Our Instructional Formats
Historically scientific technological advances have been combined, in part with elements of traditional medicine, which have formed an essential link between research and medicine. We have chosen to include emerging technologies within the major thrusts of our programs to inspire Research and Medicine, rightfully so. The academic programs we offer, thereby integrate salient aspects of holistic medical care using scientifically documented elements of Nutrition, and Complimentary Alternative therapies, with Traditional and Natural medicine.
Courses at USAT are developed along US/UK standards of higher education. All courses are normally taught by faculty who have attained the highest level of education (PhD, MD, or Equivalent) and achievement in their individual fields. Faculty for undergraduate courses will have as a minimum a Master’s degree in their field, and faculty for graduate courses not less than a doctoral degree with appropriate post graduate training. Courses consist of traditional lecture material, presented with the support of blackboard/whiteboard and visual aids, power point, video conferencing, laboratory, live demonstration, and other means appropriate for the content of the material under study. Lectures are normally 90 minutes in duration, seminars 1 hour, recitations 2 hours in duration, and laboratory periods 2-4 hours in duration. The faculty:student ratios are 1:10 or less for most courses. Clinical training is conducted at locations in the United States of America, in the United Kingdom, and in other countries by special arrangement on an individualized basis for students who are selected for such training. All clinical rotations may be completed in Greenbook (ACGME) or Private hospitals or clinics approved for the conduct of clinical education only (i.e., bona fide teaching hospitals and clinics with a teaching capability).All clinical training is designed to provide the student with ample 'hands on' experience, often from the first year of study, so as to more fully prepare the student for the USMLE Clinical Skills and related examinations in the 3rd and 4th year of study.
With full time enrollment, the Master’s level courses are designed such that they may be completed within a period of 3 to 5 semesters or two academic years, the Ph.D. programs within a period of 4 years, the Medical Doctor (M.D.) program within a period of 4 years, and the M.D.-Ph.D. combined program within a period of 5-6 years depending on the complexity and progress of the research component. If a student elects to complete 1 or two semesters during the summer of the first year, the program may be completed in a period of 44 months only.
Lectures and Credits
All USAT lectures are presented as live lectures, in traditional classroom format, or via live webinars. Only registered students in good standing are permitted access to participate in Instructional modules. Visitors may be admitted to observe a classroom or laboratory activity with approval of the Dean or Instructor for up to one day’s Instruction, but must wear a visitor’s pass for ease of identification by the faculty and duly admitted students. Students who have already completed a module in a registered status may audit future modules with permission of the Instructor.
Credit is based on the conventional formula of 1 semester credit for each hour of lecture / week, plus 1 credit for each 2-4 h of lab or tutorial/week. This is standard in most if not all academic Institutions. All courses need not run for the entire duration of the semester. In such cases, those courses may be arranged sequentially so as to fill a time spot for the term, up to 2-3/term as appropriate. Thus, you could have 3 one credit topics run sequentially in a time slot in the same term. The new guidelines on integration of nutritional sciences, for example, stress that nutrition should be integrated each term throughout the 4 years of training, and extended into residency for all specialties.
Grading of Courses
Professionalism in Didactic Instruction at USAT places certain responsibilities of professional conduct upon the student. Included in such professionalism are reasonable standards of dress and demeanor within the classroom academic environment, and maintaining acceptable minimum standards of attendance and academic achievement according to the program of instruction a student may be enrolled in. (Medical Doctor, B.Sc., M.Sc., or Ph.D. student). USAT has a mandatory 80% attendance policy for all classes in which a student is enrolled in both the medical college and the graduate college divisions. Failure to maintain an 80% attendance will be reported to the Dean of the College in which a student is enrolled for review prior to a grade being issued for any course in which a student fails to meet minimum attendance standards, and for failure to maintain other standards of conduct.
Academic Standards and Distinction
We pride ourselves on following the highest of standards
All courses taken as Medical students will be recorded on a letter grade or pass-fail system, while those in graduate programs will earn letter grades from A+ to C- for passing and F for any course in which a grade of less than C has been recorded. The minimum grade for all classes is 70% for students in the Doctor of Medicine Program. Students of the Medical Doctor program are encouraged to strive for excellence in academic achievement, and students will be counseled on a regular basis so as to identify strategies for improvement of academic standing.
Achievement of a grade of C is considered a marginally passing grade for a student of medicine, and USAT encourages every student to strive for excellence in all studies. Any student who accumulates more than 2 grades of C in a single term will be reviewed by the Dean of the Medical College, to identify correctable weaknesses or distractions in individual study and performance standards. Students who consistently earn C or less in multiple courses may be subject to consideration for dismissal contingent upon the basis for the grades earned.
The faculty at USAT recognizes the commitment encumbered by the student who wishes to pursue a graduate or medical degree education, and will ensure that all efforts are made to enable each student to achieve that goal. Courses in which a grade of A (greater than 90) may have that course entered on their transcript with an honors designation, and those with grades of B (80-90) as a high pass. Grades from 70-80 will be recorded as a “pass’, and those in which a grade of less than 70 was earned will be recorded as a fail. Students may withdraw from a course by requesting in writing to the Dean at any time prior to the last day of classes, and which will be reflected on the transcript as ‘withdrawn’ without distinction of the accumulated grade as of the date of the withdrawal.
Clinical rotations will be recorded as honors, pass or fail, based on the recommendation of the clinical preceptor directing the student’s studies. Students who earn the distinction of honors in more than 75% of their courses may have the distinction of honors so imprinted on the face of their diploma, and those who earn >90% of their grades as honors the distinction of high honors so imprinted on the recommendation of the faculty. The distinctions of Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Cum Laude may be reserved for those students who earn honors in all courses taken at the college.
NOTE: Students enrolled in programs leading to the M.S. or Ph.D. are required to maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average of 75% or more for the M.Sc. degree and 85% or more for the Ph.D. degree. A student in a graduate program who may have accumulated more than 2 courses in the grade of C in any term or who accumulates more than 3 courses in which a grade of C was earned may be dismissed from the College on the recommendation of the faculty. A course may not be retaken more than three times in total.
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