Medical Schools that are Pass Fail 2023

To start with, there are many medical schools that are pass fail in the United States. In this article, I have made a list of some of the pass/fail medical schools that you’ll ever love to attend.

Why is this information necessary?

Often times, students ask questions like, “If I go to a pass/fail medical school, will that help or hurt me”?

Well, it’s a great question to ask! and I will answer this question and provide more insightful information that will help you make an informed decision, but not in a haste..

The answer to the above question will be provided within this article. So read carefully.

The interesting fact?

Well, medical schools implementation of a pass/fail grading system have given students the ability and privilege to undergo a stress-free learning.

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.

Opportunities for you:

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.

This 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.

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List of Medical Schools that are Pass/fail

List of medical schools that are Pass/fail with a picture of their students

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;

  1. UCLA medical school
  2. Harvard Medical School
  3. Stanford Medical School
  4. Baylor Medical School
  5. UCSF Medical School
  6. Vanderbilt medical school
  7. Emory medical school
  8. UPenn medical school
  9. Tufts medical school
  10. Northwestern Medical School
  11. Boston University Medical School
  12. Central Michigan University Medical School
  13. Dartmouth (Geisel) Medical School
  14. Drexel University Medical School
  15. Florida Atlantic University University Medical School
  16. George Washington University University Medical School
  17. Hofstra University Medical School
  18. Johns Hopkins University University Medical School
  19. Michigan State University Medical School
  20. New York Medical College
  21. Oakland University Medical School
  22. Pitt University Medical School
  23. Rosalind Franklin University Medical School
  24. Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
  25. Louis University Medical School
  26. The Commonwealth Medical College
  27. Tulane University Medical School
  28. UCSD Medical School
  29. University of Virginia Medical School
  30. University of Wisconsin Medical School
  31. USC – Keck Medical School
  32. VCU Medical School
  33. Wake Forest University Medical School
  34. Wayne State University Medical School
  35. Western Michigan University Medical School
  36. Yale University Medical School

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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?

Very Common!

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:

  1. The pass/fail grading system reduces stress and anxiety in students.
  2. It creates a less-competitive atmosphere among students which leads to less stress
  3. A less competitive and stress-free academic atmosphere leads to an increase in overall well-being of students.
  4. The pass/fail grading system has helped in improving students’ mental health
  5. It promotes supportive learning since there lesser competition
  6. 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.

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