Grade Grievance Policy and Forms

Policy Title: Grade Grievance Policy
Classification: University
Approval Authority: Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
Responsible Entity: College of Medicine
Policy Owner: Undergraduate Curriculum Committee


I. Policy Statement

Primary responsibility for assigning block grades in the preclerkship phase rests with the preclerkship director; in the clinical curriculum phase the clinical clerkship and course directors assign grades. The specific curriculum requirements, the levels of expected student performance, and the tools used to measure that performance are clearly outlined in block, clerkship and course syllabi, and in the College of Medicine Grading Policies

II. Scope

This policy applies to Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine students enrolled in the MD degree or dual degree programs.

III. Approval Authority

Undergraduate Curriculum Committee

IV. Purpose of This Policy

This policy is designed to outline the due process provided to a medical student who wishes to contest the grade or narrative assessment received during course work in the MD Degree program.

V. Who Should Be Knowledgeable about This Policy

College of Medicine students enrolled in the MD degree or MD/dual degree programs.
College of Medicine faculty and course directors
College of Medicine undergraduate medical education deans and support staff

VI. The Policy

Students are encouraged first to meet with the preclerkship director or the clinical clerkship/course director, herein after described as the “director”, to discuss the concern regarding the grade. If after discussion, or in lieu of the discussion, the student wishes to initiate the grade grievance process, the following steps must be taken:

  1. The student must complete and submit the appropriate grade grievance form (included in this policy description) to the director within 15 days of the posting of the preclerkship grade (Harbor) or within 30 days of the posting of the clinical clerkship/course grade (WebAdvisor). The student should articulate their case in the grievance form, explain the rationale for seeking a change to the grade, respond to provided questions, and present any/all information that they wish to share regarding the grievance. The student may request to meet with the director to discuss their rationale and this request must be included in the formal written grievance. The director will respond in writing with their decision within 30 days of the meeting, or within 30 days of the written grievance if no meeting was requested.
  2. If the decision of the preclerkship director or clinical clerkship/course director does not result in a resolution that is satisfactory to the student, the student may appeal to the Preclerkship Planning and Evaluation Committee (PPEC) (Year 1 and 2) or Clinical Sciences Planning and Evaluation Committee (CSPEC) (Year 3 or 4) .The student must notify the chair of the committee in writing within 7 days of the director’s decision. The committee will review the grievance form that was submitted to the director. The student will be given the opportunity to speak before the committee, if they choose. The committee will respond in writing with their decision within 7 days, unless the committee requires more time to gather data, in which case the decision will be rendered within 10 days. The decision of the committee is considered final.

Due Process

The student will be given the following:

  • proper notice of the location and time of the meeting,
  • meaningful opportunity to present their grievance before the committee (students may also choose not to appear), and
  • opportunity for review by unbiased individuals who do not have a conflict of interest.

In the event of a conflict of interest, individual committee members will recuse themselves from the deliberations and determination of the grade outcome.

VII. Special situations


VIII. Sanctions for Non-compliance


IX. Related Information


A. References, citations

Grading & Assessment Policy - FLEX Preclerkship Phase
Grading and Assessment Policy - Clinical Years

B. Other

C. Appendices


X. Communication Plan

Information about this policy will be included in student orientation sessions, posted online, and shared annually with teaching faculty, fellows, and residents through required compliance modules.

XI. Definitions


XII. Review Cycle

Policy will be reviewed at least every 2 years.

XIII. Approval History

List original approval date and subsequent review dates

Approval Authority Date Approved

Undergraduate Curriculum Committee April 6, 2012
Undergraduate Curriculum Committee July 16, 2017
Undergraduate Curriculum Committee July 19, 2019

XIV. Approval Signature

Donna Kern, MD  July 19, 2019
Title: Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education


Preclerkship Grade Grievance Form (PDF)  Clinical Grade Grievance Form (PDF)

COM Grade Grievance Form Page 1

COM Grade Grievance Form Page 2

COM Grade Grievance Policy Form Page 3

COM Grade Grievance Policy Form Page 4

COM Grade Grievance Policy Form Page 5