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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 Tracy Kedian, or Lisa Shay 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, 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 Learners

The University of Massachusetts Medical School (“UMMS”) is committed to providing a supportive and respectful learning environment that fosters mutual trust and understanding between learners and the educational community.  Accordingly, UMMS has developed an Appropriate Treatment of Learners (“ATL”) policy to address concerns regarding the inappropriate treatment of learners by a member of the educational community. When the ATL standards are upheld, the educational environment supports optimal teaching, learning and professional development of learners. The Diversity and Inclusion Office (DIO) is responsible for the ongoing oversight and periodic review of this policy.

The ATL policy defines some behaviors that represent inappropriate treatment of learners.  It also describes the procedure for reporting complaints and the follow-up of such allegations.  UMMS is committed to conducting investigations thoroughly, promptly and impartially.  All students should expect to be treated with respect, and to learn and work in a safe environment. All individuals who interact with students are expected to behave in accordance with the ATL policy, which applies to all UMMS faculty, staff, residents, fellows, nurses, administrators and others who interact with learners.

Inappropriate treatment of learners occurs when behavior by a member of the learning community shows disrespect for the dignity of learners such that it interferes with their learning process.  Examples of such behaviors include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Humiliation of learners
  • Verbal attacks towards learners
  • Inappropriate anger or harsh language when addressing a learner
  • Lack of communication with a learner
  • Requiring a learner to perform tasks that belittle the learner
  • Requiring a learner to perform personal services, e.g. babysitting, errands, shopping, etc.
  • Insulting conduct to a learner
  • Disregard for learner safety

The ATL policy does not address sexual harassment complaints, violence/hostility in the workplace, or discrimination. The reporting and investigation of these complaints are addressed in other policies, including the Title IX Incident policy, Violence and Hostility in the Workplace policy, and the Discrimination Complaint Policy and Procedure, respectively. Each of these policies can be found on the DIO website.

Learners who believe they have been subject to inappropriate treatment in the learning community are responsible for reporting their complaint to the DIO as soon as possible.  In addition, any member of the learning community who becomes aware of inappropriate treatment of a learner is strongly encouraged to report the issue to the DIO for further investigation.

For more information, including definitions, policies and procedures for reporting suspected inappropriate treatment, students are encouraged to contact the Diversity and Inclusion Office (DIO). Confidential consultation and assistance with reporting are also available in the Office of Student Affairs.

 (revised 03/2017)


Clery Act

Our campus complies with the federal Clery Act.  Prior to October 1st of each year, our campus publishes the Annual Security Report, which contains campus safety information.  The most recent report can be found on the following web page:

View Clery Act

Title IX

It is the policy of the University of Massachusetts Medical School (“UMMS”) [the University of Massachusetts Worcester (“UMW”)] 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 language, terms and requirements of this Policy supersede and supplant any inconsistent or conflicting language in any other UMMS policy.  The UMMS employee to whom claims shall be reported under this Policy and who shall be responsible for administering this Policy is UMMS’ Title IX Coordinator – as designated by UMMS’ Provost.

Title IX Policy

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.

Graduate Achievements

The Graduate School of Nursing (GSN) indicators of demonstrated achievements for graduates include excellent NCLEX-RN first-time pass rates and first-time certification exam pass rates. The NCLEX-N passing rates for the GEP Program includes the following: 2015 - 89%; 2016 - 92%; 2017 - 97%; 2018 - 97%; 2019 - 93%; 2020 - 87%.  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.

2020-2021 GSN Award/Scholarship Recipients:

Melissa Condren, DNP, MSN, RN, CPNP is a graduate school of nursing (GSN) 2021 DNP graduate and recipient of the 2020-2021 M. Louise Fitzpatrick Nursing Scholarship Award.  The award is named in honor of M. Louise Fitzpatrick, Endowed Dean and Professor of Nursing at Villanova University from 1978 to 2017.  The award is conferred upon a person who demonstrates transformative leadership, a visionary perspective, and commitment to nursing excellence. Dr. Condren is currenting working as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, CT.

Jacqueline Mbugua, GSN DNP Student is serving as a 2020-2021 GNSA Advocacy Leader for the University of Massachusetts, representing the state of Massachusetts. The Graduate Nursing Student Academy (GNSA) Advocacy Leaders maximize AACN's advocacy efforts on behalf of graduate nursing students. Consisting of 2 representatives from each state including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, these nursing leaders participate in quarterly conference calls to develop their advocacy skills and become informed on the latest health policy discussions. The GNSA Advocacy Leaders create a greater impact in amplifying AACN's policy and advocacy messaging and provide feedback to AACN staff on policy issues that are of importance to graduate nursing students.

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

In fall 2020, 266 students were enrolled in the Graduate School of Nursing (GSN).  The breakdown is as follows: 130 students in the GEP to DNP program; 42 students in the BSN to DNP program; 14 students in the Post-Masters to DNP program; and 2 students in the Pre-Graduate Option (PGO) to DNP program.  There are likewise 17 students in the Post-Graduate Certificate (PGC) program; 9 students in the MS (AGRN) program; and 29 students in the PhD program.  Finally, there are 23 non-matriculated students.

Of the 266 students enrolled in the GSN, 85% were female (n=225) and 15% were male (n=41).  In terms of ethnicity, the majority of students were white (67%), with 10% of students being Black or African American, 12% being Asian, and 8% being Hispanic/Latino.

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.

Students are invited to participate on three Standing Committees within the Graduate School of Nursing (GSN) including Faculty Assembly, Academic Standards and Admissions (AS&A), and Curriculum Committee.  The president of GSNO represents the students at the monthly GSN Faculty Assembly meetings.

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.