All students are expected to comply with the general Health Sciences Center provisions governing registration as specified in the general information section of this publication.
Before registering, each student must have provided an official transcript of all college work to the Office of the Registrar. Failure to submit transcripts will prevent registration and will result in the forfeiture of the student’s position in the entering class. Transcripts furnished to the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) are not provided to LSUHSC-Shreveport. Students, therefore, must request that transcripts from all colleges attended (including dual credits) be sent directly to the LSUHSC-Shreveport, Office of the Registrar.
Before registering for classes, students must provide proof of certain tests and immunizations. Forms for recording this information are provided to each new student. Completed forms should be sent to the address indicated on the form.
At registration, all new students (MSI, advanced placement, and transfer students) must purchase a university designated laptop computer from the University.
Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes except in case of illness or other causes of absence beyond the student’s control. Excessive absence, regardless of cause, may, at the discretion of departments, necessitate repetition of courses or parts thereof, or fulfillment of other assignments. A student who is repeatedly absent from scheduled examinations, requiring repeated makeup examination, may be required to appear before the respective Promotions Committee. The Promotions Committee will recommend action to the Dean, which in some instances may be dismissal.
A student who has essentially abandoned his/her role as a student through non-attendance will be subject to dismissal, after a hearing on the matter by the respective Promotions Committee, which will recommend action to the Dean.
MSIII Absence Policy
Students are expected to attend all aspects of every clerkship except in case of illness or other causes of absence beyond the student’s control. Excessive absence, defined as 20% or more of a clerkship (2 days in a 2-week course or 6 days in a 6-week course), regardless of cause, will necessitate repetition of the clerkship. Make-up requirements for all absences are at the discretion of the clerkship director.
Remediation for all clerkships must be completed by December 31st for courses in the first half of the year and by the final day of MSIII classes in June for clerkships in the second half.
Religious Practices Accommodation of Scheduled Educational Activities
Understanding that the religious diversity of its students may result in conflicts between students’ religious practices and educational activities, the LSUHSC-S School of Medicine will attempt to make accommodations while maintaining the primacy of its commitment to patient care and education. Students who have a need for religious accommodation shall notify the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs prior to the start of the academic year in July. If it is established that there is a legitimate need then, where possible, the student(s) shall be provided reasonable accommodation, including the opportunity to make up the missed academic activity.
Examinations may be written, oral, practical, or a combination of all three, depending upon the course concerned. A student may be excluded from any examination for excessive absence, regardless of the cause, at the discretion of the department head. Any course director has the option to re-examine any student at any time during a course for which he/she is responsible, or to give additional tests for the purpose of arriving at a more accurate evaluation of achievement.
The student body has established an Honor Code concerning examinations. This Code is applicable to all students enrolled in the School.
Student performance is evaluated by the course director and teaching faculty of each course on the basis of written, oral, and practical examinations.
Beginning with the 2017 MSI class, (class of 2021), recorded grades for all MSI and MSII courses will be P (Pass)/F(Fail).
For students who are currently in their MSII and MSIII years (classes of 2020 and 2019, respectively), grades in graded courses will continue to be recorded as A (Excellent), B (Good), C (Satisfactory), or F (Fail). Recorded grades for all courses in the MS4 year will continue to be P (Pass)/F (Fail).
For all students, the grade of I (Incomplete) is recorded for a student whose academic work is incomplete at the time grades are recorded. Failure to complete academic work by the specified time will result in the grade of F.
The grade of W (Withdraw) is recorded for a student who officially withdraws from a course in progress.
Grade Point Average
Computation of a grade point average will be carried out for current MSII, MSIII and MSIV students (classes of 2020, 2019, and 2018 respectively), but will cease thereafter. At the end of each academic year, for these three classes, a grade point average will be computed to the nearest hundredth of a point on the basis of 4 points for A, 3 for B, 2 for C, and 0 for F. Grades of P, I, and W are not included in the computation of the grade point average. A student cannot be promoted until all comprehensive examinations have been passed and all grades of W and I have been removed.
Calculation of Percent Cumulative Rank/Class Rank
Class rank for a given academic year (MSI, MSII, MSIII) is based on course scores received during that year. All course scores are included in the calculation of class rank. When a course must be repeated due to a failing score, the initial score received, rather than the remediation score, is used in the calculation, to be fair to students who successfully completed all courses the first time.
Cumulative class rank is based on performance in all courses of all years completed to date of calculation. As described above for yearly class rank, all course scores, including failing scores, are used in this calculation. To determine class rank, weighted score averages are calculated for each student. The averages are calculated by multiplying the credit hours for each course by the percentage score received in the course, and dividing the sum of the products for all courses by the total credit hours. Students accepted into Advanced Standing are not included in the final cumulative class ranking.
Beginning with the class of 2021, grades recorded in a student’s official record (transcript) will appear as P (Pass/ F (Fail) for MSI and MSII courses. These grades will still be derived from numerical course scores, which will be used to generate quintile rank for each student at the completion of the MSI, MSII and MSIII academic years.
Grading and Progression for all MSIII Courses
- The grade in a MSIII Course is based on the student’s overall performance in the educational program objectives.
- A mid-course assessment for each student is required for all core courses (not elective courses). The student’s performance must be reviewed in a face-to-face meeting with a clinical teacher, and the student and clinical teacher must sign the Mid-Course Assessment form prior to the course midpoint. The signed forms must be stored and available for review.
- The final grade will be determined based on a composite score derived from the clinical score, exam score, and the score from other required activities.
- The course director is responsible for final determination of each student’s final grade.
- The grading scale is:
- A (Excellent) for overall performance greater than, or equal to 90%,
- B (Good) for overall performance greater than or equal to 80%, but less than 90%
- C (Satisfactory) for overall performance greater than or equal to 70%, but less than 80%
- F (Fail) for overall performance less than 70%
- The student will fail the course if he/she:
- receives a failing score on their clinical performance evaluation,
- receives a failing score on their professionalism performance evaluation,
- fails the final exam retake, or
- receives a total course score of less than 70% (fail).
- Course Directors will report final grades to the Registrar within four (4) weeks of the end of the course.
- The Incomplete designation may be assigned by the Course Director if:
a.The student has not completed all required activities.
b.The student has passed clinically, but has failed the final examination and not yet completed the retake.
9. A letter grade to replace an Incomplete will be posted within two weeks after receipt of the following:
10. A student who retakes an examination due to failure on the first attempt is not eligible for a final Course grade of A (Excellent) or B (Good).
11. A student who fails a course final exam on the first attempt must schedule a retake and successfully complete the exam within the semester of the failed attempt. (Item 6c addresses the second failure of the final exam in the same course.)
12. A student who fails a final exam in a second course BEFORE remediating the first failure must stop his/her academic progress and meet with the MSIII Promotion Committee to agree upon a plan for the student to complete the Retake Exams. If a student must schedule multiple Retake Exams, she/he must pass all of them before resuming his/her clinical training. All retake examinations must be completed before the final day of the semester in which the initial failed exam was taken.
13. A student who fails a final exam in a second course AFTER remediating the first failure must meet with the Dean of Academic Affairs.
14. A student who fails a final exam in a third course will be required to repeat the entire MSIII Year of medical school.
15. All MSIII Courses must be successfully completed before progressing to the MSIV Year.
16. If a student fails a course, the student will be required to repeat the entire course; the student must complete all components and requirements for the course (i.e., completion of exam and of clinical requirements) and will no longer be eligible to receive a final course grade of A (Excellent) or B (Good) for the Course. A failing final grade in any two medical school courses or two failing grades in the same course is grounds for dismissal.
Appeal of Final Grades
Faculty are best qualified to judge the performance and capabilities of students in the courses/clerkships here at LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport. Course directors have the responsibility for their respective courses/clerkships and associated learning activities. These individuals are responsible for the evaluation of students within their respective courses/clerkships, according to the published guidelines for those respective courses/clerkships. Course directors establish the mechanisms for the ongoing evaluation of students within their courses/clerkships in accordance with the evaluation policies set forth by the School of Medicine’s Medical Curriculum Council (MCC).
A student who believes that his or her final course/clerkship grade or evaluation is unjust or inaccurate may appeal that decision formally. There are two levels of appeal, one to the administrative course director, and the second to the school’s administration. The initial appeal must be submitted, in writing, within ten working days of receiving the grade or evaluation, to the course director for that course/clerkship. The appeal written by the student must clearly state the specific basis for the student’s dissatisfaction (e.g. why the grade is unjust, unfair, or was derived via a method different from that used to calculate other students’ grades) and the specific reparation sought.
The first level of appeal is to the course director for that course/clerkship. After receiving a written appeal from the student stating the basis of his/her dissatisfaction and the reparation sought, the course director shall have ten working days to do the following: review the appeal, meet with the student and with relevant faculty (if deemed necessary by the course director), formulate and deliver a written response to the student.
If the student remains dissatisfied with the grade or evaluation after receiving the response to his/her appeal from the course director, the student will have five working days from the receipt of that response to make a final appeal in writing to the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, who will compile the data and present it to the Dean. The written appeal must again include the basis for the dissatisfaction (e.g. clear deviation from the grading procedure used for other students or distinctly unfair nature of the grade) and the reparation sought. The Dean will render a decision. Addressed in the Dean’s decision will be: 1) whether or not the evaluation or grading procedure used in the case of the student was essentially the same as that used for all other students in the course/clerkship, 2) whether or not there is evidence of capricious, unjust or erroneous evaluation or grading sufficient to warrant referral of the case back to the department for reassessment of the student’s competence. Using these criteria, the Dean will either accept the original grade or evaluation as valid or refer the case back to the course director for reevaluation and/or grading of the student. If the decision reached requires changes in an official university record, the faculty of the department or course/clerkship must comply with all university regulations and procedures necessary to accomplish the change. The decision of the appeal reached by the Dean, represents the final level of due process for appeal of a final course/clerkship grade in the School of Medicine.
Students’ qualitative and quantitative academic progress will be assessed for academic advancement or retention at least at the end of Module I and at the end of each year. Technical standards may be assessed at any time.
A passing grade or the successful remediation of a failing grade must be earned in all courses for a student to be promoted and to graduate. The earned grade of F is not removed from the transcript or GPA calculation, although successful remediation is noted. Course directors and teaching faculty determine the remediation plan and assessment instrument.
There is a Pre-clinical Sciences Promotions Committee which considers the academic problems of students enrolled in years one and two of the curriculum. This committee consists of the faculty members of the Medical Curriculum Council and is chaired by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Individual MSIII and MSIV year Promotions Committees consider academic problems of students enrolled in years three and four. These committees consist of the course directors and representative faculty of each course in the year represented. The Assistant Dean for Student Affairs may be present to act, if needed, as the student’s advocate.
Promotions committees have the responsibility for final action relating to student promotions. They also have an obligation to conduct a comprehensive review of the records of students who have acquired deficiencies, using all pertinent data available from any appropriate source, such as student files, and associated information from the Office of Student Affairs. In order to assure that the committee has adequate information for making a proper decision, it may be indicated to seek comments from a student’s faculty advisor or any other faculty member designated by the student.
In reaching a decision on action to be taken in connection with a student who has incurred deficiencies, the committee shall give due consideration to the nature, extent, and significance of the deficiencies manifested. It shall take into account the relationship of the activity and time required for completion of the measures for removal of deficiency specified by the departments involved. It shall also evaluate the influence of other factors which relate to the best interest of the student and the School. The committee may designate an appropriate course of action as described below:
- Promotion after removal of all deficiencies as specified.
- Permission to repeat the year taking the entire course work of that year on probation
- Dismissal for failure to meet the requirements in a satisfactory manner
- Special procedure, which may be indicated in exceptional cases
In the event that a student fails to remove a deficiency, the committee shall decide which of the remaining alternatives stated above is to be followed. When a student is given permission to repeat a year, previously earned grades will not be changed.
Should a member of a promotions committee be the course or clerkship director who assigned a student’s failing course grade or be directly involved in the process leading to the student’s review by that promotions committee, that committee member may be present at the meeting to discuss the factors leading to the promotions committee review, but will recuse him or herself from the final vote.
Repeating MSI Year or MSII Year
Students may repeat only one of the first two years of medical school. If the student earns grades or evaluations that would necessitate repeating a second time, the student will be dismissed. A student who is permitted to repeat the MSI or MSII year must submit a specific and acceptable proposal for study to the MCC and successfully complete it in order to be eligible to retake the MSI or MSII year. In addition to the proposal, any additional stipulations made by the MCC must also be fulfilled by the student. After repeating a year, the student must achieve automatic promotion (defined as no F’s) in future years, or be dismissed.
Remediation for Module I courses must be completed before advancement to Module II. Remediation for Module IIA (MSI year) courses must be completed before registration for the MSII year. In the MSII year, remediation for courses in the first half of Module II B (July - December) must be completed prior to the beginning of the MSII half of Module II B (January - May). Remediation of a course in the MSII year half of Module II B must be completed prior to registration for the MSIII year. The remediation parameters for MSIII year and MSIV-year clerkships will be recommended to the promotion committee for the appropriate year by the clerkship director. Students may remediate the grade of F in one course; should a student earn two Fs (in spite of one being a successfully remediated F), he/she shall be dismissed.
Likewise, a student who receives an F on an attempted remediation of a failed course shall be considered to have received two Fs and be dismissed.
Academic Progression Requirement
Student promotions committees meet at least at the end of each academic period (and usually more often as needed) and review academic progress of each student. A student not satisfactorily completing all course requirements may be permitted to remediate and may be required to repeat an entire academic year of study.
Students may be dismissed for failure to meet academic, technical, discipline, or behavioral standards.
As future physicians, medical students should be aware that they are held to a high standard of behavior and professionalism. In the context of medical training, LSUHSC at Shreveport has an obligation not only to itself to maintain the integrity of its degree but also to protect the public interest. Technical Standards for behavioral and social attributes evolve as students move toward patient care. In the earliest stage of medical school, they may also include demonstrating a commitment to learning which includes attending assigned classes, meetings and examinations, and treating classmates, teachers, faculty members, and patients with respect. Failure to meet these standards will also be considered by student promotions committees in their reviews of students.
Academic and Technical Standards Dismissals
An F may be earned by a student based on academic, professional, and technical standards or as a result of failure to complete required course work in a timely manner. With the exception of students who are required to meet extra criteria for automatic promotion, the following summarizes academic action taken when the grade of F is earned.
As judged at the end of the first half of the MSI year, students may remediate one F; Students who fail to successfully remediate an F shall be dismissed. Students earning two F’s shall be dismissed. At any time, when judged at the end of each half of the first two years or at any time in the MSIII or MSIV year, a student who earns a second F (including a previous F successfully remediated) shall be dismissed.
In the event of Honor Code violations requiring the action of a Hearing Panel, their recommendations are forwarded to the Dean. The LSU School of Medicine Shreveport Student Honor Code, approved by the General Faculty on May 15, 1990 and revised on May 20, 1997 is published annually in the LSUHSC Shreveport School of Medicine Handbook. Student behavior must conform to the Honor Code expectation.
Appeal of Dismissal
Appeals of dismissals related to academic or technical standards are discussed here. Appeals of disciplinary dismissals is covered under the Student Honor Code in the LSUHSC School of Medicine in Shreveport Handbook.
A student dismissed from the School of Medicine after appearing before the appropriate committee, may appeal the dismissal decision to the Dean. The appeal must be made in writing to the Dean within 15 calendar days of notification of dismissal or 15 calendar days following notification of a decision from the promotions committee. In general, requests for an appeal should be based on information not previously considered.
If the appeal contains information not previously considered by the committee, the Dean may reconvene the promotions committee. The student, accompanied by a faculty advocate-if the student desires, may attend the promotions committee’s meeting to present the new information. The promotions committee will then deliberate, without the student and the advocate present, to consider the new information and may recommend to the Dean continuance or revocation of the dismissal decision, or other actions.
The Dean’s decision after an appeal is the highest level of due process. The decision may not be further appealed.
Leave of Absence
The Dean may grant a leave of absence to a student who has maintained course grades at the level of C or higher, who is performing satisfactorily in ongoing courses, and who has no non-academic impediments. Leave will be granted for good cause, such as illness, extreme personal hardship, or other appropriate reasons. On rare occasions, the Dean may allow a leave of absence to a student who has demonstrated poor academic performance, when it appears that such performance may be related to illness, or other circumstances beyond the student’s control.
For a student granted an LOA that may terminate within the student’s academic year, course grades are recorded as the grade earned at the time the LOA begins or as Incomplete (I). When the student returns from the LOA within the student’s academic year and completes the course, the Incomplete grade will be changed to the earned grade. If the student does not return from the LOA within the student’s academic year, the grades will be changed to Withdrawn (W) at the end of the student’s academic year. The date that the LOA is approved is the effective date of end of enrollment for the student; the student’s enrollment is reported to the Clearinghouse as withdrawn.
For a student granted an LOA that may not terminate within the student’s academic year, course grades are recorded as the grade earned or as Withdrawn (W) at the time the LOA begins. The date that the LOA is approved is the effective date of end of enrollment for the student; the student’s enrollment is reported to the Clearinghouse as withdrawn.
USMLE Step 1 requirement
Each student is required to take the Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) before the official MSIII class start date. Continuing students must satisfactorily complete the second year of medical school prior to taking the exam. If a student fails the first attempt at the Step 1, he/she may not continue in the MSIII year courses and may enroll in Special Topics or, in certain cases, may be granted a leave of absence, in order to prepare for a second attempt. If a student fails the second attempt at Step 1, he/she must either enroll in Special Topics or may be granted a leave of absence, in order to prepare for a third attempt at the USMLE Step 1 at a time to be specified by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Students who are taking Step I of the USMLE for the third time may not enter or resume MSIII year courses until a passing score is reported. Students who have failed the USMLE Step 1 examination three times will be dismissed from the School of Medicine.
Requirements for Graduation
- Satisfactory completion of all course work and requirements specified in the curriculum.
- Enrollment as a student in the School of Medicine while completing at least the final two academic years of course work unless extraordinary circumstances have arisen. Specifically, third and fourth year rotations must be taken on campus or, with departmental approval, at affiliated institutions. The curricular requirements of the School of Medicine shall be adhered to in all cases.
- Approval by promotions committee and recommendation by the faculty of the School of Medicine for conferring of the degree, Doctor of Medicine.
- Satisfactory status concerning financial obligations to institution.
- Certification that all materials issued as returnable items have been accounted for in an acceptable manner.
- Successfully complete Step 1 of USMLE.
- Health Sciences Center policy requires that all work toward a degree be completed within six calendar years. The time granted a student for a leave of absence will not be included in the maximum time period for completion of the program.
- Sit for both parts of the USMLE Step 2 (Clinical Knowledge and Clinical Skills) prior to graduation.
- Attend Commencement, unless excused in writing, by the Dean.