MD Program Governance

MD Program Educational Policy & Curriculum Governance

An organizational chart for the EPCC and its subcommittees. This info is a visual representation of the text under EPCC.

Educational Policy & Curriculum Committee (EPCC)

Reporting to the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and chaired by the Dean for Medical Education, the HMS Educational Policy and Curriculum Committee (EPCC) is a faculty standing committee and representational deliberative body that has collective responsibility for the oversight and conduct of the four-year MD curriculum (including both preclerkship curricula – Pathways and HST) and educational policies for the MD program at Harvard Medical School (HMS). The EPCC and its subcommittees include student representation.

EPCC Subcommittees:

  • Pathways Preclerkship Subcommittee - The Pathways Preclerkship Subcommittee, composed of the leaders of the Pathways preclerkship courses and selected Pathways MD students, is charged with overseeing the Pathways preclerkship curriculum. The Preclerkship Subcommittee meets monthly.

  • HST MD Curriculum Subcommittee - The HST MD Curriculum Subcommittee, composed of HST preclerkship course directors and leadership and HST MD and MEMP (Medical Engineering Medical Physics) students, is charged with general planning and review of the MD curriculum; arranging and receiving in-depth reviews of individual courses; recommending changes in existing courses; and developing new courses and curricular policy. This Committee meets monthly, and at the end of the academic year, members of this and other key educational committees within HST typically meet for an annual Retreat to discuss matters of global curricular importance.
  • PCE (Principal Clinical Experience) Subcommittee - The PCE Subcommittee oversees the required clerkship year, the Principal Clinical Experience, including: the longitudinal components of the PCE; cross-site comparability of experiences, comparable educational experiences and equivalent methods of assessment across all PCE and required clerkship sites; policies that impact students and faculty at the PCE sites; mechanisms for communicating with the HMS leadership during the PCE, particularly with the students’ Academic Societies. The PCE Subcommittee ensures that the PCE sites and site-based components, particularly the required clerkships, work together both within and across institutions.
  • Post-PCE Subcommittee - The Post-PCE Subcommittee oversees the Post-PCE phase of the MD curriculum, including required subinternships; clinical electives; internship preparation and transition experiences, including the required Capstone Course; Advanced Integrated Science Courses (AISCs) and Essentials of the Profession II; and the Scholars in Medicine requirement.
  • Assessment Subcommittee - The Assessment Subcommittee oversees all aspects of assessment of student performance across the four years of the HMS curriculum, including preclerkship courses, both Pathways and HST; core clerkships and the PCE; designated and selective Post-PCE courses, such as AISCs, the Clinical Capstone, and clinical and non-clinical electives; OSCEs (Objective Structured Clinical Exams), both formative and summative, in all phases of the MD program; and programs for faculty that develop and enhance assessment skills.
  • Anti-Racism Subcommittee - The Anti-Racism Subcommittee is charged with overseeing anti-racism initiatives across the four years of the HMS curriculum in collaboration with the other Subcommittees of the EPCC (Pathways Preclerkship, HST Preclerkship, PCE, Post-PCE and Assessment), as well as the Committee on Admissions and the Learning Environment Committee. The Anti-Racism Subcommittee establishes and assesses internally agreed-upon metrics for progress in the domains of Admissions, Curriculum Integration, Assessment, Faculty Development and Learning Environment and reports on all progress to the EPCC at least twice per year, in order to ensure accountability of all the relevant groups.

MD Admissions and Financial Aid Committees

Committee and Subcommittees on Admission of Students

Established by the Faculty of Medicine on December 3, 1918 “To pass upon the admission of students and submit recommendations to the Faculty regarding questions that may arise regarding all matters relating to the entrance requirements and the submission of proper credentials.”

The Committee on Admission of Students consists of an executive committee, which is chaired by the Faculty Associate Dean for Admissions and has final authority for admitting students; two main admissions committees - the main Pathways admissions committee and the main Health Sciences and Technology (HST) admissions committee, which rank/prioritize the listing of competitive candidates to the Executive Committee on Admission of Students; and eight subcommittees: four advisory Pathways subcommittees, three advisory HST subcommittees and one MD/PhD subcommittee.

Committee on Financial Aid for Medical Students

Established by the Faculty of Medicine on March 12, 1948, “to determine policies dealing with scholarship and loan funds and to administer such funds.”

The Committee on Financial Aid for Medical Students is comprised of faculty, students, and staff who discuss key financial aid matters (e.g. setting cost-of-attendance budgets, enacting financial-aid policies and considering financial-aid appeals). 

Learning Environment Committee

The Learning Environment Committee at Harvard Medical School is a standing committee of HMS charged with monitoring the quality of the learning environment for HMS students in the classroom, laboratories and clinical settings; reviewing and coordinating initiatives to enhance the learning environment; and making recommendations to the Educational Policy and Curriculum Committee (EPCC), Department Chairs and the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine for efforts to improve the environment for teaching and learning.

Student Advising, Performance and Promotion Committees

Council of Academic Societies (CAS)

The Council of Academic Societies brings together all aspects of student services, including the Dean for Students, Society Advisory Deans and Advisors, and the Offices of Recruitment and Multicultural Affairs, Learning Resources and Support, Disability Services, Financial Aid and the Registrar. The CAS meets regularly to work on issues of student life and is chaired by the Dean for Students.

Medical Student Promotion and Review Board (PRB)

The Medical Student Promotion and Review Board certifies that students have made satisfactory academic progress at the end of each phase of the curriculum and are eligible for promotion to the next phase of the MD curriculum. In addition, the PRB reviews performance issues of medical students having academic or professional difficulty to ensure that each student in the MD program meets Harvard Medical School’s (HMS) academic standards, rules governing promotion, standards of professional conduct and responsibility, and requirements for graduation. These rules, requirements, and standards are included in the HMS Student Handbook in sections 1, 2 and 4.