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Academic Regulations for Students Entering the Program in 2015/16 or Later

All students registered in the distributed program at geographically separated campuses will be subject to the same academic regulations.


The MDUP and M.D.-Ph.D. programs are designed with structured, sequential learning activities that build on prior knowledge and attainment of competencies. Some of these activities are only delivered once per academic year. An absence interrupts the learning process and may have an impact on the development and maintenance of competencies.

Students are required to attend all scheduled small group learning activities and clinical sessions unless otherwise indicated. Regular attendance is expected of students in all scheduled learning activities. All absences, whether planned or unplanned, must be reported through the Program's absence procedures.

A student wishing an "excused" absence, planned in advance, must submit a request through the Program's absence procedures.

An absence from the program for more than four weeks within an academic year will usually require an extension of the usual four-year timeframe for completion of the medical undergraduate program. Excessive, recurrent or extended absences could result in a requirement to repeat some or all of an entire academic year in accordance with the Faculty’s attendance and leave policies. In determining the need for an extension of studies, the Faculty may consider the length of the absence(s), timing during the academic year, the student’s year of studies, and the student’s academic performance, including issues of professionalism.

Students may require a leave of absence for ill health or other unexpected personal or family circumstances. Each student’s circumstance will be different, and will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Every effort will be made to accommodate the student’s completion of the program requirements within the normal duration of study. However, if the student misses a significant amount of the curriculum, the Faculty may require the student to repeat the missed curriculum or the year.

Students may request academic concession in circumstances that may adversely affect their attendance or performance in a course or program as per UBC’s Academic Concession policy.

Assessments and Examinations

Examinations are a sub-set of assessments which include formal written and/or oral components. Assessments also include other types of formative and summative assessment including, but not limited to, workplace-based assessments and portfolios.

Assessments in the Faculty of Medicine will be held throughout the year. All assessments are mandatory for all students.

Should a student be unavoidably absent from an examination because of illness or other reason, the Dean's Office must be notified of the facts in the case before the end of the period during which the examination is scheduled. Failure to observe this rule may result in a failure being recorded in the course.

When an examination has been missed through illness or some other justifiable cause, application for deferred examination or special consideration must be made in writing not later than 48 hours after the close of the examination period. If the absence was for reasons of health, a physician's certificate indicating the nature and duration of the illness must be submitted to the Dean's Office.

A student may be denied the privilege of writing an examination in any subject because of unsatisfactory work or attendance, and in this case will be considered to have failed the course.

In any course that involves several components (for example portfolios, work based assessments, OSCEs, and written examinations), a student is required to pass all components of the course. If the course is repeated, no exemption will ordinarily be granted.

Written assessments may be refused a passing mark if they are illegible or noticeably defective in English.

The passing mark in the Faculty of Medicine is 60%. In the case of supplemental examinations, the passing mark is 65%. In the case of Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE), the passing mark for individual stations is 60%, but the number of stations required to pass any OSCE is determined by the Faculty and communicated before each OSCE.

Results of all assessments will be reviewed and approved by a promotions committee. Final examination results will be released by the Dean’s Office.

Subjects of Assessments and Examinations

Course content builds on prior knowledge. Assessments in a given course or year will focus on the content delivered in that course or year. Nevertheless, content from preceding courses and years in the MDUP, and content from prerequisites may also be assessed.

Course syllabi provide details about content and competencies that students are expected to obtain through the courses. Syllabi also provide details about assessments that will be used to validate achievement of these learning outcomes.

Medical Council of Canada Examinations

All persons writing the Medical Council of Canada examinations are required to submit a separate examination fee to that body. This fee is set by the Council and is payable to The Registrar, Medical Council of Canada.

Grading Practices

In the Faculty of Medicine, individual courses in the Doctor of Medicine undergraduate program are graded on a Pass (P), Fail (F) system.

Academic Performance Review and Advancement

Student academic performance is reviewed at regular intervals throughout the four-year program by representatives of the Faculty including instructors and assessors. Information will be provided to the promotions committee to make decisions on student advancement.

Two kinds of formal academic performance review takes place, one at the end of term one (in Years 1, 2, and 4) or after each block (in Year 3) and another at the end of each year of the program to consider advancement. Both kinds of reviews evaluate recent academic performance in light of past performance.

For all courses and years, students must demonstrate satisfactory progress towards achieving the exit competencies. Satisfactory progress is demonstrated by passing all assessments in a given course. Doing so indicates that a student has met course milestones and learning objectives, thus demonstrating the level of competency students are expected to achieve by the end of a given course.

If the progress of a student has been unsatisfactory in any given course or component of a course, the Faculty may permit supplemental examination in the course(s) failed, at the discretion of the Faculty, provided that attendance has been satisfactory. No student may repeat a course more than once. A course failure is formally and permanently noted on the student's transcript. The Faculty will identify supplemental work necessary for the student to prepare for the supplemental examination. It is the student’s responsibility to consult with the Faculty or designated representative to complete the required supplemental work, and to complete the required supplemental examinations. If the student satisfies the requirements of the course(s) concerned and passes each supplemental examination according to the required passing standard, he/she will be allowed to continue in the program. If the student does not pass the supplemental examination, or otherwise does not fulfill program requirements, he/she may be required to withdraw from the program or to repeat a portion or the entire work of the year. A student who fails a year twice or fails any two of the four years of the program (need not be consecutive) will be required to withdraw from the program, in accordance with the University’s Advancement Regulations. Students may appeal this decision in accordance with the Appeal Process for Appeals on Academic Standing for Undergraduate Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine. A decision by the dean may be appealed to the Senate Committee on Appeals on Academic Standing.

The Faculty will determine the student's fitness for promotion at the end of each year of the program.

A student will not be promoted to the next year until all of the requirements for the current year have been met, including remedial work and supplemental assessments.

A student must pass all assessments within a year to advance to the next year.

A student who fails to meet promotion standards may be required either to repeat all or part of a year of the program or withdraw from the program.

Although satisfactory academic performance is prerequisite to advancement it is not the sole criterion in the consideration of the suitability of a student for promotion or graduation. The Faculty reserves the right to require a student to withdraw from the Faculty if considered to be unsuited to proceed with the study or practice of medicine. For more information about the expectations of learners in the Faculty of Medicine, please refer to the Professional Standards for Learners and Faculty Members.

Graduation Requirements

A candidate for the Doctor of Medicine degree must have fulfilled all the requirements for entrance to the Faculty of Medicine and have attended and successfully completed the four full years of instruction which comprise the medical program. No one will be admitted to candidacy for the Doctor of Medicine degree who has not been in attendance for the final two years in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia.

Each candidate for graduation must meet all exit competencies as demonstrated by passing all the required assessments in the subjects comprising the medical program, and have received acceptable ratings in certain courses for which satisfactory completion is required but specific marks are not assigned.

The Faculty will recommend to Senate the granting of the Doctor of Medicine degree to a student who has successfully completed the academic requirements.

Each candidate for the Doctor of Medicine must make a formal application.

M.D. degrees may be approved at any regular meeting of the Senate during the Winter Session. Please see the Rolling Graduation policy in the UBC Calendar.

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