Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Compliance Policy

The University of Washington School of Medicine complies with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which allows students’ access to their academic record. If a student believes that information maintained in the academic file is inaccurate, misleading, in violation of the student’s rights of privacy, or not applicable to their tenure in medical school, the student may submit a request to the University of Washington School of Medicine’s Registrar to have the document corrected. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs and the Registrar will make a decision on the student’s petition. If the student wishes to appeal this decision, the appeal request is addressed to the Vice Dean for Academic, Rural and Regional Affairs, whose decision regarding the student’s request is final. If the student’s request is denied, the student will have the right to place a statement in the record commenting on the contested material. 

Student Academic Files
The Office of Academic Affairs maintains an academic file on every medical student. This file includes student’s undergraduate transcript, AMCAS application, grades, evaluation forms, curricular course and clerkship schedules, Student Progress Committee actions, letters of commendation, MSPE, and copies of other correspondence related to the student’s medical school training. Students may request to review their file at any time during office hours. 

Access to Student Academic Files
Medical students may request to review their academic file at any time during office hours. Students who are not in the Seattle area may request a copy of their file from the School of Medicine registrar’s office,  somreg@uw.edu. A securely delivered copy of their file will be sent to them within five business days of their request. 

The Academic Affairs deans and staff, appropriate academic, rural, and regional affairs deans and staff, and the student’s College mentor and College head, have access to the student’s academic files (both physical and digital).  A medical student must complete and sign a release form in order for any other faculty members or individuals to see their academic file.  To obtain a file release form, students should contact the registrar’s office via email a  somreg@uw.edu or pick up a form at the A-300 front desk.

Common reasons for medical students to release their academic file include consideration for the AOA honor medical society and for faculty letters of recommendation in support of a scholarship or residency application.  

Request to Amend an Academic Record
If a medical student believes that information contained in their academic file is inaccurate, misleading, in violation of the student’s rights of privacy, or not applicable to their tenure in the medical school, the student may submit a request to the School of Medicine’s registrar to have the document corrected (somreg@uw.edu.) The request will be reviewed with the associate dean for student affairs and may include meeting with the student to clarify the reasons for the request and to determine whether any other information is needed to make a decision. The associate dean for student affairs and registrar will make a decision on the student’s petition. If the student wishes to appeal this decision, the appeal request should be submitted to the vice dean for academic, rural and regional affairs, whose decision regarding the student’s request is final. If the decision is to not make the correction requested by the student, the student has the right to place a statement in the academic file commenting on the contested material. 

Confidentiality of Grades or Graded Material
The FERPA prohibits posting of student grades by student identification numbers to protect students’ identities. Graded materials, including clinical case write-ups, must be returned to the student directly from the faculty instructors.   

 

Effective: Current
Last updated: August 11, 2020
Policy Contact: UW School of Medicine, Student Affairs Office, adminSA@uw.edu; Education Quality Improvement Office, eqi@uw.edu