Skip Navigation

MUSC Bulletin | College of Medicine

College of Medicine | Grading Systems

Basic Sciences Grading System

Grading Policy in the COM1 & COM2 Integrated Curriculum

The Honors/Pass//No Pass System: Student grades are reported to the registrar at the end of each semester. You will receive a semester grade for each of the four themes and the grade will be recorded as H, P, or NP. Grades are achieved as follows:


Average of Scored Evaluations*

Completion of all Professional and Academic Responsibilities


≥ 90%

Must be completed


<90 – 70%

Must be completed


< 70%

Or failure to complete professional and/or academic responsiblities (regardless of the score.)

* Scores are not rounded. Scores are reviewed annually and the values may be adjusted at the beginning of a new academic year. 

Block exams: At the close of each of the blocks, students will take a fully integrated objective exam. Questions from subject matter of each of the themes are co-mingled and, in some cases, clustered under a single clinical scenario. The block exam is designed to reflect USMLE Step 1 exam structure. (Multiple self-assessment practice quizzes during each block. The quizzes will introduce the type and format of questions you will find on the block exams. Students’ graded responses on the block exam are sorted to provide theme grades which are reported to the student as a raw score and % grade. Block exam scores are combined with scores from theme-specific graded activities to provide the final grades for the semester.

What are your academic and professional obligations?

  • Successfully meeting all deadlines for on campus assignments and off campus appointments with senior mentors
  • Attendance at small group meetings/sessions/labs for any/all of the themes
  • Completion of laboratory dissection/teaching assignments in preparation for teaching effectively within your dissection team
  • Attendance at all lectures scheduled for CiM, Research Topics, and all other invited speakers/guests

Evaluation of the Blocks and Themes:  You will be given the opportunity to evaluate the overall blocks, themes and the teachers within each theme using the on-line E*Value system. The Dean’s Office will notify all students via email when these required evaluations become available.  E*Value evaluations and comments are anonymous, but the software used in the course and faculty evaluation administration permits us to know which students have completed the evaluations. Students who do not complete the theme and faculty evaluations cannot be considered for Block Honors Designation.

Honors Designation in Blocks: You may achieve Honors Designation in each of the seven blocks by the following achievement:

  • Overall average ≥ 90% on all combined, graded subject matter in the block
  • 100% completion of all academic and professional obligations required of the deadline

A record of your Block Honor Designations will be maintained in the Dean’s Office for inclusion in scholarship and/or research applications, consideration of AOA designation or other honors, and for documentation within the Dean’s letter (MSPE) which is an important component of each student’s residency application packet.

Remediation of Failed Theme and Demonstration of Competency:

At the end of each semester you will receive a grade for each of the longitudinal themes (e.g. SF, ME, HR, and FPC). If your overall average falls between 60% and 70% in one or more themes you will be given the opportunity to remediate the failed theme(s) prior to the start of the next academic semester. The overall remediation exam will include an exam from each of the blocks that contributed to the failure.

Note: Students who receive a semester theme grade < 60% are ineligible for remediation.

Clinical Sciences Reexaminations and Grading

1.     Both clinical performance and the written exam must be completed satisfactorily before a student will be considered to have passed any core course.

2.     Clinical competence is absolutely necessary to pass any core clerkship. Unless a passing evaluation is received for the clinical portion of the course, the student will be given a grade of No Pass and will be required to repeat the course in its entirety (the clinical work and the written examination), even if the student successfully passed the written examination.

3.     One or more marginal or unacceptable evaluations may constitute the basis for failure in the clinical performance, even if other evaluations are satisfactory. Any reservations indicated by an evaluator about a student’s competence or potential for progressing, after review by the department’s grading committee, may also become the basis for such a failure.

4.     A grade of incomplete (IN) is used for students who have passed the clinical portion of the rotation but have failed the written examination.

5.     Students who have satisfactorily completed their clinical work but failed the written examination(s) are not eligible to take a reexamination if they meet the criteria for dismissal (see “Student Progress Guidelines”).

6.     If a student meets the minimum standards for continuing in medical school, he/she shall be given one additional opportunity to pass the written test. Failure on this reexamination shall result in the assignment of a failing grade for the course.

7.     If a student who receives an incomplete grade in a course meets the minimum standards (see “Student Progress Guidelines, Clinical Years”) for continuing in medical school, he/she shall retake the written examination no later than the first offering of the examination during the student’s senior year.

Last Published with Edits:July 27, 2015 4:28 PM
Last Comprehensive Review: July 2015

© 2016  Medical University of South Carolina | Disclaimer