Grade Policy for Phase 1 Courses

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Full Policy Contents

Policy Statement
Reason for Policy

Additional Contacts
Related Information

Effective: 4/8/2014
Last Updated: 1/4/2016

Responsible University Office:
Office of Academic Records and Promotion

Responsible University Administrator
Marti Reeser, Ed.D. Assistant Dean, Academic Records & Promotions

Policy Contact:
Marti Reeser, Ed.D. Assistant Dean, Academic Records & Promotions

RESPONSIBLE Dr. Marti Reeser Assistant Dean, Academic Records & Promotions
ACCOUNTABLE Dr. Brad Allen, Senior Associate Dean of Medical Student Education
SUPPORT Curriculum Council Steering Committee
CONSULT Phase 1 Dean Medical Student Education
INFORM Students, Phase 1 Course Management Teams, Competency Directors, course instructors, personnel listed above

LCME Standards



Students enrolled in Phase 1 of the Indiana University School of Medicine undergraduate medical curriculum, and faculty and other personnel working with Phase 1 students in the School of Medicine.

Policy Statement

All students will be evaluated using the institutional learning objectives, as defined by the Curriculum Council Steering Committee (CCSC). Based upon course assessments, students will receive a grade (see definitions) and narrative feedback at the conclusion of each course.

Reason for Policy

The purpose of this policy is to define the grading system used by IUSM to evaluate students in Phase 1 of the competency-based curriculum (as defined by the CCSC), and to assure consistency and fairness of grades.


Approved by CCSC on 12/6/2016


Grade and evaluation reports are made available to each student after the completion of each Phase 1 course. The duration between the end of course and availability of the course grade should not exceed 30 days (see Timeliness of Grades policy).

A faculty member who is a relative of, in a relationship with, or has had a prior relationship with a student that could be perceived as a conflict of interest cannot be responsible for evaluating that student.

If a student receives a failing grade in a course or demonstrates deficiency in at least one competency, the Student Promotions Committee will recommend an action to address the concern (see the Student Promotions Committee policy).

Final grades are reported to the Registrar’s Office, where they become a part of the student’s permanent academic record. The Assistant Dean of Academic Records and Promotions reports grades to the Student Promotions Committee. After the end of each course, a final summary of grades awarded that year will be reviewed by the CCSC.

Course Grades

All Phase 1 courses will use the Pass, Fail, Incomplete or Withdrawal grade options in assigning a final course grade, and course grades will be assigned as follows:

  • Pass: assigned to all students who meet course requirements. It is expected that the Passing rate will range from 95-100% of students in Phase 1 courses.
  • Fail: assigned to students who meet any one of the following criteria:
    • Have received a failing cumulative course score.
    • Have failed to complete all required assignments (e.g., essays, papers, H&Ps, etc.) by the end of the course.
    • Have failed to remediate a competency in which they received an Isolated Deficiency.
    • Have received Isolated Deficiencies in two or more competencies.

It is expected that the failure rate will range from 0-5% in Phase 1 courses.

Isolated Deficiencies

An Isolated Deficiency (ID) will be assigned to students who receive an overall grade of Pass but fail to pass one of the competencies taught and assessed in the course. The ID must be remediated in order to pass the course and two or more IDs result in course failure. Failure of the main competency taught and assessed in a course (Medical Knowledge for foundational science courses; Patient Care for Foundations of Clinical Practice) results in course failure; thus, no ID can be assigned for that competency.


The Indiana University School of Medicine evaluation system is built on competency based learning as defined by the CCSC. The IUSM uses the following letter grade markers for the official transcript:

  • Pass (P): signifies performance that is satisfactory or above.
  • Incomplete (I): signifies that extenuating circumstances have prevented the student from completing the course requirements. The Incomplete must be removed before the student may proceed into the next year of study.
  • Withdrawal (W): signifies that the student withdrew before completing course objectives
  • Fail (F): signifies that the student has not performed satisfactorily.
  • Isolated Deficiency (ID): signifies that a student has performed adequately, except for a particular area of weakness in one of the six competencies. The student must complete remedial work in the designated competency to pass the educational experience.

    The grade of Isolated Deficiency will be assigned to students who have an isolated deficit in a competency. The six IUSM competencies are:
    • (PC) Patient Care
    • (ICS) Interpersonal Communication Skills
    • (MK) Medical Knowledge
    • (P) Professionalism
    • (PBLI) Practice Based Learning and Improvement
    • (SBP) Systems Based Practice
  • Satisfactory with Concern (SWC) identifies at-risk students with "low level" problems that may escalate if not addressed early in a course. SWC is not a final grade and will not appear on transcripts; rather, SWC marks an opportunity for intervention/improvement by a student when low-level concerns are raised in any competency that, if not addressed, could escalate to a student receiving an ID or Failing grade (see SWC policy for details).


If a student fails to pass a course or demonstrates deficiency in a competency domain, the Student Promotions Committee will recommend an action to address the problem.

Additional Contacts

Subject Contact Phone Email
Kim Sandrick Student Records Specialist, MSE 317-274-1970


Grade Appeal Policy

Related Information

  • CCSC Charter
  • Competencies
  • Area of Concern
  • Mid Rotation Feedback
  • Timeliness of Grades
  • Academic Requirements
  • Student Promotion Committee
  • Prior/Existing Relationship with Faculty/Resident
  • Grade Policy for Phase 2 and Phase 3 Courses, Clerkships, and Electives


Approved by CCSC: August 2016
Revised and approved by CCSC: December 2016