying Students of Adverse Academic Decisions" and "Appeals Procedure," below).
v. Notifying students of adverse academic decisions
Notification of an adverse decision, which is based on a recommendation from the Student Academic Progress Committee, is promptly transmitted to the student by the Chair of the Student Academic Progress Committee. This is the only official notification regarding the decision that is transmitted to the student in writing (by certified mail, return receipt requested). The CUNY School of Medicine / Sophie Davis Biomedical Education Program is not responsible for the failure of a student to receive this notification. A student who refuses to claim or accept an official notification of dismissal or denial of graduation loses the right to appeal the decision (see "Appeals Procedure," below).
vi. Appeals procedure
Students have the right to appeal dismissal decisions and denial of graduation decisions to the Dean of the CUNY School of Medicine / Sophie Davis Biomedical Education Program. To exercise this right, a student must provide a written appeal to the Dean within ten business days of the student's receipt of the official notification of the decision.
Upon receipt of the written appeal, the Dean of the School will appoint an Ad Hoc Appeals Committee and will notify the Student Academic Progress Committee, the Deputy Dean for Medical Education, and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
The Appeals Committee will be provided with a copy of the student's written appeal, the minutes of the Student Academic Progress Committee meetings at which the adverse recommendation was made, and a complete academic profile of the student’s record.
The Appeals Committee is charged with determining:
• If the adverse decision was made in accordance with the approved and established policies of the Student Academic Progress Committee; and
• if the student was accorded due process; or
• if the adverse decision was arbitrary or capricious, or reflected prejudice against the student.
It is not within the purview of the Appeals Committee to critique the academic judgment of the Student Academic Progress Committee.
At least ten business days before the Appeals Committee meeting with the student, the Dean of the School will notify the student, in writing (by certified mail, return receipt requested), of the time and place of the meeting and of the student's right to be present at the meeting and to make oral or written statements to the committee regarding the decision. The student may also bring a non-legal advisor such as, a faculty member or fellow student, to the meeting.
The Appeals Committee may request, in writing, that the appropriate Course Director(s) and the Chair of the Student Academic Progress Committee attend the meeting.
After reviewing all documentation and hearing all presentations, the Appeals Committee will formulate a recommendation, based only on the charge outlined above, either confirming or reversing the original adverse decision. Within seven business days of the meeting, the Appeals Committee will transmit its written recommendation to the Dean of the School.
The Dean of the School will review the report of the Appeals Committee. If he finds that the Appeals Committee properly carried out the appellate process, he will confirm its recommendation.
The Dean of the School will promptly notify the student, in writing (by certified mail, return receipt requested), of the final decision (with copies to the Appeals Committee, the Student Academic Progress Committee, the Deputy Dean for Medical Education, and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs).
If the original adverse decision is reversed, the Dean of the School will refer the student’s record to the Student Academic Progress Committee for remediation.
The decision of the Dean in such cases is final; no further institutional recourse is available to the student.
vii. Resignation from the CUNY School of Medicine / Sophie Davis Biomedical Education Program
A student who is considering resigning from the CUNY School of Medicine / Sophie Davis Biomedical Education Program is encouraged to first discuss the issue with the Office of Student Affairs and Office of Academic Affairs before reaching a decision.
A student who decides to resign from the program should submit a letter to the Deputy Dean for Medical Education (with a copy to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs) notifying the School of the decision.
The student should also meet with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, who, with the CUNY School of Medicine / Sophie Davis Biomedical Education Program Counseling Center staff, is responsible for providing transition-career counseling to any student who resigns.
For students dismissed from the BS program, if the student wishes to continue his or her studies at another School within City College (e.g., the College of Liberal Arts and Science), the student must apply for a transfer to that School after meeting with the School’s academic advisor to discuss the school’s requirements and the student’s planned program.