Academic Guidelines and Grading


Objective examinations will be given periodically throughout each basic science class. In addition to midterm and final examinations, the Faculty may schedule other exams in the semester to meet the needs of the course and allow for a more effective evaluation process.

All examinations must be in standard USMLE format. Oral examinations are permitted only in the clinical skills segment of the basic science curriculum.

A score of 70% or more is required to pass examinations in both the basic science and clinical medicine curriculum.

Grades will be determined according to the following criteria:

  • A: Superior performance (90-100%)
  • B: Above average performance (80-89%)
  • C: Satisfactory performance (70-79%)
  • F: Unsatisfactory/failing performance (below 70%)

Several transcript notations are assigned when a student withdraws from a class or is not able to complete assigned coursework:

  • I (Incomplete): Student was making satisfactory progress but for non-academic reasons beyond the student's control he or she was unable to meet the full requirements of the course. 
  • W (Withdrew): Student withdrew from course, and was making satisfactory progress at the time he or she withdrew. 
  • WF (Withdrew Failing): Student was permitted to withdraw from a class, but was not making satisfactory progress at the time they withdrew.


A student may be involuntarily dismissed from ISMS for any of the following reasons:
Failure to maintain academic performance as determined by the Promotions Committee such as:
Failure of any course while on Academic Probation.
Withdrawal, Failure, or Withdrawal-Failure in any repeated course.
Failure to achieve credit for at least two courses in any semester while on Academic Probation.
Violation of the laws or statutes of Panama or ISMS.
Demonstration of behavioral or emotional instability that impairs judgment and/or represents a potential compromise to patient care.
Extensive and multiple Leaves of Absence
Multiple USMLE failures
Unethical conduct
Substance-abuse problem.

Graduation requirements

The following requirements must be met in order to receive the Doctor of Medicine degree from the International School of Medical Sciences:

  1. Successful completion of all required courses in the Basic Sciences program.
  2. Satisfactory completion of all hospital rotations in the Clinical Medicine program.
  3. Payment of all outstanding financial obligations to ISMS.
  4. Recommendation from the ISMS Dean and the Promotion Committee, who approve the granting of all degrees.
  5. Successful completion of step I-II of the ECFMG.