Academic Honors and Class Rank Procedures
It is a tradition for the Health Science Center to recognize its highest scholars and promote academic excellence. Academic honors are noted on the student’s official permanent record.
No graduate will be named to the Dean’s List or receive a degree with honors who has failed a course, who has not been enrolled as a full-time student, or who has been placed on academic probation, disciplinary probation or suspension. Transfer students are not eligible for academic honors.
- The Dean’s List for semesters 1 through 4 recognizes medical students whose weighted averages make up the highest 10 percent of each class enrolled in the college. Numeric course grades, based on a 100% scale, will be used to determine the top 10% of the class.
- For semesters 1 through 4, numeric course grades will be represented as a percent of the total points achieved within a course and will be converted to an Honors (H), Pass (P), or Fail (F) grade. Some courses such as Medical Practice and its Rural Medicine equivalent will be a Pass/Fail course. Honors will be determined for each course by setting an Honors Achievement score at 91%. If 15% of the class does not achieve honors in a particular course, then the Honors Achievement score will be lowered to include the top 15% of the class. The Pass/Fail determination for each course will be determined following course completion by applying The Objective Borderline Method (OBM) in determining a pass/fail cut-off score for borderline scores. Borderline grades, unless otherwise stated in a course syllabus and approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, will be considered to be 67 through and including 77. Utilizing this borderline group range any score below a 67 is automatically considered a Fail and any grade of 78 and higher is automatically considered a Pass. If upon application of the OBM, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, the Curriculum Director, and the Course Director all agree that a variance to this cut-score needs to be considered, then they shall meet as a committee along with an additional faculty voting member of the curriculum committee and identify a new cut score. For Semesters 5 through 8, clinical rotation grades are recorded as Pass/Fail per criteria outlined in clerkship syllabi (for students with expected graduation prior to 2020, please refer to the catalog for year admitted for grades).
For Semesters 5 through 8, core clerkship grades will be assigned an Honors (H), Pass (P), or Fail (F) grade. Students may be eligible for “Honors”, designated by the Clerkship Director if they meet all expected requirements to pass the clerkship and:
- Score 91 or above on the COMAT exam for that clerkship. The score will be set and approved on an annual basis by the clerkship director, the assistant dean for clinical education, and the senior associate dean for academic affairs.
- Achieve an “Exceeds Expectation” on at least one of their clinical evaluation competency areas.
- Do not have a “Below Expectation: on any clinical evaluation competency area.
- Do not violate any Clinical Education policy or procedure while on the rotation, e.g. attendance policy.
The final designation for Honors is at the discretion of the Clerkship Director for Core clerkships and does not apply to elective rotations.
- The distinction of President’s Scholar is awarded to graduating seniors who have been named to the Dean’s List for every semester of enrollment during years 1 and 2 at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM).
- Academic honors are awarded with the degree at graduation to medical students whose cumulative weighted averages make up the highest 10 percent of the graduating class. Numeric course grades, based on a 100% scale, will be used to determine the top 10% of the class. The students in this group shall be designated as graduating with honors. For the purpose of determining academic honors for graduation, grades will be calculated for honors prior to graduation and will include coursework in semesters 1-4 and end of rotation COMAT percentage scores for core clinical rotations during semesters 5 and 6.
- Class rank will be calculated based on cumulative weighted numeric grade averages of those courses that are taken by all TCOM students. Class rank will be calculated at the end of Years 1, 2, and 3. Class rank at the end of Years 1 and 2 is calculated on the basis of cumulative coursework completed at the end of each respective year. Medical Practice grades and its Rural Medicine course equivalent will not be utilized in calculating class rank. Class rank at the end of Year 3 is calculated on the basis of cumulative coursework completed in years 1 and 2 plus the COMAT score averages for clinical rotations during year 3.
Academic probation is a serious matter and serves as official notice to the student that the quality of the student’s performance during the probationary period must improve in order to remain eligible to continue at the health science center. Any student who fails to improve his or her performance in the areas identified by the Student Performance Committee (SPC) during the probationary period may be continued on probation, asked to withdraw or be dismissed from the health science center. Students on academic probation may not hold any elected or appointed office, institutional or external.
Students experiencing academic difficulty or on academic probation are expected to take full advantage of their educational experience by regularly attending classes and seeking assistance from faculty, course directors and the Division of Student Affairs. Additionally, learning assessment, skill development, and tutoring services are available to mediate curricular deficiencies.
Students failing any course will be placed on academic probation. Students deemed to be performing at a level that places them at academic risk for failure may be placed on academic probation at the discretion of the Student Performance Committee. Once academic deficiencies have been remediated and a student is performing at a level that is no longer placing them at risk for failure he/she may be removed from academic probation at the discretion of the Student Performance Committee.
During Years 1 and 2, medical students are encouraged to attend all classroom activities. Large classroom activities such as lectures, MLM’s, PLM’s, OLM’s often enhance a student’s application and comprehension of content via contact with faculty experts that in many instances cannot be achieved from reviewing DSA’s, recordings, or other learning resources. However, attendance is not mandatory under most circumstances. Quizzes or other graded activities may be scheduled during these large classroom activities. Failure to attend these sessions will result in a zero for the graded activity unless an excused absence is obtained.
Attendance at large classroom activities may be mandatory under special circumstances as may be outlined in a course syllabus or as designated on the curriculum calendar.
Attendance is mandatory at all laboratories, skills labs, small group sessions, and team-based learning modules (TLM). Students should consult each course syllabus to identify any specific requirements. Excused absences may be granted with permission of the Curriculum Director. The student is responsible for all content covered during missed activities. If the absence is due to an illness, the student must also provide a note from a licensed health care provider confirming the illness. Absence requests should be filled out by going to MyHSC online portal at https://my.unt.edu/psp/ps/EMPLOYEE/EMPL/h/?tab=HSPA_GUEST using his/her EUID and password for any absence from a required activity including assessments. All absence requests must be completed online within five (5) working days of the absence but no later than one (1) working day following the end of a course.
When the period of absence is anticipated and may be planned, the student must confer with the appropriate course and curriculum director and determine a plan of action for the absence. The student must submit an online Absence Request at least two weeks before the requested date(s) of absence. A student who wishes to attend a professional conference will follow the same procedure and request permission to attend. A student who has been having academic difficulty as defined by academic probation or has failed exams in a current semester may have this request denied.
Failure to attend mandatory sessions may result in a non-professional conduct report and/or be reflected in course grading as outlined in the course syllabus.
The focus of the clinical experience in years 3 and 4 is patient care. 100% attendance is, therefore, required to be certain that continuity of care is maintained. It is understood; however, that certain situations may arise that will result in absence from required daily participation. In such instances please refer to the Uniform Policy Manual for Year 3 & 4 Clinical Clerkships at https://www.unthsc.edu/texas-college-of-osteopathic-medicine/clinical-education/year-3-and-4-policy-manual/
In accordance with state law, students absent due to the observance of a religious holiday may take examinations or complete assignments scheduled for the day missed within a reasonable time after the absence. For more information visit the policy (7.103) at https://www.unthsc.edu/policies/Home/AllPolicies
Auditing of any course is at the discretion of the Dean with the approval of the faculty.
Students enrolled in the University of North Texas Health Science Center’s (UNTHSC) Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine program, and any of its dual programs must meet academic and professional standards established by the program. Students who do not meet these standards are subject to dismissal. Such causes may include but not be limited to:
- A student earns failing grades in two or more courses in any one academic year.
- A student fails any course in a repeated year.
- A student exceeds the two-year limit for completing one academic course or the six-year limit for completing requirements for graduation, exclusive of a leave of absence, withdrawal in good standing, or participating in a dual degree program.
- A student has not passed any part of COMLEX, as administered by the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, within three (3) attempts.
- A student is found to be in violation of the university’s standards of professional conduct.
UNTHSC reserves the right to dismiss any student found in violation of any of its policies.
Leave of Absence
A student may request or be required to take a leave of absence with the occurrence of a health problem or personal issues that may be interfering with success in his/her degree program.
Students requesting a leave of absence must apply to the Dean of TCOM. In the event of a health problem, the request must be accompanied by a letter from the treating physician or a licensed healthcare professional describing the nature of the disability for which the leave is requested and the estimated length of time needed for recovery.
After consultation with the student, the Dean of TCOM or his/her designee will decide whether or not the leave will be granted and the conditions under which the student may return to school. Students must report to the Division of Student Affairs to obtain a Leave of Absence Form and complete it before they are officially placed on an approved leave.
Before a student may be readmitted, a written request for readmission must be submitted by the student to the Dean of TCOM. In the case of a medical leave, a letter from the treating physician or a licensed healthcare professional must accompany the readmission request stating that the student is able to participate full-time in the academic program.
Advancement in the Degree Program
Normal progression through the curriculum requires that a student complete each of the required courses and obtain a passing grade. A deficiency in any pre-clinical course (year 1 or year 2) must be remediated prior to matriculation for the next semester. A deficiency in a clinical clerkship must be remediated before graduation.
The Student Performance Committee may recommend that students be offered an opportunity to correct their deficiencies within a requisite time period or be dismissed. Students will be notified of a final decision in writing by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. It is recognized by the Student Performance Committee that each student’s situation should be evaluated as an individual case. If a student disagrees with the recommendation of the Student Performance Committee and the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, he or she may appeal in writing within five (5) days of notice to the Dean of TCOM. The dean’s decision is final.
Requirements for Graduation
Students who have satisfactorily completed all academic requirements, who have been recommended by the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) faculty are eligible to receive the doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) degree, provided they meet all of the conditions contained herein.
TCOM students must:
- have maintained a minimum Pass grade for each course;
- be at least 21 years of age;
- have been in residence for four academic years at an accredited college of osteopathic medicine, the last two years of which must have been at TCOM;
- have passed Level 1, Level 2-CE and Level 2-PE of the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX);
- have complied with all legal and financial requirements of UNTHSC;
- have exhibited the ethical, professional, behavioral, and personal characteristics necessary for the practice of osteopathic medicine; and
- have completed the Exit Questionnaire and the Clearance Check Form from the Office of the Registrar
A student who completes the curriculum in four consecutive years is required to meet the graduation requirements listed in the TCOM Catalog published for the year entered and/or any subsequent or additional program requirements. In the event of an extension beyond the four years, the student must meet the requirements for the class with whom the individual graduates. Students who do not fulfill all graduation requirements by graduation day may not be allowed to participate in the commencement ceremony.
Semester Credit Hours
One semester credit hour (SCH) is assigned to each 16 hours of scheduled student activity, including examinations. Students receive four semester credit hours for each four-week rotation.
Application of voluntary withdrawal from the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) must be made in writing to the Dean of TCOM. The Dean may request a personal interview before the withdrawal is granted.
- Students who are absent from required coursework without notifying the Dean of TCOM and without completing the established withdrawal procedures within 30 days will be administratively withdrawn from UNTHSC.
- Students must report to the Office of the Registrar to obtain and complete a withdrawal form before they can officially withdraw from UNTHSC. Students who do not complete this application for voluntary withdrawal will not be entitled to an official withdrawal and, consequently, will not be considered for re-admission at a later date.
- Re-admission for any withdrawal is at the sole discretion of the Dean.
- Any student who withdraws due to poor academic progress re-enters UNTHSC and receives a failing grade in any course may be recommended for unconditional dismissal with no opportunity for re-admission.