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Calculating & Recognizing Student Achievement

The School of Medicine grade point averages (GPAs) are computed for three purposes: 

  1. Nomination of students for election to Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society
    1. Please see Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society for additional information on their organization.
    2. Junior AOA nomination GPAs are calculated at the end of year two.
    3. Senior AOA nomination GPAs are calculated at the end of year three.
  2. Categorization of students when writing the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) for residency
    1. We are required to rank students during this process and list them as falling within the top 10%, upper third, middle third or lower third of the class.
    2. GPAs for this purpose are calculated at the end of year three.
  3. Determination of commencement honors (summa, magna and cum laude)
    1. GPAs are reviewed by the Medical Education Advisory Committee and the Advancement Committee for determination of commencement honors before being sent to the School of Medicine Medical Executive Committee for final approval
    2. GPAs for this purpose are calculated at the end of year three
    3. Up to the top 2% of the class may graduate summa cum laude
    4. The remainder of the top 10% of the class graduates magna cum laude
    5. The top 11 - 20% of the class graduates cum laude

Incomplete notations have no effect on GPA calculation. All grades are weighted by the length of course (i.e., by their credit value), so for example, a 6 week course or clerkship factors more than a 4 week course or clerkship. Furthermore, the third year is weighted somewhat higher than the first two years in the final calculation given the high value that the University of Maryland School of Medicine places on clinical performance. The weighting formula is GPA = [(Year 1&2 x 0.87) + (Year 3 x 1.13)]/2. Grades from courses taken to fulfill senior year graduation requirements are not counted numerically in the GPA calculation. Pass or Fail grades will appear on the final transcript but have no bearing on GPA. If an off-campus elective site submits a grade on their own evaluation form instead of the University of Maryland’s, the grade on the official transcript will be noted as Pass or Fail, as we are unable to translate the other sites grading system to ours. The reported grade and the name of the site will be included in the MSPE. GPAs are not made public or reported to residency programs.

Transfer students with an exemplary performance may be considered for induction into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society in the senior year and/or awarding of Commencement Honors. However – because of the inherent difficulty in comparing the content, rigor, and grading of coursework taken at other institutions with that taken at our institution – transfer students will be at a disadvantage in the deliberations. Every effort will be made to accurately judge the relative academic merits of transfer students in this process.

Last Revision: July 20, 2020