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School of Medicine >   Curriculum Committee >   About the Curriculum Committee

About the Curriculum Committee

The Curriculum Committee is appointed by the Faculty Senate to develop and to supervise the implementation of the curriculum for medical students.

The functions of the Curriculum Committee:

  • Specify the mission, goals and objectives of the curriculum and, with these as a guide,
  • Nominate of Course Directors
  • Oversee scheduling of courses
  • Determine educational policies regarding methods of teaching and evaluation
  • Guide development of and support for teaching faculty

Committee Membership and Governance

Membership is defined by the Bylaws of the Faculty Senate. The Vice Dean for Academic Affairs is an ex-officio voting member of the Committee. Student representatives from each class are nonvoting members. The Chair of the Curriculum Committee is appointed by the Dean. All appointments to the Curriculum Committee are for three-year terms which are renewable. The Curriculum Committee's actions are advisory to the Dean of the School of Medicine who has ultimate responsibility for the curriculum.



The Curriculum Committee will meet monthly or as required. Meetings are open to all faculty members.

Recent Meetings


The Curriculum Committee currently has six subcommittees:

    1. First and Second Year Course Directors. This subcommittee is charged with integrating the didactic courses in all four years and coordinating exam schedules and other matters relating of the first two years.
    2. Clinical Course Directors. This group is charged with addressing issues related to the clinical rotations of third and fourth year students.
    3. Computer-Assisted Instruction This subcommittee is charged with evaluating and recommending uses of computer technology in all aspects of medical school education.
    4. Evaluation This group will oversee evaluation of courses, programs, teachers and teaching.
    5. Faculty development This subcommittee will organize and manage programs to improve teaching skills.
    6. Curricular Objectives . This group is charged with the responsibility of defining our educational mission, goals and objectives.

Guiding Principles

All courses are developed in accord with the academic plan which is defined in terms of institutional mission, competencies and objectives. The educational programs should provide a sound, general medical education which would prepare graduates for the full range of medical careers. The structure of the curriculum should be governed by the following principles:

    1. Ample free time for study and preparation of course material. No more than 25 hours/week of scheduled classtime.
    2. An emphasis on active rather than passive learning. Lectures should comprise no more than 50% of the formal curriculum, no more than 75% in any given course, and no more than three hours in any given day).
    3. More student responsibility for learning through greater reliance on active learning, self-learning and team learning.
    4. Student exposure to clinical settings throughout the first two years.
    5. Clinical correlates in all classes and all exams.
    6. Integration of course material within and between courses.
    7. Improving the sequencing of courses and communication among Course Directors.
    8. Vertical integration of course material such as in Medicine in Contemporary Society.

The 2003 LCME review prompted a review and revision of our institutional educational objectives and new forms by which PROPOSED COURSES and EXTANT COURSES are reviewed and evaluated.

Instructions for Course Directors -- Please refer to the Course Directors Handbook for details


For departmentally-based courses and clerkships, the Course Directors shall be nominated by the Department Chair. The nomination is made to the Curriculum Committee for purposes of review and, if approved, it is transmitted to the Dean. The Dean shall appoint the Course Director generally for a term of three years (renewable). Interim Course Directors are similarly designated. For directors of interdisciplinary courses, the nomination is made by the Curriculum Committee for approval by the Dean.


The Course Directors are responsible for the conduct of the course that is part of the generalist education that will prepare the students to enter any specialty. The course should be consistent with the educational objectives of the Stony Brook University School of Medicine. The course should emphasize clinical relevancy of the material, small group teaching, directed independent learning and collaborative interactions with other students. An evaluation system must be designed in parallel with the course content and should reflect the nature and guiding principles of the curriculum.

Specific duties include:

  • Course development in accord with the overall academic objectives
  • Communication with other Course Directors regarding integration of curricular content and examination schedules
  • Course organization and scheduling
  • Systematic control of supplementary and handout reading
  • Focus on what the generalist physician needs to know and avoiding excessive memorization of details
  • Interact, as needed, with the Directors of courses in other years to determine content that might be better coordinated.
  • Identify a group of faculty that would be utilized as instructors for your course reassessing all suitable possibilities
  • Provide a syllabus which states the course objectives, the academic guidelines, the methods of remediation and remedial support, course schedule, the means of evaluation and mechanisms for handling absences. The syllabus must state a course policy for students with disabilities, the policy for appeal and remediation, and the procedure for providing assistance if there is an academic difficulty. The syllabus may be hard copy or on the CBase.
  • Establishing performance standards and grading guides
  • Recruitment and orientation of faculty
  • Each course must transmit to the Office of Medical Education within one month of completion of the course, evaluations of the students indicating Failure, Low Pass, Pass, High Pass, and Honors. The final transcript will contain only Honors/Pass/Final grades
  • The form and content for examinations is at the discretion of the Course Director. However, all questions used for examinations shall be newly constructed and should emphasize the understanding of basic principles and the ability to problem-solve and should avoid the necessity to recall trivial information. The guidelines for the number of examinations per course is one examination per 30-50 course hours.
  • Supervise the development of Instructional Plans for each presentation (formal and self-study) including:
    • Re-examination of learning objectives
    • Instructional methods to be used
    • Completion of handout material
    • Development of complementary and clearly integrated Web-Based material, when appropriate
    • Self-assessment and review materials

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Last Modified on 04/30/2008