Academics /

    Academic Policies

    Academic policies

    The University of Medicine and Health Sciences publishes the UMHS Student Handbook of Policies and Procedures each semester. The UMHS Student Handbook supersedes information provided on this website. It is the responsibility of the student to be aware of all regulations contained in the Student Handbook and any changes or modifications. Listed below is a partial list of the university's academic policies. See the handbook for a complete listing.

    UMHS Students

    Basic science students

    Registration of new students

    Students will pre-register for courses through the student portal at the designated time determined by the Office of the Registrar. At the beginning of each semester, all students must confirm their registration in person before the start of classes. Any specified documentation upon which the student’s admission is contingent must be on file at that time. Registration is not complete and enrollment is not official until tuition and fees are paid in full and confirmation is completed. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that payment is received in the Bursar’s office by the established due dates announced each semester. Questions regarding tuition and fees, payments, returned checks, late fees, and refunds should be directed to the UMHS Office of the Bursar.

    Students who register after the first day of class are responsible for all prior materials and assignments presented in class. No student will be allowed to register after the close of registration without the permission of the Dean.



    Basic Science Program: A passing grade of 70% (equivalent to a grade of C) is required in all courses. Any grade below 70% is considered failing (equivalent to a grade of “F”). Students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 to make satisfactory academic progress. Students who receive a grade of “F” in any course will be placed on academic probation. Failure to pass a repeated course with a grade of “C” or better is grounds for dismissal from the medical program. The maximum time frame for completion cannot exceed 150% of the required credits for graduation.

    Letter grade Numerical grade QPA
    A 90 and above 4.00
    B 80 – 89 3.00 – 3.90
    C 70 – 79 2.00 – 2.90
    F 0 – 69 0.00
    P 70 and above 0.00
    I   0.00
    W   0.00
    Result of measures:
    (Total points divided by 8)
    letter grade:
    3.70 - 4.00 A 4.00
    3.30 - 3.69 B+ 3.50
    2.70 - 3.29 B 3.00
    2.30 - 2.69 C+ 2.50
    2.00 - 2.29 C 2.00
    <2.00 F 0.00

    Absence of log book and/or
    passing core subject exam

    I 0.00
    Withdrawn W 0.00
    Audit/observation AU 0.00
    No show failure NF 0.00
    Not attend withdrawal NW 0.00

    Clinical Science Program: Evaluations during the Clinical Science Program segment of the curriculum include an assessment of the ACGME Core Competencies which are not only part of the student’s mastery of course objectives, but also the characteristics considered desirable in a good physician. These include problem-solving ability, industry, reliability, judgment, interpersonal relationships, professional skills, and motivation. Students who receive more than one failing grade in any required or elective clerkship are subject to dismissal.

    Failing grade: A student who receives a failing grade of “F” in any Basic Science course or clinical rotation must repeat the course and receive a passing grade to progress.  A course for which an "F" is awarded is included in the term GPA and CGPA.  When the student repeats the same course/rotation with a passing grade the failing grade "F" will no longer be calculated in the CGPA.  However the grade of "F" will remain on the transcript and in the term of the GPA.

    Incomplete grade: An incomplete grade “I” signifies that not all required coursework was completed during the term of enrollment. The “I” grade is not calculated into the term GPA or the cumulative GPA at the time it is awarded. All required coursework must be completed on or before the first day of classes of the subsequent term. Students with incomplete grades will not be permitted to register for the next term until all requirements have been satisfied. If course requirements are not satisfied by the deadline date, the “I” grade will be changed to an “F”.

    Semester credit hours (Basic Sciences): One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction over the course of a semester (15 weeks) equals one semester credit hour. Total Basic Science credit hours consist of 100 credits. Clinical Sciences – One week of rotation is equal to one credit. Each semester consists of 15-16 weeks of rotations for a total of 48 core rotation weeks and 30 elective weeks. Student duty hours at each hospital site should follow the ACGME standard that limits duty hours to not more than 80 hours per week, averaged over four weeks, inclusive of all in-house call activities.


    Competency examinations

    Course examinations: With the exception of students on an approved leave of absence, all students are expected to sit for scheduled examinations. Students unable to do so by illness must present documentation that they were under the care of a physician at the time of the examination. The form of the makeup examination will be at the discretion of the course instructor. In lieu of a makeup examination, the individual instructor may elect to average all of the student’s other examinations in the course and use the averaged examination score in place of the missed examination.

    Shelf examinations: UMHS has been approved by the National Board of Medical Examiners to administer online shelf examinations in St. Kitts. Shelf examinations are integrated into the Basic Science Program and are offered as final examinations in many of the courses. These examinations are, in essence, mini USMLE examinations, as they use a similar type and style of questions.

    Core NBME: NBME exams assess knowledge gained during a core rotation. Students are required to complete a core NBME subject exam within two weeks after the completion of each core rotation including internal medicine, surgery, OB/GYN, pediatrics, psychiatry, and family medicine. 

    USMLE: To enter into UMHS clinical rotations, students must complete and pass the USMLE Step 1. This examination is taken between semester 5 and the start of semester 6. To receive a diploma from UMHS, students must complete the USMLE Step 2 which consists of two parts: Clinical Skills (CS) (the CS was discontinued in January 2021 – For 2021 and 2022 graduates, students must go through ECFMG Pathways 3 or 6 – TBD for 2023 and after) & Clinical Knowledge (CK). These examinations are usually taken after completing the core clinical clerkships. USMLE Step 3 is the final step for licensing and is taken after graduation and during or after residency training.

    ECFMG: To be licensed to practice medicine in the United States, graduates must be certified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). To be certified by ECFMG, students must pass USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CS (the CS was discontinued in January 2021 – For 2021 and 2022 graduates, students must go through ECFMG Pathways 3 or 6 – TBD for 2023 and after) & CK which is also a requirement for graduation.


    Student progress

    Attendance: Attendance is mandatory for 80% of all classes and 100% of all labs, examinations, and clinical clerkships. Unavoidable and/or unexcused absences are addressed on a case-by-case basis. However, excessive lateness or absence from a course may result in a failing grade. Students who require an extended absence from class may request a Leave of Absence (emergency or academic).

    Basic Science Program–satisfactory academic progress: Student academic progress is considered satisfactory if the student has passed all courses, course examinations, and shelf examinations within the allotted time frames. It is used for both academic assessment as well as financial aid eligibility.  Taking a leave of absence or withdrawing from classes may negatively impact a student's satisfactory progress.  A minimum GPA of 2.0 must be maintained for each semester, and a cumulative minimum GPA of 2.0 must be maintained throughout the academic program. Failure to do so will result in academic probation. A minimum of a “C” is required in all courses. Students receiving an “F” in any course are eligible to repeat that course one time only. Failure to pass a repeated course with a grade of “C” or better is grounds for dismissal. The student must also have adhered to all UMHS rules and regulations and be current with all financial obligations.

    Clinical Science Program–satisfactory academic progress: Progress in the clinical science program is considered satisfactory if the student has passed the USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK & CS (the CS was discontinued in January 2021 – For 2021 and 2022 graduates, students must go through ECFMG Pathways 3 or 6 – TBD for 2023 and after) and completed all clinical rotations within the allotted time frames. The student must also have adhered to all UMHS rules and regulations and remained current with all financial obligations.

    All progressions, probation, dismissal, suspension, and censure determinations are made by the Dean of the Basic Science or Clinical Science Division based on receipt of verifiable information from the Registrar's Office, Promotions and Appeals Committee, Grievance Committee, or any faculty. One or more of the following actions may be taken, as appropriate:

    1. No progression in failed courses until the course(s) is/are successfully repeated.
    2. Academic probation due to overall and or semester grade point average below a min. 2.0 GPA.
    3. Academic probation due to earned grade in a required course less than a minimum grade required for the program of enrollment.
    4. Administrative Probation due to violation of the professional conduct code.
    5. Removal from Probation.
    6. Censure by written letter. Censure is defined as the finding that a student has committed an offense warranting discipline.  It is a matter of record. 
    7. Suspension from UMHS.
    8. Dismissal from UMHS. 

    The terms placed on the student’s transcript for the appropriate semester might include “academic dismissal” and “academic suspension”. Notations of “administrative probation”, “placed on probation”, “continued probation” and “good standing” may be placed in the student’s permanent record. Specific academic criteria and the appeals process are outlined below.


    Academic probation

    A student who receives a failing grade in any course during the Basic Science segment will be placed on academic probation for the following term. If the student successfully passes the course(s) in the probationary term and the student’s cumulative GPA is 2.0 or greater, the probation designation will be lifted. However, any subsequent failure in a repeated course or during a probationary term will be considered grounds for academic dismissal. Students with cumulative grade point averages below 2.0 will remain on Academic Probation until their GPA reaches or exceeds 2.0. During the clinical science portion of the curriculum, the student will be placed on probation if a failing grade is received in any required or elective rotation. A student who fails a repeated rotation or fails two rotations will be academically dismissed.


    Criteria for placement on academic probation

    1. Any student who fails a course will be placed on Academic Probation and must repeat and pass that course during the following Semester.
    2. Any student who earns a GPA of less than 2.0 for a semester will be placed on probation.
    3. Any student who is not able to complete the medical program within 150% of attempted credit.
    4. Any incoming student may be placed on Academic Probation by the Admissions Committee or the Dean as a condition of their admission into the medical program.

    Emergency absence: An Emergency Absence is a temporary interruption in a student's education for a specific period.  An approved Emergency Absence is generally no longer than two weeks.  Students who fail to return from an approved leave will be administratively withdrawn from UMHS.

    Unauthorized leave of absence: An unauthorized leave of absence is a leave that has not been approved by UMHS.  In this case, UMHS reserves the right to administratively withdraw the student.  Should that happen, the student must reapply to UMHS.

    Academic leave of absence: Academic Leave of Absence is a temporary interruption in a student’s education for a specific period. An approved Academic Leave of Absence may not exceed 180 days. Students may only take one leave of absence in 12 months.

    Non-academic dismissal: Violation of UMHS regulations, Code of Ethics, or legal expectations may constitute cause for dismissal.  These types of violations will be adjudicated under the procedures outlined in the Student Handbook under "Non-Grade Grievance". Such information will be listed on the academic transcripts.

    Dismissal: Criteria for Dismissal from the Program.  Students may dismissed from UMHS for any of the following reasons:

    1. Failing three courses in the Basic Science Program.
    2. Earning an "F" in two or more courses in the same semester.
    3. Earning an "F" in the same course or rotation twice.
    4. Earning an "F" in a course or rotation while on Academic Probation.
    5. Failure to complete the Basic Science Program within 150 attempted credits.
    6. Failure to complete semesters 5-10 within 133 attempted clinical weeks.
    7. Failure to pass the USMLE Step 1 or Step 2 within 3 attempts.


    Student withdrawal: Students may withdraw from the University by obtaining a “Withdrawal Form” available on the Student Portal or from the Registrar’s Office. The official withdrawal date is defined as the date it was determined that the student did not intend to return to class. This action is commonly referred to as the Date of Determination (DOD). The last date of attendance reflects the last date the student attended class, commonly referred to as the Last Date of Attendance (LDA). The LDA is posted to the student’s transcript and reported to lenders. Any loan originators will be notified of such a withdrawal, and the student will be responsible for any financial obligations resulting from the withdrawal. The last date for withdrawal with a grade of “W” is the Wednesday the week after Block 3 exams. If a student withdraws on or before this date, he/she receives a “W” for the course(s) (which does not affect GPA, and does not place the student on academic probation).

    Administrative withdrawal: UMHS may withdraw a student for failing to register for classes or rotations, for not meeting academic and exam program timelines, for not submitting requested documentation, for not meeting University Policies, or at the discretion of the Provost, Deans, or designee for conduct, behavior, or health issues.  The effective date of withdrawal will be the last day the student attended classes. Any loan originators will be notified of such a withdrawal, and the student will be responsible for any financial obligations resulting from such a withdrawal.

    Re-admission: Students may reapply to UMHS by completing an admissions application and indicating they were previously a student. The application should include a written statement explaining the circumstances leading to the withdrawal. Additional information such as medical documentation, letters of support, etc., may be submitted to further explain the circumstances. If any other college or university has been attended since the last enrollment at UMHS, official transcripts must be submitted along with the application. Students failing at the time of withdrawal from UMHS will have their application reviewed by the Registrar’s Office in New York and by the faculty Admissions Committee.

    If a student has been withdrawn from UMHS for less than one year and is in otherwise good standing, they may reapply through the Registrar's Office by completing a re-acceptance application and providing supporting documentation as requested.

    Re-admission is solely at the discretion of UMHS, and re-admission is not guaranteed. Students who are re-admitted to UMHS will be required to adhere to all tuition policies/rates and all academic policies that are in effect at the time of re-admittance.


    Code of Ethics

    The honorable profession of medicine requires students to behave appropriately at all times. Students must comply with professional standards of medicine in both personal and professional aspects of life to maintain a professional learning environment during enrollment at UMHS. Students are expected to function within the framework of the American Medical Students Association Code of Ethics which is contained in the Student Handbook.


    Liability policies

    Policy on hazing: No student in attendance at UMHS shall conspire to engage in hazing, participate in hazing, or commit any act that causes, or is likely to cause, bodily danger, physical harm, or personal degradation or disgrace resulting in physical or mental harm, to any fellow student.

    Violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action against the student who is alleged to have committed the act as well as the student organization that allowed the act to be committed. Such acts may also violate the laws of St. Kitts and, as such, may result in criminal sanctions as well. As part of their registration process with UMHS, St. Kitts campus, all students shall be required to submit an attested acknowledgment stating that they have been informed of the policy and understand its implications and further agree not to engage in hazing activities.

    Policy on sexual harassment: UMHS considers sexual harassment, in all its forms, to be a serious offense and one that is subject to a range of actions up to and including suspension or dismissal. Sexual harassment by students, faculty, or staff is a violation of UMHS policy and is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

    Policy on alcohol and drugs: The unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and/or illicit drugs on any institutional property is prohibited.  Students who believe they have a drug or alcohol problem may contact a University counselor for confidential assessment, counseling, or referral for treatment.


    Disciplinary actions

    If student behavior necessitates disciplinary action, students may be suspended or dismissed by the dean. Students have a right to appear before the grievance committee on issues that give rise to disciplinary action. The committee makes a final determination and provides their recommendation to the dean. This may occur due to academic or non-academic violations, including criminal action or failure to meet academic or ethical standards.

    Suspended or dismissed students will receive written notification of the reason for such action. Suspended students will be informed of any available options for reinstatement. Dismissal decisions may be appealed. Suspensions or dismissals may affect student aid.


    Grievance policy

    UMHS expects students, faculty, and administration to be responsible for maintaining personal, professional, and institutional standards to bring a positive reflection upon themselves, the school, and the medical profession. To that end, faculty, students, and administration are responsible for reporting any allegation to the dean. Such reports must be in writing (signed and dated by the person making the report or allegation) and should describe the nature and specifics of the alleged conduct and the code or standard believed to have been violated.

    Violations of, but not limited to, the following may be reported:

    1. Academic integrity and professional standards as outlined in the respective sections of the UMHS Student Handbook.
    2. American Medical Students Association Code of Ethics and/or UMHS policies. If a hearing is requested, the Hearing Procedure in the Student Handbook will be followed

    It is the goal of UMHS that your time as a student is educational and enjoyable. If a student believes he or she has been treated unfairly or has a complaint, he or she should follow the procedures outlined in the Student Handbook. It is our commitment to all students that any concerns will be addressed promptly.