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Which Medical Schools are Graded? Which Rank Students?

Aug 4, 2022

Every medical school in the United States uses some form of grading policy to measure student performance. These systems can be complex, and it can be difficult to understand how your grades will impact your medical school career. However, it is important to take the time to familiarize yourself with the grading policy used by the schools you are considering. Each school has its own standards for what constitutes a “good” grade, and these standards can vary widely. As you research medical schools, take the time to understand how each school evaluates students so that you can choose the school that best meets your needs.

A shift in grading policies

The numeric system has been historically the most widely grading policy used in the U.S. In this system, each letter grade is assigned a numeric value, and GPAs are calculated by averaging these values. For example, an “A” is worth 4 points, a “B” is worth 3 points, and so on. The advantage of this system is that it allows for easy comparison between students.

However, the numeric system does not take into account factors such as class difficulty or improvement over time. As a result, some medical schools are moving towards a more holistic approach to grading. In this system, grades are viewed as just one part of the student’s overall application. Other factors, such as letters of recommendation and personal statements, are also taken into consideration. Ultimately, medical schools and residency programs are looking for well-rounded applicants who have demonstrated both academic excellence and a commitment to medicine.

The Pass/Fail grading policy is becoming more widely used by medical schools for preclinical courses

There are several different medical school grading policies in use today. Since the first two years of medical school are heavily focused on coursework, many schools have adopted systems that don’t include letter grading. This enables students to focus on learning difficult material rather than place energy on their class ranking. Many programs have also adopted these “alternative” grading policies to increase the well-being of their students. However, the rigors of medical school still require medical students to be at the top of their game to get that passing mark!

According to the AAMC Report of Grading Systems Used in Medical School Programs, the majority of schools since 2016 have uased a system in which students are graded on a pass or fail basis. Here, we break down the most common grading policies used in medical schools. Keep reading to find out more!

2-tier Pass/Fail Grading Policy(P/F)

  • The Pass/Fail system is the most commonly used among MD programs in the U.S.
  • Out of about 150 medical progams, approximately 100 schools have consistently used this grading policy.
  • Pass-Fail grades typically do not contribute to a student’s overall GPA.
  • A “Pass” grade has an average cutoff percentage grade of 68%. This means that all students who earn a cumulative grade of 68% or more get a final grade of “Pass” on their transcript.
  • A “Fail” grade requires students to retake the course before advancing. Even if the student retakes a class in which they got an “F,” this mark will be recorded on their transcript.
  • After retaking a course, students typically earn a “Remediated Pass” grade.

3-Tier Pass/Fail Grading Policy (H/P/F)

  • This 3-tier system adds a layer of motivation for students to excel by including an “Honors” grade (Honors, Pass, Fail).
  • A “Pass” grade is an average of 68% or more, similar to the 2-tier Pass/Fail system.
  • A “Fail” grade also requires students to retake a course before they can move onto the next semester of classes.

Although these two Pass/Fail systems are similar, the 3-tier Pass/Fail system adds some complexity to grading. It is common for schools that employ a 3-tier Pass/Fail system to rank students in the top 20-25% of their class. These are typically students who recieve “Honors.” Some students may prefer a program with an Honors opportunity. However, others might see this grading policy as being too competitive between class members. It’s up to you to determine what helps you learn best!

…but the Pass/Fail grading policy is less common during clinical clerkship.

A clinical clerkship is a medical student’s opportunity to gain practical experience in patient care. Unlike the classroom environment of medical school, clinical clerkships take place in real-world medical settings such as hospitals and clinics. As a result, the stakes are higher and the pressure to perform is intense. For many students, the thought of not passing a clinical clerkship is simply too much to bear. Fortunately, the pass/fail grading policy is less common during clinical clerkships.

In most cases, students are graded on a scale of honors, high pass, pass, or fail. This allows for a more nuanced evaluation of student performance and gives students a better chance of success. As always, residency placement is highly competitive, but the clinical clerkship grade is just one factor that medical schools will consider when making their decisions. Ultimately, each student’s goal should be to gain the valuable experience and skills that they need to succeed in their future medical career.

The most common kind of grading policies during clinical clerkship are:

4-Tier Pass/Fail Grade System (Honors, High Pass, Pass, Fail)

  • Most core clinical clerkships use this grading method.
  • This grading policy adds a layer of grading to distinguish mastery of material during rotations.
  • Like the other Pass/Fail systems, students must earn at least a “Pass” grade to continue their curriculum.
  • Here, “Honors” is typically given to students who get a cumulative grade average of 88% or above. This percentage might differ by program or class. However, “Honors,” always highlights the top students of the class.
  • “High Pass,” signifies that the student has done outstanding or above average, but is not quite at the top of their class.

4-Tier grading policy may contribute to an overal GPA by assignming a numeric value to each grade:

  • Honors = +4 points
  • High Pass = +3 points
  • Pass = +2 points
  • Fail = 0 points

Most grading policies will vary, so be sure to check with your program of interest!

Letter Grade System

You may already be familiar with the letter grading policy. Most four-year universities and colleges grade on a scale of A to F. However, the letter grading policy is one of the least used systems in medical schools. Because the last two years of medical school are the most complex and hands-on, letter-grading is often used to begin ranking students.

Letter grading usually employs the following 4-point scale, where each grade contributes to an overall GPA:

  • A+ = 4.0
  • A = 4.0
  • A- = 3.7
  • B+ = 3.3
  • B = 3.0
  • B- = 2.7
  • C+ = 2.3
  • C = 2.0
  • C- = 1.7
  • D+ = 1.3
  • D = 1.0
  • F = 0.0

Most medical schools rank students in their last two years only.

How medical schools rank their medical students is a question with no easy answer. There are many different factors that can affect a student’s ranking, from their grades to their extracurricular activities. However, one of the most important factors is how well they perform on their medical school exams. Medical schools use a variety of exams to test students’ knowledge, from the preclinical medical school exam to the clinical clerkship exam. Each of these exams carries a different weight, and students who perform well on them will typically see a boost in their ranking. In addition, medical schools often take into account a student’s residency placement when making rankings. Those who are placed in prestigious residency programs are typically given a higher ranking than those who are not.

Ultimately, there is no single factor that determines how medical schools rank medical students. Instead, it is a combination of many different factors that contribute to a student’s final ranking. To encourage teamwork, collaboration, and a focus on learning clinical skills, some schools only release student rankings during the 4th year. These rankings are typically only disclosed by the Dean during residency applications.

However, schools that use a Pass/Fail system without a numeric assignment do not rank students until the last two years of medical school, or not at all.

Grading and student ranking systems vary by school. Here is a complete list!

Standardizing the grading policy allows students across different universities, with different levels of achievement, to be compared. Unlike traditional 4-year universities, however, medical schools do not rank their students on a standardized scale. Some medical schools have a Pass/Fail grading policy, while others have a 4-5 point grading policy. Medical school grading policies become even more complex because some medical schools rank their students while others do not. In the table below, we compare which allopathic (MD) medical schools grade their students and rank their students.

Medical SchoolCity, StateMD/DOGrading PolicyStudent Ranking
University of Alabama School of MedicineBirmingham, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama
Montgomery, Alabama
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
MDPre-clinical: Pass/Fail Clinical:
Honors/ High Pass/ Pass/ Fail
No
University of South Alabama College of Medicine Mobile, Alabama MDPass/Fail with a student ranking numeric systemYes
Mayo Clinic Alix School of MedicineRochester, Minnesota
Scottsdale, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Jacksonville, Florida
MDYear 1-2: Pass/Fail
Year 3-4: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail 
No
University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson Tucson, Arizona MDPass/FailYes
University of Arizona College of Medicine – PhoenixPhoenix, Arizona MDYear 1-2: Pass/Fail
Year 3-4: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail 
No
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine Little Rock, Arkansas 
Fayetteville, Arkansas
MDPass/FailYes
California Northstate University College of MedicineElk Grove, California MDHonors/Pass/FailYes, but ranking is only released in Dean’s letter and residency applications. Otherwise, it is not available. 
California University of Science and MedicineSan Bernardino, California MDHonors/Pass/FailNo
Charles R. Drew, University of Medicine and ScienceWillowbrook, California MDHonors/Pass/Pass/FailNot available
Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of MedicinePasadena, California MDYear 1 and 2 : Pass/Conditional Pass/Fail
Year 3 and 4: Honors/Pass/Fail or Pass/Fail (varies by selectives)
Not available
Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles, California MDYear 1-2: Pass/Fail
Year 3: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail
Year 4: Credit/No Credit
No
Loma Linda University School of Medicine Loma Linda, California MDPass/Fail
Clerkships: Honors/High Pass/Pass Fail
No
Stanford University School of MedicinePalo Alto, California MDPre-clerkship courses and non-required clerkships: Pass/Fail
Required Clerkships: Pass with Distinction can be earned based on Stanford’s Criterion Based Evaluation System (CBES) 
No
University of California, Davis School of MedicineSacramento, California MDPass/FailNo
University of California, Irvine School of Medicine Irvine, California MDYear 1: Pass/Fail
Year 2-4: Honors/Pass/Fail
No
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLALos Angeles, California MDPre-clinical years: Pass/Fail
Clinical years: Honors, High Pass, Pass, and Fail
Not available 
California University of Science and Medicine – School of MedicineColton, CaliforniaMDYear 1-2: Pass/Fail
Year 3-4: Honors/High Pass/ Pass/Fail
No
University of California, Riverside School of Medicine Riverside, California MDPre-clinical years: Pass/Fail
Clinical years: Honors/ High Pass/Pass/Fail
No
University of California, San Diego School of Medicine San Diego, California MDYear 1-2: Pass/Fail
Year 3: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail
Year 4: Honors/Pass/Fail 
No
University of California, San Francisco, School of MedicineSan Francisco, California 
Fresno, California 
MDPass/FailNo
University of Colorado School of MedicineAurora, Colorado MDPhase 1 and 2: Pass/Fail
Phase 3: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail
No
Frank H. Netter M.D. School of Medicine at Quinnipiac UniversityNorth Haven, ConnecticutMDYear 1-2: Pass/Fail
Year 3-4: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail 
No
University of Connecticut School of MedicineFarmington, Connecticut MDPass/FailNo
Yale School of MedicineNew Haven, Connecticut MDPre-clinical years: Pass/Fail
Clinical years: Honors, High Pass, Pass, and Fail
No
George Washington University School of Medicine and Health SciencesWashington, District of ColumbiaMDPre-clinical years: Pass/Fail
Clinical years: Honors, High Pass, Pass, and Fail
No
Georgetown University School of MedicineWashington, District of ColumbiaMDPre-clinical years: Pass/Fail
Clinical years: Honors, High Pass, Pass, and Fail
Not available 
Howard University College of MedicineWashington, District of ColumbiaMDHonors/Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory 
Year 3 clerkships have an additional ranking: HP (High Pass)
Not available 
Florida Atlantic University Charles E. Schmidt College of MedicineBoca Raton, FloridaMDYear 1-2: Pass/Fail
Year 3: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail
Year 4: Pass/Fail
No
Florida International University Hebert Wertheim College of MedicineMiami, FloridaMDYear 1-2: Pass/Fail
Year 3: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail
Year 4: Pass/Fail
Ranking is used to identify the top 10% and report quartiles in the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE).
Florida State University College of MedicineTallahassee, FloridaMDYear 1-2: Pass/Fail
Year 3-4: Honors/Pass/Fail 
No
Nova Southeastern University Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine Davie, FloridaMDPre-clinical years: Pass/Fail
Clinical years: A, B, C, F
Not available 
University of Central Florida College of MedicineOrlando, FloridaMDHybrid system, includes: A/B/C/F, Honors/Pass/Fail and Pass/FailNo, other than what is required for the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (Dean’s Letter) for residency applications 
University of Florida College of MedicineGainesville, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
MDPre-clinical years: Pass/Fail
Clinical years: Numerical grading policy
Students are ranked in third and fourth year clerkships 
University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of MedicineMiami, FloridaMDPre-clinical years: Pass/Fail
Clinical years: Numerical grading policy
Yes
USF Health Morsani College of MedicineTampa, FloridaMDNot availableNot available 
Emory University School of MedicineAtlanta, Georgia MDFirst 18 months: Pass/Fail
The rest of the curriculum: letter-graded
No
Medical College of Georgia at Augusta UniversityAugusta, Georgia
Athens, Georgia
Albany, Georgia
Rome, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia
Brunswick, Georgia
MDFirst 18 months: Pass/Fail
Grading policy thereafter vary by campus 
Not available 
Mercer University School of MedicineMacon, Georgia
Columbus, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia
MDFinal course and program evaluations are reported as Satisfactory/UnsatisfactoryYes, but ranking is only released in MSPE (Dean’s letter). Otherwise, it is not available. 
Morehouse School of MedicineAtlanta, Georgia MDMostly letter grades, except 6 senior electives are Pass/FailNo
University of Hawaii at Manoa John A. Burns School of MedicineHonolulu, HawaiiMDHonors/Pass/FailNo
Carle Illinois College of MedicineChampaign, IllinoisMDPhase 1: Pass/Fail
Phase 2-3: Honors/Pass/Fail 
Not available 
Loyola University of Chicago Stritch School of MedicineMaywood, IllinoisMDPass/FailNot available 
Northwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicago, IllinoisMDPass/pass after remediation in phase 1. 
Honors/High Pass/Pass in clerkships.
No
Chicago Medical School of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and ScienceNorth Chicago, IllinoisMDYear 1-2: Pass/Fail
Year 3: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail
Year 4: Variable
No
Rush Medical CollegeChicago, IllinoisMDYear 1-2: Pass/Fail
Year 3-4: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail 
After M3, students are provided quartile rankings in preparation for MSPE
Southern Illinois University School of MedicineSpringfield, Illinois MDPre-clerkship: Pass/Fail
Clerkship: Honors, Pass, and Fail
No
University of Chicago Pritzker School of MedicineChicago, IllinoisMDPass/FailOnly during third year
University of Illinois College of MedicineChicago, Illinois 
Peoria, Illinois 
Rockford, Illinois
MDPhase 1: Pass/Fail
Phase 2-3: Outstanding/Proficient/Advanced/Proficient
No, other than what is required for the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (Dean’s Letter) for residency applications 
Indiana University School of Medicine Indianapolis, IndianaMDPre-clerkship: Pass/Fail
Clerkship: Honors, Pass, and Fail
No
University of Iowa Roy J. And Lucille A. Carver College of MedicineIowa City, IowaMDPre-clinical years: Pass/Fail
Clinical years: Honors, Near Honors, Pass, and Fail
No
University of Kansas School of MedicineKansas City, Kansas
Wichita, Kansas
Salina, Kansas
MDYear 1-2: Pass/Fail
Year 3: Pass with Distinction/Pass/Fail
Year 4: Not Available
Yes
University of Kentucky College of MedicineLexington, KentuckyMDPass/FailStudent quartile reported on MSPE
University of Louisville School of MedicineLouisville, Kentucky MDHonors/Pass/FailYes
Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New OrleansNew Orleans, LouisianaMDHonors/High Pass/Pass/FailYes, by quartile
Louisiana State University School of Medicine in ShreveportShreveport, LouisianaMDPass/FailNot available
Tulane University School of MedicineNew Orleans, LouisianaMDPass/FailNot available
Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimore, MarylandMDYear 1-2: Pass/Fail
Year 3-4: 4 tier grading policy
Not available 
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences F. Edward Hebert School of MedicineBethesda, MarylandMDHonors/Pass/FailNo
University of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimore, MarylandMDHonors/High Pass/Pass/FailFor the MSPE, third year students are informed of their ranking in the upper, middle, or lower third of the class. 
Boston University School of MedicineBoston, Massachusetts MDYear 1-2: Pass/Fail
Year 3-4: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail
No
Harvard Medical SchoolBoston, Massachusetts MDSatisfactory/ UnsatisfactoryNo
Tufts University School of MedicineBoston, MassachusettsMDYear 1-2: Pass/Fail
Year 3-4: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Low Pass/Fail
No
University of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcester, Massachusetts MDPre-clinical years: Pass/Fail
Clinical years: High Honors, Honors, Pass, and Fail
No
Central Michigan University College of Medicine Mount Pleasant, MichiganMDPass/FailNo
Michigan State University College of Human MedicineEast Lansing, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Flint, Michigan
MDPass/FailNo
University of Michigan Medical SchoolAnn Arbor, MichiganMDPre-clerkship: Satisfactory/fail
Clerkship: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail
No
Oakland University William Beaumont School of MedicineRochester, MichiganMDYear 1-2: Honors/Pass/Pass with Remediation/Fail
Year 3-4: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Pass with Remediation/Fail
Students are ranked in quartiles for Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)
Wayne State University School of MedicineDetroit, MichiganMDPass/Fail with honorsParticipate in AOA
Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of MedicineKalamazoo, Michigan MDYear 1-2: Pass/Fail
Year 3-4: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail 
No
University of Minnesota Medical SchoolMinneapolis, Minnesota
Duluth, Minnesota 
MDYear 1-2: Pass/No Pass
Year 3-4: Honors/Excellent/Satisfactory/No Pass
No
University of Mississippi School of MedicineJacksonville, MississippiMD4 point scaleNo
Saint Louis University School of MedicineSt. Louis, MissouriMDYear 1-2: Pass/Fail
Year 3-4: Honors/Near-Honors/Pass/Fail
No
University of Missouri- Columbia School of MedicineColumbia, MissouriMDYear 1: Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory
Year 2: Honors/ Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory 
Year 3-4: Honors/ Letters of Commendation/ Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory
Graduates are ranked into 1 of 5 groups: Exemplary, Superior, Very Strong, Strong, and Satisfactory 
University of Missouri-Kansas City School of MedicineKansas City, MissouriMDNot AvailableNo
Washington University in St. Louis School of MedicineSt. Louis, MissouriMDPhase 1: Pass/Fail
Phase 2-3: Variable
No
Creighton University School of MedicineOmaha, NebraskaMDHonors/Pass/FailNo
University of Nebraska College of MedicineOmaha, NebraskaMDPass/FailStudents are ranked according to their performance under the Pass/Fail grading policy.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of MedicineLas Vegas, NevadaMDPre-clinical years: Pass/Fail
Clinical years: Honors, High Pass, Pass, and Fail
No
University of Nevada, Reno School of MedicineReno, NevadaMDYear 1-2: Pass/Fail
Year 3-4: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail 
Not available 
Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth Hanover, New HampshireMDPre-clerkship: Pass/Fail
Clerkship: Honors, High Pass, Pass, and Fail
No
Cooper Medical School of Rowan University Camden, New JerseyMDYear 1-2: Pass/ Unsatisfactory
Year 3-4: Pass/ High Pass/ Honors/ Unsatisfactory
No
Hackensack Meridian School of MedicineNutley, New JerseyMDPre-clerkship: Pass/Fail
Clerkship: Honors, High Pass, Pass, and Fail
No
Rutgers New Jersey Medical SchoolNewark, New JerseyMDYear 1-2: Pass/Conditional Pass/Fail
Year 3-4: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail/Incomplete
No
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical SchoolPiscataway, New Jersey
New Brunswick, New Jersey
MDPre-clerkship: Pass/Fail
Clerkship: Honors, High Pass, Pass, and Fail
No
University of New Mexico School of MedicineAlbuquerque, New MexicoMDPhase 1: Credit/No Credit
Phase 2-3: Letter Grade
Students are ranked in Phase 2 only.
Albany Medical CollegeAlbany, New YorkMDExcellent with Honors/Excellent/Good/Marginal/Unsatisfactory Yes, but student ranking is not shared outside of the university. 
Albert Einstein College of MedicineThe Bronx, New YorkMDPre-clinical years: Pass/ Fail
Clinical years: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Low Pass/Fail
No
Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and SurgeonsManhattan, New YorkMDFundamentals: Pass/Fail 
Clinical: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail
Not available 
CUNY School of MedicineNew York, New YorkMDYear 1-3: A, B, C, F
Year 4-5: Pass/Fail
Year 6-7: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail
No
Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/NorthwellHempstead, New YorkMDCore Courses: Pass/Fail
Clinical Clerkship first 100 weeks: Pass/Fail
Clinical Clerkship second100 weeks: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail/Conditional Pass
No
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiManhattan, New YorkMDYear 1-2: Pass/Fail
Year 3-4: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail 
No
New York Medical CollegeValhalla, New YorkMDPre-clerkship courses: Pass/Fail
Required clerkships: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail
Elective clerkships: Credit/No Credit
Students are ranked in quartiles for Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)
New York Grossman University School of MedicineManhattan, New YorkMDPre-clerkship courses and non-required clerkships: Pass/ Fail
Required Clerkships: Honors/ High Pass/Pass/ Fail
No
New York University Long Island School of MedicineMineola, New YorkMDPhase I (Pre-Clerkship): Pass/Fail
Phase II (Clerkship): Honors/ High Pass/Pass/ Fail
Not available
Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook UniversityStony Brook, New YorkMDIn Phase 1, Biomedical Building Blocks, ICM, TiME, and MCS are graded Pass/Fail. The integrated pathophysiology courses in Phase 1 are graded High Pass/Pass/Fail. Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical courses are graded Honors/High Pass/Pass/Low Pass/FailNo
State University of New York Upstate Medical University Syracuse, New YorkMDYear 1-2: Pass/Fail
Year 3-4: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail 
Yes, at the end of third year
State University of New York Downstate Medical Center College of MedicineBrooklyn, New YorkMDPre-clinical: Pass/Fail
Clinical: 5-tier grading policy
Yes
Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at BuffaloBuffalo, New YorkMDYear 1-2: Pass/Fail
Year 3-4: Honors/High Satisfactory/Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory
No
University of Rochester School of Medicine and DentistryRochester, New YorkMDPre-clerkship courses: Pass/ Fail
Required clerkships: Honors, High Pass, Pass, and Fail
Students are ranked in the MSPE into 1 of 4 groups: Outstanding (20%), Excellent (20%), Very Good (55%) and Good (5%) 
Weill Cornell Medical CollegeManhattan, New YorkMDPre-clerkship courses: Pass/ Fail
Clerkships: Honors, High Pass, Pass, and Fail
No
Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina UniversityGreenville, North CarolinaMDLetter grading for all years: A, B, C, FNo
Duke University School of MedicineDurham, North CarolinaMDYear 1: Pass/ Fail
Year 2-4: Honors/Pass/Fail
No
University of North Carolina School of MedicineChapel Hill, North CarolinaMDYear 1-2: Pass/Fail
Year 3-4: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail 
Not available 
Wake Forest School of MedicineWinston-Salem, North CarolinaMDFoundations courses: Pass/ Fail
All other courses: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Low Pass/Fail
Not available 
University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences Grand Forks, North Dakota
Bismarck, North Dakota
Fargo, North Dakota
Minot, North Dakota
MDSatisfactory/ S- (pass with reexamination)/ Unsatisfactory Ranking is used for MSPE
Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State UniversityDayton, OhioMDFoundations phase: Pass/Fail
Core clerkships: Honors/Pass/Fail
Advanced doctoring phase: Pass/Fail  
Not available 
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Cleveland, OhioMDPass/FailNo
Northeast Ohio Medical University College of MedicineRootstown, OhioMD Honors/High Pass/Pass//FailRanking is used for MSPE
The Ohio State University College of MedicineColumbus, OhioMDSatisfactoryUnsatisfactory/Progress
Honors is only used internally (not on transcript)
Students are ranked in quartiles
University of Cincinnati College of MedicineCincinnati, OhioMDYear 1-2: Pass/ Fail
Year 3-4: Honors/ High Pass/ Pass/ Fail 
In third and fourth year, students are ranked in quartiles 
University of Toledo College of MedicineToledo, OhioMDYear 1-2: Pass/ Fail
Year 3-4: Honors/ High Pass/ Pass/ Fail 
Students are ranked for AOA selection
University of Oklahoma College of MedicineOklahoma City, OklahomaMDYear 1-2: Pass/ Fail
Year 3-4: A, B, C, D, F
Students are ranked in quartiles
Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine Portland, OregonMDFoundations: Pass/ No Pass
Clinical Experiences: A, B, C, D, F or Pass/ No Pass
Not available 
Geisinger Commonwealth School of MedicineScranton, Pennsylvania 
Danville, Pennsylvania
Sayre, Pennsylvania
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 
MDYear 1-2: Pass/ Fail
Year 3-4: Honors/ High Pass/ Pass/ Fail 
Ranking is used in third year for MSPE
Drexel University College of MedicinePhiladelphia, PennsylvaniaMDPre-clinical years: Pass/ Fail
Clinical years: Honors/Highly Satisfactory/Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory
No
Pennsylvania State University College of MedicineHershey, PennsylvaniaMDPre-clinical years: Pass/Fail
Clinical years: May be graded
No
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaMDModule 1 and 2: Pass/Fail
Module 3 and 4: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Low Pass/Unsatisfactory 
No
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson UniversityPhiladelphia, PennsylvaniaMDPre-clinical: Pass/Fail
Clinical: Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail
By upper, middle, and lower third 
Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple UniversityPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
MDYear 1-2: Pass/ Fail
Year 3-4: Honors/ High Pass/ Pass/ Fail 
No
University of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburgh, Pennsylvania MDYear 1-2: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory 
Year 3-4: Honors/High Pass/Pass/ Low Pass/ Unsatisfactory 
No
Universidad Central del Caribe School of MedicineBayamón, Puerto RicoMDLetter grading: A, B, C
Some courses are Honors/ Pass/ Fail
No
Ponce School of MedicinePonce, Puerto RicoMDPass/FailNot available 
San Juan Bautista School of MedicineCaguas, Puerto RicoMDNumericNo
University of Puerto Rico School of MedicineSan Juan, Puerto RicoMDSuperior/High Satisfactory/Satisfactory/UnsatisfactoryNot available
Alpert Medical School at Brown UniversityProvidence, Rhode IslandMDPre-clerkship: Satisfactory/ No Credit
Clerkship: Honors/ Satisfactory/ No Credit
Not available 
Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine Charleston, South CarolinaMDPass/ FailNot available
University of South Carolina School of MedicineColumbia, South CarolinaMDNumeric (A, B+, B, C+, C, D, F)Yes
University of South Carolina School of Medicine GreensvilleGreensville, South CarolinaMDYear 1-2: Pass/ Fail
Year 3-4: Letter grading policy
Yes
University of South Dakota, Sanford School of MedicineVermillion, South Dakota
Rapid City, South Dakota
Yankton, South Dakota
MDA, B, C, D, FNo
East Tennessee State University James H. Quillen College of MedicineJohnson City, TennesseeMDMixedYes
Meharry Medical College School of MedicineNashville, TennesseeMDNot availableNot available
University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center College of Medicine Memphis, Tennessee
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennesse
MDA, B, C, D, FYes
Vanderbilt University School of MedicineNashville, TennesseeMDFoundations courses: Pass/ Fail
All other courses: Honors/ High Pass/ Pass/ Fail
Students are ranked in quartiles
Baylor College of MedicineHouston, TexasMDFoundational Science Courses: Pass/ Fail
Clinical Years: Honors/ High Pass/MarginalPass/ Fail
No
Texas A&M Health Science Center College of MedicineCollege Station, Texas
Bryan, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Houston, Texas
Round Rock, Texas
Temple, Texas
MDHonors/ Pass/ FailYes
TCU and UNTHSC School of MedicineFort Worth, TexasMDPhase 1: Pass/ Fail
Phase 2-3: Honors/ High Pass/ Pass/ Fail
Not available 
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Paul L. Foster School of Medicine El Paso, TexasMDYear 1-2: Pass/ Fail
Year 3-4: Honors/ Pass/ fail
No
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of MedicineLubbock, Texas
Amarillo, Texas
Odessa, Texas
MDHonors/ High Pass/ Pass/ FailNo
University of Houston, College of MedicineHouston, TexasMDNot availableNot available
University of Texas Medical Branch School of MedicineGalveston, TexasMDPass/FailNo
McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at HoustonHouston, TexasMDHonors/ High Pass/ Pass/ Below Pass/ FailNo
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine San Antonio, TexasMDHonors/ High Pass/ Pass/ FailInternal rankings for pre-clerkship courses. Quartile rankings for MSPE
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of MedicineEdinburg, TexasMDPass/FailInternal rankings
University of Texas Southwestern Medical School of DallasDallas, TexasMDPre-clerkship: Pass/ Fail
Core clerkship: Honors/ High Pass/ Pass/ Fail
Elective clerkship: Honors/ Pass/ Fail
Quartile rankings
University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical SchoolAustin, TexasMDPass/ FailNot available 
University of Utah School of Medicine Salt Lake City, UtahMDYear 1-2: Pass/ Fail
Year 3-4: Honors/ High Pass/ Pass/ Fail 
No
University of Vermont College of MedicineBurlington, VermontMDPass/ FailNo
Eastern Virginia Medical SchoolNorfolk, Virginia MDYear 1-2: Pass/ Fail
Year 3-4: Honors/ High Pass/ Pass/ Fail
No
University of Virginia School of MedicineCharlottesville, Virginia 
Falls Church, Virginia
MDPre-clerkship: Pass/ Fail
Clerkship: Graded
No
Virginia Commonwealth University School of MedicineRichmond, VirginiaMDFirst 3 semesters and 4th year electives are Pass/ Fail.
Third year clerkships and required fourth year classes are Honors/ High Pass/ Pass/ Fail
Not available
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute Roanoke, ViriginaMDPass/ FailNo
University of Washington School of Medicine Seattle, WashingtonMDPass/ Fail during the first 18 monthsNo
Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine Spokane, WashingtonMDPass/ FailNot available 
Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall UniversityHuntington, West VirginiaMDYear 1-2: Pass/ Fail
Year 3-4: Honors/ Pass/ fail
No
West Virginia University School of Medicine Morgantown, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia 
Martinsburg, West Virginia 
MDHonors (only available to the top 15% of the class)/ Pass/ FailStudents are ranked in quartiles during the third year
Medical College of WisconsinMilwaukee, Wisconsin 
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Wausau, Wisconsin 
MDPass/ FailNo
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public HealthMadison, WisconsinMDSatisfactory/ UnsatisfactoryRanking is used for MSPE

A list of U.S. Allopathic (MD) medical schools that compares ranking and grading systems for their medical students.

More Resources

Further reading

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