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Academic Progress

The University operates on the quarter system for the MSTAM program, with each quarter consisting of 10 weeks of class work. Each quarter unit is equivalent to 10 hours of class. A grade is assigned for each registered course. The final grade is determined by the total points accumulated by the student as listed in the individual course syllabus. Clinical practice coursework and some other coursework receive a “Pass” or “No Pass” grade based on the completion of performance objectives. The academic courses are graded with a standard letter grading methodology.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

The (SAP) of a student is measured by three concurrent parameters: the qualitative factor, the quantitative factor, and the completion within the maximum time frame factor.

The qualitative SAP factor is defined as the level of academic achievement which is measured by the grades attained, i.e. the Grade Point Average (GPA) and number of attempts to pass AMU institutional exams. All students in attendance at Alhambra Medical University must maintain a quarter-to-quarter, as well as a cumulative minimum GPA of 2.0 and passing at least 67% of the registered courses. The course work shall extend over a minimum of 3 academic years or 12 quarters, with the average units earned per quarter of 12 for full time students and 6 for part time students. All students will be given a maximum of three (3) attempts to take and pass the institutional exams conducted by AMU. AMU institutional exams include Level 1 Entrance Exam, Level 1 Exit Exam, Level 2 Exit Exam, and Level 3 Exit Exam.

The quantitative SAP factor or payment period (PP), is defined as the frequency of measuring the qualitative SAP factor. This occurs at the end of each PP which coincides with the end of each quarter. The quantitative factor SAP also includes the attendance policy requirements.

The terms “payment period” and “increment for evaluation” have the same meaning which is represented by the period of time between two consecutive SAP evaluations of the student. For students receiving Title IV funds, the term “payment period” has a particular meaning in regards to the disbursements from the government. The US Department of Education requires schools receiving Title IV funds to use the term “payment period”.

The completion within the maximum time frame factor (CWMTF) is defined as the maximum time allowed for the completion of an educational program and it has the value of 150% of the standard time taken to complete the program. This means that the maximum time a student has to complete this four year program is six years (24 quarters).

If a student fails to meet SAP requirements in any specific payment period, he or she will be placed on academic probation the following payment period, and required to attend mandatory tutoring and academic advising. During this probationary period, the Academic Committee will evaluate the student and analyze the reason for the poor performance. Students receiving financial aid will be placed onfinancial aid warning for the payment period and notified that failure to meet SAP standards at the end of the current payment period will lead to them losing their financial aid eligibility. If a student fails to pass an AMU institutional exam at the 3rd attempt, he or she will also be considered to have failed the SAP requirements and will be placed on academic probation.

If the student fails to bring his or her GPA up to 2.0 at the end of the academic probation payment period, he or she will be placed on academic suspension from the University. Once a student is suspended, his or her financial aid will be terminated, as they will no longer be in attendance, and he or she will not be allowed to re-enroll for two quarters. If a student fails to pass an AMU institutional exam on the 4th attempt, he or she will also be placed on academic suspension. During the academic suspension period, the student will be given one last attempt to take and pass the institutional exam, otherwise he or she will be academically dismissed from the University.

If the student wishes to appeal their academic suspension, they must make their request in writing to the Academic Committee. Appeals must explain why SAP standards were unmet and what changes the student has made that will allow them to meet SAP standards by the following quarter. The appeal must also include an evaluation plan approved by the Academic Committee to ensure the student meets the standards within the specified time frame. If the appeal is granted by the committee, eligibility is re-instated and the student is placed on academic probation and “financial aid warning” for one quarter. If the student fails during this quarter to meet SAP standards again, and/or fails to follow the evaluation plan, the student once again becomes ineligible for financial aid and is academically dismissed from the University.

A student that has been academically dismissed from the University that is allowed to re-enter, will be allowed one quarter to achieve a quarterly GPA of 2.0 or face academic dismissal once again. A student who has been academically dismissed from the University due to failure to pass an institutional exam after 5 attempts and allowed to re-enter into the program, will be allowed one attempt to pass the institutional exam or face academic dismissal once again. Students who have been academically dismissed that formerly received financial aid, will not be allowed to apply for aid during this first quarter of re-entry.

Failed courses must be repeated and courses repeated more than once may not count toward full time or half time status. Transfer Units from other schools are added to total units earned and attempted.



Attendance Policy

Students must be present for at least 80% of the class time to obtain credit for a course. If a student has missed more than 20% of the class time, he or she will fail and the course must be repeated.
If excessive absences are taken prior to week six of the quarter, the student may withdraw from the course or courses, and a grade of “W” will be assigned. If excessive absences are taken after week six, the student may withdraw from the course or courses, and a grade of “F” will be assigned.

If an emergency arises, students must complete an absence request form to be signed by the faculty and approved by the Academic Dean. An excused absence is still considered an absence within the attendance policy. For any extended period of absence, the student must request a Leave of Absence prior to taking it.

Leave of Absence Policy

A Leave of Absence (LOA) refers to a specific time period during a student’s ongoing program of study when he or she is not in academic attendance. It does not include non-attendance for a scheduled break in a student’s program. Upon returning from an approved LOA, a student must complete any coursework he or she began prior to their LOA.

For the Doctorate program, a written request must be made and the LOA may not exceed a cumulative one hundred and eighty (180) days within any twelve (12) month period beginning on the first day of the student’s initial leave of absence. If a student does not resume attendance at the institution at or before the end of a leave of absence that meets the requirements of this section, the student will be treated as a withdrawal in accordance with the requirements of this section.

For a LOA to be approved, the student must do the following:

  • Provide a written, signed, and dated request, prior to the time period in which the leave is to occur, unless unforeseen circumstances prevent the student from doing so.
  • This request must be approved by the Chief Academic Officer and the Registrar.
  • Foreign students may apply for a limited Leave of Absence as long as Homeland Security rules, regulations, policies and procedures are adhered to. As stated above, a Leave of Absence must be requested prior to the time the student plans to be away from school. In addition, a foreign student may not apply for a Leave of Absence until the student has been in attendance at the University for at least one academic year. If the Leave of Absence is not approved and the student no longer attends class, the student is considered to have ceased attendance at the school.

Students returning from a LOA must contact the Registrar’s Office or Chief Academic Officer before registering for classes. It is the responsibility of the student to be aware of any policy and/or curriculum changes.

Students who have not attended the University for one year or more, must apply for re-admission and must meet the current entrance requirements.

Program Withdrawal

A student may withdraw from the school any time after the add/ drop period (described above) and receive a pro rata refund if he or she has completed 60 percent or less of the scheduled days in the current payment period in his or her program through the last day of attendance. A registration or administration fee will be deducted from the refund, not to exceed $250.00, as well as a deduction for  equipment not returned in good condition within 45 days of withdrawal. If the student has completed more than 60% of the period of attendance for which the student was charged, the tuition is considered earned and the student will receive no refund.

For the purpose of determining a refund under this section, a student shall be deemed to have withdrawn from a program of instruction when any of the following occurs:

  • The student notifies the institution in writing of the student’s withdrawal the date the student last attended class, whichever is later.
  • The institution terminates the student’s enrollment for failure to maintain satisfactory progress; failure to abide by the rules and regulations of the institution; absences in excess of the maximum set forth by the institution; and/or failure to meet financial obligations to the school.

For the purpose of determining the amount of the refund, the date of the student’s withdrawal shall be deemed the last date of the scheduled attendance. The amount owed equals the daily charge for the program (total institutional charge, minus non-refundable fees, divided by the number of days in the program), multiplied by the number of days scheduled to attend, prior to withdrawal.

If the student has received federal student financial aid funds, the student is entitled to a refund of moneys not paid from federal student financial aid program funds.

Withdrawals may be effectuated by the student’s written notice or by the student’s conduct, including, but not necessarily limited to, a student’s lack of attendance.


The Chief Academic Officer must evaluate the student’s standing. If more than five years have elapsed, since the last prior enrollment, the Academic Committee will reevaluate the student’s placement and the student may be required to take a placement exam; if this is failed, he or she needs to retake the class. Students must contact the Registrar’s Office to be sure all prior financial commitments are complete no less than 30 days before the quarter starts. A letter of full acceptance will be sent to the student after the student file and prior financial commitments are complete.