6.2: Standards for Performance and Satisfactory Progress

In order to make satisfactory progress towards the MD degree, each student must satisfy academic, professional, and technical standards on an ongoing basis.

A. Academic

Students are required to make satisfactory academic progress in terms of units taken and passed, courses and clerkships successfully completed, timely completion of other requirements, and correction of deficiencies.

  1. Units
    a. Students must take and successfully complete a per-quarter number of general School of Medicine units (any units listed in the School of Medicine Course and Clerkship Catalog or included for Scholarly Concentration) as follows:
    (i) During Autumn, Winter and Spring quarters (except for the graduation quarter), at least 9 units.
    (ii) Summer quarter (if registered), at least 3 units.
    (iii) Students in Master’s or PhD programs that have required courses outside of the School of Medicine (either programs in another Stanford school or interdepartmental medical school programs) will be monitored for a per quarter unit requirement to be set by the appropriate program director.

    * Unit figures are based on 2020-21 matriculation. Please refer to Section 4.3 for information for all unit requirements. Unit requirements for financial aid eligibility are not necessarily the same as for satisfactory academic progress for graduation. Students should also refer to financial aid policy, and consult with the School of Medicine Financial Aid Office.

  2. Number of Years
    1. Students are ordinarily expected to complete the pre-clerkship curriculum within three years of matriculation.
    2. If a student plans to take more than six years (MD) or eight years (MD/PhD), exclusive of time spent during an approved Leave of Absence, the student must petition for and receive approval by the CP3, preferably at the end of the fourth (MD) or sixth (MD/PhD) year, but no later than the fifth (MD) or seventh (MD/PhD) year, in order to facilitate academic and financial planning. The student’s petition must provide reasons for the requested extension and submit specific plans for completing the degree, which plans are subject to the review and approval by the student’s academic advisor.
    3. The maximum time allowed does not include periods of approved Leave of Absence, but no combination of program extensions and approved Leaves of Absence shall exceed eight years (MD) or ten years (MD/PhD) without prior CP3 review and approval.

  3. Scholarly concentrations
    Students must make satisfactory progress in meeting Scholarly Concentrations requirements.
  4. Examinations
    Students must make satisfactory progress in meeting examinations requirements, such as the USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS (see Section 3.22), and CPX series (see Section 4.14).
  5. Academic Deficiencies
    a. All academic deficiencies must be corrected within one year (or otherwise within a time limit specifically set by the CP3 in the individual case). (NOTE: A maximum of one grade of “marginal pass” in a pre-clerkship course will be permitted, but only in a course of 4 or fewer units.)
    b. Note that some deficiencies may be considered to be unable to be remediated and may result in immediate dismissal. Such circumstances may include (but are not limited to) when one or more of the following conditions apply:

i. four failures in pre-clerkship courses of two or more units.

ii. three marginal passes or failures in pre-clerkship courses of five or more units.

iii. two failures in clinical clerkships.

iv. three marginal passes (or combination of marginal passes and failures) in clinical clerkships.

v. three failures of USMLE Step 1.

vi. three failures of USMLE Step 2 CK (Clinical Knowledge).

c. A student’s failure to attend required meetings, comply with CP3 directives for remediation, or meet CP3 deadlines may preclude remediation and result in immediate dismissal from the Stanford University School of Medicine MD program.

B. Professionalism

Students are required on an ongoing basis to satisfy professionalism standards. A serious breach of professionalism may result in immediate dismissal from the Stanford University School of Medicine MD program.

C. Technical Standards

Students are required on an ongoing basis to satisfy technical standards. Continued fulfillment of such standards is a requirement for ongoing registration in the Stanford University School of Medicine.

updated August 2020