Student Life

All UMMS Students

Academic Support Services

Academic counseling Tutoring         Test-taking

Our goal is to help all learners in the School of Medicine, Graduate School of Nursing, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and Graduate Medical Education achieve the most comprehensive and meaningful educational experience possible.  We encourage you to access the resources of the Center for Academic Achievement.

The CAA is made up of the Center for Academic Achievement, as well as Academic Enrichment Programs which work together in order to provide comprehensive services to students, residents, and fellows.  Students seen for academic enrichment may be encouraged to receive clinical enrichment services and vice versa.


Clinical students, residents, and fellows should contact Scott Wellman, MD, Interim Director of the Center for Academic Achievement, or Madeline Johns, Project Coordinator, for the following concerns:

  • Clinical skills related to working on the wards
  • Clinical interviewing
  • Clinical problem solving and decision making
  • Patient communication
  • Patient oral presentation
  • Patient notes
  • Performance on OSCEs
  • CCE shelf exam performance
  • Step 2 CS, Step 2 CK, Step 3, COMLEX, NP, In-Training exams, or Board Certification exams- if concerns relate to clinical problem solving or fund of knowledge
  • Clinical Skills Electives
  • Independent Study Courses
  • Study skills as related to clinical work


Pre-clinical students should contact Christine Woolf, PhD Director of Academic Enrichment Programs for the following concerns:

  • Performance in courses
  • Test taking skills
  • Study skills
  • Time management
  • Error analysis of exams
  • Memorization
  • Organization
  • Reading comprehension
  • Note taking
  • Step 1, NCLEX, and MCAT preparation
  • Step 2 CK, Step 2 CS, Step 3, COMLEX, NP exams, In-Service Training exams, and Board Certification exams- if concerns relate to developing a study schedule or developing more efficient and effective ways to study

How we operate

We generally begin by meeting with the client in order to develop a needs assessment which lays the groundwork for the collaborative development of an individualized educational plan. We decide together how often to meet and how to proceed. Sometimes a few sessions is all that is needed and at other times a one month Clinical Skills Elective is chosen.

For more information about the Center for Academic Achievement, please go here.

Appropriate Treatment of Students

The University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), in accordance with its mission statement and operating principles, and as required for accreditation by the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME), has developed this policy to help ensure the appropriate treatment of students (ATS). This procedure is specifically required for the accreditation of the School of Medicine, and has also been approved by the deans of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Graduate School of Nursing, and Graduate Medical Education.

To the extent possible, it is the policy of UMMS to provide a learning environment that fosters mutual trust and understanding between teachers and students. When all participants in the educational process at UMMS understand and uphold the standards of appropriate treatment of students, the environment enhances teaching, learning and professional development, to the benefit of all.

The purpose of this complaint policy is to provide an avenue for prompt follow-up on allegations of inappropriate treatment, and to do so in a non-adversarial and respectful manner that satisfies all parties involved. Should investigation of a complaint be warranted, UMMS is committed to conducting it thoroughly, promptly, and impartially.

This policy is designed for any student who believes s/he has been subjected to inappropriate treatment under the standards defined for this campus. These standards, which adhere to AAMC guidelines and LCME accreditation requirements, apply to the School of Medicine, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Graduate School of Nursing, Graduate Medical Education, and to any UMMS school hereinafter established.

Appropriate Treatment of Students 

Clery Act

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Title IX

It is the policy of the University of Massachusetts Worcester (“UMW”) [also referred to as the University of Massachusetts Medical School (“UMMS”)] to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq., and its implementing regulations, 34 C.F.R. Part 106, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities operated by recipients of Federal financial assistance. Sexual harassment of students, which includes acts of sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX. Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to the victim’s use of drugs or alcohol or due to an intellectual or other disability. A number of acts may fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, non-consensual video or audio taping of sexual activity, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking incidents and sexual coercion. All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sexual harassment covered under Title IX.

The  Diversity and Inclusion Office (DIO)  is available to students, faculty and staff with respect to any questions and concerns about sexual harassment, sexual violence or other forms of discrimination on the basis of sex. 

Title IX Coordinator
C. Greer Jordan, PhD, Associate Vice Chancellor 

Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Jesse Edwards, Director, Diversity and Inclusion,

Title IX Policy (PDF)
CARE website: Campus Assault, Resource, and Education site (for sex discrimination and violence)

You can contact the Diversity and Inclusion Office by calling 508-856-2179.

GSN Students

Area Housing

Graduate School of Nursing students reside in the local community or commute, as housing facilities are not available on campus.

Employment Opportunities

There are no employment opportunities through the Graduate School of Nursing (GSN).

Graduate Achievements

The GSN indicators of demonstrated achievements for graduates include excellent NCLEX-RN first-time pass rates and high percentage of first time certification exam pass rates.  The NCLEX-RN passing rates for the GEP Program have been the following: 2012 - 97 percent; 2013 - 100 percent; 2014 - 90 percent; 2015 - 89 percent.  In all instances, the NCLEX-RN pass rates were higher than the Massachusetts and national pass rates.

The National Certification exams/American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for eligible Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) students has been 100 percent since the inception of the program.

The National Certification exams/American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for eligible Adult Gerontology/Primary Care Nurse Practitioner students has ranged from 95 to 100 percent over the last three years.  Likewise, the National Certification exams/American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for eligible Adult Gerontology/Acute Care Nurse Practitioner students has ranged from 94 to 100 percent.

Honor Code

The Graduate School of Nursing makes a commitment to abide by an honor code exemplifying a standard of behavior that will form a firm basis for future professional conduct.  This implies avoidance of any form of dishonesty or misrepresentation as well as the demonstration of respect for the human dignity, the rights and well-being of others including students, faculty, staff, patients and members of the community.  It also implies a responsibility to take positive action to insure that failure of others to comply with these standards is not permitted. 

Non Academic Opportunities

Graduate School of Nursing faculty and students are highly engaged in community activities throughout the Worcester community. These activities include the local free clinics, refugee assistance programs and several outreach education programs.

Process and Appeals for Student Discipline

A student will be notified of failure to meet progression criteria or of a GPA less than 3.0. Financial aid may be made available to the student after the student files an appeal for additional resources with the Financial Aid Subcommittee of the Student Affairs Committee. The student will explain the nature of the extenuating circumstances and a specific plan for completing the curriculum. Appeals are heard and approved on a payment period basis. Once approved, a student is considered on financial aid probation for one payment period, and is able to appeal for one additional payment period before re-establishing satisfactory academic progress.

Retention and Graduation Rates

Five year retention rates for students in the Graduate School of Nursing range from 75 to 100 percent for all academic programs.

Six year graduation rates for students in the Graduate School of Nursing range from 80 to 100 percent for all academic programs.

Student Body

Graduate School of Nursing students come from a variety of diverse educational backgrounds, training, and accomplishments.  In fall 2015, there were 170 students enrolled in the GSN, with 15 non-matriculated students.  Of the 170 students, 85 percent were female (n=144) and 15 percent (n=26) were male.  In terms of ethnicity, the majority were white (82 percent; n=140).

In fall 2016, 61 new students were enrolled in the GSN.  The breakdown is as follows: GEP to DNP Program: 31 new students admitted (25 female; 6 male); BSN to DNP Program: 13 new students admitted (12 female; 1 male); Post-Master's DNP Program: 9 new students admitted (9 female); and PhD Program: 8 new students admitted (8 female).

Student Complaint Procedures

Students in the Graduate School of Nursing may file a complaint if they are dissatisfied with an individual, service, policy, procedure, action, or lack of action.  Students begin with an informal complaint which is a verbal complaint expressed by a student to the particular faculty member or individual involved.  A verbal complaint is always considered an informal complaint.  Students are strongly encouraged to attempt to resolve the complaint on an informal basis by meeting with the individual involved in the complaint (course instructor, faculty, director, etc.).  Many problems can be resolved by having an open discussion.  

If the complaint is unresolved after a meeting between the parties, the student may file a formal complaint.  Formal complaints are typed via email or sent as a hard copy letter to the faculty member.  The first line of the letter or subject line of the email should indicate that this is a formal complaint.  In the letter or email, the student shall include: 1) complainant’s name, email address, phone number; 2) a detailed description of the specific actions/events of the complaint including but not limited to the names of those involved, relevant date(s), any witnesses, and/or relevant documents; 3) attempts made to resolve the complaint informally; and 4) constructive suggestions to correct the situation.   

If satisfaction is not reached, the student may then file a formal complaint with the program director.  The student and the involved faculty member will meet with the program director to attempt to resolve the complaint. If satisfaction is not reached, the student may then file a formal complaint with the associate dean of academic affairs.  If the complaint is not resolved and satisfaction not reached after exhausting the steps listed above, the student may file student grievance.   


Student Groups

The Graduate Student of Nursing Organization (GSNO) group fosters communication, coordination, and continuity among students, faculty, administration, alumni, and the University community at large.  Membership is open to all full-time and part-time students enrolled in the Graduate School of Nursing (GSN). The activities of the GSNO are determined by elected student representative officers. Meetings are held a minimum of twice a year.

Withdrawal Procedures

Students must follow course withdrawal policies and procedures and notify in writing their academic program coordinator, director, faculty advisor, and the Registrar of their intention to withdraw from the program.  Students who withdraw without notifying the Registrar of their status will be considered withdrawn as of the last recorded date of class attendance as documented by the University.

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