The faculty and director of each course/clerkship (for simplicity the term course will be inclusive of courses and clerkships) define the criteria for acceptable academic performance
in that course. Evaluation of academic performance may include (but is not necessarily
limited to) measuring the student’s knowledge, measuring how the student applies such knowledge to specific problems, evaluating the judgment a student employs in solving
problems and assessing the quality of the student’s psychomotor skills, professional conduct,
ethical behavior and interpersonal relationships with medical colleagues, patients and
patients' families. Students’ performance in academic course work will be evaluated by
assignment of grades of Honors (H), Pass with Commendation (PC), Pass (P), Fail (F) or
Passing grades are H, PC, and P in order of excellence. Alternatively, the
Committee on Curriculum may assign a particular course to be graded Satisfactory (S) or
Unsatisfactory (U) only, in which case no assignment of a numerical score will apply to
determination of class rank. Deficient grades are defined as F, U or I. The F, U or I grade
may be given to a student who fails to complete course requirements, who fails to
demonstrate appropriate professional behaviors, or who fails to attend or participate in
required course activities.
The Academic Performance Review Committee (APRC) reviews each student’s performance
and makes recommendations to the Dean and the Executive Council of the COM regarding
promotion and graduation. The committee includes the Course Directors of the COM, the
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, and the Dean's
designee, who serves as chairperson.
The overall performance of a student will be considered by the APRC in preparing
recommendations regarding promotion, graduation, and general academic progress of the
students. Information upon which recommendations will be based includes grades, written
evaluations, and cognitive and non-cognitive data submitted by the faculty of the various
curricular units. All students will be informed of their academic progress on a regular basis.
Students must receive a passing grade in every course to be recommended for promotion and
graduation. Any student with a deficient grade, who is granted approval by the APRC to
remediate the deficiency, must complete the required remedial coursework with a passing
grade. Remediation requirements (Section IV. D. 4. b) will be determined by the appropriate
Course Director and approved by the chairperson of the respective department and the
APRC. Remediation must be completed prior to progression to the next academic year,
unless the plan for remediation, submitted by the Course Director and approved by the
APRC, allows continuation into the first months of the next academic year. Any incomplete
coursework must be completed within a prescribed period or the grade will be converted to
Requirements for Graduation
For a student to be recommended for graduation, he or she must have satisfied the COM
faculty in terms of ability and professional behavior by obtaining a passing grade in all
courses of the established curriculum leading to the M.D. degree. Transfer students admitted with advanced standing from an approved medical school must complete, at the minimum,
the 3rd and 4th years of the curriculum at the USF COM. For graduation, the student must
have passed Steps 1, 2 Clinical Knowledge Examination (2CK) and 2 Clinical Skills
Examination (2CS) of the United States Medical Licensing Examination and reported a score
to the COM. The student must have successfully completed: a course in Advanced Cardiac
Life Support (ACLS), Clinical Practice Examination (CPX), Observed Structured Clinical
Examination (OSCE), history and physical examination, and made the appropriate
arrangements to discharge all financial obligations to the university. The only exception is
the repayment of loans that have a specified maturity date. Unless prior arrangements have
been approved by the Dean of the COM, the student must have accepted an approved
residency for graduate medical education.
A student who has unsatisfactory academic performance (one or more deficient grades) will be
reviewed by the Academic Performance Review Committee (APRC). Please see the student manual for more information about unsatisfactory performance, academic probation, dismissal and appeal mechanisms.
Academic Honesty Guidelines
Students attending the USF COM are awarded academic degrees in recognition of successful
completion of course work in the study of medicine. Each individual is expected to earn his or
her degree on the basis of personal effort. Consequently, any form of cheating on examinations
or plagiarism on assigned papers constitutes unacceptable deceit and dishonesty. Disruption of
the classroom or teaching environment is also unacceptable. Unprofessional behaviors cannot
be tolerated in the university community and will be punishable, according to the seriousness of
the offense, in conformity with established rules and procedures.
All students are required to abide by the USF Academic Dishonesty and Disruption of
Academic Process Guidelines that have been accepted by the university and are displayed in
detail in the USF Student Handbook. Violations of the Academic Honesty Guidelines include,
but are not limited to, the items listed below:
Plagiarism — Plagiarism is defined as literary theft and consists of the unattributed
quotation of the exact words of a published text, or the unattributed borrowing of
original ideas by paraphrase from a published text. Plagiarism also consists of passing
off as one’s own, segments or the total of another person's work. Amore comprehensive
definition is in the USF Student Handbook.
Cheating — Cheating is defined as follows: (a) the unauthorized granting or
receiving of aid during the prescribed period of a course-graded exercise: students
may not consult written materials such as notes or books, may not look at the paper of
another student, nor consult orally with any other student taking the same test; (b)
asking another person to take an examination in his/her place; (c) taking an
examination for or in place of another student; (d) stealing visual concepts, such as
drawings, sketches, diagrams, musical programs and scores, graphs, maps, etc., and
presenting them as one's own; (e) stealing, borrowing, buying, or disseminating tests,
answer keys or other examination material except as officially authorized, research
papers, creative papers, speeches, etc. (f) Stealing or copying of computer programs
and presenting them as one's own. Such stealing includes the use of another student's
program, as obtained from the magnetic media or interactive terminals or from cards,
print-out paper, etc.
Disruption of Academic Process — Disruption of academic process is defined as the
act or words of a student in a classroom or teaching environment which in the
reasonable estimation of a faculty member: (a) directs attention from the academic
matters at hand, such as noisy distractions; persistent, disrespectful or abusive
interruptions of lecture, exam or academic discussions, or (b) presents a danger to the
health, safety or well being of the faculty member or students.
Specific, detailed guidelines for procedure are contained in the USF Student Handbook
and will be adhered to when alleged violations of academic honesty guidelines by
students of the COM are reported by staff or faculty. When allegation of student
violations of academic honesty guidelines are made by other students they shall be
handled in accordance with the Honor Code.
Alleged violations of academic honesty guidelines will be handled initially by the
instructor, who will discuss the incident with the student. It must be noted that the
Faculty of the College considers the traditional relationship between student and faculty
member as the primary means of settling disputes that may arise. If the faculty member
and the student are unable to reach a mutual agreement as to the solution of the problem,
a meeting consisting of the instructor, the student and the chairperson of the appropriate
department shall be arranged. If this meeting fails to bring about a satisfactory solution,
the student shall ask for a meeting with the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, with the
instructor present. If no solution is reached, then the Dean, COM shall appoint a
student/faculty committee consisting of an equal number of students and faculty to hear
the two sides of the incident and to advise the Dean regarding the disposition of the case.
Punishment for the violation of any of the academic honesty guidelines will depend on
the seriousness of the disruption and will range from a private verbal reprimand to
dismissal from the COM.
Students have the right to appeal disciplinary actions to the appropriate committee
through the COM Office of Student Affairs. Such appeals must be submitted in writing
within two weeks (10 working days) of notification of the decision.
Students enrolled in the COM are not permitted to enroll in any other school of the university or
in any other institution of learning without the consent of the Dean of the COM.
No student may accept outside employment of any kind without prior approval of the Associate
Dean for Student Affairs. This rule was introduced so that outside activities would not interfere
with academic performance.
As in all institutions student health is the ultimate responsibility of the individual student. The
Student Health Committee of the COM facilitates student health by providing programs to
assist students in meeting their physical and mental health needs. Specifically, the committee
sets guidelines and monitors student medical data at matriculation and during the four years of
enrollment in medical school. The committee formulates and reviews policies and programs
and assesses implementation and compliance with institutional and State of Florida
requirements and guidelines.
Prior to matriculation, all students are required to provide the following to the Student Affairs
Office for review:
1) A personal health history and physical examination conducted by the students' personal
physician and documented by completion of appropriate forms provided to the student
by the Student Affairs Office.
2) Documented proof of immunization against rubella (German measles), measles
(rubeola), hepatitis B, and tetanus. Documentation of a varicella titer is required. Varicella vaccine is required on all individuals without a detectable titer.
Exposure/immune status regarding tuberculosis must be documented.
3) Proof of current health insurance. Certification of current health insurance is required
for each year of enrollment.
During the orientation process, students are counseled about appropriate avenues for receiving
medical care. Among the available options are: continued care by the student's personal
physician, the University Student Health Center, or the USF Physicians Group located in the
Health Sciences Center
Dress Code Policy
COM students, at all levels of education and training, are expected to maintain a proper
professional image in their behavior and personal appearance at all times. During the pre-clinical years medical students are expected to wear clean, appropriate apparel (shirts, pants,
shorts, dresses, skirts, etc.) and shoes to all academic functions and on the premises of the
Health Sciences Center. During the clinical training years, and any time students have contact
with patients or are in the patient care areas, shorts are not to be worn. Men should wear shirt
and ties and women should wear dresses, or appropriate slacks and blouses. Also, white lab
coats with nametags shall be worn by all students.
The computing facilities in the various colleges are a vital component of the academic
environment. Each person using these computers must be considerate of other users. The
purpose of these facilities is the support of teaching and research by its authorized users.
Activities that damage or impede the work of other users are of particular concern. Such
activities are discourteous and illegal. The State of Florida has laws which hold that
unauthorized use (including accessing another user's account) leading to offenses against
intellectual property and/or computer users, is a felony. Besides civil penalties that can include
imprisonment of up to fifteen years and fines, the college and/or university may impose
administrative penalties and sanctions against those found to have violated the law. The USF
wishes to provide open access to students and faculty, with as few restrictions as possible.
Courteous and thoughtful computing will minimize the need for regulations and annoying
The ombudsman for student abuse is the Office of Student Affairs. If you experience
difficulties in this area, please see the Associate Dean or Assistant Dean of Student Affairs for
Sexual Harassment Policy
Pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Florida Educational Equity Act, and in conformance with our policy of equal
opportunity, it is the goal of the USF COM to create and maintain a work and study
environment that is positive and free of discrimination. In order to help provide such an
environment, faculty, staff and students must be aware that sexual harassment is sex
discrimination, and is unacceptable conduct that will not be tolerated at the university.
Sexual harassment is defined as conduct of a sexual nature or with sexual implications, which
interferes with an employee's or student's status or performance by creating an intimidating,
hostile, or offensive working or educational environment. This conduct may include, but is not
limited to, the following:
Inappropriate touching; the display of sexually explicit or suggestive materials; use of sexually
explicit or suggestive language or gestures; and subtle pressure for sexual activity, as well as
demands for sexual favors or physical assault. Sexual harassment is a serious form of abuse.
In response to concern about incidents of sexual harassment, the Office of Student Affairs is
available to students who have complaints about sexually offensive behavior by faculty
members or other students. After discussion of the incident with the student, if it is deemed
appropriate, the staff member in the Office of Student Affairs will attempt to resolve complaints
on an informal basis. In all cases every possible effort will be made to insure confidentiality
and to protect the rights of both students and faculty members. If resolution of a complaint
cannot be reached informally, the student will be advised about formal grievance procedures.
Sexual Battery Policy
Sexual battery is a felony under the criminal laws of the State of Florida and will not be
tolerated at the USF COM. As an integral part of academic performance, medical students are
expected to maintain the high standards of professional and personal conduct traditionally
associated with the practice of medicine. Any act such as sexual battery is a violation of
university policy which, in the case of medical students, is viewed as professional misconduct
and is a violation of academic standards. As such, any professional misconduct is subject to disciplinary action under the Medical Student Advancement Policies, Procedures and Due
COM students who are victims of actual or threatened violence can obtain assistance from the
MSSPAC program. Additionally, medical students should refer to the USF policy concerning
Sexual Battery. All rights and services specified in this policy, including the Victims'
Advocacy Program as explained below, are available to COM students. The policy is contained
in the USF Student Handbook under Administrative Policies.
Victims' Advocacy Program
The Victims' Advocacy Program is available to assist all USF students or employees who are
victims of actual or threatened violence, including but not limited to battery, assault, sexual
battery (date rape, acquaintance rape, stranger rape) and attempted sexual battery.
Police reports are strongly encouraged; however, reports are not required for information and
The USF Victims' Advocate will assist by providing information, support and guidance in the
1. Crisis Intervention
2. Emergency shelter, medical help and counseling referrals
3. Assistance as needed
4. Services available on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week
HIV/AIDS Policy and Other Infectious Diseases
When an HIV infected individual comes to the attention of the university, whether
student, faculty or staff member, confidentiality of the individual as well as the
individual's welfare and that of the university community must be respected. Other
infectious diseases will be handled appropriately and reported according to State
Religious Holy Days
All students, faculty, and staff at the USF have a right to expect that the University will
reasonably accommodate their religious observances, practices and beliefs.
Students are expected to attend classes and take examinations as determined by the University.
The University will, at the beginning of each academic term, provide written notice of the class schedule and formal examination periods. The University, through its faculty, will make every
attempt to schedule required classes and examinations in view of customarily observed religious
holidays of those religious groups or communities comprising the University's constituency.
No student shall be compelled to attend class or sit for an examination at a day or time
prohibited by his or her religious belief. Students are expected to notify their instructors if they
intend to be absent for a class or announced examination, in accordance with this policy, prior
to the scheduled meeting. Students absent for religious reasons will be given reasonable
opportunities to make up any work missed. In the event that a student is absent for religious
reasons on a day when the instructor collects work for purposes of grading (homework, pop
quiz, etc.), the student shall be given a reasonable opportunity to make up such work or shall not
have that work averaged into the student's grade at the discretion of the instructor.
Any student who believes that he or she has been treated unfairly with regard to the above
should contact the Office of Student Affairs.
Student Confidentiality Policy
The Office of Student Affairs adheres to strict policies regarding the release of student
information. Students are encouraged not to release class lists, addresses or phone numbers to
individuals outside of the COM. However, pursuant to the requirements of the Family
Education Rights & Privacy Act (the Buckley Amendment) the following type of information
designated by law as "directory information" may be released by the COM Student Affairs
Office when it is deemed in the best interest of the student: student name, address, telephone
listing, date and place of birth, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, dates
of attendance, degrees and awards received and the most recent previous educational agency or
Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in July of 1990, with its provisions
becoming effective at various dates thereafter. The ADA expands the rights of the disabled and
augments existing anti-discrimination laws. Title III of the Act relates to anti-discrimination by
entities engaged in public services and applies to the relationship between students and colleges
and universities. The USF COM complies with provisions specified in the ADA.
Students with learning disabilities which are documented by reports of examination and testing
by appropriately certified and credentialed M.D. or Ph.D. counselors may receive increased
time to complete institutional and NBME Examinations. The approval must be coordinated by
the Student Affairs Office based upon M.D. or Ph.D. counselor reports reflecting the diagnosis
and certifying that the student requires additional time to complete the examination process.
The student must formally request additional time in a memorandum to the Office of Student
Affairs. Reports from counselors making the diagnosis must be forwarded to the Associate
Dean for Student Affairs. Reports will be referred to the Chairperson of the Student Affairs
Committee for consultation and recommendation.
For students to receive additional time for completing USMLE Parts I and II, approval must be
granted by the NBME. Requests to the NBME must be accompanied by appropriate
documentation from the M.D./Ph.D. counselor with their recommendation and the diagnostic
procedures used to make their determination. A letter from the Associate Dean for Student
Affairs must accompany the student's request.
Operating Procedure for Applicants with Disabilities
On occasion an applicant to the COM identifies a disability that may impact on his/her ability to meet the Technical Standards for Admission, Progression and Graduation from
the COM. When this occurs the following procedure will be adhered to:
1. Upon learning of an applicant with disabilities the Director of Admissions will
bring the applicant to the attention of the Associate Dean of Student Affairs. The
Director of Admissions will also inform the Chairperson of the Medical Student
2. The Director of Admissions, and the Chairperson of the Medical Student
Selection Committee will ensure that the applicant receives reasonable accommodations
for the interview process. The Technical Standards apply to all applicants, and
competitiveness of applicants with disabilities will be judged on the same basis as other
applicants who are interviewed.
3. Once an offer of acceptance is made, and the scope of accommodation
requirements has been determined, the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, in
consultation with appropriate professional personnel will determine a reasonable course
of action. For example, a student with dyslexia may require extra time for exams,
enlarged print on exams and on occasion readers. These are reasonable accommodations and will be provided for the student. Each individual's impairment is
different, each disability is different and accommodation needs will vary from case to
4. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs will work in association with Student Disability Services to review the student’s disability and recommend accommodations. This may include an interview of the student to explore reasonable accommodations to
provide the student with the best opportunity for success. It is the responsibility of the
applicant to provide appropriate professional documentation showing the nature of their
disability and request accommodations. Students with known disabilities must meet the
same standards of academic performance as other students being considered for
admission. Accepted students who have disabilities will be expected to achieve a
comparable level of competency to that required of other students for progression and
5. Upon request, the Office of Student Affairs will provide recommendations to
applicants concerning professionals who are skilled in conducting evaluations for
individuals who believe they may have a disability.