Grading Policies *


Grading system
Courses are graded as follows:

D—poor but passing
WF—withdrawn failing
I—incomplete calculated as F
IP—in progress
NC—no credit
NGR—no grade report by instructor

A student who wishes to attend a class without receiving credit for it may register to audit that course (see Audit).

S/U grading
Certain courses (including student teaching, some internships and remedial courses) are graded "S/U" only and are so indicated in the course descriptions. "S" means satisfactory and indicates course credit was earned. "U" means unsatisfactory and indicates no credit. Courses taken under credit by exam and portfolio assessment are considered "S/U" and do not count as letter-graded hours.

A student may also elect an "S/U" grading option in no more than 16 credit hours in a baccalaureate degree program (beyond those hours graded "S/U" only, as described in the previous paragraph). Any "S/U" hours beyond this limit will not count toward graduation. Many departments do not accept courses taken under the "S/U" option for credit in major or minor requirements; students should consult an advisor. For more information on deadlines to change the grading option, see Dropping, adding and changing the grade option.

Students should carefully consider the following before choosing the S/U grade option:

  • Within the S/U option, work at the level of "C" or better is needed to pass (that is, earn an "S"); within the letter grade option, by contrast, a "D" is a passing grade;
  • All work is evaluated by a common standard, regardless of grading option;
  • A grade of "F" may be assigned within the S/U option (for instance, if the student stops attending);
  • If a student receives an "S" in an elective course, but then changes majors, the new major may require the course be taken for a grade. In those cases, the student may appeal retroactively for a change in grade option (and therefore receive a letter grade).
  • More than 12 semester hours of "S/U" grades may increase the grade point average needed for graduation with honors. See Graduation with honors.

Because of these and other considerations, students should consult an advisor before choosing the S/U grading option.

"No Credit" grading
In the event that the grade option is "A/B/C/NC" or “S/NC,” all grades will appear on the student's record, though a grade of “No Credit” will not affect the accumulative grade point average. A student may receive a grade of "F" in courses with the "No Credit" grading option.

Impact of course drops and withdrawals on grading
A grade of "W" is given if a student formally withdraws from a course after the drop deadline (see Drop/Add Policy) but before the end of the 12th week of a course in a 15-week session. The student is responsible for filing a course withdrawal request that also notifies the instructor (Withdrawal form) on or before the last day of the 12th week. For summer and all other sessions, a "W" is assigned if a student withdraws after completing at least 13% but not more than 80% of the contact hours of the session. The student is responsible for filing a course withdrawal request that also notifies the instructor before the 80% completion date.

A grade of "F" (failing) is assigned under the following circumstances:

  • the student withdraws after the intervals described above;
  • the student stops attending the class without processing a withdrawal;
  • the student has never attended the class and has not processed an official withdrawal.

These provisions apply to the A-F, the S/U and the No Credit grading systems. Students taking courses that are graded S/U or No Credit should be aware that it is possible to earn a grade of "F" if they do not follow the guidelines for withdrawing from a course.

See Incomplete marks, below.

See Withdrawal from the University.

Grade point average
For calculating the student's grade point average, the following quality points are assigned to each letter grade:
For each hour of A, 4 points
For each hour of B, 3 points
For each hour of C, 2 points
For each hour of D, 1 point
For each hour of F or WF, 0 points
For each hour of I, 0 points

The grade of "WF" is used with zero quality points in computing the grade point average; "W' is not used in computing the grade point average.

For courses graded S/U, grades falling within the range of "A" to "C" are interpreted as "S" and earn course credit. Grades in the range of "D" to "F" are interpreted as "U" and do not earn course credit. In any case, "S" and "U" grades do not affect the accumulative grade point average.

For courses graded “A/B/C/NC,” grades of “A,” “B,” or “C” are calculated according to assigned quality points. A grade of “NC” does not earn course credit and does not affect the accumulative grade point average.

A student's grade point average is obtained by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the total number of hours taken, excluding courses in which the marks "S,""U,""IP,""INC," “NC,” or "W" are recorded. The hours for which a mark of "INC" is recorded are excluded from grade point average computation until the deadline for removal.

As an example, suppose a student receives the following grades for a semester:

Biology (a 4-hour course) B
English (a 3-hour course) B
French (a 4-hour course) C
Health (a 3-hour course) A

First, determine the number of quality points earned for each course. For example, each hour of B is worth 3 points and a 4-hour B is worth 12 points (3x4).

Therefore, the above grades translate into quality points as follows:

Quality points illustration

Now, divide the number of quality points by the number of hours taken for a letter grade. The grade point average for this sample schedule is (41/14=2.92). Grade point averages are not rounded up to the nearest hundredth of a point.

Incomplete marks
The mark of "INC" (incomplete) is given when, for some acceptable reason, a student fails to meet a definite requirement in a course as established by the instructor. The mark of "INC" may be removed and a grade (if taken for a grade) or the letter "S" (if taken "S/U") may be substituted for it by a student making up the deficiencies to the satisfaction of the instructor.

Unless an extension of time is granted by the academic dean, a mark of "INC" must be removed by March 1, Aug. 1, and Nov. 1 for the fall and spring semesters and summer session, respectively. For courses taken "S/U," any mark of "INC" not removed by these deadlines will change to "U." For courses taken for a letter grade, any mark of "INC" not removed by these deadlines will change to "I" and be calculated as "F" in the cumulative grade point averages of all undergraduate students, with or without an extension of time. The student who has been granted an extension, however, will have the opportunity to have his or her grade point average recalculated and the "I" changed to the grade assigned.

Grade appeals
Students have a right to appeal decisions on grades. The student should first contact the department from which the grade was received. A member of each department, who is not a major departmental administrator, is designated to hear complaints, gather information, talk with both students and faculty, mediate disputes or identify appropriate channels for solving problems. If the dispute cannot be resolved at this level then the student should state the full particulars of the appeal in writing and submit them to the department chair or policy committee. If the matter is not resolved at the department level, the student may request a hearing before the academic arbitration board of the appropriate school or college. However, the sole responsibility and authority for determining grades rests with the faculty member who assigned the grade. This appeals procedure also may be used if a student believes an opportunity should be provided to make up work missed during absence from classes.

The grade appeals procedure must be started by the end of the fifth week of the spring semester for grades received during fall semester and by the end of the fifth week of fall semester for grades received during the spring semester or during the summer session. All actions for grade changes must be completed during the semester in which the grade is appealed. Grade and absence grievances may not be appealed beyond the college level.