All students enrolled in USCSOM‐Greenville are members of the student body of the University of South Carolina and are, therefore, subject to the regulations found in the Carolina Community, a publication of the University’s Division of Student Affairs and Department of Academic Support. The Carolina Community contains a description of the procedures for administration of the Honor Code and other University policies. Questions regarding these policies may be directed to personnel in the School of Medicine Office of Student Affairs.
Students enrolled in the School of Medicine adhere to the University Honor Code, as follows: It is the responsibility of every student at the University of South Carolina to adhere steadfastly to truthfulness and to avoid dishonesty, fraud, or deceit of any type in connection with any academic program. Any student who violates this Honor Code or who knowingly assists another to violate this Honor Code shall be subject to discipline. A violation of the Honor Code may result in suspension or dismissal from the School of Medicine.
Student Conduct and Behavior
Students enrolled in the School of Medicine should conduct themselves in an appropriately professional manner as defined by the School of Medicine Policy on Evaluation of Personal and Professional Conduct. Conduct should be in conformity with the high moral and ethical standards of the profession as well as within the legal constraints of any law-abiding community.
Policy on Evaluation of Personal and Professional Conduct:
Medical students have the responsibility to maintain the highest levels of personal and professional integrity and to show compassion and respect for themselves, colleagues, faculty, staff, and, most important, the patients who participate in their education.
Evaluation of the personal and professional conduct of medical students will include the following general and specific considerations:
- The student will show concern for the welfare of patients. He or she will:
- display a professional attitude in obtaining medical histories and physical examinations;
- act appropriately and respectfully in all verbal and nonverbal interactions with patients;
- treat patients with respect and dignity, both in the presence of patients and in discussions with professional colleagues;
- display concern for the total patient.
- The student will show concern for the rights of others. He or she will:
- demonstrate a considerate manner and cooperative spirit in dealing with professional staff, colleagues, and members of the health-care team;
- treat all persons encountered in a professional capacity with equality regardless of race, religion, sex, handicap, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status;
- assume an appropriate and equitable share of duties among peers and colleagues.
- The student will show evidence of responsibility to duty. He or she will:
- effectively and promptly undertake duties, follow through until their completion, and notify appropriate persons in authority of problems;
- be punctual and present at rounds, conferences, and all academic and clinical obligations;
- notify course and clinical clerkship directors (or other appropriate persons) of absence or inability to attend to duties;
- see assigned patients regularly and, with appropriate supervision, assume responsibility for their care;
- ensure that he or she can be promptly located at all times when on duty.
- The student will be trustworthy. He or she will:
- be truthful and intellectually honest in all communications;
- accept responsibility and establish priorities for meeting multiple professional demands and for completing work necessary for the optimal care of patients;
- accurately discern when supervision or advice is needed before acting;
- maintain confidentiality of all patient information.
- The student will maintain a professional demeanor. He or she will:
- maintain appropriate standards of personal appearance, attire, and hygiene for the patient population served;
- maintain emotional stability and equilibrium under the pressures of emergencies, fatigue, professional stress, or personal problems;
- be responsible in the use of alcohol and prescription drugs and avoid their effects while on duty.
- The student will possess those individual characteristics required for the practice of medicine. He or she will:
- be capable of making logical diagnostic and therapeutic judgments;
- communicate effectively with patients, supervisors, and peers;
- establish appropriate professional relationships with faculty, colleagues, and patients;
- show evidence of the ability to be perceptive, introspective, and insightful in professional relationships.
Notification of Student Rights Under FERPA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These include the following:
- The right to inspect and review their education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.
Students should submit written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect to the registrar, dean, academic department head, or other appropriate official. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request amendment of student education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.
Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.
If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of the right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student with notification of the right to a hearing.
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. The University of South Carolina will disclose information from a student’s education records only with the written consent of the student, except:
- to school officials with legitimate educational interests
(A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position; a person or company with whom the University has contracted [such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent]; a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting other school officials in performing their tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill a professional responsibility.)
- to officials of other institutions in which the student seeks or intends to enroll provided that the student has previously requested a release of the record
- to authorized representatives of the U.S. Department of Education, the comptroller general of the United States, state educational authorities, organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of the University, and accrediting organizations
- in connection with a student’s application for, and receipt of, financial aid
- to comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena
- to parents of dependent students as defined by the Internal Revenue Code, Section 152
- to appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency
- to the alleged victim of any crime of violence of the results of any disciplinary proceedings conducted by the University.
The University of South Carolina has designated the following items as directory information: a student’s name; electronic mail address; local and permanent mailing addresses and telephone numbers; semesters of attendance; enrollment status (full- or part-time); date of admission; date of graduation; school; major and minor fields of study; whether or not currently enrolled; classification (freshman, etc.); type of degree being pursued; degrees; honors; and awards received (including scholarships and fellowships); weight and height of members of athletic teams; and whether the student has participated in officially recognized activities and sports sponsored by the University.
The University may disclose any of these items without prior written consent, unless the student has submitted a written request to the Office of the University Registrar not to release directory information. Requests will be processed within 24 hours after receipt. Telephone directories are published during the summer; students eligible to enroll for the upcoming fall term will be listed in the printed directory unless the Office of the University Registrar is notified by May 31. The electronic directory is updated each weekend; requests for nondisclosure will be honored with the next update after the request is processed by the staff of the office of the University registrar.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University of South Carolina to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.
Questions concerning this law and the University’s procedures for release of academic information may be directed to the Office of the University Registrar at 803-777-5555.
Transcripts and Other Documents
All transcripts must be requested in writing from the Office of the University Registrar. A fee of $8 is charged for each transcript copy requested, unless the transcript is for use with a current application to The Graduate School. http://registrar.sc.edu/html/transcripts/default.stm
No transcript will be issued to/for a student who is indebted to the University. With the exception of copies made for internal University use, no copy of a student’s record will be released to anyone (including the State Department of Education) without the student’s written consent.
Student records will be maintained online and when necessary, in a locked, limited‐access area in the Office of the Registrar. After graduation, student records will be included in a secure, limited‐access electronic document management system. The Dean and Dean’s Office leadership of educational and student affairs will be authorized to examine or review student records. Other faculty wishing to review a student’s record must provide the student’s permission and/or a legitimate “need to know”.
Appeals Regarding University Records
To ensure that records are not inaccurate or misleading, an appropriate hearing board provides students the opportunity to challenge the content of University records, and a procedure for requesting correction or deletion of any inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise inappropriate data contained therein. Such requests should be made through the petitions committees of the individual campuses.
Policy on Registration/Records/Diploma Holds
Every student is expected to discharge all obligations to the University as promptly as possible. Students who fail to meet their obligations to the University will not be permitted to register for classes.
Transcript and Diploma Holds
No student or individual duly authorized by the student shall be issued a copy of the student’s transcript or receive verification, oral or written, of information contained therein, or be issued a diploma if the student is indebted to the University, the School of Medicine or any affiliated training institutions or agencies and/or if a student is in arrears or default on student loans, and/or if a student fails to participate in required assessment activities. However, requests for verification of enrollment will be fulfilled in circumstances required for student loans as required for use of Title V funds.
Absences. Enrollment in the School of Medicine obligates students to complete all assigned course work promptly and to attend classes on a punctual and regular basis. Absences, whether excused or unexcused, do not absolve the student of these responsibilities.
Grade Penalties for Excessive Absences. Students are expected to attend all regular class sessions. The course or clerkship director has the prerogative to exact a grade penalty for excessive absences. Unsatisfactory class attendance may be considered adequate reason for the instructor to refer to the Student Promotions Committee for consideration in the promotion process.
Notification of the Office of Student and Career Services. Any student who finds it necessary to be absent from a quiz, examination, or other required academic experience due to an emergency situation, illness, or hospitalization, is required to notify the Office of Student and Career Services and the affected course/clerkship director(s) of the reason for the absence prior to the absence or as soon as possible thereafter. Notification should be in the form of a phone call, voice message, or email to both the Office of Student and Career Services and the course/clerkship director(s). When requested, the student will provide written verification of the reason for the absence from the treating physician or other professional to the Director of Student and Career Services. Within the guidelines of University of South Carolina policy, the course/clerkship director will determine whether or not an absence from class shall be excused. Under these guideline, absences from examinations, structured laboratory assignments, or other academic requirements may be made up at the discretion of the course or clerkship director.
Lack of Notification. Any student who does not provide appropriate notification to the Office of Student and Career Services and/or who does not provide written verification of the reason for the absence when requested to do so may forfeit the opportunity to make up missed examinations and/or other academic experiences.
Student Request for Review of Grades
The SEPC will notify each student of its recommendation regarding advancement and provide the student with an opportunity to appeal that decision if desired.
A student may request a review of the advancement recommendation by the Student Evaluation and Promotion Committee if the student feels that that the recommendation decision was made inappropriately and not in accordance with the advancement policy specified for the program. The request is directed initially to the chair of the Student Evaluation and Promotion Committee for resolution at an informal level. If resolution of the issue is not made to the student’s satisfaction, then a formal request for review is made in writing to the Office of Educational Affairs. After an appropriate hearing and review, the Associate Dean of Education will recommend final disposition of the request. A student wishing to request review by the Dean concerning the recommendation must make a written request within five (5) working days of receipt of written notification of the recommendation. The Dean of the School of Medicine shall make a decision on the matter within 15 school days of receipt of the student’s request for review.
A final request for review may be made to the Provost of the University of South Carolina of any decision made by the Dean of the School of Medicine. This request for review must be made, in writing, within 10 working days of the student’s receipt of the Dean’s decision. During the review process, the student will be invited to submit to the Provost a personal statement (maximum 10 pages, double‐spaced) in which the grounds for the request for review are explained. There will be four possible grounds for a request for review: (1) that the decision of the Dean is not supported by substantial evidence; (2) that a procedural violation has occurred that has prejudiced the Dean’s deliberations; (3) that, when the record is reviewed as a whole, the decision of the Dean is punitive rather than academically appropriate; and/or (4) that the Dean’s decision is an arbitrary and capricious one. The Provost can reverse, affirm, or modify the Dean’s decision. Any modification of the Dean’s decision by the Provost cannot require greater effort on the part of the student than that required by the Dean’s original decision regarding an academic alternative. Ideally, the outcome of the Provost’s review will be communicated to the student, in writing, within 30 days of the date of receipt of the request for a review. The Provost’s review will consist of an assessment of the student’s existing record in the School of Medicine, with no new information being provided by the student or by the School of Medicine.
The School of Medicine will provide reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. Students wishing to request accommodations should make application to the University’s Office of Student Disability Services. Once accommodations are approved, the School of Medicine will be notified. The application must be made in a timely manner prior to any coursework for which accommodation is requested. The Associate Dean for Education, when indicated, will advise module/clerkship directors and other pertinent faculty as to the nature and extent of the accommodations to be provided. The School of Medicine, through the Curriculum Committee, retains the right to request additional information, including test results and diagnostic information from a qualified professional, concerning accommodations that extend beyond the following: extended time for written exams, a separate room for exams, and a note taker. Students receiving accommodations will be held to the same technical standards for graduation as other students.
The Associate Dean for Education will also assist students in applying to the National Board of Medical Examiners for permission to take the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) under nonstandard conditions.
Leave of Absence, Administrative Leave, and Withdrawal
I. Leave of Absence
- Request for a Leave of Absence
For a variety of reasons, it may become temporarily impossible for a student to continue a medical education. It is appropriate under such circumstances that the student present all available information and details of the situation to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions will review and discuss the situation with the Associate Dean for Education.
The Associate Deans will make a recommendation to the Dean regarding the granting of a leave of absence to any student who requests a leave, inform the Dean regarding the academic standing of the student at the time of the student’s request for a leave, and make recommendations to the Dean regarding a student’s return from a leave of absence to full‐time student status. According to School of Medicine regulations, a student will be considered as being in good academic standing if he or she had an overall 2.000 grade point average at the conclusion of the prior semester and had passing grades in all courses in the current semester at the time of the request for a leave of absence. A student who leaves the school in good academic standing and returns will not be considered as repeating the semester or year. A student who leaves the school not in good academic standing and returns will be considered as repeating the semester or year. Any student granted a leave of absence is assigned a grade of W in all courses or clerkships in which he or she was enrolled.
In that a leave of absence relieves the student of usual academic responsibilities in the School of Medicine, the Associate Deans reserve the right to recommend to the Dean that a leave of absence be granted with stated conditions, stipulations, and/or contingencies that are in the best interest of the student, will serve to document the student’s ability to return to full‐time student status at the conclusion of the leave of absence, and/or will preserve the integrity of the School of Medicine curriculum.
Each student who requests a leave of absence will meet with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions to discuss the process and to present review, including such statements and professional opinions that the student believes will support a request for a leave of absence. The Associate Dean will guide the student’s through the process.
- Decision of the dean
The dean will inform each student in writing of the decision regarding a leave of absence and of the process of review in the dean’s decision.
- Length of a Leave of Absence
No leave of absence will be granted for a period of time exceeding 12 consecutive months. Any student taking a leave of absence for more than 16 weeks during the third year or fourth year of the medical curriculum will be required to complete the entire third year or fourth year in sequence upon a return to full-time student status.
- Number of Leaves of Absence
Except under extraordinary circumstances, the School of Medicine will grant only one leave of absence to any student during his or her medical education.
- Return from Leave of Absence.
The Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions and Associate Dean for Education reserves the right to require a meeting with a student prior to his or her return from a leave of absence in order to document the ability to resume full‐time student status in the School of Medicine. At this meeting, the student may submit such statements and/or professional opinions that the student believes will support the contention that he or she is prepared to resume full‐time student status. The Associate Deans will review the statements and professional opinions presented by the student in making its recommendations to the dean about the student’s return from a leave of absence, but such statements or opinions presented by the student are not binding.
- Independent Evaluation
The School of Medicine reserves the right to require a student to undergo an independent evaluation, at the School of Medicine’s expense, by a physician mutually agreeable to the student and the School of Medicine prior to the student’s return from a leave of absence to full-time student status.
- Review Process
The review process for any decision made by the dean of the School of Medicine can be found in Assessment, Advancement and Graduation section of this document. .
- Administrative Leave
Duing the course of a student’s medical education it may become necessary for the student to be placed on Administrative Leave. A student may be placed on administrative leave due to academic, personal, and/or professional reasons. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions or the Associate Dean for Education, in consultation with the Dean, may place a student on administrative leave.
Any student who is unsuccessful on a first or second attempt at Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) will be placed on administrative leave according to the policies and procedures for promotion and graduation.
Occasionally a student may decide to withdraw from the School of Medicine without an approved leave of absence. All withdrawals will be made in accordance with University of South Carolina policies if the student is to receive a tuition refund and have the proper grades recorded on the transcript. The School of Medicine uses the University schedule for refunds for any student who is dismissed or who withdraws.
A student who withdraws from the School of Medicine and who subsequently wishes to return to school must make application through the Admissions Committee as a new applicant.
Promotion and Graduation
The standards and procedures for assessment, advancement, and graduation of medical students are aligned with the structure of the integrated approach to medical education in the School of Medicine. For these purposes, evaluation of student performance in specific areas is conducted in modules, in clinical clerkships, and in electives. Advancement involves holistic evaluation of student performance in a particular medical education year to determine the student’s suitability for the next year of medical study.
All M-I and M-II, and all M-III and M-IV electives and selective courses will follow these grading requirements:
Final Grade - percentage point accumulation corresponds to the following grade:
69.44 and below FAIL (UNSATISFACTORY)
Courses are graded on a pass/fail basis. You will earn a passing grade if you have a total score of at least 69.45 percent and your score will be recorded as as S (Pass/Satisfactory). All scores below 69.45 will be considered a failing grade and will be recorded as a U (Unsatisfactory). No letter grades will be assigned. Final grades of S or U for this course will be entered within a week after the exam date. An email will be sent to all class members to inform everyone when grades are available. If you have any questions regarding your grade, please see individual course syllabi and contact your Module Director.
For any student failing to make a passing grade of 69.45 or higher in the course please refer to the “Academic Regulations” section in the Student handbook.
M-III and M-IV Clerkship and Acting Internships will follow these Grading requirements:
* Any final numeric grade in a course or clerkship whose first decimal place is calculated to be .5 to .9 shall be rounded to the next whole number, while grades whose first decimal place is calculated to be .0 to .4 should be rounded down to the lower number.
Other symbols used in the grading system are defined below. These grades do not carry grade points.
S Satisfactory or passing; to be used in evaluating competency, performance or work done on a Pass-Fail basis
U Unsatisfactory or failure; to be used in evaluating competency, performance or work done on a Pass-Fail basis
W Withdrawal passing, or without penalty, from a module or clerkship
WF Withdrawal failing, or with penalty, from a module or clerkship
AUD Module or clerkship was carried on an audit basis
I Incomplete; failure to complete some portion of the assigned work in a module or clerkship
NR No report; to be used in the absence of any of the above grades; a temporary mark, to be replaced subsequently by a regular grade, which can be used only when no grade has been assigned
The faculty of the School of Medicine is committed to the philosophy that satisfactory performance is expected of all students. No single course or clerkship or area of study is deemed to be more important than any other. The required courses and clerkships of the curriculum are all essential for the practice of medicine, regardless of the student’s future specialty choice.
If a student does not pass a Biomedical Science module in M1 or M2 year, they must take a similar summative exam covering the content of the failed module. An “I” for Incomplete will be recorded until the remediation exam is completed and the final grade resolved. If the student passes the remediation exam, a passing grade of “P” will be recorded for that module at the end of the academic year, unless there are failures of other modules. If there are failures of other modules and the Student Evaluations and Promotions Committee (SEPC) recommends repeat of a year or dismissal from school, the Module Director may elect to assign a Grade of “U” for the module.
M2 Dates to Remediate
- First failed module: April 16, 2018
- First failed module if Cardio/Pulm: April 30, 2018
- Second failed module: May 7, 2018
- Second failed module if Cardio/Pulm: May 14, 2018
M1 Dates to Remediate
- First failed module: June 4, 2018
- Second failed module: June 25, 2018
- Continuous evaluation and monitoring of student performance is the responsibility of the Module and Clerkship Directors. Based on observations, formative and summative assessments, Module and Clerkship Directors will identify students at risk of failure, or those demonstrating low performance in the early to mid part of each module or clerkship. Students performing below acceptable levels will be contacted by the Module/Clerkship director to determine whether there is a need for special help, tutoring or additional educational activities and support. If appropriate, the module/clerkship faculty will provide assistance and help sessions for the student. If it is determined that significant assistance or special tutoring is needed, the Module/Clerkship Director, in conjunction with the Office of Student Affairs, will make arrangements for additional tutoring or assistance.
- The Student Evaluation and Promotion Committee (SEPC) will regularly review the academic and clinical performance of each medical student and make recommendations to the Dean regarding graduation, advancement, probation, dismissal, additional educational activities and support, leaves of absence, and readmission. The purpose of the SEPC is to systematically review the academic progress of each student within that curriculum year. At each meeting, the Module and Clerkship Directors will report on the academic progress of the students within their respective modules/clerkships and discuss any short‐term additional educational strategies currently being used with specific students. The Committee will review the performance of students in academic difficulty, those students demonstrating a potential for being in academic difficulty, and those students who have exhibited unprofessional behavior or non‐compliance with other standards of performance. The Committee may recommend an improvement plan, may develop more comprehensive longer‐term supplemental education plans for those students having difficulty, or recommend appropriate disciplinary action, possibly including dismissal from the program.
- The SEPC will recognize the achievements of those students displaying expected and outstanding performance, and ultimately recommend promotion to the next year of the curriculum once the student has met the competencies required in that year of the curriculum.
- The SEPC will notify each student of its recommendation regarding advancement and provide the student with an opportunity to appeal that decision if desired. e) The Dean makes the final decision regarding an appropriate course of action for each student.
- The SEPC will generate a letter at the end of each year notifying students of promotion status and encouraging, recognizing, and commending excellent work and achievements.
Each student will be reviewed annually by the Student Evaluation and Promotion Committee to determine the student’s preparedness for advancement to the next level of medical study.
- Students receiving all A and B grades with no reports of unprofessional or unacceptable behavior for all modules or clerkships in a given year are normally advanced to the next year of study or recommended for graduation.
- Students with one or more C grades will be reviewed by the Committee to determine appropriate follow‐up action which could include no additional requirements, completion of a particular module section or examination, or retake a particular module, or repeat a complete year. The student may also be placed in a probationary status until required actions are completed.
- Students with one or more F grades, or with reports of unprofessional or unacceptable behavior will be reviewed separately by the Committee to determine their suitability for continuing in the program. The Committee may recommend additional educational activities and support requiring the student to attend programs for modification of behavior, retake a module, repeat a year, or may recommend dismissal from the program.
A student may request review of the advancement recommendation by the Student Evaluation and Promotion Committee if the student feels that that the recommendation decision was made inappropriately and not in accordance with the advancement policy specified for the program. The request is directed initially to the chair of the SEPC for resolution at an informal level. If resolution of the issue is not made to the student’s satisfaction, then a formal request is made in writing to the Office of Educational Affairs. After an appropriate hearing and review, the Associate Dean for Education will recommend final disposition of the request. A student wishing to request a review by the Dean concerning the recommendation must make a written request within five (5) working days of receipt of written notification of the recommendation. The Dean of the School of Medicine shall make a decision on the matter within 15 school days of receipt of the student’s request for review.
A final request for review may be made to the Provost of the University of South Carolina of any decision made by the Dean of the School of Medicine. This request for review must be made, in writing, within 10 working days of the student’s receipt of the Dean’s decision. During the review process, the student will be invited to submit to the Provost a personal statement (maximum 10 pages, double‐spaced) in which the grounds for the request for review are explained. There will be four possible grounds for a request for review: (1) that the decision of the Dean is not supported by substantial evidence; (2) that a procedural violation has occurred that has prejudiced the Dean’s deliberations; (3) that, when the record is reviewed as a whole, the decision of the Dean is punitive rather than academically appropriate; and/or (4) that the Dean’s decision is an arbitrary and capricious one. The Provost can reverse, affirm, or modify the Dean’s decision. Any modification of the Dean’s decision by the Provost cannot require greater effort on the part of the student than that required by the Dean’s original decision regarding an academic alternative. Ideally, the outcome of the Provost’s review will be communicated to the student, in writing, within 30 days of the date of receipt of the request for a review. The Provost’s review will
consist of an assessment of the student’s existing record in the School of Medicine, with no new information being provided by the student or by the School of Medicine.
Each student will be reviewed during the fourth year by the Student Evaluation and Promotion Committee to determine the student’s suitability for graduation. In conducting that review, the Committee will examine the student’s performance in the pre‐clinical basic science areas, clinical performance in the clerkships, and professionalism exhibited throughout the program of study. In addition, the Committee will verify that any required examinations have been completed. All students must take the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 and pass at the national standard in order to graduate. This examination is usually taken by all students in April following the second year studies. In addition, all students must take and pass the USMLE Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS examinations in order to be certified for graduation. Students should take the Step 2 CK and the Step 2 CS examinations no later than December 31 in the fourth year.
Procedures for professional conduct and disciplinary action
Medical students are required to meet the non‐academic behavior standards for the School of Medicine and the University. Non‐academic standards for behavior and conduct for the School of Medicine are embodied in the School’s standards of professionalism and ethical behavior, which will be published in the Student and Faculty Handbooks, and online in the learning management system. Reports of unprofessional behavior and conduct will be reported to the Associate Dean for Education, and referred to the SEPC.
The standards for promotion and graduation are detailed below.
- United States Medical Licensing Examination
- Requirements. Students in the School of Medicine are required to pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Steps 1 and 2 prior to graduation. Students are required to pass Step 1 in order to be promoted to the third year and to progress to third-year clerkships. Students are permitted a maximum of three attempts at Step 1 and at Step 2. Failure on the third attempt at Step 1 or Step 2 will render students subject to dismissal from the School of Medicine. Students must be enrolled in the School of Medicine in order to take Step 1 or 2.
- Timelines. Students must adhere to certain timelines and follow established application procedures in order to allow sufficient time for score reporting prior to various promotion deadlines.
USMLE Step 1. Second-year students are required to complete applications for Step 1 during the second year in sufficient time to ensure a test date by the end of June and the beginning of third-year clinical clerkships. Students must take Step 1 prior to beginning third-year clinical clerkships.
Any second-year student who is unsuccessful on a first attempt at Step 1 is expected to complete an application in sufficient time to ensure a test date by the conclusion of the second clerkship period of the third year. The student will receive an Incomplete grade for the first clinical clerkship and will be placed on an administrative leave of absence until a second attempt is completed, at which time he or she will re-enter the third year of medical education in the third clerkship period. Upon receipt in the Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services of official notification from the NBME of a passing score on Step 1, the student will receive the letter grade earned in the first clinical clerkship.
Any second-year student who is unsuccessful on a second attempt at Step 1 will immediately be placed on an administrative leave of absence for the remainder of that academic year in order to prepare for the third and final administration of Step 1 and is expected to complete an application in sufficient time to ensure a test date and score reporting by the beginning of the first third-year clerkship period of the next academic year. In the interim, the student will not be permitted to progress further in the third year of medical education. The student will not earn academic credit for the first clinical clerkship; a grade of W will replace the Incomplete grade.
Any student who is successful on a third attempt at Step 1 will begin third-year clerkships in the first clerkship period of the subsequent academic year and is required to complete the entire third year in sequence.
USMLE Step 2. Fourth-year students are expected to complete applications for Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) and Clinical Skills (CS) in sufficient time to ensure test dates by the end of rotation 6 in December.
Any fourth-year student who is unsuccessful on a first or second attempt at Step 2 CK and/or CS is expected to complete an application in sufficient time to ensure a test date that will allow sufficient time for the score to be reported by May 15. This date allows time for academic reporting to be complete for the May graduation.
- Requirements for Promotion
- Academic Progress. In order to be promoted to the next academic year or to be permitted to continue to the next academic semester, a student must be recommended for promotion or continuation to the dean by the Student Promotions Committee. A student should maintain at least a 2.000 grade point average in order to be promoted to the next academic year or permitted to continue to the next academic semester. A student receiving less than a 2.000 grade point average in an academic semester or academic year or less than a 2.000 cumulative grade point average is subject to dismissal.
- Repeat of Module/Clerkship Failed
The grade of F is used to denote failure in a course or clerkship; a student receiving a grade of F in one or more modules or clerkships is subject to dismissal. A student receiving an F grade in a module or clerkship may be permitted by the dean, in consultation with the Student Evaluation and Promotion Committee, to repeat the module or clerkship. Due to the integrated nature of the preclinical curriculum, repeating of a module may be accomplished through intensive independent study with the module faculty/director at an appropriate time that does not interfere with current academic activities (e.g., winter break, spring break, summer vacation). A student permitted to repeat a clinical clerkship must repeat the clerkship at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine - Greenville. If the student fails to achieve a C or better grade in the repeated module or clerkship, the SEPC may recommend that the student will be required to repeat the academic year or be subject to dismissal from the School of Medicine. These recommendations are subject to approval by the Dean.
Upon satisfactory completion of the repeated module or clerkship, both the original F grade and the grade received in the repeated module/clerkship will be recorded on the student’s transcript. Grade points and credit hours for both grades will be calculated into the cumulative grade point average which is used for promotion decisions and in the determination of class rank.
- Repeated Year
A student will not usually be permitted to repeat more than one academic semester or academic year. A student who is repeating the semester or year must receive a grade of C or better in repeated courses or clerkships in order to be promoted to the next academic year or permitted to continue to the next academic semester. A student who fails to receive a grade of C or better in repeated courses or clerkships is subject to dismissal.
If a student is required to repeat an academic semester or academic year, grade points and credit hours from the original semester or year will not be calculated into the cumulative grade point average for the purpose of promotions decisions. For all other purposes, grade points and credit hours from the original academic semester or academic year will be calculated into the cumulative grade point average.
- Personal and Professional Conduct
Personal and Professional Conduct. Student progress is based upon professional performance which includes both cognitive mastery of the basic and clinical sciences and personal and professional conduct that reflects the high standards of moral and ethical behavior and judgment necessary for professional practice as a physician, described in MS31a. Factors which could result in a student’s suspension or dismissal from the School of Medicine, regardless of grades in academic course work and clinical clerkships and electives, include, but are not limited to, violations of the School of Medicine Policy on Evaluation of Personal and Professional Conduct, violations of University regulations as described in the Carolina Community, or conviction of a criminal offense.
- Unsatisfactory Grade in Personal and Professional Conduct
A student who receives an Unsatisfactory grade in the personal and professional conduct portion of a third- or fourth-year clerkship evaluation will receive an Incomplete grade in that clerkship. The student will not be permitted to continue in other clerkships but will be required to repeat the clerkship. If a second Unsatisfactory grade is received in the personal and professional conduct portion of the professional evaluation in the repeat clerkship, then the student will be subject to dismissal. If the student receives exemplary or effective grades in personal and professional conduct and a C or higher letter grade in the repeat clerkship, he or she will be permitted to continue in the third or fourth year. Any additional Unsatisfactory grades in personal and professional conduct during the third year or during the fourth year will render the student subject to dismissal.
- Requirements for Graduation
Upon recommendation by the School of Medicine faculty, the University of South Carolina will confer the degree of Doctor of Medicine upon candidates who have:
- attained the School’s educational objectives as evidenced by satisfactory completion of prescribed basic science courses and clinical clerkships and electives and acquisition of all required clinical skills;
- passed Steps 1 and 2-CK and 2-CS of the USMLE;
- discharged all financial obligations to the School of Medicine and to the University.