Grading, Timeliness, and Appeals

Grading Process

Grades are issued by the course, clerkship or elective director based on a review of the student’s achievement of the learning objectives specified for the course using measures of the students’ acquisition of the knowledge, core clinical skills, behaviors, and attitudes. Courses in the Fundamentals curriculum are graded pass or fail. Courses in the clinical curriculum are graded for the University transcript using grades of honors, high pass, pass, and fail, except for one-week clerkships, selectives, Major Clinical Year Foundations, Mechanisms and Practice, Scholarly Project, and Ready 4 Residency, which are graded pass and fail. Low pass is an additional grade for internal use and is recorded as pass on the University transcript. Away electives are recorded on the University transcript as pass and fail only.

Narrative assessments are included as a component of the assessment in each course, clerkship or elective in which teacher-student interaction permits this form of assessment.

Timeliness of Grades

Final grades are available to students within five weeks of the end of a course or clerkship.

Grade Appeals

Students who wish to contest a final grade in a course (including preclinical courses, clerkships, selectives, electives and scholarly projects) are encouraged to meet with the course director first. If this meeting does not resolve the issue, the student should notify the senior associate dean for student affairs, and a grade appeal hearing will be arranged before an appeal committee comprised of three members of the VP&S faculty, appointed by the VP&S dean or their designee. The appeal request must be made in writing within one year of the issuance of the grade. The hearing will be held in collaboration with the Columbia University Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (SCCS), which provides note taking at the hearing. The senior associate dean of student affairs is ex officio and non-voting on the appeal committee. The student will be invited to appear at the hearing and read a statement and respond to questions.  The course director is not a member of the appeal committee and will also be invited to meet with the appeal committee.  There is no further appeal available.

Revisions approved by Curriculum and Education Policy Committee (CEPC) 9/28/18; 7/31/20; Initial approval 7/25/14