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MUSC Bulletin | College of Health Professions

College of Health Professions Grading System

Merit grades are assigned on a continuous scale ranging from 0 to 4 points. For detailed information, refer to the Academic Policies and Information section of this Bulletin. The following grading policies will also apply:

  1. All courses taken will be recorded on the permanent record. All grades, except withdrawals, will be included in the computation of the overall GPA.
  2. Variable course credit must be established prior to registration, approved by the division director.
  3. Withdrawal from any course must be approved by the division director. 
  4. Courses dropped during the drop/add period will not be recorded on the student’s record. Students dropping courses after that period will normally receive a grade of WF (withdrew failing). A student may not withdraw from a course after the drop/add period and receive a grade of WP except with special permission of the division director, and Dean.

Absence from a Final Examination
Absence from a final examination may be excused in the event of the student’s illness or an illness of an immediate family member for which the student is directly responsible, the death of an immediate family member, or other extenuating circumstances.

The student must contact the course instructor before the examination or within 48 hours thereafter. The student must submit to the course instructor a physician’s statement in the case of illness. Failure of the student to follow this protocol may result in a grade of “F” on the final examination.

An excused absence entitles the student to a make up examination which will be scheduled by the instructor as soon as possible.

Course Exemption Policies
Exemption of courses may be granted by either examination or by transfer of credit. Exemption requests must be made in writing by the student to the division director by midterm preceding the academic semester in which the course is offered. For new students, exemptions may be approved by the division director after review of the student’s previous college work. The basis of the request should be specific, i.e., course name, number, credit, date, and institution, or documented experience. The department faculty makes an appropriate recommendation to the division director. Instructors should be consulted when appropriate.

Exemption examinations may be given when appropriate. The course instructor will assign the cutoff passing score for exemption examinations. New students will have an opportunity to take exemption examinations during orientation week. Unit credit is not awarded based on an exemption examination. For more information contact the individual program.

Transfer credit may be given for a course deemed to be equivalent to that of the College of Health Professions course being exempted. The transferred course should be equal or greater in credit hours and academic level. Refer to individual programs for specific policy regarding transfer credit.

Student Progress Guidelines
All matters relating to academic standing and professional conduct are reviewed by the division director at the end of each semester. Students receiving recommendations for withdrawal or dismissal will be notified in writing generally within one week of the end of the academic semester. Students receiving unsatisfactory recommendations for academic standing or professional conduct will be notified in writing as soon as possible after grade reports are available from the Office of Enrollment Management. Copies of recommendation letters will be kept on file in the program office and the Office of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs in the Dean’s Office.

The College of Health Professions reserves the right to discipline, suspend, and/or sever any student at any time when it appears that the student is physically, morally, psychologically, or academically unsuited to continue studies necessary to complete the requirements for the degree for which he/she is enrolled. Refer to the MUSC Academic Review section of this Bulletin for additional details.

The following apply to undergraduate and graduate curricula. Refer to individual program information for additional policies regarding student progress guidelines and core curricula.

Academic Standing
1. A student who passes all courses and maintains both an academic semester and cumulative GPA of 2.0 undergraduate or 3.0 graduate or above is considered to be in satisfactory academic standing.

2. A student not currently on academic probation whose GPA is below 2.0 undergraduate or 3.0 graduate in any academic semester or whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.0 or 3.0 respectively will be placed on academic probation. The student will remain on academic probation until the academic semester and cumulative GPA are elevated to 2.0 or 3.0 respectively.

a. Students who achieve the stipulated GPA requirements will be reinstated in good academic standing.

b. A student may be dismissed if he/she remains on academic probation for two consecutive academic semesters.

c. The individual program may make modifications to this policy for part-time students. See individual program guidelines.

3. Students receiving failing grades (0.0 for undergraduate students and less than 2.0 for graduate students) in any two courses in a single academic semester will be dismissed.

4. If a student on academic probation earns a failing grade in any course, the student may be dismissed.

5. Failed courses should be retaken at MUSC, or with the approval of the program director, a substitute course may be taken from another institution. Failure to earn the equivalent of a 2.0 undergraduate or 3.0 graduate in the repeated course will warrant dismissal.

6. Upon satisfactory completion of repeated coursework and attainment of required GPA, the student will be reinstated to the established curriculum in good academic standing at the point of interruption or the equivalent.

7. Departments and programs reserve the right to impose more stringent requirements beyond these minimal provisions for the College as a whole. Students who fail to meet departmental regulations pertaining to academic standing will be placed on academic probation or dismissed and are subject to the policies regarding progression within their respective department or program to regain or retain student status.

8. The Division Director determines the conditions of probation. In addition to specifying the grade point average, the division director may require completion of specific courses, may limit the number of hours for which the student registers, and may exclude the student from taking certain courses while on probation.

Core Coursework
1. For programs with an identified core curriculum, a student may be dismissed if sequential, prerequisite, core or professional coursework in his/her approved program falls below a cumulative GPA of 2.0 undergraduate or 3.0 graduate.

2. If a student earns a failing grade in a course identified as a sequential, prerequisite, core or professional course, the following options may apply:

a. the student may be dismissed.

b. the student may be placed on academic probation and may remain under the advisement of the program and take courses for which the failed course is not a prerequisite.

Non-Core Coursework
If a student earns a failing grade in a course not identified as a sequential, prerequisite, core or professional course, the student will be placed on academic probation during the following semester.

  1. If the GPA in the academic semester following a failing grade is 2.0 undergraduate or 3.0 graduate or above, academic probation may be removed, provided the cumulative GPA is 2.0 or 3.0 respectively.
  2. If the GPA in the academic semester following a failing grade is below 2.0 undergraduate or 3.0 graduate, withdrawal or dismissal may be recommended.
  3. The course (or an approved equivalent) in which the failing grade was earned must be retaken when recommended by the division director. If the grade is below a 2.0 undergraduate or 3.0 graduate on the repeated course, the student may be dismissed.

Clinical Probation and Dismissal
Since patient well-being is a major concern of the College and University, action will be taken when a student’s clinical practice poses a potential threat to patient health, welfare, or safety. Students, therefore, are subject to department and program specific regulations governing clinical practice and may be placed on clinical probation and/or dismissed for unsatisfactory clinical behavior. Refer to program and department publications for specific regulations.

Last Published with Edits:January 15, 2014 2:57 PM
Last Comprehensive Review:Fall 2013

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