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    The policies on this page are common to all credit-bearing courses in Health Care Innovation. Any modifications specific to a course will be highlighted on that course's front page. Course policies are available as a downloadable PDF as part of each course's syllabus. These policies were last modified on June 1, 2022 and are valid as of August 2022. Course policies are subject to change, as required.

    Academic Honesty

    Unless otherwise noted in the assignment directions, any work submitted in HCIN courses must be yours and yours alone. Plagiarism and other forms of cheating are against program and university rules and will be dealt with according to the procedures of the University of Pennsylvania.

    What is Plagiarism?

    If you present someone's words, thoughts, or data from a book, article, online publication, or any other source as your own, you are committing plagiarism. To avoid plagiarism, you must cite the original author every time you:

    • Use an author's exact written or spoken words.
      In this case, you must also identify the words by enclosing them with quotation marks or indenting the quote on both sides of the margin.
    • Paraphrase someone's written or spoken words.
    • Use facts provided by someone else that are not common knowledge.
    • Make significant use of someone's ideas or theories.

    It is also plagiarism to pay a person or service for a deliverable like a paper, slide deck, or other project, to hand in someone else’s work as your own, to submit work produced by a generative artificial intelligence (AI) service as your own, or to cut and paste text from an outside source—including an AI service—without citing the source.


    When you use facts, ideas, or other materials that are not your own, they must be cited. When citing sources:

    • Be explicit about where words and ideas come from.
      For example, if you are talking about statistics from an article from NPR, you might write:
      As Richard Knox wrote in his 2013 article "U.S. Ranks Below 16 Other Rich Countries in Health Report," accidents comprise 16% of deaths for men under 50 in the United States.
    • If possible, link to the source.
      Use the link buttons in Canvas's rich text editor to connect your readers to the source of your information. Learn more about how to create hyperlinks.
    • Make sure to cite images, too.
      Include the name of their creator, where the image comes from, and if possible, a link.

    For more information about citation and a guide to common bibliographic styles, please refer to the Purdue Online Writing Lab.

    Submissions and Grading

    Learning activities are listed on the Home, Modules, and Weekly Overview pages, together with their due dates. Submissions are due through Canvas, on the date listed, by 11:59pm in your time zone. Requirements differ somewhat by type:

    • Weekly discussions
      • Have specific due dates by which initial posts and responses to classmates must be submitted to the discussion forum.
      • Are viewable by the course team and your classmates.
      • Are graded separately, by course assistants, using rubrics.
    • Practice activities and final projects
      • Have specific due dates.
      • May be submitted via discussion forum or file upload (see assignment directions).
      • Are graded by course assistants using rubrics.
    • Quizzes, when they appear in a course
      • Have specific due dates, but no penalties for late work.
      • Include multiple choice questions, which are automatically graded.
      • May include short answer questions, which are graded by course assistants.
      • Can usually be taken multiple times (see assignment directions).
    • Class meetings and other instructor-student interactions
      • Have specific dates and times for live participation.
      • Can be viewed after the fact if needed.
      • Require that you complete a short reflection exercise in order to claim credit for participating.

    Revising Work

    Only weekly discussion posts may be revised. If you receive a lower grade than you expect, you may make 1 response to your original post to offer further clarification and detail, based on feedback you have received. Course assistants may grant additional points based on these responses. You must respond within 72 hours of receiving the initial grade, and you must alert the course assistants if you would like them to reassess your work.

    Grade Questions and Disputes

    If you have questions about your grade on any specific assignment, please contact the course assistants. Often, a brief interaction will clarify the ambiguity. If you would like the course assistants to reconsider a grade, clearly state in your email:

    1. Which assignment you would like the course assistants to review.
    2. Why you believe you deserve a different grade (be brief but specific).

    We ask that you observe a 24-hour cooling off period before contacting course assistants about grade disputes. Registering a dispute does not guarantee that your grade will be changed. And please remember to be civil in your communications.

    Late Work and Extensions

    Activities in HCIN courses have a 48-hour grace period during which they will not be counted late. After that time, late submissions receive a penalty of a fraction of a point per day:

    • 3 point assignments: 0.1 per day.

    • 5 or 6 point assignments: 0.3 per day.
    • 8-10 point assignments: 0.5 per day.

    If you need an extension, you must contact a course assistant before the due date. Work that has received an extension will be graded without penalty. Extensions are typically 2–3 additional days.

    The final deadline for all work is the last day of the course or—if you have prearranged an extension—no later than 1 week after the course ends. If you need additional time, please refer to the course incomplete policy and contact the Associate Program Director.

    Grading Scale

    In core courses and electives, course instructors assign letter grades that indicate student performance against the learning objectives of the course. Course grades are not curved. Grades that fall within 0.5 of the next letter grade are rounded up. For example, a 99.4 is an A, while a 99.5 rounds up to an A+.

    Letter Percentage
    A+ 100%
    A 93-99%
    A- 90-92%
    B+ 87-89%
    B 83-86%
    B- 80-82%
    C+ 77-79%
    C 73-76%
    C- 70-72%
    D 60-69%
    F <60%


    Lab courses are graded pass/not pass. To pass a lab, you must achieve a 70% or better.

    Grade Percentage
    Pass ("S") 70% or higher
    Not pass ("U") Below 70%


    All grades are noted on your official University of Pennsylvania student transcript. If you are concerned about your performance in a course, please reach out to your course assistant right away.

    Course Drops and Withdrawals

    Health Care Innovation courses are 6 weeks long each and do not follow typical semester start and end dates. Thus typical University add/drop period dates do not apply. 

    • Students must drop the course before the end of Week 2 in order to receive a 100% refund. A dropped course is removed from the student’s transcript.
    • Students must withdraw from a course before the end of Week 4 to receive a partial refund. A withdrawal is notated by a W on the student’s transcript.
    • Students may not withdraw from a course after Week 4.

    Note that course weeks run Tuesday­­­­–Monday.

    Weeks 1-2 Drop with a 100% refund
    Weeks 3-4 Withdraw with a 50% refund
    Weeks 5-6 None


    Please contact the Program Managers if you need to withdraw from the course.

    Incomplete Policy

    To avoid late penalties, you must request extensions for individual assignments before each assignment is due. No work will be accepted after the last day of the course unless you have prearranged an extension with a course assistant. Work that has been granted an extension is due no later than 1 week after the course ends.

    If you are experiencing extenuating circumstances that will prevent you from completing the course—even with extensions—contact the Program Managers as early as possible to discuss the option of taking an Incomplete. Incompletes may be granted in situations where you have attempted a reasonable amount of coursework but cannot finish the course on time because of extenuating circumstances. If by the end of the course no attempt at coursework has been made (i.e. no assignments have been submitted), you will receive a course grade of F. We cannot grant incompletes that are requested after the end of the course.

    A grade of Incomplete indicates your commitment to complete the course at a later point, but no later than 1 year after the course ends. You will work together with the Program Manager to create a plan for completion. Incompletes are not course do-overs, and all grades you have received for completed work—including any late penalties—stand. Once you have completed outstanding work, you must notify the Program Manager to change the Incomplete to a letter grade. A course assistant with experience in that course will grade the work.

    Please note that taking an Incomplete may delay your time to degree completion, and multiple Incompletes may interfere with your ability to continue with the MHCI. For more information about taking an Incomplete, Master of Health Care Innovation students should consult the student handbook.

    Disability Statement

    The University of Pennsylvania provides reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities who have self-identified and been approved by the office of Student Disability Services. Please contact the course assistants as soon as possible in order to discuss your accommodations and your needs. If you would like to request accommodations or ask questions, make an appointment by contacting the office of Student Disability Services at 215-573-9235 or vpul-sdsmail@pobox.upenn.edu. The office of Student Disability Services is located in the Weingarten Learning Resources Center at Stouffer Commons, 3702 Spruce Street, Suite 300. All services are confidential.

    Use of Student Data

    HCIN instructors and staff consult student data from a variety of sources including the Canvas learning management system, the Panopto video player, the Zoom videoconferencing platform, and the Freshdesk ticketing system to help improve our programs and students’ learning experience. That data includes:

    • Analytics related to engagement with course technologies.
    • Assignment submissions, submissions metadata, and grades.
    • The subjects and frequency of communications with course assistants.
    • Aggregate attendance at live class meetings.

    We use that data to:

    • Identify and contact students who may need extra help.
    • Identify and inform revisions to courses.
    • Ensure that we are able to communicate accurately about our courses and programs with current and prospective students, as well as potential collaborators.

    HCIN instructors and staff have access to student data, and course assistants have access to the subset of data that is relevant for them to complete their work. Other university entities such as the Penn Libraries Courseware Services Team also use student data to facilitate their work.

    Data collection does not influence student grades.

    We do not share information about individual students’ performance except where required. The program’s use of student data aligns with the University of Pennsylvania’s FERPA policy.

    Civility and Respect

    Building a strong learning community in HCIN courses requires students to actively participate in the work of creating trust and safety with classmates, course assistants, instructors, and guests. By design, HCIN courses will put you in dialogue with people of different backgrounds, who hold different opinions and beliefs. This can spawn disagreement. But approached with curiosity and an open mind, it will also be the core of your learning, and will help you build connections that can facilitate real-world innovation. Create the environment you want to learn in by:

    • Prioritizing kindness and generosity in every interaction.

    • Actively listening to your classmates and giving their ideas fair hearing.

    • Encouraging classmates to explore ideas, evolve their thinking, and make their case—even when you disagree.

    • Offering constructive criticism that focuses on the content, not the person.

    • Showing your enthusiasm for classmates’ ideas by giving credit where credit is due.

    • Making space for everyone to be heard—not just the quick-thinking extroverts in the group.

    • Asking yourself: is my comment on point and helpful to advancing the conversation?

    Finally, remember that you have support. If there is ever a time when you feel disrespected, uncomfortable, or unheard, or if you are concerned about how a discussion is going, reach out to the teaching team or to MEHP Online staff. We are here to help.