It is the policy of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix that all students have a professional responsibility to review the examination absence policy and requirements for all blocks, courses, clerkships and curricular activities in which they are involved. Students should avoid scheduling or participating in activities that directly conflict with examination days during blocks, courses, clerkships, and other curricular activities. This policy applies to all regularly scheduled examinations, retake examinations, make-up examinations and remediation examinations.

I. Excused Absence Requests

An absence from a regularly scheduled examination may be excused if meets three of the following criteria:

  1. The reason for the absence involves a valid personal or academic reason, including but not limited to illness, emergency, childbirth/labor, presentation at professional conference, jury duty, residency interviews, religious observance, or other extenuating circumstance that prohibits a student from taking an examination during the normally scheduled date. See also the Years 1 and 2 Attendance and Absence Policy or Years 3 and 4 Attendance and Absence Policy.
    1. An exam postponement due to a chronic (> 2 weeks), persistent, or recurrent medical problem must be approved by both the Block or Course Director and the Associate Dean, Student Affairs. A postponement of this nature must be confirmed by Campus Health Services or a private physician, without identifying the exact nature of the condition. 
    2. A make-up examination date must be arranged with the Block/Course/Pre-clerkship Director at the earliest possible time, at a time not to interfere with other scheduled academic requirements.
  2. The exam absence request is made in advance of the regularly scheduled exam date and documented in electronic format (See Exam Absence Request Form). Course, block, and clerkship directors need a minimum number of days advance notice of the request:
    1. For pre-approved absence for an end of clerkship NBME shelf exam, the request must be made at least 14 days in advance of the regularly scheduled exam date. 
    2. For pre-approved absence from OSCE, refer to the Doctoring syllabus.
    3. For pre-approved absence from pre-clerkship block exam, Transitions block exam, or Personal and Professional Development (PPD) course examination, requests must be made at least 30 days in advance.
  3. Appropriate testing resources and personnel (e.g., proctor, proctored venue, technology etc.) are available for administering the makeup examination.
  4. The Block/Course/Clerkship Director approves the early or postponed test administration.
    1. Once an exam absence is approved, the student must arrange with the Director and Chief Proctor for an alternative test date. NOTE: For OSCE examinations, students should refer to the Doctoring or corresponding clerkship/course syllabus, as arrangements are made with the Doctoring or clerkship Course Director.

II. Unexcused Absence and Consequence

  1. A missed examination with no prior communication, no communication within 24 hours of the missed examination, or a denied request from the Director and/or Dean of Students constitutes an unexcused exam absence.
  2. A student who does not obtain an excused absence for any missed examination will receive a score of zero for the missed examination. Exceptions for unexcused absences must be approved by the Associate Dean, Student Affairs in conjunction with the Associate Dean, Curricular Affairs and Program Evaluation or the Associate Dean, Clinical and Competency Based Education.
Curriculum Committee
  • Original Approval Date:
  • Current Effective Date: