UWSOM Foundations Curriculum

Thread Mastery

The Foundations Phase of the UWSOM Curriculum includes recurring content integrated throughout the basic science blocks, known as threads. Starting with the Entering Year 2017 class, the three threads are Human Form & Function, Pharmacology, and Histology & Pathology. A grade for thread performance does not appear on a student’s transcript, but students do need to demonstrateĀ mastery on each thread over each term in order to fulfill their graduation requirements.


What determines mastery in a thread?

For the purposes of evaluating thread mastery, the Foundations Phase terms are defined as follows:

  • Term 1 includes the Molecular & Cellular Basis of Disease and Invaders & Defenders blocks. Final mastery is determined in December of the first year.
  • Term 2 includes the Circulatory Systems, Energetics & Homeostasis, Musculoskeletal Systems, and Blood & Cancer blocks. Final mastery is determined in June of the first year.
  • Term 3 includes the Mind, Brain & Behavior and Lifecycle blocks. Final mastery is determined in December of the second year.

As part of the normal block exams, students will be tested on questions tagged for each thread. While these questions contribute to the block grade, they also count toward the cumulative thread grade for each term. Students demonstrate mastery in threads by achieving a grade of 70% or more on these questions over the duration of the term. Even if a student’s performance in a thread dips below 70% for a particular block, if their average grade at the end of the term is above 70%, they are considered to have achieved mastery.


How can I track my performance in a thread?

The University of Washington uses Canvas to provide course content and post student grades. Students can access their cumulative thread grades from completed blocks via the Thread Gradebook pages on Canvas.

See this video for instructions on tracking your thread performance during a block.


What happens if I fail to achieve mastery in a thread?

If a student finishes a term with a thread grade below the 70% bar for mastery, they may need to complete a remediation course. For more information, see theĀ Foundations Phase Remediation page.