MD: Washington University School of Medicine Policy for Student Promotion and Appeals


In collaboration with the Office of Medical Student Education, the Office of Student Affairs, and 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 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.

Progress toward and attainment of competence in the WUSM MD Program Objectives is evaluated by the CAC as outlined in their policies. The CAP is charged with the ratification of the promotion recommendations made by the CAC:

  • Promotion, with or without ongoing remediation, to the next phase of training
  • Remediation without promotion
  • Dismissal or other sanctions, including but not limited to probation or suspension, which may occur throughout the enrollment of a student
  • 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

When the CAC has recommended an adverse outcome (remediation without promotion, suspension, or dismissal) and CAP ratification has not yet occurred, the student will be notified and may present themselves, in person or in writing, to the CAP to state their case. Following the review and consideration of the CAC evidence and the student’s information, the CAP will either ratify the CAC recommendation or remand the student's case back to the CAC for further evaluation and recommendation.

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 student re-entry and successful completion. Decisions regarding dismissal will be reported to the Senior Associate Dean of Education. Decisions involving remediation without progression, dismissal, probation, or suspension will also be communicated to Financial Aid to support necessary alterations in aid.

Situations may exist in which a CAP member has a conflict of interest such that the CAP member is unable to perform their duties by rendering a decision about a particular student objectively. In such a case, the CAP member must recuse themselves from participation in deliberations and decisions regarding that student.

Students may formally appeal decisions of the CAP that impose remediation without promotion, suspension, or dismissal to an Appeals Panel as described in the CAP appeals policy. The scope of review of the appeal shall be limited to determining whether (1) the standard processes of evidence review and competency determination by the CAC or CAP were not followed and materially affected the outcome; or (ii) new information or evidence existed that was not reasonably available at the time of the decision and that could affect the outcome of their decision. Students wishing to appeal any of the decisions listed above must file a written appeal to the Registrar with a copy to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, the Assistant Dean of Student Assessment, and the Chair of the CAP Committee. The written request for review must provide a detailed description of the basis for the appeal and pertinent documentation. Appeals decisions will be communicated in writing to the student, the CAC, the CAP Chair, the Assistant Dean for Student Assessment, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, and the Registrar.

The Washington University School of Medicine Policy for Student Promotion and Appeals was last approved by the Academic Affairs Committee on Nov. 11, 2021. All substantive edits to this policy require approval by the Academic Affairs Committee.