Section 5: Grading and Promotion

5.1 Grading

NUNM maintains high standards of scholarship, and recognizes its responsibility to provide each student the best opportunity to complete the program successfully. At the beginning of each course, the instructor is required to define clearly for class members the objectives of the course and the standards and methods by which student achievement will be measured. Students are responsible for checking their grades online in SONIS. Courses that are graded using the P/F grading system are not included in a student’s GPA.

For students enrolled in any program (fall 2015 or later): At the end of each course, each student’s performance is reported to the registrar using the following letter grading system.

A student’s grade-point average will be calculated using the following chart:

Grade Percentage Points
A 90-100 4.0
B 80-89 3.0
C 70-79 2.0
D 60-69 1.0
F 59 or less 0.0
W/WF N/A Not calculated
  • A (SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE): passing
  • B (SATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE): passing
  • C (MARGINAL PERFORMANCE): passing
  • D (UNSATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE): not passing for graduate-level courses, passing for undergraduate
  • F (FAILURE): not passing, permanent grade
  • P (PASS): satisfactory performance
  • W (WITHDRAWAL): student withdrew from course
  • WF (WITHDRAWAL, FAILING): student withdrew from course while failing
  • I (INCOMPLETE): course requirements not yet completed, due only to serious illness or bereavement (temporary grade)
  • T (TRANSFER): course received approved transfer credit. Transfer credit does not apply toward overall GPA calculation
  • AU (AUDIT)
  • IP (IN PROGRESS)
  • R (REMEDIATION REQUIRED): marginal performance (temporary grade) – graduate level only
  • RC (REMEDIATED C): pass remediation exam – graduate level only
  • RP (REMEDIATED PASS): grade given for a passed medical clinic rotation, but with required skills remediation – graduate level only

For students enrolled in the ND or CCM programs prior to fall 2015: At the end of each course, each student’s performance is reported to the registrar using the following pass/fail grading system:

  • H (HONORS): superior performance; equivalent to “A,” not available for all courses
  • P (PASS): satisfactory performance; equivalent to “B” or “C”
  • FR (FAIL REMEDIATE): marginal performance (temporary grade)
  • RP (REMEDIATED PASS): Equivalent to “C-”
  • F (FAILURE): unsatisfactory performance (permanent grade); equivalent to “F”
  • I (INCOMPLETE): course requirements not yet completed, due only to serious illness or bereavement (temporary grade)
  • W (WITHDRAWAL): student withdrew from course
  • WF (WITHDRAWAL, FAILING): student withdrew from course while failing
  • AU (AUDIT)
  • CMP (COMPLETE): used for courses that are not graded, but attendance is required and a specified number of hours need to be completed, such as preceptor hours
  • T (TRANSFER): course received approved transfer credit. Transfer credit does not apply toward overall GPA calculation
  • NC (NOT COMPLETED): hour requirement or attendance not met
  • IP (IN PROGRESS)

5.2 Grade of “R/FR” — Graduate Level

“R” (remediation required) or “FR” (fail remediate) is a temporary grade. Students who fail a course may receive an R/FR grade rather than an “F” (fail) if they meet the criteria listed in Section 5.1 above.

“R” grades are converted to either an “RC” (remediated C) if the remediation exam is passed or a D/F if the remediation exam is failed. “FR” grades are converted to either an “RP” (remediated pass) or “F”—not to a “P” or an “H.” Grades of R/FR are not eligible for grade appeals.

Students who receive two or more R/FR grades (regardless of whether they have been changed to RC/RP) will be placed on academic probation and must sign an academic contract. Students earning three or more R/FR grades (regardless of whether they have been changed to RC/RP) will be required to appear before the Academic Review and Appeals Committee (ARAC), and may be suspended.

An R/FR grade that has not been remediated by the end of the second week of the following term (for a spring term course by the end of the third week of summer term) will automatically be converted to an “F.”

5.3 Remediation — Graduate Level Only

Students who receive an “R/FR” are eligible to sit for remediation exams and/or projects. All remediation exams and/or projects must be completed and grade changes submitted to the Registrar’s Office by the end of week two (2) of the following term (spring term grades have until week three of summer term). For students who receive an “R/FR” grade in spring quarter and have already made verifiable travel plans that interfere with this remediation schedule, they may, with the approval of the programmatic dean, be allowed to complete the remediation by the last week of the summer term.

ND Program

ND students who earn a 67-69% (“D” range or “R/FR” grade) in lecture courses are eligible to remediate a final exam. Labs and tutorial courses may offer remediation exams at instructor discretion, based on the course material and the feasibility of offering a remediation exam. An “R” grade will be recorded on their transcript until a remediation exam has been taken and a permanent grade is entered into SONIS. In order to have the “R” grade as an option, faculty must include it in their syllabus.

CCM Programs

CCM students who earn a 60-69% (“D” range) for their final grade may be eligible to remediate a final exam if, in the judgment of the instructor, it is likely that the student could pass the course by successfully taking a remediation exam. If a remediation exam is available, an “R” grade will be recorded on their transcript until a remediation exam has been taken and a permanent grade is entered into SONIS. In order to have the “R” grade as an option, faculty must include it in their syllabus.

SGS Programs

SGS students who earn a 67-69% (“D” range) for their final grade may be eligible to remediate a final exam if, in the judgment of the instructor, it is likely that the student could pass the course by successfully taking a remediation exam. If a remediation exam is available, an “R” grade will be recorded on their transcript until a remediation exam has been taken and a permanent grade is entered into SONIS. In order to have the “R” grade as an option, faculty must include it in their syllabus.

A group remediation date is scheduled for the Friday of week one in fall, winter and spring terms, and the Friday of week two in summer term. Please adhere to the following procedures:

  1. Download the exam form from the faculty support Moodle page or pick up a hard copy from the Academic Support Office.
  2. Pay the exam fee in the Business Office and ask the Business Office staff to mark paid on the exam form.
  3. Return the completed exam form to the Academic Support Office either before or during the group remediation period.
  4. Take the exam at the scheduled group remediation period and submit a grade-change form with the completed exam. All exams must be completed during the scheduled group remediation period unless the student has an excused absence from the Center for Academic Success.
  5. Students with approved academic accommodations may take their remediation exams with the Testing Center.

5.4 Clinical Remediation

Students who require extra support in meeting minimal levels of clinical competency are counseled and referred for additional instruction by their clinical supervisors or the program dean.

ND Clinical Skills Enhancement Tutorial

Clinical skills enhancement courses are generally scheduled over a six-week period of time; students may be referred to this course at any point during the term. The clinical skills enhancement instructor carefully assesses each student’s abilities and works with them directly throughout the duration of the course. At the end of the course, the instructor reassesses the student’s abilities and determines if the student should continue with the course. A faculty member may require or recommend a clinical skills enhancement course, even if a student receives a passing grade, if the faculty member feels the student needs additional help to remain on track in their clinical education.

When a ND student receives two or more grades of “Pass with Clinical Skills Enhancement Recommended” during their academic career, the clinical skills enhancement course becomes a requirement and the student will be registered for it the next term.

ND Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) Tutorial

An ND student who fails an OSCE exam twice will be referred to an OSCE Skills Tutorial for three sessions, and a failing grade will be recorded on their transcript. Upon successful completion of the OSCE Tutorial, the student must then register to retake the OSCE exam.

Any student who fails an OSCE exam three times is referred to the Academic Review and Appeals Committee (ARAC). Students who fail the OSCE exam three times may be suspended.

CCM Clinical Skills Remediation

Clinical evaluations of CCM student performance are done during week six (6) of the term to provide feedback and identify areas of weakness, including those that must be remediated before the end of term in order for the student to pass the clinic rotation. The clinical supervisor, in collaboration with the CCM associate dean of clinical education and the CCM dean, can assign remediation work, which can include attendance at weekly clinical skills tutorial labs run by a CCM resident.

CCM Clinic Entrance Examination

All CCM students take a practical point location examination at the beginning of the winter quarter prior to starting their internship year. Students failing this examination are given the opportunity to remediate this exam later in the same term. If the student fails the remediation exam, they must enroll in the Advanced Point Location course in the spring quarter.

CCM students also take a written clinic entrance examination during the first half of the spring term prior to becoming an intern. The written examination covers the foundational course material needed to assume responsibility for direct patient care. Students who fail this examination are given the opportunity to remediate the exam later in the same term. A remediation fee is applied. Should a student fail the written examination for a second time, their entrance into the clinic is delayed for a term, during which the student will have time to address weak areas. Another written exam will be given toward the end of this term.

5.5 Grade of “RC/RP” — Graduate Level

Students who pass a remediation exam will earn a permanent grade of “RC (remediated “C”) /RP (remediated pass).” See Section 5.4, for Clinical Remediation and/or 7.4 in the Student Clinic Section II.

Clinical Rotations and “RP” Grades

ND: A permanent grade of “RP” will be given when an ND student passes a clinical rotation, but is required to attend a clinical skills enhancement course to attain an adequate level of clinical proficiency. An “RP” grade will also be given if a student receives a passing grade on a clinic rotation but was recommended for remediation more than once.

CCM: Grades of “RP” are given when a supervisor believes a clinical weakness exists and has not been adequately improved upon by the end of the rotation. The CCM student will be required to remediate with either the associate dean of clinical education or the supervisor in order to attain an adequate level of clinical proficiency.

5.6 Grade of “D/F” — Graduate Level

For graduate–level students, a letter grade of “D” or “F” is reconsidered a failing grade. A failing grade in a required course (including clinical rotations), requires the student to repeat the course/clinic rotation the next time it is offered, usually the next year. If it is an elective course that is failed, the student is not required to retake it—however, the student is strongly encouraged to do so as they will remain on probation and/or can trigger an ARAC meeting if further courses are failed. The student is prohibited from continuing in any courses for which the failed course is a prerequisite.

The student will repeat the course at the current per-credit rate. Any naturopathic student failing a clinical rotation will be required to register for and attend skills-building.

5.7 Grade of “F” — Undergraduate Level

When an undergraduate-level student receives a failing grade, the course/rotation must be repeated the next time it is offered, usually the next year. The student is prohibited from continuing in any courses for which the failed course is a prerequisite. The student will repeat the course at the current per-credit rate.

5.8 Grade of “I”

When a student cannot complete a course in the term in which it begins, an incomplete (“I”) grade may be considered. The granting of an “I” grade is at the discretion of the faculty member and used in exceptional circumstances; and may be based upon approved excused absences provided by the Center for Academic Success. Faculty may consider the grade of “I” petition when the following criteria have been met:

  • The student has satisfactorily completed a minimum of 80% of the course requirements; and
  • The student is passing the course; and
  • The student is unable to complete the course during the term the course is offered.

While these criteria must be met, their fulfillment does not entitle students to an incomplete grade. The instructor of a course has the final decision regarding appropriate awarding of an “I” grade.

To request an incomplete grade, the student is responsible for submitting to the Registrar’s Office an approved “Grade of Incomplete Petition” form, which can be obtained from the Registrar’s Office or the Center for Academic Success. To complete the form, a student must:

  • Meet with the faculty member to complete the form and discuss the remaining course assignments to be submitted to change the grade of “I”; and
  • Use the supplemental worksheet attached to the “Grade of Incomplete Petition” form to create a timeline for completion of course requirements; and
  • Return the completed petition form to the Registrar’s Office.

When the student completes the work required to change the “I” grade, the faculty member will submit the “Grade Change” form to the Registrar’s Office. A grade of incomplete should be completed within the first two (2) weeks of the next term, with an extension of no more than two (2) quarters. Failure to complete the required course work by the timeline on the contract will result in a failing grade.

If a grade of “I” extends beyond two (2) quarters due to ongoing circumstances, the student may be required to take a leave of absence and will be allowed to complete the course material upon return from leave. Students who apply for a leave of absence and have not completed 80% of the coursework will receive a grade of “W” for the class, and will need to repeat it upon return from leave. A withdrawal will affect the student’s ability to continue in certain course sequences in subsequent quarters. Multiple “I” grades in one quarter may result in the inability to petition for incomplete grades the subsequent quarter.

A student requesting a grade of “I” in a course that is a prerequisite for a subsequent course may not enroll in the subsequent course until the grade of “I” is resolved or complete a petition to deviate, with faculty and dean approval. The program dean can deny registration for a student’s final professional field experience (e.g., fieldwork, internship, capstone, etc.) if an “I” grade has not been resolved.

Incomplete grades are not included when calculating GPA or total credits completed; however, “I” grades may affect a student’s satisfactory academic progress. Students requesting “I” grades should meet with the Financial Aid Office to examine the effects on their financial aid award.

An incomplete will not be awarded when a student is failing a course for the purpose of giving additional time to complete late assignments. Any student who is failing a course after week eight (8) is not eligible to request an “I.”

Grade of “I” – Graduate-Level Clinical Rotations

A grade of “I” will be given to students who are passing a clinical rotation but have missed up to 2 shifts (8 hours) during an 11- or 12-week term. Students must make up any missed shifts by the end of the following term in order to convert an “I” grade to a “P.” If missed shifts are not made up by the deadline, an “I” grade will convert to an “F.” See Sections 6 and 7 of the Clinic section of the student handbook for more detail.

5.9 Grade of “CMP”

This grade (complete) is used for courses that the student is required to attend, but no evaluation is given. Examples of such courses include, but may not be limited to, ComEx, community education or new student orientation, for which the student is required to complete a certain number of hours.

5.10 Grade of “IP”

This grade designates a course is in progress; temporary grade. Once the faculty member submits the grades, the “IP” grade will be changed to the appropriate rating.

5.11 Grade of “W”

“W” (withdrawal) is a grade used to indicate that a student has withdrawn from a course. A “W” is recorded on a student’s transcript but not included in GPA calculation. A “W” grade is, however, considered part of the courses attempted calculation as per the satisfactory academic progress policy.

5.12 Grade Appeals

Students have the right to appeal a failing grade if they perceive that there has been an error in the grading procedure, or if there is a perceived lack of clarity about the faculty member’s expectation for passing a course. The appeal must be made within two weeks of receipt of the grade. Grades of “B” or better cannot be appealed to receive a higher grade or a grade of “honors.”

A student may request a review of a grade given in an exam or a final grade for a course only in the following manner:

  • A written request by the student, for a review of the grade, must be submitted to the faculty member. This appeal must be within two weeks of the posted grade.
  • The faculty member will advise the student in writing of the decision within seven days of receipt of the request.

The student may appeal the faculty member’s decision in writing via a “Grade Appeal” form. The completed appeal form will be submitted to the registrar. This appeal must be made within seven days of the faculty member’s written notice to the student regarding the decision. The written appeal to the registrar must be accompanied by appropriate written documentation as to why the student feels the grade is in error, and what the outcome was of the discussion and appeal with the faculty member. The registrar will forward the appeal to the Academic Appeal and Review Committee (ARAC). The ARAC will review the documentation, including a discussion with the faculty member, and issue a recommendation to the program dean. The recommendations from the ARAC may include upholding the grade as submitted or requiring the student to remediate an exam. The ARAC may not recommend a passing grade to be substituted in place of a failing grade. The program dean will review the recommendations and will make a final decision. The student and faculty member will be notified in writing of the final decision. The decision is final and may not be appealed to higher authority.

ND OSCE Exam Appeals

ND students who have a non-passing first OSCE exam result may not appeal, since a failing grade is not given until the second exam attempt is unsuccessful.

A failed OSCE exam grade appeal must be submitted to the associate dean of clinical education within two (2) weeks of the posted grade, and will be referred to the Program and Student Assessment Committee for review. The committee will notify the student in writing of the decision within 14 days of receipt of the request.