Tulane University School of Medicine
Office of Academic Affairs
131 S. Robertson Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Tulane University School of Medicine
Office of Academic Affairs
1430 Tulane Avenue #8020
New Orleans, LA 70112
L. Lee Hamm
M.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham
One of the nation's most recognized centers for medical education, Tulane University School of Medicine is a vibrant center for education, research and public service. Celebrating its 175th anniversary in 2009, Tulane School of Medicine is the second-oldest medical school in the Deep South and the 15th oldest medical school in the United States.
Tulane School of Medicine recruits top faculty, researchers and students from around the world, and pushes the boundaries of medicine with groundbreaking medical research and surgical advances. From invention of the binocular microscope to robotic surgeries, Tulane School of Medicine remains at the forefront of modern medical innovation. Tulane School of Medicine is equipping the next generation of medical professionals with the tools to succeed in a rapidly changing world and shape the future of health care. On a daily basis, we strive to meet our mission of "Education, Research and Patient Care: We Heal Communities."
Tulane School of Medicine is fully accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.
Graduate School Policies
A full description of academic policies for all students in Graduate Programs can be found in the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies section of this catalog. Students should review these policies thoroughly.
School of Medicine Policies
Graduate Student Policies
Requirement to Stay Informed
Students are responsible for checking their Tulane issued email accounts daily since announcements from the BMS Program Office, School of Medicine Departments or other entities at Tulane are frequently sent via email. If you have an email other than the one given to you by Tulane, it is a good idea to have your Tulane email automatically forwarded to the email address you use.
A student admitted to any degree program in BMS must be continuously enrolled in a degree-granting division of the University during the 12-month calendar year and maintain full-time status. A student admitted into any BMS degree program must be in continuous registration in a degree-granting division of the University until the awarding of the degree. Any student who is not registered for course work in a degree-granting division of the University must be registered in Master’s Research or Dissertation Research every semester, including the summer, in order to remain in continuous registration. Although these courses are zero-credit-hour courses, registration will maintain full-time status.
- Medical or Psychological Leave: Medical or psychological leave should be requested in accordance with the Case Management Victim Support Services processes. See https://cmvss.tulane.edu/sites/cmvss.tulane.edu/files/Medical_withdrawal_policy(1).pdf.
- Vacation: Ph.D. students are entitled to 2 weeks of vacation (10 days) per year in addition to holidays approved by Tulane University (See Academic Calendar). Foreign students holding a student visa who wish to temporarily leave the United States must obtain permission of their department chairman (if applicable) and submit a written request to the BMS Program Office at least 30 days prior to their travel and/or before making any travel arrangements. Students granted permission then apply for a new I20 or IAP-66 in order to return to the United States. Any foreign student who leaves the United States without the consent of the BMS Program Office will be subject to disciplinary action. Students not returning from leave of absence within the approved date may have their stipends suspended and may be required to re-apply to the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences.
- Other than Vacation: Master’s students should coordinate absences with their individual Program Director. Any Ph.D. student desiring to take a leave of absence from the Program for any reason except medical/psychological for an extended period of time (more than one week) must submit the request in writing to their Dissertation Advisor and to the BMS Office, stating the reason(s) for the requested absence. Approval for such leave will be granted by the Steering Committee. In emergencies, the Co-Director or the Assistant Dean will grant this leave and present the request to the Steering Committee as soon as possible. This policy applies to all full-time Ph.D. students in the BMS Program.
Change of Name/Address
Students must complete a change of name/address form and submit it to the BMS Program Office when appropriate. Changes of address may also be made by logging into Gibson Online (https://gibson.tulane.edu/tulane/jsp/login.html).
Students may audit any course in the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences that he/she is otherwise qualified to attend except under the following circumstances:
- The course has reached capacity with “for grade” students and/or;
- The course is listed as “permission of the instructor required: and permission has not been granted, and/or;
- Official course registration is required. Usual advisor signatures, tuition and fees and add/drop dates apply. No transfers from audit to credit will be permitted after add/drop date;
- There are no class work or attendance requirements;
A student may take a course for credit any following semester after taking the course for audit, if otherwise qualified. This requires a second official registration and payment for the course. Students paying audit tuition and fees are entitled to copies of handouts, assignments and/or other class materials. The conditions for student participation and evaluation of student work will be agreed upon in advance by the student and the instructor. Courses taken for Audit will not appear on final transcript.
Student-Driven: Students wishing to add or drop courses should consult the Schedule of Classes for deadlines and instructions. Failure to make schedule adjustments promptly and accurately may result in financial or academic penalties. ALL add/drops must be processed in Gibson Online unless you have two or more classes which have a time overlap. In this case, you need to fill out an add/drop form (from the BMS website or office) and obtain signatures from both instructors. You must fill out the exact course ID and section number even if there is only one section. Students may add or withdraw from a course with approval of the instructor and the BMS Program Office. Refer to the BMS Calendar for the last days to drop a course with and without record. A student wishing to add a course after general registration should complete the Drop/Add form and have appropriate approval of the course instructor and advisor prior to the start of the course. Registration will not be permitted beyond the first week of a course. Credit will not be given for courses in which the student was not registered.
Department-Driven: Departments often make schedule changes for courses. If a student has registered for a class and a change has been made, that class will automatically be dropped from their schedule. If the student still wants to take that class, it is their responsibility to re-register. Departments are responsible for notifying students (usually via email) if a class has been cancelled or a section change has been made.
Students register using Gibson Online (https://gibson.tulane.edu/tulane/jsp/login.html). Class schedules are found on the University Registrar’s website at www.registrar.tulane.edu. This site also contains a link to the Schedule of Classes. Registration for Summer and Fall semester courses opens in March and Registration for Spring semester courses opens in November. The schedule is updated twice annually. All students are responsible for their own class schedules. Consultation with assigned academic advisors or thesis mentors is strongly encouraged before enrolling in any BMS classes.
The convenience of registration on the web coupled with the delivery of tuition bills via email greatly reduces the time each student must spend on campus dealing with administrative details. Students, however, must know that by registering they assume full financial responsibility for keeping the University informed of any address changes so that bills and priority registration materials may be delivered promptly.
Students should also be aware of the requirement to confirm attendance at the beginning of each semester. Notices will be emailed to all enrolled students when the confirmation option becomes available on Gibson. In addition, they must consult the academic calendar on the University Registrar’s webpage when adding or dropping courses once the term has begun. Failure to heed the dates set forth in the official calendar could result in academic or financial penalty.
Registering for Independent Study:
Students must register for Independent Study (BMSP-7990) and Special Topics (BMSP-7500) in person with the BMS Office at the beginning of the semester. If registration is delayed, students run the risk of not receiving credit in that semester. Please submit forms to the BMS office to register.
Registration deadlines are in the calendar section of the BMS website. If registration deadlines are missed, you will not be able to use Gibson to register and must fill out a drop/add form, available in the forms section of the BMS website or in the BMS Office.
Students who have an outstanding financial balance with Accounts Receivable and/or are blocked by Student Health concerning their immunization records will need to resolve these issues before registering. The BMS Program Office can help with identifying the nature of registration holds.
If enrollment verification is needed, contact the National Student Clearinghouse: Tel: 703-742-4200 Fax: 703-742-4239
Professional/Environment of Learning Program
The Tulane University School of Medicine (SOM) is committed to creating and maintaining a positive environment for its faculty and learners. This environment is based on mutual respect and accountability. The BMS Program is designed to provide an environment that is professional, respectful, inclusive, and intellectually-stimulating. Our program allows for individuals to report concerns. Most important is early intervention to prevent concerning behavior from escalating. Exemplary behavior by individuals who are exceptional role models for professionalism can also be acknowledged within the system.
The School of Medicine has developed a reporting/tracking system for concerns about the environment of learning and workplace. Incidents are reported by a variety of mechanisms, documented in the system, and recorded in a confidential database. Each report will be investigated following the method of the Professionalism Pyramid for Graduated Interventions (first developed at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine. https://medicine.tulane.edu/education/professionalismenvironment-learning-program
Students may request transfer of credits any time after the successful completion of one semester as a registered student in the BMS Program. In order to successfully complete a semester, a student must enroll in all core courses in the first semester and every semester thereafter until their formal request for transfer of credits is approved. Acceptance of graduate credit for work done at other graduate institutions or in another division of Tulane University must first be submitted in writing to the Steering Committee through the BMS Office, who will review the transfer request and make a recommendation for approval.
In general, up to 12 semester hours of transfer credit may be accepted for a master’s degree, and up to 24 semester hours of transfer credit may be accepted toward the Ph.D. degree. To be considered for transfer credit, graduate work done at another institution or in another division of Tulane University must carry a grade of B or better and must have been completed no more than four years from the date of first registration for graduate work if applied towards a master’s degree and no more than six years from the date of first registration for graduate work if applied toward a Ph.D. degree. The transfer of credits taken earlier may be approved by the Assistant Dean or Co-Director in unusual cases only.
Updating Grade of Incomplete
At the end of the semester, if the student has earned an “I” (incomplete) in a class, he/she has 30 days after the semester to clear this up. Incomplete grades that are not resolved within 30 days of the end of the semester are changed to Fs. The “I” will remain on the student’s transcript, accompanied by the final course grade. Extensions of the 30-day deadline must be requested in writing by the student and must be approved by the instructor and the BMS Assistant Dean or Co- Director.
Voluntary: A student who has registered for a semester and plans to withdraw from the program must inform the BMS Program Office in writing. After appropriate action has been completed with the Assistant Dean or Co-Director, confirmation of withdrawal will be sent to the student. The official date of the withdrawal from the program must be approved by the Assistant Dean or Co- Director and usually is the date of formal notification. The withdrawal date is important for determining possible refunds. Students who officially have withdrawn from the program must surrender their student identification cards at the time of withdrawal. After the last day to drop courses, a student withdrawing from the program without adequate reason, as determined by the Assistant Dean or Co-Director, will receive WF grades. A W grade will be recorded if withdrawal has been approved for medical reasons.
Medical: Students may experience medical and/or psychological conditions as well as problems around substance misuse that significantly impacts their ability to complete their academic pursuits. During such circumstances, a medical withdrawal and leave of absence from the University provides the student an opportunity to remain a matriculated student while also allowing time away for appropriate treatment and recovery. Students must request a medical withdrawal in accordance with the checklist on the Case Management and Victim Support Services Website: https://cmvss.tulane.edu/content/medical-withdrawal-leave-return. Students must notify the BMS Office of their intent to request a medical withdrawal or leave prior to beginning the process.
Involuntary Withdrawals: A student may be required to withdraw from any course or from the University, temporarily or permanently, for any of the following reasons:
- Work below the standard specified by the college in which the student is enrolled.
- Violation of the honor system or other misconduct.
- Possibility of danger to the health of the student or to other students if enrollment is continued.
- The University reserves the right to forbid any student’s continued enrollment without assignment of reason. The Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences, however, will provide a student with a statement of reason in writing from the department. An appellate procedure has been established in cases involving academic performance or possible infringement of academic freedom. The Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences also has appellate procedures in cases involving non-reappointment of fellowships or scholarships when the formal terms of the first award have given reasonable expectation of renewal. Such procedures may also apply to cases in which a graduate, teaching, or research assistant, is relieved of a position before the end of the term of the appointment or is not reappointed when the formal terms of the first appointment have given reasonable expectation of reappointment. Copies of these procedures are available in the Program Office.
Quality of Work Requirements: A minimum average quality-point average ratio of 3.0 (B) must be maintained by a student in the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences.
If a student receives one B- grade, the student is immediately considered for probation. If a student receives two grades of B-, or one grade less than B- during his/her tenure in the BMS program, the student is placed on probation and considered for dismissal by the Assistant Dean or Co-Director, in consultation with the Steering Committee. The student’s advisor will be consulted and will submit information to the Steering Committee on the student’s academic progress and research work. The student will be recommended to be removed from probation if they receive no further grades of B- or less in the following semester, as long as the student maintains a grade point average of 3.0 or better in BMS studies.
Grades in BMS are reported as shown below.
I -- Incomplete – This grade will automatically become F unless the work is made up within 30 days after the beginning of the following semester, excluding Summer School. This grade is not to be used as an automatic extension but only for unavoidable delays caused by illness or other emergencies.
R -- Research – In those cases where research or experimentation, or both, cannot be completed within the 30-day limit following the end of the semester, this grade will be given to indicate this circumstance. This grade carries a different meaning from that of IP which is given at the end of the first semester of a two-semester course.
IP -- In Progress – Satisfactory progress at the end of the first semester of a year-long course; grades are assigned upon completion of the course.
W -- Courses may be dropped without record within six weeks of the first day of classes. Refer to Academic Calendar for exact dates each semester. Withdrawals with the grade of W after these dates may be accomplished only if the instructor notifies the dean that the student is passing and recommends permission to withdraw. WF (withdrawn failing) will be assigned if the student’s work in a course is unsatisfactory at the time of withdrawal.
In some departments grades for certain courses are reported as follows: S Satisfactory; U Unsatisfactory. In some departments, grades for certain other designated courses may also be reported simply as S or U at the student’s option, provided that the option is declared by the student no later than the end of the second week of class.
Grade or Academic Complaints: University procedures for grade and other academic complaints are available in the BMS Office.
Student Request for Review of Status: Any degree candidate enrolled and placed in jeopardy by these policies may request a review of status by the Steering Committee. The procedure for a request of a review is to submit to the BMS Steering Committee through the BMS office, a written explanation of extenuating circumstances or other matters pertinent to the request for hearing. The decision of the Steering Committee shall be considered final.
Students are expected to attend all classes unless they are ill or prevented from attending by exceptional circumstances. Instructors may establish policies for attendance of their classes, which are announced at the beginning of the semester. Students who find it necessary to miss class must assume responsibility for making up the work covered during that session, including quizzes, examinations, and other exercises; they also are responsible for obtaining notes on material covered in lectures or other class sessions. Students are responsible for notifying professors about absences that result from serious illnesses, injuries, or critical personal problems. See Absences and Withdrawals in the Process section.
Code of Academic Conduct
The Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences expects students to conduct their academic endeavors with honesty and integrity. Activities covered by the Code of Academic Conduct include course work, examinations, and research. This Code outlines individual responsibilities as well as procedures to be followed if there is a question concerning a student’s academic honesty or integrity. These values are held in common by all departments and enforced by the sanctions of the Assistant Dean and the Co-Director of the program. All students enrolled in BMS are subject to these regulations and should be familiar with this Code of Academic Conduct. A copy of the Code of Academic Conduct is available in the program office. Principles and activities not covered by this Code may fall under the purview of university or departmental research and/or ethics committees. Questions concerning jurisdiction should be addressed to the Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies or the BMS Program Co-Director.
Policy on Intellectual Property
The University policy on intellectual property applies to all graduate students. Any invention or discovery resulting from projects supported in whole or in part by funds, personnel, or facilities provided by or administered by the Board of Administrators of Tulane University is the property of Tulane University. The University has a policy of sharing with the inventor any income derived from such discoveries. For more information on Tulane’s policy, see "Intellectual Property Policy and Procedures" in the Tulane Faculty Handbook, a copy of which is available in the Graduate program office.
PhD students are not permitted to be employed off campus during their entire program. Any off- campus employment for remuneration may disqualify a student from receiving financial aid from the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences.
Technical Standards are non-academic requirements essential for meeting the academic requirements of certain graduate programs in the School of Medicine of Tulane University. Within any area of specialization, students must demonstrate competence in those intellectual and physical tasks that together represent the fundamentals of research in their chosen discipline.
The PhD degree programs and some MS degree programs at the Tulane University School of Medicine require a dissertation or thesis based on independent research. Granting of those degrees implies the recipient has demonstrated a base of knowledge in their chosen field of study and possesses the ability to independently apply that knowledge to form hypotheses, design and conduct experiments, interpret experimental results, and communicate these findings to the scientific community. Thus, a candidate for the PhD or some of the MS degrees in the health sciences must possess abilities and skills that allow for observation, intellectual and conceptual reasoning, motor coordination, and communication. The use of a trained intermediary is not acceptable.
The following technical skills are required of the successful student:
- Observation: The candidate must be able to acquire knowledge by direct observation of demonstrations, experiments, and experiences within the research and instructional setting.
- Intellectual/Conceptual Abilities: The candidate must be able to measure, calculate, analyze, reason, integrate and synthesize information to solve problems.
- Motor Skills: The candidate must possess motor skills necessary to perform procedures required for experimentation within the chosen discipline. Those individuals with physical challenges are encouraged to contact the appropriate administration to determine their educational options within the chosen discipline.
- Communication: The candidate must be able to communicate and discuss his or her experimental hypotheses and results to the scientific community.
- Behavioral and Social Attributes: The candidate must possess the emotional and mental health required for appropriate utilization of his or her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of responsibilities inherent in managing a scientific setting, the ability to function under the stress inherent in research, and the ability to understand and comply with ethical standards for the conduct of research.
The Tulane University Code
The University requires of all of its student’s behavior compatible with its high standards of scholarship and conduct. The Vice President for Student Affairs is responsible for formulating appropriate procedures and regulations concerning student behavior and for the judicial consideration of violations. A more detailed description can be found at: https://nextcatalog.tulane.edu/university/#academicpoliciestext.
The Office of Admissions and Student Affairs (504.988.5331) is your primary source for answers to academic questions and problems. Dr. Marc J. Kahn has been the dean of students since 2001. As a former residency director, national leader in the Association of American Medical Colleges, and board member of the National Residency Match Program, he has a wealth of experience advising medical students. His office houses the registrar function and maintains grade records and evaluations. The staff schedules dean’s hours, keeps up-to-date on curriculum requirements, processes paperwork for USMLE testing, and serves as a general resource for all student issues. The office also administers the application process for Tulane medical students applying to residencies. The Office of Admissions and Student Affairs is responsible for the annual White Coat Ceremony, graduation, and orientation activities for incoming first-year students and for third-year students’ transition into the clinical years.
The Office of Admissions and Student Affairs has a website at http://medicine.tulane.edu/student-affairs . You can find pictures of the staff, along with staff email addresses and phone numbers. The areas of responsibility for each staff member are listed. The website also has information related to career planning, pre-clinical and clinical courses, and life as a medical student.
DISCLAIMER : Please note that School of Medicine (SOM) policies for the MD program may change after publication of the Tulane University catalog. For the most current policies, please check the SOM Student Handbook and LCME Policies, available at the following link: https://medicine.tulane.edu/student-affairs
Non-Curricular Academic Policies
School of Medicine Academic Calendars
The T1/T2 preclinical academic calendars are maintained by the T1/T2 course curriculum committee in the Office of Academic Affairs. Detailed calendars are available in Canvas.
The T3/T4 clinical academic calendar are posted in eMedley’s eCurriculum: https://he.emedley.com/univ/tu/common/adfs/login.php .
Promotion and Graduation Policy
All students are required to complete all courses, electives, and required clinical clerkships with the grade of 70% or better.
Students must pass USMLE Step 1 prior to October 31st of their third year
During Year 3 and Year 4, students are required to complete 22 months of educational activity.
All senior students are recommended to sit for USMLE Step 2CS and Step 2CK before December 31 of their senior year to be successful in the Match. Both parts of Step 2 must be passed in order to graduate.
Before graduation, the Admissions and Student Affairs staff and administration will ensure that all students have met the requirements for graduation. The Student Professionalism and Promotion Committee will recommend to the dean candidates for graduation.
Essential Functions/Technical Standards
To accomplish its mission and to meet its institutional education program objectives, Tulane University School of Medicine has established a curriculum consisting of core courses and clerkships, required rotations, and elective rotations. The faculty and administration of the school have developed essential functions with which all students must comply independently in order to satisfy medical school curricular demands. The essential functions are listed below:
A medical student must possess the physical health and stamina necessary to carry out a physically and intellectually demanding program of study independently in both the basic and clinical sciences.
A medical student must have sufficient powers of intellect to acquire, assimilate, integrate, and apply information obtained from written, oral, and visual sources. A medical student must have the intellectual ability to use both objective and subjective criteria to solve problems. A medical student must possess the ability to comprehend three-dimensional and spatial relationships, as well as concrete and abstract concepts. A medical student must be able to extract information from written sources.
A medical student must have sufficient motor skills to carry out all necessary procedures involved in the learning of the basic and clinical sciences, as well as those required in the hospital and clinical environment. These may include, but are not limited to, anatomical dissection, basic science laboratory exercises, basic and technical cardiac life support activities, physical examinations, surgical, clinical laboratory and other technical procedures as required for diagnosis and treatment.
A medical student must have sufficient use of the senses of speech, hearing, and vision to be able to communicate effectively with patients, teachers, and peers in both the oral and written form.
A medical student must have sufficient use of the senses of vision, hearing, touch, and smell to observe effectively in the classroom, scientific laboratory, and clinical setting.
A medical student must possess emotional health sufficient to function in the academic and clinical environments.
A medical student must be able to consistently demonstrate sound judgment and must behave in a professional, reliable, mature, and responsible manner at all times.
A medical student must possess sufficient flexibility to function in new and stressful environments. A medical student must possess appropriate motivation, integrity, compassion, and a genuine interest in providing care for others.
(Approved by Student Professionalism and Promotion Committee July 2018.)
Exemption of Basic Medical Science Courses
Goals of the undergraduate medical program include integration across all basic science disciplines and developing teamwork skills that are necessary to practice medicine in the evolving healthcare system. While it is recognized that students may enter medical school with advanced training in a basic science discipline, even if obtained at Tulane, they will not be exempted from course work or examinations. One exception will be made for students who have completed the Anatomy Certification Program and successfully completed gross anatomy, and who also serve as a teaching assistant for the first-year anatomical sciences courses. These students will also be required to take the same courses and examinations as all other students, with the exception of the anatomical sciences courses that they teach.
Appeals must be for exceptional circumstances and must be made in writing to the vice dean for academic affairs who will convene a panel to include the senior associate dean for admissions and student affairs and the course director of the course in question. Their decision will be final.
Clinical Rotation Requirements
During the third and fourth years of medical school, students are required to complete 22 months of educational activity. Clinical clerkships are assigned according to a predetermined order (“the donut”). Students receive detailed information about clinical scheduling and registration generally in mid to late October, a few months before each annual registration period begins.
Required rotations include the following:
Required Core Clerkships (generally T3 year)
|Internal Medicine||8 Weeks|
|Family Medicine||6 Weeks|
Required Rotations (generally T4 year)
|Community Medicine||4 Weeks|
|Emergency Medicine||2 Weeks*|
|Ambulatory Surgery||2 Weeks*|
|Electives (may include MD/MPH rotation)||24 Weeks*|
*may be completed outside of Tulane University affiliated hospitals
Descriptions and requirements for clinical rotations can be found on eMedley at https://he.emedley.com/univ/tu/common/adfs/login.php .
HIPAA (Health Information Portability and Accountability Act) Training
Patient information must remain confidential. To ensure proper confidentiality, the federal government enacted HIPAA legislation. Each student must complete HIPAA training. This generally occurs during orientation for the third-year clerkships.
Universal Precautions Training
Blood-borne pathogen (BBP) training is mandatory for all medical students and must be updated annually. Training is offered online via Training Wave and is documented by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety. BBP training can be accessed by clicking here and logging in using your Tulane credentials. Students will also receive an email regarding the course once assigned.
USMLE Requirements: Step 1 and Step 2
1. A passing score for USMLE step 1 must be recorded by NBME by the end of the October block in the third year. Students not passing Step 1 are required to take a leave of absence until a passing score on Step 1 is achieved. Students must allow 30 days after NBME records a passing score before they should expect to return to clerkships: this allows clerkship departments adequate time to place and credential students.
Please note the following scheduling considerations:
2. All students are required to pass USMLE Step 2CK and Step 2CS prior to graduating medical school.
3. Students not passing both Step 2CK and CS by April of their fourth year of medical school will be required to take a leave of absence until passing scores on both Step 2CK and CS are achieved.
4. These three USMLE exams must be passed to graduate from Tulane University School of Medicine. Failure to pass USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS will result in a student’s being withdrawn from the academic rolls as a medical student.
5. All senior students are recommended to sit for USMLE Step 2 CS and Step 2 CK before December 31 of their senior year to participate in the Match.
6. A student may accumulate a maximum of 24 months of leave for the purpose of meeting the USMLE requirement. After 24 months, if USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS are not passed, students will be dismissed.
7. The Student Professionalism and Promotion Committee and the senior associate dean for admissions and student affairs may recommend a delay in a student sitting for Step 1 until a study program is satisfactorily completed.
Educational Site Requests
Students are assigned to clinical rotations through the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs. The specific geographic location of the rotation is determined by the department in which the rotation takes place. Assignment is made via a lottery with provision for special circumstances.
Students can appeal their assignments through the individual departments. In the case of no resolution, the matter can be referred to the senior associate dean for resolution.
Changing the order of rotations for the required third-year rotations is discouraged unless there are extenuating circumstances. Such requests are made directly to the senior associate dean who will document approval or denial.
Fourth-year students should follow schedule-change request rules and deadlines outlined in eMedley’s eCurriculum.
Senior Scheduling Requirements
T4 scheduling strategies depend a great deal on students’ specialty choices. All students are expected to take an active role in matching their career objectives to their senior scheduling: this process begins in the T1 year with self-exploration, participation in AAMC’s Careers in Medicine software, and attendance at multiple career-focused activities such as brown-bag informational sessions.
Each specialty has identified specialty-specific advisors, with whom students are encouraged to meet regularly, and particularly before the T4 scheduling process begins (initial informational dean’s hours are generally held in October of T3 year; T4 scheduling appointments begin in mid-January of T3 year). Watch your Tulane email for information about career advising activities, services, and expectations.
Right to a Healthcare Provider not involved in Evaluation
Students have the right to be provided healthcare by individuals who are not involved in their assessment or instruction as medical students. As such, it is the policy of the School of Medicine that healthcare providers for students are not involved in the assessment of those students.
In the rare exception in which a faculty member is the only content expert in the region, a student may choose a faculty provider. In this instance, the faculty member will recuse himself/herself from participation in any academic or promotion evaluation of the involved student.
The following policy on grading will apply to students entering the first year of the School in Academic Year 1987-88 and thereafter.
Grading Guidelines for Pre-Clinical and Clinical Courses
All pre-clinical courses are graded Pass/Fail or Condition. Condition grades are converted to C/P or F.
Following Hurricane Katrina, preclinical courses were graded on a Pass (P)/Fail (F) basis only. This policy was in effect for the 2005 – 2006 and 2006 – 2007 academic years. This policy was approved by the Executive Faculty in 6/06 and renewed 6/07 with annual review thereafter.
Grades for Clinical Rotations (T3 and T4 Years)
For questions about how a specific rotation is graded), please consult the course director.
In general, all two-week rotations are graded on a pass/fail basis, and four-week rotations (with a few exceptions) are graded according to the following criteria:
|H - Honors||Should be awarded to a student whose performance in all phases of the course surpassed the minimum standards required by the faculty and was clearly superior to that of the average student taking the course. In courses for which an overall final numerical grade is derived, “Honors” might correspond to a grade of 94 (on a scale of 100) or higher.|
|HP - High Pass||Should be awarded to a student whose performance surpassed the minimum standards required by the faculty and was distinctly above average for students taking the course. In courses for which an overall final numerical grade is derived, “High Pass” might correspond to grades in the range 86 – 93 (ref. Subsection C. above). This grade may also be awarded in the case of a student whose performance was uneven in different phases of the course (e.g., a student who achieved high scores on objective examinations but whose ward or laboratory work was unremarkable).|
|P - Pass||Should be awarded to a student whose performance in the course met or surpassed the minimum standards required by the faculty. In courses for which an overall final numerical grade is derived, “Pass” generally corresponds to a grade in the range 70 – 85.|
|C - Condition||In pre-clinical courses, “Condition” should be assigned to a student whose performance was marginal. In pre-clinical courses for which an overall final numerical grade is derived, “Condition” generally corresponds to a grade in the range 65 – 69. It may also be assigned to a student who failed to meet the minimum standards required in one or more sections of a course, despite an overall final passing average (e.g., a student who scored well on written examinations but who did not perform satisfactorily in the laboratory component). Invariably, this grade constitutes an academic deficiency requiring remedial work consisting of at least passing a repeat comprehensive final examination and possibly successful repetition of the course. In clinical clerkships, “Condition” is assigned to students whose performance on the wards or in other clinical aspects of the clerkship was satisfactory but who failed the final comprehensive examination. In such cases, the deficiency must be cleared by passing a repeat examination. NOTE: “Condition” grades are noted on the transcript with a “C.” When the condition is cleared, the “C” is followed by a “P” (“C/P”). A student can only receive a “Condition/Pass” in clearing a deficiency by condition examination. A student must earn a 70 on the condition examination. If a student chooses to repeat the course rather than take the condition exam, the student must pass the course with a 75.|
|F - Failure||Assigned to the student whose performance did not meet the minimum standards required by the faculty for this course. In pre-clinical courses or in clinical clerkships for which an overall final numerical grade is derived, “Failure” might correspond to grades below 65. In clinical clerkships, “Failure” should be assigned to students whose performance on the ward or in other clinical aspects of the clerkship was unsatisfactory irrespective of their having passed the final comprehensive examination. NOTE: When a student “fails,” the “F” remains on the transcript. The course is listed again when the student passes, and the actual grade earned is recorded. Thus a student can “Honor” a course after failing it the first time. The student must make a minimum of 75 for the course to pass a course that is repeated.|
|I - Incomplete||Assigned in cases where there is an unavoidable delay, caused by illness or other emergencies, in completion of course requirements. This grade will be assigned at the end of the course(s) when all but a minor portion of the course requirements have been completed. The “I” is a temporary grade and will be replaced on the transcript with the grade earned by the student. The student must satisfactorily complete the course requirements, thus earning at least a passing grade before being eligible for promotion to the succeeding year of study. All incompletes must be completed within six months of receiving the incomplete grade. After six months, incomplete grades are converted to failures. Grades of incomplete will be considered academic deficiencies for the purposes of advancement. Students with incomplete grades in pre-clinical courses must resolve the incompletes before they can advance to the next year. Students in the clinical curriculum who have two or more unresolved academic deficiencies (including any combination of incomplete grades, failures, or condition grades) must stop clinical rotations until all deficiencies are resolved. Students may not graduate with an incomplete on their transcript, even if they have completed all other graduation requirements. All incompletes must be resolved or converted to failures before a student is eligible to graduate. For example, if the student has earned an incomplete in an elective he or she does not need to meet graduation requirements, the incomplete must be converted to an F on the student’s transcript if the student opts not to resolve the incomplete.|
|W - Withdrawn||Assigned for all courses currently being taken in cases where a student must be placed on leave-of-absence for a medical condition, as certified by a physician, or in cases where the student is suffering serious personal difficulties, as judged by the senior associate dean or his appointed delegate, and is thus unable to complete course requirements. Generally, a “W,” as opposed to an “I,” will be recorded on the transcript in cases where the student is forced to discontinue studies before completing approximately two-thirds of the course requirements. The “W” is also assigned in all courses currently being taken when the student voluntarily and permanently withdraws from the School of Medicine.|
The School of Medicine reserves the discretion to determine the time frame distinguishing between the grades of “I” and “W,” as described above. This determination will be made by the senior associate dean in consultation with the course director(s).
Reporting of Grades
Grades are to be posted within 6 weeks of course completion. Grades are submitted by departments and are posted on the Banner System, available any time for students to view. Students may also review their academic files directly in the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs. Generally, files can be reviewed any time during business hours (8:30 a.m.– 4:30 p.m.).
No numerical grades for any course will be reported extramurally. The official transcript for each student will show only the letter grade earned, whether pass/fail or H, HP, P, C, F, I or W, depending on the type of rotation.
Preclinical (T1 and T2) Elective Courses
Students are required to complete one pre-clinical elective during the first two years (four semesters) of medical school. This pre-clinical elective does not count toward the required minimum number of clinical electives students must complete in their T3/T4 years. This may include research, MPH classes, MBA classes, or other electives listed on the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs website. These are graded P (Pass) or no-credit (no indication on transcript). The specific grade awarded to each student shall be based on the following criteria:
|Pass||Awarded to a student whose performance met or surpassed the minimum standards required by the faculty|
|No Credit||Assigned to a student whose performance failed to meet the standards required by the faculty|
Courses graded on a Pass/Fail basis will be noted as such on the official transcript.
Clinical (T3/T4) Elective Courses
Retention and Student Support
The Student Professionalism and Promotion Committee meets monthly, but no less frequently than quarterly, to review the academic progress of all students who have accrued deficiencies. The committee’s role is to support as well as to evaluate students to assure their future success as physicians. Retention is a top priority of the committee and of the administration and faculty of the school.
Struggling students are encouraged to seek help from the course and clerkship directors, the learning specialist, tutors, the Director of Student Support, and the Dean of Students.
Counseling services for students is encouraged and supported. While adhering to fair and consistent policies, the committee shall also consider all extenuating circumstances that may affect a student’s performance.
An emphasis solely on academic performance runs contrary to the fundamental conviction of the faculty and administration at Tulane. Grades do not provide the sole criteria to determine the future performance of a physician; nevertheless, the academic standards of the School of Medicine must be maintained. Considering the responsibility to the public, the Student Professionalism and Promotion Committee and the Executive Faculty shall be as flexible and as reasonable as possible under the circumstances regarding academic deficiencies. Reasons for
dismissing a student include incurring excessive academic deficiencies as judged by the Student Professionalism and Promotion Committee and detailed in this handbook, failure to remove academic deficiencies, failure of one or more courses in a repeated year, multiple and repeated academic special action, and/or unprofessional conduct.
The faculty of the school of medicine wants every student to be successful and to graduate. It is expected that students having difficulties will take advantage of every resource available to them including going to class, meeting with course directors, meeting with the Office of Medical Education, and meeting with the Deans.
Academic Deficiencies, Resolving Deficiencies and Grounds for Dismissal
A failing, or “Condition (C),” or incomplete grade in any course or clerkship constitutes an academic deficiency and requires review by the Student Professionalism and Promotion Committee which recommends to the Course Director or Clerkship Director how the deficiency is to be resolved, or if the student has more than one deficiency, what the student’s promotional status may be. C grades are not permanent and are converted to either Condition/Pass (C/P) or Failing (F) grades. Incomplete grades are also temporary and must be converted within 6 months, or they will be converted to failures. Incomplete grades may be resolved by completing the outstanding work.
Condition grades may be resolved by repetition of the course or by re-examination given on a scheduled date immediately prior to the beginning of the next school year.
Remediation of conditioned grades requires a 70 and/or higher to pass. Remediation of pre- clinical courses that are failed, requires a grade of 75 or higher. For the pre-clinical years (T1 and T2), all academic deficiencies must be removed before a student can be advanced to the next year.
Unless decided otherwise by the Student Professionalism and Promotion Committee, T1 students needing to remediate a T1 course in the summer between T1 and T2 year may continue on to phase II in the spring of T1 year but may not continue in the fall unless the deficiency has been resolved.
For T1s needing to repeat a course(s) the following year (that cannot be resolved in the summer), they should register for and take the T1 Immunology course in the spring of their T1 year. They may sit in on phase II courses but will not sign up or take them for a grade until the T1 course deficiency has been resolved.
In the clinical years (T3 and T4), when a student receives two deficiencies (I, C, or F) grades, the student must stop clinical rotations until all deficiencies are remediated. In the T4 year, students must remediate deficiencies acquired in the required clerkships by October to ensure graduation in May.
Students serving as officers of student organizations are expected to be in good academic standing without any unresolved condition, or failing, or incomplete grades on their transcripts.
If, for any reason, a student must repeat a course or courses or an entire semester due to academic deficiency, appropriate tuition and fees based on the academic year of repetition will be charged.
Academic reasons for requiring a student to repeat a year include the following: incurring more deficiencies than can be cleared in one summer; one or more academic deficiencies accompanied by generally marginal performance; failure to remove an academic deficiency during the summer, or major lapses in professional behavior.
Passing grades in all major required courses of the current phase are necessary for advancement to the succeeding phase.
Rules established by the Student Professionalism and Promotion Committee and the Executive Faculty, combined with existing precedents regarding resolution of deficiencies and dismissal, are consistently enforced. These include the following:
Pre-Clinical Coursework (Phases 1 and 2):
Clinical Clerkships (Phase 3):
These changes were recommended by Committee on Student Professionalism and Promotion Affairs. The changes were approved by Executive Faculty August 26, 2014.
Further changes were adopted by the Student Professionalism and Promotion Committee in January 2019 and on August 6, 2019.
Appeal Process for Grades and MSPE
General Policy Statement:
Appeal Process for Grades
The student who disputes a grade should go first to the course director. If no resolution can be reached, the appeal goes to the chairman of the department. If no resolution can be reached, the appeal goes to the senior associate dean for student affairs. At the senior associate dean’s discretion (or the dean’s instruction), there will be a called meeting of the Student Professionalism and Promotion Committee to consider the appeal. Both parties and all pertinent evidence will be heard. The Committee will make a recommendation, either favorable or unfavorable, to the Executive Faculty. Final appeals are made to the Dean who recuses him/herself in the Executive Faculty deliberations. All appeals must be made within 30 days of grade assignment.
Appeal Process for MSPE (Medical Student Performance Evaluation)
All students review their MSPEs prior to distribution on October 1. If a student disputes a comment in the MSPE, the student must first meet with the respective course director to either modify or eliminate the comment. If there is no resolution, the student can then request a change through the Department Chair. If there is still no resolution, the student can appeal to the Committee on Student Performance and Professionalism who make a recommendation to the Executive Faculty. Final appeals are made to the Dean who recuses him/herself in the Executive Faculty deliberations. All appeals must be made within 30 days of Executive Faculty decision.
Appeal Process for Re-admission
A student who has been dismissed may apply for re-admission by submitting a request for re- admission directly to the senior associate dean for students. If the senior associate dean finds merit in the request, the matter is remanded to the Student Professionalism and Promotion Committee and Admissions Committee. The Committees will entertain the request and all evidence, including oral testimony relative to the request, and make a recommendation (either favorable or unfavorable) to the Executive Faculty, where the final decision is made.
In the case of a student who has voluntarily resigned and seeks re-admission, the appeal is directly to senior associate dean for students. The matter is then taken to the Student Professionalism and Promotion Committee and Admissions Committee in the same fashion as described above.
Masters of Medical Sciences
Background: In 2002, the Student Professionalism and Promotion Committee (formerly “Committee on Student Affairs”) recommended and the Executive Faculty approved requiring a passing score on USMLE Steps 1, 2 CK, and 2 CS as conditions for advancement and graduation. Initially, passing Step 1 was required to advance to the fourth year. This requirement has been modified so that a passing Step 1 score is now required by the end of October of the third year.
Students who successfully complete at least two years of medical school, but who do not graduate with the MD degree, are allowed to earn a Masters of Medical Sciences (MMS) degree. To complete the MMS degree requirements, students must complete a 20-page library thesis. The thesis will be reviewed and approved by a panel of full-time medical school faculty members mutually agreed upon by the student and the Biomedical Sciences Committee.
Approved by Biomedical Sciences Steering Committee (10/20/11) Modified to include language regarding a thesis (12/4/11)
Modified to include language relating to thesis committee (1/24/12) Approved by Medical School Executive Faculty (1/24/12)
Tulane University complies with the provisions of FERPA, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Buckley Amendment), which was enacted to protect the privacy of education records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their education records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data. Under FERPA, education records are defined as records that are directly related to a student and are maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution. A school official with legitimate educational interests may review a student’s education record in order to fulfill the official’s professional responsibility without prior written consent.
For purposes of this Policy, the following terms and definitions apply:
FERPA: Policy on Access to Student Records
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. §1232G, is a Federal law that protects the privacy of education records for eligible students. FERPA applies to all educational institutions that receive funds under the Department of Education.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords you certain rights with respect to your education records. These rights include:
Transfer Student/Credit Policies
Request for transfer are generally not entertained without significant extenuating circumstances. Students transferring into either the sophomore or junior class (there is no transfer permitted into the senior class) from other American and Canadian medical schools, which are accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical education of the American Medical Associate/Association of American Medical Colleges, are generally given full and equal credit of all passing coursework completed for the first year or first two years of curriculum. In the very rare instance where a transfer student is considered, admission is at the prerogative of the Admissions Committee with approval by the Student Professionalism and Promotion Committee.
Absences and Leaves
Student Excused Absence Policy
Students are expected to attend all required pre-clinical sessions and to participate fully in clinical coursework. Part of becoming a professional is to think beyond self and to work for the betterment of the medical profession and patients. However, certain life events including sickness, family emergencies, marriages, etc. may necessitate missing class or patient care activities.
Students in all years should not expect to extend breaks or holidays with Excused Absence requests. For example, travel costs to or from a Thanksgiving destination are not considered legitimate reasons for excused absence requests, and these requests are routinely denied.
The School of Medicine has the following rules concerning absences:
Preclinical (T1 and T2 years):
Clinical (T3 and T4 years):
During clinical years, students have responsibilities to their patients and team. Reliable attendance is one significant component of professionalism. Therefore, attendance expectations are high.
Students are required to attend the following activities:
In addition, students may have clinical care responsibilities on the following holidays:
Students should not expect to extend holidays or breaks with excused absences. These requests are routinely denied.
Interview season (October through January) and USMLE Step 2 CS and USMLE Step 2 CK examination dates may provide additional attendance challenges for students.
In addition to the special circumstances above for interview season (October through January) and USMLE Step 2 CS and USMLE Step 2 CK examination dates, the following attendance guidelines apply:
Interview season/USMLE exam date clarifications to be approved by Curriculum Committee 8/2/2017
Leave of Absence
Students on LOA are not eligible for federal financial aid.
Students taking a leave of absence for other than medical or emergency reasons should notify the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs by May for those entering the third year, by June for those entering the second year.
Leaves of absence will generally be granted for one year. Students may request one additional year of leave. Requests are to be made directly to the senior associate dean for Admissions and Student Affairs. Leaves of absence will not be granted for additional time after two years have been granted. Students failing to report following a leave of absence will be dismissed. All reasonable attempts will be made to notify students that an approved leave of absence is nearing expiration.
Students may be placed on leave of absence to complete requirements, including remediation and USMLE requirements. Students are allowed 24 months total LOA to complete all USMLE requirements. Failure to successfully complete USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS in the prescribed time will result in dismissal. For more information, see handbook section specifically devoted to USMLE requirements.
Marissa Lespinasse is our contact person for most Financial Aid matters. Her office is on the 15th floor of the Murphy Building. Additionally, Michael Goodman, Associate VP of University Financial Aid, and his staff can handle medical school financial aid matters. The Tulane University School of Medicine Financial Aid Office is located in the Tidewater Building, 1440 Canal Street, Suite 1213. You may phone Financial Aid at 504.988.6135
Tuition Refunds for Withdrawals
T1 or T2 students who withdraw from the MD program or from a year of coursework for any reason will receive a 100% tuition and fees refund for the semester if withdrawal occurs within two weeks after the start of the fall or spring semester. Note: In the fall of their T1 year, incoming medical students will forfeit their commitment deposit even if they meet the 100% refund deadline.
T3 or T4 students who withdraw from the MD program will receive a 100% tuition and fees refund if withdrawal from the program within two weeks after the start of the semester.
For T1 or T2 students, if withdrawal occurs after two weeks, yet prior to four weeks, students receive a 50% refund of current tuition charges. Students are responsible for all fees.
For T1 or T2 students, if withdrawal occurs after four weeks, yet prior to eight weeks, students receive a 25% refund of current tuition charges. Students are responsible for all fees.
Students who withdraw from individual courses for medical reasons will be expected to pay all tuition and fees for repeated courses providing the student has completed at least 50% of the course.
Off-Cycle and Leave of Absence Billing
T1 and T2 students who take a leave of absence that does not require them to withdraw from a course that is in progress, or whose academic progress is otherwise “off cycle,” will have their tuition charges reviewed on a case-by-case basis during the affected semesters. Tuition charges are generally pro-rated to account for off-cycle coursework. Students are responsible for all fees during all semesters of enrollment.
T3 and T4 students who begin or end a leave of absence in the middle of a semester will have their tuition charges reviewed on a case-by-case basis during the affected semesters.
In general, tuition for students making satisfactory academic progress is capped at four years (or eight semesters). Tuition for students who take leaves of absence in the T3 or T4 year is front-loaded: that is, students may be charged a full semester of tuition if their leave begins in the middle of the semester. However, students may not be charged tuition in their final semester if they have already paid eight semesters. Fees are not capped or credited: students will be able to benefit from the resources that fees pay for, even if students have reached their tuition “cap.”
In general, tuition for students who need to repeat courses or rotations because of academic deficiencies will be assessed tuition on a pro-rated basis for the requirements they must repeat. Students repeating courses or rotations because of academic deficiencies will be assessed full fees during each semester of enrollment.
Academic and activity fees: There are no refunds for recreation center fees, campus health fees, activity fees, or academic services fees after the 100% refund deadline has passed.
Health Insurance fees: There are no refunds on health insurance purchased through the university, but the policy is portable for the period covered. Students should contact the Tulane Student Health Insurance administrators for more details.
Parking fees: On-campus parking is typically paid on a monthly basis. No refunds are offered for partial month usage. Students should contact the Tulane Parking Office for details about their parking contract.
Deming Housing: Deming housing is billed on a semester basis. Students should refer to the Deming contract and contact Deming Pavilion administrators for more details.
Student Conduct and Behavioral Expectations
Code of Student Conduct (University Policy)
Tulane University maintains a code of conduct applicable to all students. Please click here and follow the download link for the full Code of Student Conduct document, which is updated annually.
Medical Student Code of Professional Conduct (SOM)
The Tulane University School of Medicine community believes that a profession gains its credibility by its commitment to society. As a professional group, we recognize our multiple responsibilities to our patients, colleagues, communities, families, and ourselves. Realizing that it is a privilege and an honor to be a medical professional, we hold the following ideals:
The School of Medicine, the Honor Board, and the Student Professionalism and Promotion Committee strive to instill and uphold the values and ideas set forth in this policy.
Definition: Unprofessional behavior is defined as behavior that violates these ideals. These behaviors include, but are not limited to: acting improperly towards patients, supervisors and/or peers; disrespect for faculty, patients, supervisors and/or peers; dishonest, unethical and/or illegal behavior; failure to meet clinical responsibilities; and failure to correct deficiencies in academic performance in a responsible and timely fashion.
Disciplinary Action and Due Process Policy: Unprofessional behavior will not be tolerated. This procedure outlines how unprofessional behavior will be addressed in the School of Medicine.
Initially, perceived breaches of this code should be discussed privately among the parties. If private resolution is not possible, the following steps will occur:
The senior associate dean for Student Affairs may make exceptions to this procedure based on the severity of the unprofessional activity. That is, the senior associate dean has the option to refer matters directly to the Committee on Student Professionalism and Promotion in lieu of proceeding through the above process.
Approved by Student Professionalism and Promotion Committee (formerly “Committee on Student Affairs”) (March 2004)
Approved by Executive Faculty (5/5/04)
Students are expected to follow work-hour restrictions established by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education for interns. Generally, students are required to work no more than 80 hours per week. They are also required to have at least one day off in seven days. Work hours are monitored by the departments and reviewed by the curriculum committee on an annual basis.
Any student not conforming to the guidelines will not be allowed to enter the patient’s/SP’s exam room. Students whose religious or cultural customs may conflict with certain aspects of this dress code should speak with the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs. Patients expect that their doctors will be dressed professionally, so now is the time to adapt to this reasonable expectation. Professional attire inspires confidence among patients and helps to reinforce the doctor-patient bond.
Approved by Student Professionalism and Promotion Committee (formerly “Student Affairs Committee”) (2/7/12)
Students receive important information through email listservs; therefore, students should check email at least once each day. If you learn that classmates are receiving listserv email but you are not, please contact the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs and give your email address and your graduation year (i.e., Class of 2020, graduating in 2020). You can contact the office by phone (504.988.5331), or email Sherrill Harrell (email@example.com).
Policy on Social Media and Out-of-work Conduct
This policy is based upon the following fundamental principles:
Policy on Social, Electronic and Print Media:
Description of the Patient Care/Work Environment
Description of Self and/or Self Opinions
Association With, and Naming of Tulane University:
Offering Medical Advice:
The University’s Role in Monitoring and Enforcement:
ARTICLE V: THE HONOR SYSTEM
There shall be an Honor Board composed of the President and Vice President of the Medical Student Body, the president of each class, four (4) representatives of the Sophomore, Junior, and Senior classes, and two (2) representatives of the Freshman class. Said representatives are to be elected at a general election conducted by each of the respective classes. The Board shall meet as often as necessary, the meeting to be presided over by the Chief Administrator who is elected by the members of the Honor Board.
I. It shall be a violation of this Honor Code for a student to cheat.
II. It shall be a violation of this Honor Code for a student to knowingly circumvent any course requirement.
III. It shall be a violation of this Honor Code for a student to steal.
IV. It shall be a violation of this Honor Code for a student to purposely impair another student’s educational opportunity.
V. It shall be a violation to act in a manner which is detrimental to the moral and ethical standards of the medical profession.
VI. It shall be a violation for a student to knowingly deceive another student, faculty member, or professional associate with the intent to gain advantage, academic or otherwise, for said student or for any other student.
VII. It shall be a violation for any student to fail to report any infraction of the Honor System to an appropriate representative.
The following actions may be found to constitute violations of the Honor Code.
The Honor Board shall act as a jury to render a decision as to the innocence or guilt of the accused, and in the event of the latter shall make recommendations for a penalty to be acted on by the Dean of the School of Medicine. The Honor Board shall have sole and final authority to judge the innocence or guilt of the accused.
The Honor Board also recognizes Tulane University’s “Code of Student Conduct” and may defer authority as set forth in Article IV of the by-laws, section 3.
A. General: An individual found to have violated this Honor Code shall be subject to such sanctions as may be recommended by the hearing panel and acted on by the Medical School Dean, or the Dean’s designee, pursuant to rules laid out in the Bylaws of the Medical Student Body.
B. Mandatory Sanctions: In the event of a finding of any honor code violation, a letter shall be prepared by the Chief Administrator as to the findings of the hearing panel and that letter shall be permanently placed in the student’s Medical School file.
C. Course Related Violations: In the event of a finding of an honor code violation regarding any course requirement, the hearing panel shall make any sanctions which the hearing panel deems just and fair which includes, but is not limited to, an entry of a failing, conditional, or passing grade. Consideration may be given to the opinions of the course director and investigators’ meetings set forth in Article IV, section 2-h in the determination of appropriate sanctions.
D. Other Sanctions: In addition to the mandatory sanctions set forth in section b and course sanctions set forth in section c, recommended sanctions for any honor code violation may include one or more of the following:
I. Permanent expulsion from the Medical School.
II. Suspension from the Medical School for a specified time.
III. Any other sanction or sanctions which the hearing panel deems just and fair under the circumstances.
The Honor Board shall be responsible for educating the student body on all issues concerning this honor code.
ARTICLE VI: BYLAWS AND AMENDMENTS
Adoption, amendment, or repeal of bylaws may be brought about through a 2/3 vote of the Executive Committee.
Amendment of this Constitution can only be accomplished by the majority vote at a general election held for that purpose.
Amendments must be published two (2) weeks in advance of voting and notices must be posted throughout the School of Medicine.
Bylaws may be suspended by a 2/3 vote of the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE VII: MISCELLANEOUS
All matters of interpretation of this constitution shall be decided by the members of the Honor Board.
Taxes, dues, and fees or revenues may be levied upon the Student Body only by consent of a majority of said body.
Effective: March 1935
Revised: February 1976, March 1977, May 1984, May 1987, May 1988, April 1991, April 1999, July 2014,
ARTICLE IV: PRELIMINARY PROCEDURES OF THE HONOR BOARD
a. Only Tulane University medical students, faculty, and staff members may file a complaint.
b. Any person witnessing a questionable violation of the Honor Code should attempt to clarify the matter with the involved party. If after clarification you still suspect an Honor Code violation, then all suspected violations shall be reported directly to the Honor Board.
c. All complaints are to be placed in a sealed envelope marked “Honor Board Complaint” and given to any Honor Board representative or class president.
d. The complaint shall be in writing and shall contain at least the following information:
I. The name of the accused, if known, or a description of the accused, if the name of the accused is not known.
II. The alleged violation.
III. A statement of the alleged facts on which the alleged violation is based, including time, place, and date, if known.
IV. A list of witnesses, if any, and a short description of other evidence, if any, tending to support the allegation.
V. The signature, local address, and telephone number of the complainant.
e. All complaints shall be considered and all complainants must testify at an Honor Board hearing which may be held pursuant to the complaint.
f. No complaint shall be considered if it is filed more than thirty days after the initial discovery of the alleged violation unless there is reasonable justification for such a delay. Days during medical school holidays, vacations, and out-of-town externships and rotations shall not be counted.
a. When an Honor Board representative receives a complaint, he or she shall deliver the complaint, unopened, to the Chief Administrator.
b. The Chief Administrator shall appoint two Honor Board representatives to investigate the complaint. When possible, the investigators shall not be in the same graduation class of the involved parties.
c. Either the Chief Administrator or one of the designated investigators must inform the accused of the investigation within five working days of the decision to begin an investigation.
d. The entire investigation of the alleged violation shall be conducted by the two investigators. The investigators shall use reasonable discretion in carrying out a full investigation.
e. The investigators may interview the accused, complainant, witnesses, and any other person relevant to the investigation.
f. Both investigators shall record in writing all interviews held pursuant to the alleged Honor Code violation.
g. Every reasonable attempt shall be made to limit dissemination of information as to the alleged violations by all parties involved, including witnesses, complainants, and the accused.
h. In the case of a course violation, investigators may meet with the faculty member or chairperson of the course to determine their opinion on what sanctions they would deem appropriate should there be a trial and should the accused be found guilty. Such conversations shall not include the name of the accused.
i. If the Chief Administrator is aware of prior investigations or hearings against the accused, then the Chief Administrator may disclose this information to the investigators who in turn may include a brief summary in their investigative report.
a. After completion of the investigation, the two investigators shall meet with the Chief Administrator and elect whether to refer the alleged violation(s) to an Honor Board hearing, dismiss the case, or refer the case to the Code of Student Conduct. Those violations which may be deferred to the Code of Student Conduct include, but are not limited to, areas outside of academic activities and may include actions punishable by civil or criminal authorities. (see publication of the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, “Code of Student Conduct”)
b. The Chief Administrator and the two investigators shall elect to refer the alleged violation(s) to an Honor Board hearing if they believe that there is sufficient evidence such that “it is more likely than not” that the accused has violated this Honor Code.
c. A majority vote of the two investigators and the Chief Administrator shall be necessary to refer the alleged violation(s) to an Honor Board hearing. This vote shall be made by secret ballot.
Notification of the Accused of the Hearing
If it is decided to proceed with a hearing, the Chief Administrator shall so notify the accused in writing at least five working days prior to the hearing date. This notice:
a. Shall state the name of the accused.
b. Shall state the nature of the charges against the accused.
c. Shall state the date, time, and location of the hearing on the alleged violation(s).
d. Shall inform the accused of the right to request appearances of witnesses (including character witnesses) on his or her behalf.
e. Shall inform the accused that the accused may bring an advisor of his/her choice selected from the students of Tulane Medical School to the hearing. Such an advisor at the hearing in no case shall be legal counsel. The advisor may not participate in the proceeding except to advise the accused.
a. Any Honor Board representative, whether elected or ad hoc, shall recuse himself or herself from investigating an alleged violation and/or sitting on a hearing panel when the representative feels any personal prejudice(s) may interfere with his or her objectivity. Such recusal shall be requested at the earliest possible point and shall be granted by the Chief Administrator.
b. Any Honor Board representative, hearing panel member, and/or the accused may request that the hearing panel recuse any of its members before proceeding with a hearing. The accused will be supplied with a list of possible hearing panel members prior to the hearing. Such request, setting forth the reason for recusal, shall be made prior to the commencement of the hearing and a majority vote of the other hearing panel members, including the Chief Administrator, shall suffice to recuse a member.
c. In the event of any removal, recusal, or other inability of an Honor Board representative to perform his or her duties with the Honor Board, the Chief Administrator shall select an Honor Board representative as a replacement for the recused.
d. In the event of any removal or recusal of an Honor Board representative from a hearing panel, that Honor Board representative shall not be allowed to attend further hearings on that case unless called as a witness for either accused or complainant.
e. Where the recused representative is the Chief Administrator, his or her duties shall immediately pass to the delegated Assistant Administrator for the duration of that case.
ARTICLE V: HEARING
The hearing addressing the alleged Honor Code violation(s) shall take place within a reasonable time of the decision to proceed with a hearing, taking into account the time of year, the
availability of Honor Board representatives, and the needs of the accused. In the event the accused refuses to appear before the hearing panel, the trial will proceed in their absence.
For each hearing based on an alleged Honor Code violation, there shall be one hearing panel which shall determine whether the accused has violated this Honor Code and, if so, what sanction(s) shall be recommended. In the event the accused has admitted guilt prior to the hearing panel, the hearing panel will still proceed in the same manner in order for panel members to hear full disclosure of information prior to deciding upon sanctions. The panel shall consist of a minimum of six members representing each class (T1-T4) of the medical school. The chief administrator is not to be counted in this number.
a. The Chief Administrator shall preside over the hearing, but shall not vote as to whether a violation has occurred or as to recommend sanction(s).
b. No Honor Board member shall sit on a hearing panel when he or she has investigated the alleged violation.
c. Should there be an insufficient number of Honor Board representatives to sit on a hearing panel due to recusal, illness, or any other reason, the Vice-President, Secretary, or Treasurer, in that order, shall be appointed by the Chief Administrator, as a temporary replacement from the same class as the absent representative.
I. The Chief Administrator shall preside over the hearing and shall be present during the deliberations.
II. No person shall be present in the hearing room unless he or she has been called by the hearing panel.
III. The accused may address the hearing panel and may question witnesses.
IV. The advisor of the accused shall not address the hearing panel and shall not question witnesses.
V. The accused and the accused’s representative or advisor shall be given the opportunity to be present at the hearing except during the deliberations of the hearing panel.
VI. Hearing panel members may recall investigators, complainants, the accused, and/or witnesses, but the accused must always be present when testimony is given.
VII. The Chief Administrator may prohibit any question if the question compromises the rights of the accused and/or does not significantly contribute to determining whether the accused has violated this Honor Code.
VIII. The hearing shall be recorded by audio means. These recordings shall be used for the sole purpose of recalling information during the hearing procedure by the hearing panel. All recordings shall be destroyed after deliberations have been made.
The order of those testifying before the hearing panel shall be the following:
I. The Investigators
a. Each investigator shall report his or her findings to the hearing panel.
b. Each investigator shall surrender any tangible evidence to the hearing panel.
c. After each investigator has testified, the hearing panel shall question the investigator. The accused may then question the investigator. The hearing panel may then question the investigator again.
II. The Complainant.
a. The complainant shall make a statement to the hearing panel.
b. The hearing panel shall then question the complainant.
c. The accused may question the complainant.
d. The hearing panel may question the complainant again.
III. The Accused.
a. The accused may make a statement to the hearing panel.
b. The hearing panel shall question the accused.
c. The complainant may question the accused.
d. The hearing panel may question the complainant again.
IV. The Witnesses.
The ordering of the witnesses shall be at the discretion of the Chief Administrator.
a. The witness shall make a brief statement to the hearing panel relevant to the facts of the event in question.
b. The hearing panel may question the witness.
c. The complainant may question the witness.
d. The accused may question the witness.
e. The hearing panel may question the witness again.
V. Closing Statement
The complainant and then the accused may make a brief closing statement to the hearing panel.
a. The hearing panel shall, after reasonable discussion in closed session, vote as to whether the accused has violated this Honor Code.
I. The hearing panel shall find that the accused has violated this Honor Code if they believe that there is “clear and convincing evidence” that the accused has violated this Honor Code.
II. A vote of violation by at least two-thirds of the hearing panel members shall be required to find that the accused has violated this Honor Code. The decision as to whether the accused has violated this Honor Code shall be made by secret ballot.
b. If the hearing panel finds that the accused has violated this Honor Code, then the accused may make a statement to the hearing panel relating to which sanction(s) the hearing panel should recommend to the Dean.
c. The hearing panel shall then, in closed session, after reasonable discussion, vote as to sanctions pursuant to Article V, sections 3 c and d of the Constitution. The hearing panel shall not vote as to sanctions pursuant to Article V, section b of the Constitution.
d. A vote of at least two-thirds of the hearing panel members shall be required to recommend other sanctions.
e. Deliberations of the hearing panel shall not be recorded.
f. With the exception of the recommendation of the accused, pursuant to section 4(b), no outside person may communicate with any hearing panel member regarding the hearing or deliberations during any part of deliberations, including, but not limited to recesses and/or the period of time between voting as to whether the accused has violated this Honor Code and voting as to sanctions.
Submission of findings to the Dean
a. If there is a finding that the accused has violated this Honor Code, the Chief Administrator shall appoint a hearing panel member to prepare a written statement of the findings and recommended sanctions. This statement, along with the recordings of the proceedings and all physical evidence, shall be submitted to the Medical School Dean, or the Dean’s designee, within one day after the hearing’s conclusion. The accused shall also be provided with a copy of the panel’s statement within one day after the hearing’s conclusion.
b. The Dean, or the Dean’s designee, shall defer to the findings of the hearing panel and shall act on the recommended sanction(s) within a reasonable period, unless the accused has filed an appeal.
a. The accused may appeal the finding that the accused has violated this Honor Code and/or the recommended sanction(s) to the Medical School Dean or the Dean’s designee, within seven days after the hearing’s conclusion. The Dean or the Dean’s designee shall determine the method of hearing an appeal. On any appeal to the Dean, the Dean must meet with both the accused and the Chief Administrator or a member of the Honor Board designated by the Chief Administrator.
b. The Dean, or the Dean’s designee, shall give great weight to the findings and recommendations of the hearing panel and shall not reverse a finding that the accused had violated this Honor Code absent the Dean’s, or the Dean’s designee, belief that such a finding was the result of bias or lack of due process. The Dean, or the Dean’s designee, may only reduce the recommended sanction(s). Sanctions may be reduced in the best interest of justice or upon a finding that they were arbitrarily or capriciously imposed.
c. The Dean, or the Dean’s designee, shall notify, in writing, the Chief Administrator of this determination within seven days of hearing an appeal. The Chief Administrator will then be given the opportunity to respond to the Dean’s decision. Once the Dean has heard the response of the Chief Administrator, the Dean, or the Dean’s designee will notify, in writing, the accused and the Chief Administrator of this determination.
d. If the Dean, or the Dean’s designee, does alter any recommended sanction(s), the Honor Board may appeal, if it so chooses, to the Chancellor of the Medical Center.
e. When the accused is a graduating fourth-year student, the timetable for appeal shall be expedited.
ARTICLE VI: REVIEW OF FACULTY OR ADMINISTRATOR ACTION
If a faculty member reduces a student’s grade or an administrator assesses any penalty against a student for any alleged conduct, which if true, would have violated this Honor Code, the student shall have the right to request that the Honor Board determine whether the alleged conduct occurred and whether it violated this Honor Code. A student is not entitled to this review if the grade was based on conduct or performance which, if true, would not have violated this Honor Code.
Review by the Honor Board
An investigation will proceed in the same manner set forth in Article IV, Section 2 of the By- laws to the Constitution.
I. An Honor Board hearing shall, pursuant to Article V, sections 3 & 4, determine whether the alleged conduct occurred and, if the alleged conduct did occur, whether the conduct violated this Honor Code.
II. If the hearing panel finds that the conduct violated this Honor Code, the hearing panel shall, pursuant to Article V, section 4, recommend the appropriate sanction(s) (which may be greater than the reduced grade by the faculty member or the penalty assessed by the Administrator) to the Dean or the Dean’s designee.
Review by the Dean
a. If the hearing panel finds that the alleged conduct by the student occurred, and that the conduct violated this Honor Code, this determination and the recommended sanction shall be subject to the student’s right of appeal to the Dean, or the Dean’s Designee, as set forth in Article V, section 6.
b. If the hearing panel finds that the alleged conduct did not occur or, if it did occur, that it did not violate this Honor Code, the Honor Board shall so inform the faculty member or administrator involved. The faculty member or administrator shall have five days to increase the grade or reduce the penalty. If the faculty member or administrator refuses to increase the grade or refuses to reduce the penalty, or if the increase or reduction is not satisfactory to the student, the Dean, or the Dean’s designee, shall decide the appropriate grade to be given or penalty to be assessed.
c. All issues of grade changes not related to an Honor Board violation shall be referred to the Student Professionalism and Promotion Committee.
ARTICLE VII: HONOR BOARD FILE
The Chief Administrator shall maintain a file which shall include a record of all complaints, findings, recommendations, appeals, and final determinations. This file shall be in the Student Executive Committee office and shall not include names of the accused, the complainant, or other witnesses. All members of the Medical School shall be permitted to review files with the Chief Administrator provided they have a legitimate reason to do so.
ARTICLE VIII: SELECTION OF HONOR BOARD REPRESENTATIVES
The Honor Board shall be composed of twenty (20) members. These members shall include the President and the Vice-President of the Medical Student Body, the President of each class, four (4) representatives of the Second, Third, and Fourth year classes, and two (2) representatives of the First year class.
The Chief Administrator shall be an Honor Board representative with at least one (1) year’s experience on the Honor Board. He or she shall be elected by the Honor Board members within a reasonably short period after the second, third, and fourth year representatives take office.
Upon election, the Chief Administrator shall designate another member of the Honor Board with at least one (1) year’s experience to preside over Honor Board activities during any period(s) that the Chief Administrator should be unable to perform his/her duties. If the Assistant Administrator is subsequently unable to perform his/her duties, then the Chief Administrator shall appoint a new Assistant Administrator to act in his/her place.
Duration of term
a. The term of the first year representatives shall begin immediately upon posting of the Fall semester election results and shall end immediately upon the posting of the Spring semester election results of the following year.
b. The term of the second year representative shall begin immediately upon the posting of the Spring election results and shall end immediately upon posting of the third year election results. It is a one-year term.
c. The term of the third year representative shall begin immediately upon posting of the Spring semester election results and shall end upon graduation. It is a two-year term.
d. In the event that a representative does not continue with the class that he/she represents, for any reason, his/her term will be ended and a replacement shall be elected from the class by simple majority of those voting.
ARTICLE IX: FACULTY-HONOR BOARD LIAISON
The Faculty-Honor Board liaison shall be a member of the Executive Faculty appointed by the dean. His/her function shall be to facilitate communication and education between the Honor Board and the faculty.
ARTICLE X: REMOVAL OF HONOR BOARD REPRESENTATIVES
Removal Due to an Honor Code Violation
Any Honor Board representative found to have violated this Honor Code shall be immediately removed from his or her position with the Honor Board, upon written notice made by the Chief Administrator. Such removal shall be in addition to, and independent from, any sanction(s) recommended by the hearing panel.
Removal by the Student Body for Reasons Other than an Honor Code Violation
a. Any member of the student body may circulate a petition among members of his or her class to remove an Honor Board representative who represents his or her class. Such removal may be for any reason. The petition must include the signatures of one-fourth of the members of the respective class. Upon delivery of such a petition to the Chief Administrator, a vote shall be scheduled with the assistance of the S.E.C. (Article II, section 7). Such a vote shall be scheduled as soon as is reasonably possible.
b. A two-thirds vote of those students voting shall be required to remove the Honor Board representative.
c. Should the vote result in removal, the representative shall be informed, in writing, by the Chief Administrator. A replacement shall be elected within seven days, in accordance with applicable S.E.C. rules. Days during Medical School holidays and vacations shall not be counted.
Revised: May 1952, May 1970, March 1986, May 1990, April 1999, April 1965, May 1976, May 1987, April 1991, April 1966, March 1977, May 1988, November 1992, May 1969, May 1982, April 1989, June 1993
Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy (University Policy)
Tulane University is concerned about the abuse of alcohol, illegal drugs, and controlled substances on campuses and in the workplace. In addition to having an alcohol and drug policy (found here), the medical center complies with the Drug Free School Act of 1989. That act mandates that university officials turn over to local police authorities for arrest and prosecution any person who illegally uses drugs.
Tulane University circulates its drug and alcohol policy annually to students and employees. A drug education and counseling program for medical center students is provided on a confidential basis through the Phoenix Society.
Narcotics, Marijuana, and Other Controlled Substances
The use of certain drugs for “recreational” purposes is illegal and can have devastating consequences for you professionally. The Medical Practice Act of the State of Louisiana (Louisiana Revised Statutes 37:1261 through 37:1291) clearly states the following:
“Conviction of a crime or entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contender to a criminal charge . . . habitual or recurring use of morphine, opium, cocaine, or other drugs having a similar effect . . . constitutes . . . causes for non-issuance, suspension, revocation, or the imposition of restrictions on any license . . . to practice medicine or surgery.”
All other states of the Union have laws that are substantively the same as those in effect in Louisiana.
It should go without saying that it is totally unacceptable for medical students, physicians, nurses, and other medical personnel to attend to patient care or other professional duties while under the influence of alcohol or any of the drugs mentioned above.
Possession of Weapons
Carrying a rifle or handgun on Tulane University property is not allowed. Any student in possession of a rifle or handgun is subject to severe disciplinary action that may include expulsion.
It is expected that medical students will conduct themselves within the boundaries of the law and in accordance with the standards expected of members of the medical profession.
- Voluntary: A student who has registered for a semester and plans to withdraw from the program must inform the BMS Program Office in writing. After appropriate action has been completed with the Assistant Dean or Co-Director, confirmation of withdrawal will be sent to the student. The official date of the withdrawal from the program must be approved by the Assistant Dean or Co- Director and usually is the date of formal notification. The withdrawal date is important for determining possible refunds. Students who officially have withdrawn from the program must surrender their student identification cards at the time of withdrawal. After the last day to drop courses, a student withdrawing from the program without adequate reason, as determined by the Assistant Dean or Co-Director, will receive WF grades. A W grade will be recorded if withdrawal has been approved for medical reasons.
- Medical: Students may experience medical and/or psychological conditions as well as problems around substance misuse that significantly impacts their ability to complete their academic pursuits. During such circumstances, a medical withdrawal and leave of absence from the University provides the student an opportunity to remain a matriculated student while also allowing time away for appropriate treatment and recovery. Students must request a medical withdrawal in accordance with the checklist on the Case Management and Victim Support Services Website: https://cmvss.tulane.edu/content/medical-withdrawal- leave-return. Students must notify the BMS Office of their intent to request a medical withdrawal or leave prior to beginning the process.
- Involuntary Withdrawals: A student may be required to withdraw from any course or from the University, temporarily or permanently, for any of the following reasons:
- The end dates of the October block change each year. Please consult the clinical block calendar in eMedley’s eCurriculum for relevant October block dates.
- USMLE step 1 results generally take 4 weeks to be recorded, and results are released only on Wednesdays. Therefore, the last possible date a student should plan on taking Step 1 to avoid being placed on a leave of absence is 4 Wednesdays BEFORE the end of Tulane’s October block.
- Students who are not passing step 1 practice tests should consult with Dr. Kahn for advising and strategies before scheduling/sitting for step 1. The top priority should be achieving a passing score on the first attempt.
- Each department or teaching program shall determine for each course the most appropriate method for evaluation of student achievement, based on the nature of the course and on defined course objectives. Such methods as written examinations, oral examinations, literature reports, case reports, problem solving, or other reasonable means by which the student may demonstrate his or her knowledge of the subject under consideration may be employed at the discretion of the course director. Each course director shall present to the students, in written form on the first day the course meets formally, a statement describing course requirements, evaluative methods to be used, and criteria for awarding specific grades. Whenever possible, narrative comments are provided in addition to a final grade to students in preclinical courses.
- Each department will also present, in writing on the first day of class, its specific course requirements that may in any way deviate from the overall grading policy. For example, students must successfully complete the laboratory phase of the course in order to achieve a passing grade. Failure to successfully complete the laboratory phase will result in a grade of “Condition Repeat,” even though the overall grade point average is 70 or higher.
- A letter grade describing the student’s performance shall be awarded to each student enrolled in each course. Depending on the nature of the course, this grade may simply reflect the student’s achievement on objective evaluative instruments or may also include evaluation of non-cognitive qualities and skills. The specific grade awarded to each student shall be based on the criteria listed below. (Note that where specific numerical grades or grade ranges are cited below for awarding letter grades, these should be considered as suggested guidelines rather than as inflexible rules. Each course director has the authority and responsibility for the final determination of letter grades for each student.)
- Each student’s official transcript grade (P, C/P, F, I, or W) will be entered directly into the university’s student records system by the department issuing the grade. The Office of Admissions and Student Affairs will enter PASS grades only for T1 and T2 electives.
- The summary course grade (numerical and qualitative) that resulted from the applied evaluation procedures shall also be transmitted to the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs.
- Departments maintain records for each student detailing how final grades were calculated.
- At the conclusion of a course, each student will be given his or her transcript grade of P, C/P, F, I, or W, as well as the summary grade and narrative comments. Information transmitted to the student shall also include the class average, highest score, and lowest score, when quantitative procedures were applied.
- All progress exams that are returned to students will carry letter designations of P, C/P, or F. If a department desires, progress exams may be returned to the students with numerical grades under condition that each student’s grade is reported solely to that student. Numerical grades, when derived by a department for portions of a course or for the entire course, are considered confidential information.
- All 8-week, 6-week, and 4-week required clerkships, along with most 4-week required and elective rotations, are graded H, HP, P, C/P, F, I, or W. Some 4-week and all 2-week rotations are graded pass/fail. Departments determine the grades and enter the grades direction into the university’s student records system.
- Student evaluations are completed by supervising faculty, are maintained by the relevant department, and are entered by the department into SOM’s evaluation software. Summary comments for required core clerkships are transmitted by the department to the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs for inclusion in the student’s Medical School Performance Evaluation (MSPE, formerly the “dean’s letter”).
- At the conclusion of a course, all students will be given their grade of H, HP, P, C, F, I, or W.
- Each department or teaching program shall determine for each course the most appropriate method for evaluation of student achievement, based on the nature of the course and on defined course objectives. Such methods as written examinations, oral examinations, literature reports, case reports, problem solving, or other reasonable means by which the student may demonstrate his or her knowledge of the subject under consideration may be employed at the discretion of the course director. Each course director shall present to the students, in written form on the first day the course meets formally, a statement describing course requirements, evaluative methods to be used, and criteria for awarding specific grades.
- A letter grade describing the student’s performance shall be awarded to each student enrolled in each course. Depending on the nature of the course, this grade may simply reflect the student’s achievement on objective evaluative instruments or may also include evaluations of non-cognitive qualities and skills. All 2-week electives are graded pass/fail. Most 4-week electives, with some exceptions, are graded on the H (Honors), HP (High Pass), P (Pass), C (Condition), or F (Fail) scale. On the first day the elective meets formally, the course director shall present to the students the grading scale.
- A student may only repeat the same course or course equivalent once.
- When repeating a pre-clinical course following a failure, the student must earn a grade of at least 75 or higher depending on the parameters established by the particular department. Failure to meet these requirements results in a second failure of that course and the student is dismissed, according to rule #1.
- Failure in one pre-clinical course and a “C” in a second one in a single year requires repetition of the year.
- Failure of two individual pre-clinical courses results in dismissal.
- Any combination of three deficiencies (F or C) in phases 1 or 2 results in dismissal.
- A student cannot proceed in the clinical curriculum until deficiencies are resolved. The student must take a leave of absence to remedy the deficiencies prior to advancement to the clinical phase.
- Students having difficulty in pre-clinical courses (as determined by course directors) are required to meet with course directors and the senior associate dean within 14 calendar days of notification. Failure to do so may result in an official professionalism issue report
- A student may be dismissed due to failure to follow the Tulane University Code of Student Conduct or the Code of Professional Excellence of the School of Medicine (see section below)
- For details regarding the appeal process regarding grades or re-admissions, see section below.
- A student may only repeat a clerkship once.
- When repeating a clerkship following a failure, the student must meet the parameters established by the particular department. Failure to meet these requirements results in a second failure of that clerkship and the student is dismissed, according to rule #1.
- Failure of two individual clerkships results in dismissal.
- Any combination of three deficiencies (F or C) in phases 3 results in dismissal.
- A student who has 2 deficiencies (I, C, or F) cannot proceed in the clinical curriculum until these deficiencies are resolved. The student must take a leave of absence to remedy the deficiencies prior to advancement.
- Students having difficulty in clerkships (as determined by clerkship directors) are required to meet with clerkship directors and the senior associate dean within 14 calendar days of notification. Failure to do so may result in an official professionalism issue report
- A student can have a condition grade or fail a clerkship based on professionalism alone regardless of academic performance.
- For details regarding the appeal process regarding grades or re-admissions, see section below
- School official: any person employed by Tulane in any administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including public safety and health services staff); any person or company with whom Tulane has contracted to provide a service to or on behalf of Tulane (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); any person serving on Tulane’s Board of Administrators; or any student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks
- Legitimate educational interest: the need to review an education record in order to fulfill an official’s professional responsibility.
- The right to inspect and review your education records (with certain limited exceptions) within 45 days of the day Tulane receives your request for access. You should submit any such request to the Registrar’s Office in writing, identifying the records you wish to inspect. The Registrar’s Office will make arrangements for access and notify you of the time and place where the records may be inspected. Records that are customarily open for student inspection will be accessible without written request.
- The right to request the amendment of your education records if you believe them to be inaccurate. You should submit any such request to the Registrar’s Office in writing, clearly identifying the records that you want to have amended and specifying the reasons you believe them to be inaccurate. The Registrar’s Office will notify you of its decision and, if the decision is negative, of your right to a hearing regarding your request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to you at that time.
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in your education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One such exception permits disclosure to “school officials” with “legitimate educational interests.” A “school official” is any person employed by Tulane in any administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including public safety and health services staff); any person or company with whom Tulane has contracted to provide a service to or on behalf of Tulane (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); any person serving on Tulane’s Board of Administrators; or any student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a “legitimate educational interest” if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill the official’s professional responsibility. Another such exception permits Tulane to disclose your “directory information,” consisting of your name; local, home, and e-mail addresses; local and home telephone number; major field of study; enrollment status/rank (e.g., undergraduate or graduate; freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior; first-year, second-year, or third-year); dates of attendance; anticipated degree and degree date; degrees, honors, and awards received; participation in officially recognized activities; student ID number, user ID, or other unique personal identifier used by the student for purposes of accessing or communicating in electronic systems; most recent educational agency or institution attended; and photograph, to anyone within the Tulane community and to the general public. Students who wish to have their directory information withheld must notify the Registrar’s Office in writing. (Please note that such a notification will prevent Tulane from providing your directory information to your friends, prospective employers, arts organizations, and others with whom you may wish us to share such information, so make your decision carefully.) You may give such notification at any time, but it will be effective only prospectively. Students who do not wish to have their address (or other information) published in the student directory must notify the Registrar’s Office annually by no later than September 30. Upon request, Tulane also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll or where the student is already enrolled so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer. Information on other such exceptions is available through the Registrar’s Office.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Tulane University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605. For full information about FERPA, please see Tulane University’s FERPA policy here.
- Students are expected to fill out an Excused Absence Request Form to request absences. The form is on TMedWeb on the Institutional Forms page within the Student Guide tab. Excused absences are coordinated through the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs.
- An excused absence does not obviate the need to make up work missed. Make-up processes are determined by course directors.
- Students are also expected to notify their laboratory instructors and course directors of excused absences.
- Any absence not excused will be considered unexcused.
- Students should submit Excused Absence Request Forms in a timely fashion. Generally this is at least 30 days before a predicted life event, and within 24 hours following an illness or emergency.
- In general, excused absences should be limited to a maximum of 2 per month.
- T3 orientation
- Mandatory Clerkship/rotation orientation days
- NBME Subject Examinations (shelf exams)
- Clinical skills exams
- MLK Jr.
- The Saturday and Sunday before and Wednesday after Mardi Gras
- Good Friday
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- The Wednesday before and Monday after Thanksgiving break
- During interview season, students are encouraged to schedule vacation time and/or multiple online electives. Whenever possible, students should not schedule required rotations during interview season. This includes the four-week MED4409 and MED3410, but it particularly includes, the sub-internship, and the two-week required rotations: RADS3020, SURG3120, EMER4020. Students who schedule required rotations during interview season should be prepared to schedule interviews around required rotation responsibilities.
- Course and clerkship directors understand that interviews are a priority and that students may have minimal control over scheduling. It is, however, expected that students will take the necessary steps to avoid conflict as much as possible by:
- Scheduling required rotations outside of the heaviest part interview season. These months are generally October, November, December, and January.
- When there is an option, scheduling interviews outside of required rotations.
- Notifying the course director as soon as possible of the interview, what days are to be missed, and understanding that make-up work will likely be required.
- If the situation arises in which a student must schedule an interview during a 2- or 4- week rotation that would put the student above the allotted excused absence cap for that rotation, the student must communicate the situation to the appropriate faculty elective director as soon as possible.
- Given the reality that interview slots can fill up in a matter of minutes, it is assumed that the student will schedule the interview and formulate a plan with the faculty elective director AFTER scheduling the interview.
- The faculty elective director may require that the student make up the lost time, and the student must make up the missed days either during the current block or a later block.
- Course and clerkship directors understand that interviews are a priority and that students may have minimal control over scheduling. It is, however, expected that students will take the necessary steps to avoid conflict as much as possible by:
- Students are allowed two days off from an elective rotation to complete the USMLE Step 2 CS and Step 2 CK examinations. Students are discouraged from scheduling their Step 2 CS or CK exams during a block when they have a required rotation scheduled, especially a two- week rotation (RADS3020, SURG3120, and EMER4020). Students must submit an Excused Absence request form for Step 2 CS and CK-related absences at least 14 days before the absence.
- Students who request absences for Step 2 CS, Step 2 CK, or interviews should not request Excused Absences for other reasons during the same block.
- Students are expected to fill out an Excused Absence Request Form to request absences. The form is on TMedWeb on the Institutional Forms page within the Student Guide tab. Excused absences are coordinated through the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs.
- An excused absence does not obviate the need to make up work missed. Make-up processes are determined by clerkship directors, and may include additional shifts during the current or a later block.
- Students are expected to notify their attending physicians and house officers of any excused absences.
- Students can receive a maximum of three days excused absence for any 6- or 8-week rotation, a maximum of two days for any 4-week rotations, and one day for 2-week rotations. The only exceptions are for Step 2 CS exams, Step 2 CK exams, and interviews (see above), and students are discouraged from scheduling Step 2 CS, Step 2 CK, and interviews during required rotations (see above).
- Excused absences will be given for significant life events and are not to be used simply for a day off.
- Any absence not excused will be considered unexcused.
- Students should submit Excused Absence Request forms in a timely fashion. Generally this is at least 30 days before a predicted life event, and within 24 hours following an illness or emergency.
- Patient welfare is our primary concern, for only by this commitment do we justify the trust placed in us by patients and the community at large.
- Relationships with our colleagues, faculty, and staff are an essential part of professional conduct.
- Integrating personal growth into our professional development is essential to our commitment to medicine.
- As medical professionals, we shall strive to be responsible citizens.
- Any breach that falls under the purview of the Honor Board should be referred to the Honor Board directly. This procedure is outlined in the April 1999 revision of the Honor Code, available on the Student Affairs website. Such breaches include cheating, stealing, impairing another student’s ability to learn, or acting in a deceitful manner.
- Breaches in behavior outside of those considered by the Honor Board should be referred to the senior associate dean for Admissions and Student Affairs, who will investigate the complaint by speaking directly with the parties involved and reviewing evidence. The senior associate dean will also notify the student(s) in writing describing the unprofessional conduct allegations. Students have the right to provide evidence on their behalf and/or witnesses for review by the senior associate dean.
- If the senior associate dean believes there is a breach of professional behavior, feedback will be provided to the student or students involved. The extent and gravity of the student’s unprofessional behavior and potential actions that could be taken will be reviewed. The senior associate dean will document the potential breach in professional activity, as well as the result of the subsequent conversation. This documentation will be kept on record with the senior associate dean, but will not be made part of the student’s file.
- If the problem recurs, the issue will be brought to the Committee on Student Professionalism and Promotion for discussion. The student(s) involved will be notified in writing via return-receipt mail and email within two weeks of the Committee on Student Professionalism and Promotion meeting. The accused will (1) be advised of the nature of the complaint, the date, time, and location of the committee meeting and (2) provided with a copy of this procedure. Students will be allowed to provide evidence and/or witnesses on their behalf at the meeting. If a breach is confirmed, a written statement will be placed in the student’s file for possible inclusion in the Medical Student Performance Evaluation. Recommendations made by the Committee on Student Professionalism and Promotion require a majority of those voting members present.
- As a last resort, with repetitive behavior that is deemed severe, the matter will be brought before the Committee on Student Professionalism and Promotion. The same procedure of notification and procedure will be followed as listed above. The Committee will make recommendations to the Executive Faculty for action including, but not limited to, dismissal or restriction of privileges. The student has the right to appear in person before the Committee on Student Professionalism and Promotion and Executive Faculty. When appearing before the Executive Faculty, a legal representative may be present but may not participate.
- When the Committee on Student Professionalism and Promotion is involved, the student will be allowed to appear before the Committee and provide evidence and/or witnesses on her or his behalf. When appearing before the Committee on Student Professionalism and Promotion, a legal representative may be present but may not participate.
- Appeals to decisions made by the Executive Faculty should be addressed in writing directly to the dean of the School of Medicine. The dean recuses him/herself in deliberations regarding adverse actions and the dean is the final level of appeal.
- No flip-flops or Crocs
- No plunging necklines or visible body cleavage/undergarments
- No shorts, cut-offs, or skirts that are shorter than student’s white coat. Skirts should cover at least to the mid-thigh when a student is seated.
- No fading, holes, dragging or frayed cuffs on trousers/slacks. Blue jeans are NOT acceptable. Professional-appearing trousers or slacks of full-length should be worn.
- No t-shirts or shirts with slogans, stains, tears. A collared shirt for men and a conservative shirt/blouse for women is expected. For gentlemen, a tie is highly recommended but not mandatory. Ties should be clean and well-fitted.
- A clean white coat must be worn. Your Tulane I.D. badge should be visible.
- Body art should not be visible.
- Fingernails should be trimmed, clean, and not flamboyantly decorated/painted.
- Hair should be clean and neat; if long, hair should not interfere with the exam (hair should not touch patient). Facial hair should be neatly trimmed.
- Earrings and other body piercings should not be bizarre or distracting. Tongue rings are not allowed.
- Cell phone use of any kind is not permitted while interviewing/examining patients.
- Patient confidentiality is of primary importance, as outlined in The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act [HIPAA].
- Tulane University, as a University, values the importance of free speech and open discourse. As such, the University, being respectful of free speech and expression of ideas, does not prohibit students from engaging in social media and/or voicing opinion outside of the workplace.
- Maintaining respect for colleagues and co-workers is requisite for establishing a professional environment in the workplace, thereby ensuring optimal team-based patient care.
- Enrollment in the School of Medicine educational program bestows upon the student the reputation and prestige of Tulane University. In exchange, it is the responsibility of each student to uphold and protect the reputation of Tulane University.
- Any and all depictions or descriptions of patients must comply with The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act [HIPAA]. Personal health information is defined by HIPAA as any information about an individual in oral or recorded form, where the information identifies an individual or for which there is a reasonable basis to believe it can be used to identify the individual.
- At no time shall patient information be shared without the signed consent of the patient. The University does not govern the content, format or process for obtaining this consent; Tulane students must strictly adhere to the policies and procedures of the respective hospital, clinic or healthcare system in which the patient received care.
- These guidelines apply even if the individual patient is the only person who may be able to identify him or herself on the basis of the posted description. Anonymous descriptions must not contain information that will enable any person, including people who have access to other sources of information about a patient, to identify the individuals described. This encompasses all emails and text messages sent from personal phones.
- At no time shall patients, or patient stories, be depicted in a disparaging, demeaning, or insulting manner. Even if patients are not identified (by name, record number, image), or even if consent has been obtained form the patient, any description of patient care should be professional and respectful of the patient.
- All descriptions of the workplace environment shall respect the privacy rights of colleagues and co-workers. Individuals shall not be identified by name, or be described in such a fashion that their identity is easily apparent, without explicit consent of that individual.
- The tone and content of all conversations, social media and otherwise, shall remain professional and respectful of all healthcare and University colleagues. Posting demeaning or insulting comments or images about colleagues and co- workers to third parties is unprofessional behavior, and a violation of the Honor Code.
- While the University does not prohibit describing disagreements on issues and with people in the workplace, students are strongly cautioned to not express these disagreements in social, electronic and print media for the following reasons:
- The description of the disagreement is likely to be one-sided, without the “other side” having the opportunity to present their side of the agreement.
- Readership of the described disagreement is likely to take the description out of context.
- The description on social, electronic or print media is unlikely to result in a meaningful solution/resolution of the disagreement
- The student retains the right to express their individuality via pictures, opinions and posts on social, electronic and print media.
- All posted opinions and images, however, are to be professional; unprofessional statements evoking, but not limited to, racism, sexism, and discriminatory statements will not be allowed, and are grounds for review by the program’s clinical competency committee with respect to the professionalism core competency.
- Students are advised to be cognizant of the image being portrayed, particularly with respect to posted images and photographs, and how that image would be viewed as being consistent with the professional physician. Employers, patients, and administrators can search and view all information posted in any forum. Enacting privacy settings does not necessarily mean that information will not end up in a public format.
- In engaging in social, electronic or print media communications, students are reminded of the following:
- The student has full responsibility for the content of individual online postings (for example: blogs, social networking sites and other digital media).
- The permanency of published material on the Web. Most electronic media becomes cached. This means that even if the information is
- The importance of your individual safety when posting personal materials, such as phone/pager numbers or daily schedules online.
- In expressing opinions via external communications, students should exercise caution in identifying themselves as Tulane University students; comments made by an individual are easily ascribed to the opinion/position of the University as a whole. If the student does disclose their association with Tulane University, the communication should explicitly note that the opinion/position expressed within the communication is solely the position of the student, and not of Tulane University or the respective healthcare institution (i.e., hospital, clinic or healthcare system) in which they work.
- If there is any question as to how an external communication will be received, students are strongly encouraged to consult with the Tulane University and/or respective hospital’s Office of Public Relations. The Office of Admissions and Student Affairs, and the Sr. Associate Dean can also provide advice in reference to external communications.
- Students are strongly discouraged from voicing opinions on medical topics via electronic or print media.
- It is expected that students behave professionally in and out of work, as behavior in both settings exemplifies the development of the professionalism competency, and reflects upon Tulane University reputation.
- Tulane University respects the privacy of all of its students. Tulane does not prospectively monitor students’ outside-of-work activities.
- All professionals have a collective professional duty to assure appropriate behavior, particularly as it pertains to professional behavior
- Unprofessional behavior outside of work may be investigated if it is brought to the attention of the Sr. Associate Dean and may be investigated by the Honor Board and/or Student Professionalism and Promotion Committee
- Tulane University will not monitor students’ social, electronic or print communications without cause to do so. Tulane University assumes no liability or responsibility for student’s social, electronic or print communications of which it is not aware.
- All professionals have a collective professional duty to assure appropriate behavior, particularly in matters of privacy and confidentiality. It is the responsibility of each University employee to self-monitor this policy and to report violations to the Sr. Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs
- Tulane University reserves the right to inspect a student’s social and/or electronic media for cause, as defined by a report of a violation of this policy.
- Tulane University reserves the right to monitor a student’s social and/or electronic media for cause, as defined by a previous violation of this policy.
- If a social, electronic, or print media posts/communication is deemed to be inappropriate by the student professionalism and promotion committee, the student will be asked to redact or take down the communication. The student has a right to appeal this decision to the Dean, who shall have the final decision regarding redacting or taking down the communication
- The student professionalism and promotion committee is entitled to integrate violations of this policy into their decisions regarding promotion and into the Medical Student Performance Evaluation
- Students in violation of this policy may also be subject to discipline from the respective hospital, clinic or healthcare network. Students in violation of this policy may also be subject to prosecution or a lawsuit for damages for a contravention of the PHIPA.
- Sign another student’s name on an attendance sheet: this includes anatomy lab, histology lab, TBL/PBL sessions, grand rounds, and any other mandatory class/clerkship or event
- Falsify your own attendance at the aforementioned events
- Take home any material from the IRAT/GRAT sessions (including photos)
- Misrepresent the nature or amount of time worked at a service learning opportunity (for you or someone else)
- Take photos of exam materials/keys, even if for personal use
- Intentionally withhold resources from other students
- Intentionally withhold information to gain the upper-hand over another student
- Fail to report a violation of the Honor Code
General Graduate School Requirements
A full description of Master's and PhD Degree requirements for all students can be found in the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies section of this catalog. Students should review these policies thoroughly.
Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program -Master of Science (MS)
One Year Programs (Applications open October 1st)
The one-year M.S. programs are designed to enrich and improve academic credentials of graduates and strengthen their academic foundation for further intellectual development, including entrance into medical, dental, or other health profession-related programs. These programs are offered in the Departments of Anatomy, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Medical Genetics and Genomics, Microbiology & Immunology, Pathology, Pharmacologyand Physiology.
Two Year Programs (Applications open October 1st)
Two-year, research-intensive M.S. programs are designed to enhance the academic credentials and scientific research experience of graduates and prepare them for careers in academic or industrial research.
The two-year thesis-required program In Biochemistry and Molecular Biology leads to a Master of Biomedical Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology degree. Our distinctive program emphasizes student development in five areas to broaden and strengthen their academic foundation, and equips students with basic and advanced lab skills for a career in academic or industrial research.
The MS Clinical Anatomy degree is a 2-year non-thesis program of study of cadaveric dissection-based gross anatomy, embryology, cell biology and histology, and neuroscience leading to a MS degree in Anatomy. It is designed specifically for candidates who wish to develop careers in teaching and research in the anatomical sciences.
The MS Anatomy Research program is a 2-year thesis program of study of gross anatomy, embryology, cell biology, and histology leading to a Master of Science degree in Anatomy by research. It is designed specifically for candidates who wish to develop research careers in biomedical science and medical education.
The Masters in Molecular and Cellular Pathobiology is a full-time two-year thesis-based post-baccalaureate program leading to a Master of Science in Molecular and Cellular Pathobiology. This program is designed to enrich the scientific research experience and improve the academic credentials of students interested in careers in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, as well as in academia.
Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program - Doctor of Philosophy
Tulane’s Ph.D. Program in Biomedical Sciences takes an interdisciplinary approach to graduate education and research. There are many ways to shape your Tulane experience to fit your needs and career goals, and our program has an array of options to accelerate, customize, and enrich your education and, ultimately, your career. The program is dynamic, giving you an array of controls that allows you to heavily customize your experience here to suit you.
All PhD students receive a full tuition waiver and a stipend of approximately $30,000 per year for the entire duration of the program, usually between four and seven years.
Students undertaking work for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy should understand that this degree is awarded not for an accumulation of course credits only, but for superior attainment and accomplishment in research. Ordinarily the student is expected to finish the course requirements, 48 hours of credits at a minimum, in two full years of graduate study and complete the dissertation by the fourth year. The student must demonstrate the ability to carry out independent study and research in a chosen field, as evidenced in the dissertation. A minimum of one year of full-time study in residence at Tulane University is required.
In the first two semesters, all students take the identical core curriculum, described below. In conjunction with the course work in the first year, students rotate in 6-week blocks through three of the Program’s participating research laboratories of the student’s choice. This allows students to become more familiar with BMS research and faculty. Students should choose a Dissertation Advisor by the end of the second semester but must choose a Dissertation Advisor by the end of the third semester. Students may choose to further specify their study by choosing an Area of Research Emphasis (a Departmental Track in Anatomy, Biochemistry, Medical Genetics and Genomics, Microbiology and Immunology, Pathology, Pharmacology or Physiology). An area of research emphasis may add further course requirements beyond those required for the Biomedical Sciences PhD degree without specialization.
Doctor of Medicine
The curriculum for the School of Medicine is designed to prepare future physicians with the knowledge, skills, and behaviors required for any specialty field they choose. The pre-clinical curriculum (years 1 and 2) is taught as a series of system-based modules that progress through two phases. In Phase I, the foundational courses of histology, physiology, biochemistry, and genetics, along with foundations in medicine are organized into system-based modules structured to provide normal structure and function, while still maintaining the identity of each course. Phase II begins in the latter portion of Year 1 and provides the foundational knowledge and skills necessary for understanding pathophysiology and disease states, also in system-based modules containing microbiology, immunology, pathology, pharmacology, behavioral and neurosciences, and clinical medicine.
Students begin learning clinical skills early in Year 1. Specialty-based clinical training begins in May of Year 2 and continues throughout most of Year 3. The final phase of the curriculum is designed to help students choose and prepare for their residency choice while enhancing skills in emergency medicine, radiology and cultural competence. The curriculum provides enough flexibility for early and numerous opportunities in community service and service-learning, dedicated time for students interested in dual degrees (MPH, MBA), or mentored research.
1430 Tulane Ave, #8025
New Orleans, LA 70112
We are extremely proud of the training opportunities offered by this health sciences center. Collectively, we have thirty-nine residency and fellowship programs. The goal of the GME office, in conjunction with our eighteen affiliated training institutions, is to provide an excellent basis for postgraduate education by offering comprehensive clinical and research programs, didactics and supervision in the care of our patients. While in residency and fellowship training at Tulane, skills are developed which equip our graduates for a lifetime of learning, professional advancement, and quality patient outcomes.
Our physicians-in-training are encouraged to develop their knowledge, skills and judgment to the maximum potential while at the same time meeting and exceeding the goals and objectives of their respective programs. Tulane residents and fellows are exposed to a rich academic environment which is designed to foster careers as contemporary clinical investigators, teachers, and practitioners of the medical arts and sciences.
The Office of Graduate Medical Education is responsible for ensuring that all residents and fellows at Tulane University School of Medicine are provided an accredited educational experience of the highest quality.
Tulane Center for Aging
1430 Tulane Ave, 8513
New Orleans, LA 70112
Tulane Center for Aging
333 South Liberty Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
An Aging Population
The demographic reality today and in the foreseeable future is a graying population, both in terms of an increase in life expectancy and in the number of people over the age of 65. The retirement of the baby boomers, 77 million strong, will place a strain on Social Security and Medicare in the next decades. Only a compression of morbidity, coupled to changes in health systems management and healthcare delivery, can relieve this pressure. This will require significant research effort, in biological sciences, clinical medicine, behavioral and social sciences, as well as demography, economics, and policy planning. The research will engage basic, clinical, and translational scientists in multidisciplinary teams. The issues surrounding the expansion of the elder population transcend medicine and public health. The design and implementation of elder-friendly communities is emerging rapidly with abundant economic impact on this state and country. Furthermore, the increase in elder health that is an essential social and economic imperative will require planning for second and even third careers. The concept of 'active retirement' is taking on new meaning under current economic conditions. This in turn engages universities in forms of continuing education that have yet to be thoroughly explored, and it also has important implications for the model of the workplace.
The Tulane Center for Aging is dedicated to the enhancement of the quality of life of an aging population through research, education, and innovative approaches to healthcare and community planning and design.
The Tulane Center for Aging will foster and support the development of research programs across a broad spectrum of disciplines that will provide solutions to the problems associated with aging at the level of the individual, the community, and the population. Special emphasis will be placed on multidisciplinary efforts that harness the extensive resources available at the Uptown and Downtown Campuses and at the Tulane National Primate Research Center. In the process, these efforts will strengthen individual programs, departments, and disciplines throughout Tulane University. They will also contribute to the development of new initiatives. Virtually any area of endeavor at the University becomes a focus for the Center when the dimension of aging is applied. The Tulane Center for Aging will from the outset play a leading role in the strengthening of geriatrics and gerontology training at the University. This will be achieved by coordinating research, training/education, and service efforts. Our long term goal is to create a policy planning think tank that will serve the state and the region.
Future leaders in medicine must excel as clinicians as well as managers in the complex and rapidly evolving environment that now dominates health care. A growing number of medical students are complementing their medical education with MBA degrees. MD/MBA holders can operate their clinics more effectively, run a healthcare organization, manage a research project, or advocate for their patients and work to fix the healthcare system.
The School of Medicine is partnering with the internationally recognized A. B. Freeman School of Business to offer medical students two options for completing a joint MD/MBA program. These opportunities allow students to complete both degrees more rapidly than when done separately.
In the MBA program, students take 54 credit hours at the Freeman School. Classes teach business fundamentals including leadership, management, operations, accounting, statistics, and analytics. In modules on the Practice of Management, students get hands-on business experience. Elective courses further their education in areas of finance, strategic management and leadership, marketing, analytics, and entrepreneurship. Students develop the ability to analyze opportunities for and likelihood of success of organizations operating in various environments.
Tulane's MD/MPH combined degree program is open to students who have been accepted to Tulane's School of Medicine and who wish to pursue both an MD from Tulane and an MPH from Tulane's School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (SPHTM).
The MD/MPH program is a global, integrated program in an excellent learning environment which:
- Integrates healthcare training for individuals and populations;
- Provides the foundation for a holistic approach to patient care;
- Encompasses diverse and challenged populations domestically and internationally;
- Provides in-depth training in population and public health knowledge, behaviors, and skills; and,
- Allows students to match their specific population interest with a degree concentration in the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
Tulane's MD/MPH combined degree program offers Tulane School of Medicine students a unique opportunity to build on their patient-based medical education with a population-based public health degree. The combined degree program is designed to be completed in four or five years, integrating the requirements for the School of Medicine with those from the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Browse the links below to learn more general information about the program.
MD/MS in Bioethics
Recognizing local needs and national trends, an interdisciplinary faculty from the Program in Medical Ethics and Human Values in Tulane University’s School of Medicine has created a new major degree within a currently existing program. The Master of Science in Bioethics and Medical Humanities will be a special track within the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) Graduate Program at Tulane School of Medicine. It will include an option for a dual degree (MD/MS) similar to the other combined degrees shown on this page.
This is a two-year, 33 credit hour post-baccalaureate program leading to a Master of Science in Bioethics and Medical Humanities. This program is designed to improve the credentials of learners who are:
- Dual-degree students in Medicine;
- Interested in applying for admission to medical, dental, and other health-related professional schools;
- Mid-Career Professionals who wish to enhance their scholarly and clinical background in these areas for future service or scholarship.
Tulane brings together some of the nation’s most talented young people with nationally- and internationally-recognized teachers and researchers: all in the context of a vibrant city replete with opportunities both in and out of the lab and classroom. Whatever studies you pursue, your learning will intersect with the city’s unique mix of influences- ethnic, musical, architectural, geographical, commercial, political, environmental, and social. Beyond the classroom and lab, Tulane also provides you with multiple opportunities for career development and possible career exploration, both in and outside of academia. As a Tulane graduate student, you will find unmatched opportunities: opportunities to pursue ideas and work that matters to others, and opportunities to grow and mature.
There are two tracks to receiving a combined MD/PHD degree, also known as the Physician Scientist Program (PSP). Both tracks start with Medical School for 2 years, followed by 3-4 years in the BMS Phd program before returning to Medical School for the last 2 years.
PSP-A students apply through the Medical School AMCAS application process for both degrees. Applicants cannot apply to the PSP-A program and Medical School. They must choose one.
- 2 students are accepted each year. Must have exceptional academic credentials and prior research experience.
- Accepted students receive a fellowship covering both medical and graduate school tuition costs.
- A stipend is paid for the duration of study in both the Graduate School and Medical School.
- Accepted students must begin research lab rotations the summer prior to entry into medical school.
- Accepted students must complete both the PhD and MD degree.
Track B or PSP-B students must have applied for and been accepted into Tulane Medical School. PSP-B track students apply for the PhD program through the Biomedical Sciences application system any time after beginning medical school studies but no later than the beginning of their third year of medical school.
- A stipend is paid for the duration of the program after acceptance.
- PSP-B students receive tuition remittance only for the PhD portion of their studies, not Medical School.