Student Academic Policies

The following academic policies apply to all students who matriculate during the academic year of this catalog publication. These policies will apply throughout the entire time a student is enrolled in the college. In the event that these policies need to be revised as the result of new accreditation requirements, mandates by the United States Department of Education, or other unforeseen circumstances, students will be notified in writing prior to the effective date of the new policy.

Faculty and students should also refer to the University Academic Policy section for additional policies that apply to all students at Midwestern University.

Preclinical and Clinical Promotions Committee Two faculty committees of CDMA will review the academic performance of students: the Preclinical

Student Promotion Committee for the first two years and the Clinical Student Promotion Committee for the third and fourth years.

Both promotion committees meet at the end of each academic quarter to assess the academic status of students with a F, a WF, an I or an IP grade and assess the progress of each student. Students who attain satisfactory academic and professional progress are promoted to the next academic quarter, provided all tuition and fees have been paid.

Students with one or more course failure or WF are given the opportunity to meet with the appropriate Student Promotion Committee. Notification of the date, time, and place of the committee meeting is sent to the student at least 48 hours in advance by priority email and/or telephone. Students are invited to the meeting to give a statement, to teleconference into the meeting by telephone, or provide a statement by e-mail or in writing, should they so desire. Decisions of the committee are forwarded to the Dean and emailed to the student. The right of appeal exists and is described in the Appeals Process section. Appeals must be filed with the Dean within three working days following official notification of the committee decision.

Students who have successfully completed their clinical education, passed all of the competency evaluations, and paid all tuition and fees will be recommended for graduation to the Faculty Senate.

Academic Failure

Students who accumulate three failures over a single academic year, or two failures in a single quarter, may be recommended for dismissal or an academic leave of absence. Students returning from an academic leave of absence are required to retake failed courses. The grade for a course repeated at an outside institution or at Midwestern University and passed is recorded as a grade of "C". The previous "F" course grade remains on the official transcript but does not calculate into the overall Grade Point Average.

Students may be dismissed from the academic program for the following reasons:

  1. Accumulate 4 or more failures within the four-year curriculum
  2. Accumulate 3 or more failures in a single academic year
  3. Accumulate 2 or more failures in a single academic quarter
  4. Fail the repeat of a course previously failed

Any failures must be repeated within one year, unless an extension is granted by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Dean.

Please Note: Students will be assessed tuition and related fees for any additional years.

Readmission After Dismissal for Poor Academic Performance

It is at the discretion of the CDMA academic program to readmit a student who has been dismissed for poor academic performance. To initiate the reapplication process, candidates must complete and submit a new application and proceed through the standard application process established by the program. Before reapplying, however, individuals should seek the advice of an admissions counselor. It is expected that the individual would have addressed documented deficiencies before reapplication and be able to demonstrate that the individual meets all admission requirements and technical standards of the program.

The College's Admissions Committee will review completed applications of candidates and submit recommendations to the Dean for action. The CDMA Dean, via the Office of Admissions, then notifies applicants in writing of admission decisions.

No guarantee of readmission is implied, and questions related to advanced standing and similar issues will be addressed as they are for new applicants.

Reapplications are allowed only within the first two years following dismissal. Readmission will be granted only once.

Academic Warning

An academic warning is a formal notification of substandard, quarterly academic performance, which cautions the student that continued performance at this level may result in the student being placed on academic probation. To return to good academic standing, a student must correct deficiencies and incur no further failures. An academic warning is issued by a Promotions Committee when a student has failed (grade of less than 70) one class in a quarter or upon the unsuccessful completion of a probationary quarter. When a student is placed on academic warning, it is noted in the student's academic file. Subsequently, when a student is returned to good academic standing, this is also noted in the student's file. Academic warning is not noted on transcripts. Students on academic warning are ineligible to hold student organizational offices unless appealed to, and approved by, the Dean.

Academic Probation

Academic Probation represents notice that continued inadequate academic performance might result in dismissal. If a student on academic probation successfully completes a probationary quarter, the student's academic status reverts to academic warning. To return to good academic standing, a student must correct deficiencies and incur no further failures. When a student is placed on academic probation, it is noted in the student's academic file. Subsequently, when a student is returned to good academic standing, this is also noted in the student's file. Academic probation is not noted on transcripts.

Advanced Standing

All requests for advanced standing by admitted, transfer, or enrolled students are processed on a course-by-course basis by the Dean. Courses must be at the graduate level to be considered for advanced standing. To request advanced standing, a student must submit a letter to the Dean in which the student includes a list of the course(s), an official course description(s), a transcript, and a syllabus of the course(s) previously taken. It is expected that a minimum grade of a "B" would have been achieved in

the class being petitioned. The decision to grant or deny advanced standing will be made by the divisions providing the dental course in consultation with the CDMA Dean's Office.

Appeal Process

Following notification of a decision of the Student Promotion Committee, a student may appeal the decision in writing within three working days from notification of the decision to the Dean of the College of Dental Medicine-Arizona. The Dean makes the final decision. The Dean may grant an appeal only if a student can demonstrate one of the following:

  1. bias of one or more committee members
  2. material information not available to the committee at the time of its initial decision
  3. procedural error 

During the appeal process, the student must continue to attend classes.

Course Failure Policy

The faculty provides didactic programs and measures students' performance in subject areas deemed necessary to become dental practitioners. Students who do not demonstrate minimum competencies assume 

the obligation and responsibility to make up academic failures. D-1 and D-2 students must successfully pass all failed courses before they can be promoted to the following year. D-3 and D-4 students must remediate/repeat any failed courses. Usually this occurs within the first month of the subsequent quarter.

Grade for Retaken Course

If a student receives a failing grade, that grade is recorded on the transcript as a letter grade (an "F" entry). Upon repetition of a failed course, the original grade of "F" remains on the transcript. The repeated course and the new grade is entered on the transcript. The grade for a failed course repeated and passed at Midwestern University or at an outside institution is recorded on the transcript as a grade of "C." For all failed clinical courses at Midwestern University that are repeated and passed, a grade of "C" will be recorded on the transcript. For both preclinical coursework and clinical courses that are repeated, the original failing grade will remain on the transcript but will not be included in the GPA calculations. If a repeated preclinical or clinical course is failed, a grade of "F" is again recorded on the transcript. Students who fail a course a second time will be recommended for dismissal.

Disciplinary Warning/Probation

Disciplinary warning/probation occurs for student acts of professional misconduct as defined in Appendices 2 and 4 of the Student Handbook. Disciplinary probation is not noted on the transcript but is kept in the student's disciplinary file. Disciplinary probation information may be shared with clinical sites that are affiliated with Midwestern University educational programs.


Matriculation and participation in dental school is a privilege, not a right. Therefore, a student can be dismissed for the following reasons:

  1. failure to achieve minimum academic standards (preclinical or clinical promotions committees)
  2. failure to exhibit the personal qualifications and ethical standards necessary to the practice of dentistry (student judicial process)
  3. violation of Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine-Arizona rules and regulations that are grounds for dismissal (student and administrative judicial process).

Please Note: Students will be assessed full tuition for any additional years.

Faculty Advisor Program

The advisor program plays an important role at Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine- Arizona. Students and faculty work closely together in the academic arena. This kind of educational interaction permits students to get to know their faculty and vice versa. Students are encouraged to use the advice, expertise, and help of the faculty. Students should feel free to contact a faculty member of their choice for advice, encouragement, and support.

Grade Point Average

The grade point average is a weighted average computed using the number of credits assigned to each course and the quality points corresponding to the letter grade earned in each course. It is determined by calculating the total number of quality points earned and dividing them by the total number of credits carried. The total quality points earned for each course is determined by multiplying the quality points earned per credit (corresponding to the letter grade) by the number of credits assigned to the course. The student's cumulative grade point average is computed and recorded by the Office of the Registrar. It is calculated beginning at the end of the first quarter of enrollment, and does not include any grades or credits for courses audited or courses with a grade of withdrawal (W), withdrawal failing (WF), pass (P) or failed (F) that were later repeated.

Grading System

Students receive letter grades corresponding to the level of achievement in each course, based on the results of examinations, required course work, and, as applicable, other established criteria. The letter grades, percent ranges, and quality points per credit are as follows:


Percent (%)

Quality Points (per credit)
























< 70


For professional programs



An Incomplete (I) grade may be assigned by a course director when a student's work is of passing quality but incomplete, or if a student qualifies for re-examination. It is the responsibility of the student to request an extension from the course instructor. By assigning an "I" grade, it is implied that an instructor agrees that the student has a valid reason and should be given additional time to complete required coursework. All incomplete grades must be resolved within 10 calendar

days from the end of final exams for the quarter. In the case of courses ending prior to final exam week, it is the obligation of the course director to monitor the use and resolution of the incomplete grade, with notice to the Registrar. If an incomplete grade remains beyond 10 days, it may be converted to a grade of "F," which signifies failure of the course.



An In Progress (IP) grade may be assigned by a course director when a student qualifies for re- examination. It is the responsibility of the student to request an extension from the course instructor. By assigning an "IP" grade, it is implied that an instructor agrees that the student has a valid reason and should be given additional time, up to one month to complete required coursework. The "IP" in progress is used when extenuating circumstances make it necessary to extend the grade completion period past 10 days (illness, family death, etc). The completion period should not exceed one quarter with notification to the Registrar.



Pass; designation indicates that the student has made satisfactory progress or completed required coursework satisfactorily. Grade of 'P' is counted toward credit hour accruals for graduation but is not counted in any GPA calculations.



Withdrawal can be given during the third to the eighth weeks of the quarter. There is no penalty and no credit.



Withdrawal/Failing is given after 50% of the course is complete and the average grade indicates that the work completed up to the time of withdrawal was unsatisfactory. This grade is not counted in any GPA calculations and is not counted in credit hour accruals for graduation.



This designation indicates an audited course, that is, a student registered for a course with the understanding that neither academic credit nor a grade is earned. The possibility does not exist to change the course status from audit to full credit after the start of the quarter. The designation AU is not counted in the GPA calculation.




This designation indicates the decision of a college to award academic credit that precludes a student from taking required course work. The designation of Advanced Placement (AP) is applied toward credit hour accruals, but is not counted in the GPA calculation.


These grading scales apply to all courses unless otherwise noted in the course syllabus.

Immunization Policy for CDMA

Full-time students are required to have all immunizations as outlined in the general policy section of the student handbook. Immunization requirements for CDMA students are subject to current Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, applicable state health department protocols and affiliated rotation sites requirements. Students who do not adhere to the immunization policy by the stated deadline may jeopardize their standing in the College.

Leave of Absence (LOA)

Academic. A student may be placed on LOA for academic reasons upon a determination of the Student Promotions Committee. A student on LOA for academic reasons is automatically placed on academic probation. Students will be assessed tuition for any additional instruction required as a result of the LOA. An academic LOA will result in a delay in the expected graduation date.

Voluntary. Students who wish to voluntarily initiate a leave of absence for personal or medical reasons should contact the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Additional coursework, for which students will be assessed tuition, may be required of students returning from a personal or medical LOA. A voluntary LOA may result in a delay in the expected graduation date.

Integrated National Board Dental Examination (INBDE) Policy

Students must challenge the INBDE during the fall or winter quarter of the DMD-4 year. If a student encounters a catastrophic event that prevents them from taking the examination during that timeframe, the Dean may allow challenging of the examination at a later date.

Students who fail to pass the INBDE:

  1. Should retake the exam within six months from the date of the first attempt.
  2. Should meet with the Dean (or designee) and selected Course Coordinators/Directors to develop an individualized course of study focused toward retaking and passing the INBDE. This will include recommendations to the student to uncover potential test-taking challenges and develop a structured study schedule.

Passing any portion of a licensing examination is not a substitute for passing a Midwestern University course.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

As required by federal law, reasonable standards of satisfactory academic progress have been established by Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine- Arizona for the Doctor of Dental Medicine program. These standards apply to all students applying for, or currently receiving, financial assistance. The policy and procedure for assessing financial aid status are noted in the Student Financial Services section of this

catalog. CDMA students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 to be eligible to engage in student organization leadership roles or attend professional association meetings or other elective events that may interfere with curriculum time or academic progress.