Policy on Grading for the Dissertation in the MD/PhD and PhD Programs

Students earn a final grade on the dissertation following the oral defense. A student’s grade on the dissertation will be based on the quality of the written document and oral presentation, as well as the student’s ability to answer questions regarding the dissertation during the oral defense.

Final Grade

The final grade for the dissertation is Pass or Fail. The final grade will be reported to the student, the Zucker School of Medicine, and the student’s advisory committee.

Any student who earns a final grade of Fail for the dissertation will be considered for immediate dismissal by the MD/PhD and PhD Program Director (“Program Director”).

If a student earns a final grade of Fail, and the student is not dismissed, the student must remediate to be eligible for advancement or graduation. The dissertation committee will develop a remediation plan and timeline in consultation with the student. This written plan must identify specific deficiencies that must be addressed for the student to complete the PhD degree and must be submitted to the Program Director for approval.

Reassessment

If a student earns a temporary designation of Conditional Pass, the student must reassess by repeating or rectifying any unsatisfactory dissertation work, as defined by the dissertation committee, to earn a final grade and to be eligible for advancement or graduation. The dissertation committee will develop a plan and timeline for reassessment in consultation with the student. Typically reassessment must be completed within three months of the oral defense.

If reassessment is successful, a student will earn a final grade of Pass for the dissertation. If a reassessment does not take place within the time specified by the dissertation committee, or if reassessment is unsuccessful, the student will earn a final grade of Fail. Any student who earns a final grade of Fail for the dissertation will be considered for immediate dismissal by the Program Director.

Appeal

A student has the right to appeal the final grade.

Publication

All students must submit the final version of the written dissertation, with the mentor’s signature on the title page, to ProQuest for publication. Any student who does not submit their written dissertation to ProQuest will not be eligible to earn their diploma.

References to Regulations and/or Related Policies:
Policy on Grade Appeals in the MD/PhD and PhD Programs