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Full Policy Contents

Policy Statement
Reason for Policy

Additional Contacts
Related Information

Effective: 4/8/2014
Last Updated: 7/30/2017

Responsible University Office:
Office of Academic Records and Promotion

Responsible University Administrator
Assistant Dean, Academic Records & Promotions

Policy Contact:

RESPONSIBLE Assistant Dean, Academic Records & Promotions
ACCOUNTABLE 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

LCME Standards

9.5 Narrative assessment
9.8 Fair and Timely Summative Assessment


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

Policy Statement

All students will be evaluated using the institutional learning objectives as defined by the Curriculum Council Steering Committee. Based on 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 ensure consistency and fairness of grades.


Approved by the Curriculum Council Steering Committee 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 for academic records and promotions reports grades to the Student Promotions Committee. After the end of each course, a summary of grades awarded that year will be reviewed by the Curriculum Council Steering Committee.

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: It is expected that the passing rate will range from 95 percent to 100 percent of students in phase 1 courses. A passing grade is assigned to all students who meet course requirements. A passing grade is assured if a student meets BOTH criteria below:
    • Scores within or above 2 standard deviations of the statewide class mean based on the total of all assessments given in the course
    • AND scores within or above 2 standard deviations of the statewide class mean on the NBME final exam
  • Fail: It is expected that the failure rate will range from 0 to 5 percent in phase 1 courses. A failing grade is assigned to a student who meets any ONE of the following criteria:
    • Does not meet the above passing criteria and falls below the passing line as determined by the CMT
    • Has failed to complete all required assignments (e.g., essays, papers, history and physicals, etc.) by the end of the course.
    • Has failed to remediate a competency in which he/she received an Isolated Deficiency.
    • Has received Isolated Deficiencies in two or more competencies.

Isolated Deficiencies

An Isolated Deficiency 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 for the student 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 Curriculum Council Steering Committee. The IUSM uses the following 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:

    • Patient Care (PC).
    • Interpersonal Communication Skills (ICS).
    • Medical Knowledge (MK).
    • Professionalism (P).
    • Practice-Based Learning and Improvement (PBLI).
    • Systems-Based Practice (SBP).
  • Area of Concern (AOC) identifies at-risk students with “low-level” problems that may escalate if not addressed early in a course. AOC is not a final grade and will not appear on transcripts; rather, AOC 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 grade of Fail (see AOC 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
Student Records Specialist, Medical Student Education Kim Sandrick 317-274-1970


Grade Appeal Policy

Related Information

  • CCSC Charter
  • Competencies
  • Area of Concern
  • Mid Rotation Feedback Policy
  • Timeliness of Grades Policy
  • Academic Requirements Policy
  • Guidelines for Promotion, Suspension, Dismissal, and Withdrawal.
  • Non-Involvement of Health Care Providers Policy.
  • Grade Policy for Phase 2 and Phase 3 Courses, Clerkships, and Electives


Approved by the Curriculum Council Steering Committee 8/2016.
Revised and approved by Curriculum Council Steering Committee12/1/2016.