Grade Information

Class Attendance

The instructor describes the computation of the grades and the relation between grades and attendance at the beginning of the semester. Where grades depend on classroom participation, absences may affect the student’s grade. However, if a student were absent and the instructor reduced the grade, the reduction would be due to lack of class participation, not the student’s absence. Except for final examinations, instructors have final authority in permitting students to submit assignments late or make up examinations.

Final Examinations

Instructors of undergraduate courses shall provide a clear form of assessment of student work that shall be consistent with and sufficient for the learning goals of the course.

During the semester or term, examinations shall be held only during regularly scheduled class periods. Permission for exceptions to this rule may be granted by the deans or designees of the school or college in which the course is offered. Exceptions must be granted prior to the start of registration. Sections of courses for which such exception has been granted shall carry a footnote to that effect in the published Schedule of Classes. In the event of student absences from assessments given during the semester, decisions regarding possible make-up assessments shall be the prerogative of the instructor.

In-class final examinations must be given in the places and at the times scheduled by the University. In the case of online final examinations, though faculty may choose to make examinations available an extended period of time, students must be allowed the opportunity to take the examination during the time scheduled by the University.

Each instructor shall determine for his or her own courses the weight to be assigned to the final assessment in computing the semester grade of a student. Each instructor in charge of a course will assume responsibility for proctoring in-class assessments, including those during finals week.

Final Examinations for Courses Given at Non-standard Times

In undergraduate courses scheduled by arrangement or at non-standard times, final examinations must be given during the same scheduled week as courses scheduled at standard times. Instructors of graduate courses scheduled by arrangement may schedule the final examination during the final examination period, provided (1) space is available, (2) no student will have a conflict and (3) no student has more than two examinations in one day.

Absences from Final Examinations

A student who is prevented by sickness or other unavoidable causes from completing a scheduled final assessment must apply to the Dean of Students or designee for validation that will authorize the student’s instructor to give a substitute assessment. A student whose absence is excused by the Dean of Students or designee shall have an opportunity to complete a substitute assessment without penalty. A student whose absence from a scheduled final assessment is not excused in this way shall receive a failure for this assessment.

Rescheduling Final Examinations

Students should check their final examination schedule to see if they have either:

  1. four examinations in two consecutive calendar days
  2. three examinations in one calendar day
  3. three examinations in consecutive time-blocks spanning parts of two consecutive days

If any of the above apply, they may request the Dean of Students Office to rearrange their schedule. The Dean of Students Office will select one of the examinations for rescheduling and notify the instructor, usually with a letter given to the student.

Grades, Grade Points, Credits, and Skills

Instructors grade undergraduate courses based on the following letter and point system. These grades are used to calculate students’ Grade Point Averages.

Grade Points Credits Skills
A 4 yes yes
A- 3.7 yes yes
B+ 3.3 yes yes
B 3 yes yes
B- 2.7 yes yes
C+ 2.3 yes yes
C 2 yes yes
C- 1.7 yes yes
D+ 1.3 yes yes
D 1 yes yes
D- 0.7 yes yes
F 0 no no
P@ N/A yes no
F@ N/A no no
S N/A yes no
U N/A no no
Au N/A no no
W N/A no no

Grade Point Formulas

Grade points for courses graded “A”-“F” are the product of the course credits and the points per credit for the grade earned. For example, given a “B-” for a 3-credit course, points earned for the course are 8.1 (2.7 x 3). For any period, the total grade points for the courses graded “A”-“F” divided by the total credits give the grade point average. The term GPA includes all courses graded “A”-“F” in a semester or summer session. The cumulative GPA averages all courses graded “A”-“F”.

If a student repeats a course that may not be repeated for credit, the Registrar records the grades for both attempts. If the repeat occurred prior to Summer Session 2002, both attempts are included in the GPA calculations. If the repeat occurred after Spring 2002, only the second attempt is included in the GPA calculations although both grades appear on the transcript. The student should note that when a lower grade is earned on the second attempt, the lower grade is the one that is used in the calculations.

Students withdrawing from a full-year course at the close of the first semester will, if they have passed the first part of the course, receive credit for the work of the first semester, unless the course description states otherwise.

Dean’s List

At the end of each semester the Dean of each school and college names to the Dean’s List those students who (1) were registered for at least 12 credits calculable for grade points, (2) received no grade below “C”, including the actual letter grade awarded in any course under the Pass/Fail option, (3) earned at least 3.0 times as many grade points as the number of calculable credits recorded by the Registrar, and (4) were in at least the upper quartile of their school or college.

Undergraduate students whose disabilities warrant the adjustment of carrying less than a full-time course load per semester can be determined eligible for Dean’s List status. The Center for Students with Disabilities will notify the Registrar each semester regarding students who are eligible.

Annually, at the conclusion of the Spring semester, the deans of the various schools and colleges shall issue a list of those degree-seeking students who did not attain full-time status at any time during the previous 12 months, but who, during this 12 month period (including summer and intersession sessions) (a) were registered for a total of at least twelve calculable credits, (b) received no mark below “C” nor received a ‘U’ in any course, (c) earned at least a 3.0 grade point average, and (d) were in the upper quartile of their respective school or college based on the Spring data. These students will receive the distinction: “Dean’s List (Part-time).”

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

The S/U grade option is determined by the faculty; it is not a student-driven option. This course designation is available only for courses that have been approved as such by the Senate Curricula and Courses Committee. Instructors assign a grade of “S” to represent satisfactory work or “U” to represent unsatisfactory work. These courses may or may not award credit, but in neither case will grade points be awarded. No course used to fulfill the General Education Requirements may be assigned an S/U grade.

Pass/Fail Option

The University Senate, the schools, the colleges and some programs have restricted the credits placed on Pass/Fail in various ways. Thus, students planning to place a course on Pass/Fail should consider the consequences carefully. The advantage to the student is that the grade for a course placed on Pass/Fail does not affect their grade point average. However, they should discuss with their advisor the immediate, the long-term, the direct, and the indirect effects.

A student who has earned at least 24 credits and is not on scholastic probation may elect a maximum of 12 credits to be distributed over not more than three courses, to be recorded as “P” for Pass or “F” for Fall on his or her permanent record. Students who are selecting a course for the Pass/Fail option must do so within the first two weeks of the semester. Students who are removing a course from the Pass/Fail option must do so within the first nine weeks of the semester. For courses taught outside of the fall and spring semesters, these deadlines will be adjusted in a pro-rated fashion by the Registrar.

During the semester, the student completes the course and is graded in the usual way by the instructor; and the instructor submits a letter grade. This letter grade is translated into a “P” (“D-” or above) or remains an “F”. In neither event will a course taken under the Pass/Fail option be included in the computation of the semester or cumulative grade point average, but a grade below “C” makes the student ineligible for the Dean’s List. The individual schools and colleges have the privilege of adopting the Pass/Fail option with or without supplementary restrictions. Students are referred to the detailed statements of the various schools in the Undergraduate Catalog for such restrictions.

Restrictions on Pass/Fail Courses

Courses placed on Pass/Fail may only be used as electives; they may not be used to satisfy the General Education Requirement, the major or related requirements, the skill requirements, the minor requirements, or any school or college course requirement. Pass/Fail credits may not be acceptable when a student changes majors or schools within the University. Pass/Fail credits may not be transferable to another institution.

Students working on a degree at another institution need written approval from their dean, or other official, at the other institution to place a course on Pass/Fail.

The Registrar does not place a student on the Dean’s List if the instructor’s grade for a Pass/Fail course is less than “C”. Note that at least 12 credits must contribute to the semester grade point average placing a student on the Dean’s List. As the Pass/Fail marks have no grade points, the instructor’s grade does not contribute to the grade point averages. Note also that at least 54 credits must contribute to the grade point average for students to graduate cum laude or higher.

Restriction by School or College

Listed below are the Pass/Fail supplementary restrictions imposed by each school and college.

  • In the School of Business, students may not elect the Pass/Fail option for any of the departments of the School.
  • In the School of Education, students may not elect the Pass/Fail option for courses offered in the School of Education which are required for certification as a teacher.
  • In the School of Engineering, no course taken on Pass/Fail may be counted for credit toward graduation.
  • In the School of Pharmacy, no specifically required courses (all courses for which no alternate choice is given in the curricular listings) can be taken on Pass/Fail.
  • In the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture students may only place one course on the Pass/Fail option.

Temporary Grades

Temporary grades signify that credit has not been earned in that course, and may subject the student to scholastic probation or dismissal. Temporary grades shall not prevent the calculation of either the semester or the cumulative grade point average.

Temporary Grades Related to Incomplete Work

An instructor may assign a temporary grade for a course when student work is not completed within the semester.

Temporary Grade Conditions for Assigning a Temporary Grade
N (No basis for grade) A student has completed few or no assessments and no make-up schedule has been agreed upon with the instructor; the instructor has no basis for a grade.
I (Incomplete grade) A student has not completed all of the assessments but work completed is of passing quality and a make-up schedule has been agreed upon with the instructor.
X (Final assessment absence) A student did not submit a final assessment and might by means of a satisfactory performance on the assessment complete the course with a passing grade. If in the opinion of the instructor such a student would fail the course regardless of the result of the assessment, the student shall be given a grade of “F.”

The student must complete all outstanding work on a schedule determined by the instructor and by the end of the third week of the following semester. Exceptions to this deadline are made by the Dean of Students or designee with the consent of the instructor.

Once the student submits the outstanding work or completes the final assessment, the instructor must submit a change of grade within 10 working days.

If the student does not submit outstanding work by the agreed upon deadline and has not been granted an exception, the instructor will calculate the student’s grade based on work completed for the course.

Passing grades will replace temporary grades on the transcript. For students who do not complete the missing work and therefore fail the course, the temporary grade will be retained on the transcript and followed by “F.”

Temporary Grades Related to Course Scheduling

An instructor should assign a temporary grade of “Y” to students enrolled in a course that extends beyond the standard semester schedule. The “Y” is intended as a placeholder until the course is complete, at which time the instructor will replace the “Y” grade with a permanent grade. If a student has work outstanding, the “Y” grade should be changed to a temporary grade that reflects the type of work outstanding.

Extensions for I and X Grades

In exceptional instances, after consulting the instructor, the Dean of Students or designee may extend the time for completing courses marked “I” or “X.”

Academic Assessment of Students

The authority to determine a student’s grade in a course lies with the instructor of record. In order to minimize student misunderstandings, course requirements must be stated in the syllabus for the course.

Mid-Semester and Semester Grade Reports

Instructors of 1000 and 2000-level courses notify the Registrar by the end of the sixth week of the semester of students who appear to be in danger of earning less than a “C,” or “U,” or “N” grades. The Registrar alerts the students, their advisors, and others, such as the First Year Programs Office, as appropriate, via the University’s e-mail system. These reports are not part of the permanent record. They are designed to be of diagnostic aid to the student. If a student is doing unsatisfactory work, the full responsibility for improvement is left to the student. The student is strongly advised, however, to confer with his or her advisor, with the instructors concerned, and with others qualified to assist him or her in improving his or her standing in the University. The mid-semester report grade information is not part of the student’s permanent file.

The Registrar provides to the student a semester report, which includes all courses for which the student is registered, the credit value of each course, and the student’s grade in each course. At the end of each semester, students may view their grades on the Student Administration System.

Changes of Course Grades

Grades are part of the student’s permanent record; they should never be changed for reasons unrelated to course requirements or quality of work. Once the grade in the course has been submitted, an instructor may neither accept additional work nor give additional examinations.

Instructors should change grades for the following reasons: a computational error, clerical error, and the discovery of overlooked components in a student’s body of work. In cases when the instructor concludes that a course grade ought to be changed, the instructor determines a corrected grade and initiates the grade change process. The head of the department or program offering the course and the dean of the school or college in which the course is taught will be notified of a grade change to ensure consistency.

Appeals of Assigned Course Grades

If a student believes that an error in grading has occurred, the student may request (within six months of the final grade being posted) that the instructor review the grade. If the student cannot contact the instructor, then the student should contact the department head. When the course is in a non-departmentalized school or college, the student should contact that dean or the dean’s designee.

If the instructor agrees that a grade change is justified, the instructor will initiate the grade change using procedures described by the Registrar.

If the instructor believes that the original grade is correct, the student has 30 days to appeal the decision to the head of the department in which the course is taught. The department head will seek input from the instructor and the student to determine his/her opinion related to the merits of the grade appeal.

If after this review the instructor and the department head agree that a grade change is justified, the instructor will initiate the grade change according to the procedures described by the Registrar.

If the instructor and the department head agree that a grade change is not justified, the department head shall notify the student in writing with a copy to the instructor. If the student is dissatisfied with the appeal decision, the student has 10 working days to request, through the dean of the school or college in which the course is taught, a review by a Faculty Grade Change Review Panel.

If the department head thinks that a grade change is justified but the instructor does not agree, the department head shall request, through the dean of the school or college in which the course is taught, a review by a Faculty Grade Change Review Panel. The department head’s request shall be made within 10 working days of completion of the grade appeal review.

The Faculty Review Panel is composed of three full-time faculty members appointed by the dean of the school or college in which the course is taught. The panel will convene a hearing within 10 working days of notification of a case. Both the appealing student and the course instructor should be present at the hearing. The student will be given an opportunity to state the grounds on which he or she is appealing the grade.

The instructor will be given the opportunity to document the basis on which the grade was awarded. Both parties may present supporting evidence and/or request testimony of others. The Faculty Review Panel may request input from the department head.

If the Faculty Review Panel recommends a grade change, it is authorized to execute the change by sending to the Registrar a change of grade request signed by all the members of the panel. The panel will send a written report of the decision to the instructor, the student, the department head, and the dean of the school or college offering the course within 10 working days of the decision. This decision is considered final.