There are many medical schools that are pass fail in the United States. In this article, I have made a list of some of these pass/fail medical schools.
Often times, students ask questions like, “If I go to a pass/fail medical school, will that help or hurt me”?
I will not answer this question in a haste… But the answer will be provided within this article. So read carefully.
Medical school implementation of a pass/fail grading system has offered students with the ability to undergo a stress-free learning process.
Pass/fail has seemingly led to decrement in stress and anxiety and has also created a less competitive academic environment for students. This alone had led to an improvement in overall well-being of medical students.
Are MD Schools Pass fail?
Not all medical schools are pass fail, but majority of them uses the pass/fail grading system.
How it came about?
Let’s briefly look at how the pass/fail grading system came about. Well, the pass-fail grading system didn’t just start on its own. It was originated somewhere.
The pass/fail grading system was first introduced in the Mayo Medical School, Rochester, with the class of 2006. The grading system for first-year courses was changed from a 5-interval grading system to a pass-fail grading system.
But in 2012, the American Medical Association (AMA) approved the policy that was entitled “Supporting Two-Interval Grading Systems for Medical Education,” which are; the 5-interval grading system and the pass-fail grading system.
Since then medical schools started acknowledging the benefits of a pass-fail system for the non-clinical curriculum.
How many medical Schools in U.S are Pass/fail?
Although this number cannot be accurately mentioned, there are over 79 Medical schools that use the pass/failed grading system for pre-clinical years.
Majority of these medical schools that use this grading system are the AAMC and MD medical schools.
For students that are applying to any AAMC or MD medical school, the majority of such medical schools are using the pass/fail grading system.
Check also: medical schools that accept transfer
List Medical Schools that are Pass/fail 2023
Which medical schools in the US are pass fail? The pass/fail grading system is widely adopted in medical schools in the United States. Below is a list of medical schools that are pass-fail;
- UCLA medical school
- Harvard Medical School
- Stanford Medical School
- Baylor Medical School
- UCSF Medical School
- Vanderbilt medical school
- Emory medical school
- UPenn medical school
- Tufts medical school
- Northwestern Medical School
- Boston University Medical School
- Central Michigan University Medical School
- Dartmouth (Geisel) Medical School
- Drexel University Medical School
- Florida Atlantic University University Medical School
- George Washington University University Medical School
- Hofstra University Medical School
- Johns Hopkins University University Medical School
- Michigan State University Medical School
- New York Medical College
- Oakland University Medical School
- Pitt University Medical School
- Rosalind Franklin University Medical School
- Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
- Louis University Medical School
- The Commonwealth Medical College
- Tulane University Medical School
- UCSD Medical School
- University of Virginia Medical School
- University of Wisconsin Medical School
- USC – Keck Medical School
- VCU Medical School
- Wake Forest University Medical School
- Wayne State University Medical School
- Western Michigan University Medical School
- Yale University Medical School
1. UCLA medical school:
The University of California, Los Angele’s medical school uses a Pass/Fail grading system for students in their first and second years.
That implies that students are not ranked during their first and second years, rather, they’re graded based on a pass or fail basis.
2. Harvard Medical School:
The Harvard Medical School (HMS) is pass/fail medical school. HMS does not use any internal grading or ranking scales.
Residency programs at HMS only tell whether a student passed or failed a course, after which, they are given some letters of recommendation from their faculty.
3. Stanford Medical School:
Students at Stanford medical school at their pre-clerkship years (Year one and two) are graded on a pass or fail basis using the pass/fail grading system.
4. Baylor Medical School:
The Baylor Medical School is pass/fail medical school. Baylor Medical School does not use any internal grading or ranking scales for the first and second years.
5. UCSF Medical School
The UCSF Medical School has a pass/fail/honors grading system for most of its clinical courses. UCSF clinical courses that are grading on a pass/fail basis-only are usually indicated.
6. Vanderbilt Medical School
At Vanderbilt medical school, the first year’s grading is done on a pass/fail-only basis, then in the second year, students are grading using a past/fail–honors system.
In the third and fourth years at the Vanderbilt medical school, students are graded using the fail, pass, high pass, and honors.
7. Emory Medical School
The Emory medical school uses a grading system that is purely Pass/Fail for the Foundations of Medicine phase of the curriculum.
After completing the formal Foundations of Medicine phase of the curriculum, students are given two months of study time for Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Exam.
8. UPenn Medical School
At Upenn, only the Pass/Fail grading system is used during Module 1 and Module 2, after then, the Curriculum then uses an Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail system of evaluation.
9. Tufts Medical School
The Tufts University medical school uses a Pass/Fail grading system for students in their first and second years. As such, students are not ranked during their first and second years.
10. Northwestern Medical School
The Northwestern University medical school uses a Pass/Fail grading system. Northwestern medical students are not ranked during their first and second years, rather, their grading is done on a pass or fail basis.
How do Medical Schools use Pass-fail Grading?
When the pass/fail grading was first introduced, the performances of students in the previous class, who were graded using the 5-interval grading system during their first year at the medical school, were compared with students using the pass-fail grading system.
These two groups of students were compared at the end of their first and second years in the medical school and their performances were almost the same.
Now, how do medical schools use the pass/fail system to grade students?
Medical schools use the Pass-fail grading system to quantify a student’s achievement based on the student’s established learning objectives, with an institution-defined threshold for a passing grade.
How Common is Pass/Fail Grading in Medical Schools?
The pass-fail grading system in medical schools is becoming very common for students in the preclinical years of medical education.
After the preclinical years, the grading system will change. Other grading system will then be applied. Such grading systems include;
- Honors/high pass/pass/fail, used in 10 programs.
- Honors/pass/fail, which was used in 24 programs.
- Letter grades, used in 19 programs.
- Numerical grades, used in five programs.
Check out: Medical schools that offer full scholarships
Benefits of Attending a Pass/Fail Medical School
Pass-fail grading system during the first two years of medical training has proven to be a significant positive way of grading students because it has a positive impact medical student well-being.
Why you Should Choose a Pass/Fail Medical School? Here are five (5) reasons why choosing a pass fail medical school is recommendable:
- The pass/fail grading system reduces stress and anxiety in students.
- It creates a less-competitive atmosphere among students which leads to less stress
- A less competitive and stress-free academic atmosphere leads to an increase in overall well-being of students.
- The pass/fail grading system has helped in improving students’ mental health
- It promotes supportive learning since there lesser competition
- It encourages the sense of teamwork and collaboration among students.
Note: There are many other medical schools that are pass fail in the United States which are not are not included in this listing, so feel free to check them out their admission portal.