Washington University School of Medicine Policy for Student Promotion and Appeals

—This policy applies to Gateway Curriculum students.—


In collaboration with the Office of Medical Student Education, the Office of Student Affairs, and the Office of the Registrar and charged by the Academic Affairs Committee, the Committee for Academic Promotion (CAP) reviews the recommendations of the Competency Attainment Committee (CAC) and the Clerkship Competency Committees (CCCs) and renders final decisions regarding student advancement and graduation. This policy is in line with LCME element 9.9: Student Advancement and Appeals Process.  


Students for whom this policy applies include students enrolled in any phase of the Gateway Curriculum and students enrolled in dual and joint degree programs currently participating in the Gateway Curriculum.

The CAP is charged with the ratification of all competency decisions and promotion recommendations, which include the following: 

  1. Not competent/competent/competent with distinction (where applicable) 
  2. Promotion, with or without ongoing remediation  
  3. Remediation without promotion  
  4. Dismissal or other sanctions, including but not limited to probation or suspension, which may occur throughout the enrollment of a student  
  5. Recommendation to Executive Faculty those students who have successfully completed all prescribed requirements of the school and are qualified to receive the Doctor of Medicine degree 

Students will be notified of competency decisions and promotion recommendations 10 days prior to the CAP meeting in which those recommendations will be discussed. Students may present themselves at the CAP, in person or in writing, to be heard on any of the following:  

  • Decisions of competency without distinction   
  • Recommendation for an adverse outcome (remediation without promotion, sanctions, or dismissal)

In the case of decisions of competency without distinction, student presentation before the CAP constitutes a formal appeal of that decision. In the case of recommendations for adverse outcomes, any student presentation prior to CAP ratification is not considered a formal appeal. Further details for student presentation and appeal procedures can be found in the Formal Appeal Procedures for Competency Attainment and Promotion Decisions.

Following the review and consideration of the CCC's evidence and the student’s information, when provided, the CAP will take one of the following actions: 

  • Ratify and uphold the competency decision and promotion recommendation 
  • Remand back to the CCC for further review 
  • Overturn the decision of the CCC if the CAP perceives an inability for the original committee to make an unbiased recommendation

Students may formally appeal decisions of the CAP that impact their ability to progress through the standard curriculum (remediation without promotion, suspension, or dismissal). Appeals must be filed within seven days.  

The scope of all appeals shall be limited to (i) bias and/or failure to follow the standard processes used for reviewing evidence and competency determination that materially affected the outcome; and/or (ii) new information or evidence exists that was not reasonably available at the time of the decision and that could affect the outcome of the decision.  

Decisions that would result in delays in education or individualized or modified schedules will be communicated to the Associate Dean for Medical Student Education to ensure feasibility for re-entry and timing for successful completion of the degree requirements. Decisions regarding dismissal will be reported to the Senior Associate Dean of Education. Decisions of remediation without progression, dismissal, probation, or suspension will also be communicated to Financial Aid to support necessary alterations in aid. All decisions will be recorded by the Registrar, including decisions as to whether information will be included within the formal academic record. 

The responsibility for maintaining and overseeing this policy lies with the Committee on the Oversight of Medical Student Education. 

Last approved on May 12, 2022

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