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

You are reading the 2022/23 Academic Calendar. The 2021/22 version remains in effect until 31 August 2022 and is available here

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 (the Program) 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. Absences interrupt the learning process and may have an impact on the development and maintenance of competencies. The MDUP Attendance Policy and Absence Procedure is regularly updated and can be found here.

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 a negotiated absence must submit a request through the Program's absence procedures.

An absence from the Program for more than four weeks (Leave Of Absence) within an academic year may require an extension of the usual four-year time frame for completion of the 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 Absence Policies and Attendance Procedures. 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 health or other personal or family circumstances. See the Leave of Absence Policy here. Each student’s circumstances 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 must successfully complete all of the academic requirements and achieve all expected competencies for the Doctor of Medicine degree, to be recommended for graduation.

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

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

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 as soon as possible and no later than 48 hours from the end of the examination. 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 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 may be required.

In any course that involves several components (for example portfolios, workplace based assessments, OSCEs, and written examinations), a student is required to pass all components of the course. If the course is repeated, exemption for previously completed components will not be granted.

The passing mark in the MDUP is 60%. The MDUP Assessment Policy is updated regularly and can be found here.

Results of all assessments will be reviewed and approved by the 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.

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 competencies.

Medical Council of Canada Examinations

Grading Practices

Individual courses in the 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 Regional Student Promotions Subcommittees and subsequently to the Student Promotion and Review Board for decisions on student advancement as set out in the Policy on Advancement, Promotion, Graduation and Academic Standing.

Two kinds of formal academic performance review takes place to consider advancement, 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.

Criteria for each course are provided in course syllabi and assessment packages. A failure to meet the specified criteria results in course failure.

If a student fails a course or component of a course, supplemental examination will be offered in the course(s) failed, except for the WBA assessment modality, or if the student fails a course while on Academice Probation. No student may repeat a course more than once. A course failure is formally and permanently noted on the student's transcript. 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, where provided. If the student satisfies the requirements of the course(s) concerned and passes each supplemental examination according to the required passing standard, they will be allowed to continue in the Program. If the student does not pass the supplemental examination, or otherwise does not fulfill Program requirements, they 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 suitability 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 a 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 the student is 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.

Each candidate for graduation must meet all exit competencies as demonstrated by passing all the required assessments in the subjects comprising the 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.

Page last updated: June 7, 2022

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