Students

Grading System

 

Letter Grades

The Graduate School's grading system is as follows: A, excellent; B, good; C, fair; D, passing but poor; F, failure. Plus and minus letter grades are also used. Unless program regulations specifically state otherwise, all courses to be credited toward the degree must be taken for a letter grade (see also the paragraph on R credit below).

A letter grade is given to a student who has completed the required work in a course, including the final exam or paper, and it is expressed on a student's transcript by the letter grades A, B, C, D, or F. The grade of F is a final grade and is not subject to reexamination.

Students should seek advice from the director of graduate studies in their department if they wish to take a course Pass/Fail or for R credit

IN (Incomplete)

The mark of IN is given to a student who has satisfactorily met all the requirements of a course except for the completion of certain assigned papers or reports or the final examination, which the student has been compelled to postpone for reasons that are 1) beyond his or her control and 2) satisfactory to the instructor. For a course in the Arts and Sciences, if the student does not submit the outstanding work by the deadline specified below, the mark of IN will be changed to an F, which will not be subject to change at a later date.

For Incompletes earned in the fall semester, the deadline for students to submit their outstanding work is the June 30 that immediately follows. For Incompletes earned in the spring semester or summer term, the deadline for students to submit their outstanding work is the December 30 that immediately follows. Departments and instructors may set an earlier deadline for completion of the outstanding work; in such cases, that deadline will supersede the GSAS deadline.

Leaves of absence approved by GSAS stop the clock on Incomplete deadlines. If a student is granted a Leave of Absence from the University during the grace period of an Incomplete, the grade of Incomplete will remain on the student's transcript while the student is not enrolled, and the time of the leave will not count against the student's grace period. A grade of Incomplete received by a student who has not registered and has not been granted an approved Leave of Absence from the University will be changed to an F after the original deadline has passed.

Deadlines for students who have been granted leaves of absence are the following:

Semester in which the IN or CP is received

Status in first semester following receipt of IN or CP

Status in second semester following receipt of IN or CP

Deadline for completing work

Fall

On leave in spring

Registered in fall

December 30 following the leave

Fall

Registered in spring

On leave in fall

March 1 following the leave

Spring

Registered in fall

On leave in spring

December 30 before the leave 

Spring

On leave in fall

Registered in spring

June 30 following the leave

 

R Credit (Registered for the course; no qualitative grade assigned)

Registering for R Credit 

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

The mark of R is a non-evaluative grade that confers credit for registration without designating an A-F letter grade.  It appears on SSOL and on official transcripts.

Students who elect to take a course for R credit are not required to take the final examination; however, they must meet all other course requirements, unless the instructor states otherwise in writing.

Please note: R credit and Pass/Fail (P/F) are two different marks.  Unlike R credit, the mark of P/F assesses the quality of a student’s performance.  Additionally, students taking a course Pass/Fail are evaluated on all the gradable assignments for the course. 

Before electing to take a course for R credit, students should first consult the DGS or program director to learn whether the course will count toward their degree requirements.  They should also confer with the instructor of the course to obtain permission to take the course for R credit.

Students may elect to take a course for R credit through SSOL during the Change of Program period in the first two weeks of the semester.  Selection of R credit is updated in SSOL on the fourth Monday of the fall and spring semesters.

After the first two weeks of the semester, students can no longer elect R credit on SSOL.  They should discuss the R credit option with the instructor, and obtain written confirmation of the agreement.  If the instructor approves the request, he or she will assign the mark of R at the end of the semester.  

If a mark of R has been entered on SSOL without the instructor’s approval, the R grade will be changed to a letter grade by the instructor at the end of the semester in SSOL.

The deadline to request R credit for a course in the fall and spring semesters is the same as the deadline to request to take a course Pass/Fail; please refer to the School of Professional Studies website for summer-term deadlines.

A course that has been taken for R credit may not be repeated for a letter grade.

When a student chooses to take a course for R credit, but does not satisfactorily fulfill the conditions for receiving R credit, the instructor may award the mark of IN, UW, or F depending on what he or she deems appropriate, using the Change of Grade tool in SSOL. 

If a student receives an Incomplete for a class taken for R credit and does not submit the work by the GSAS deadline, the mark of IN will be changed to an UW, which will not be subject to change at a later date.

Courses taken for R credit are applied toward the calculation of Residence Units for billing purposes in the same way as courses taken for a letter grade. The number of points of R credit acceptable for a degree, however, is set by each program in consultation with the Executive Committee of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

P/F (Pass/Fail)

A few specific graduate-level courses are offered only on a Pass/Fail basis; typically these courses focus on the cultivation of professional or disciplinary skills (e.g., MUSI G6000, Professional Strategies & Skills; RSRH G4001 Scholarly Research and Writing; SOCI G4097, Designs of Social Research). In these cases, the instructor notifies the students of the P/F grading scale and submits grades accordingly.

Students who wish to be given a P/F grade for a course offered on a letter-grade scale must request the grade of P/F through the Office of the Registrar, not by direct request to the instructor. To submit a request, complete the Registration Adjustment Form (PDF) and submit it to the Student Service Center in 205 Kent Hall.

The deadline for requesting to take a course P/F in the fall or spring semesters is given on both the GSAS Academic Calendar and the University Academic Calendar; for Summer Sessions, see the School of Continuing Education website. Decisions to take a particular course Pass/Fail or for R credit are not reversible after this date, nor will requests to take a course Pass/Fail or for R credit be granted.

A course that has been taken for P/F may not be repeated for a letter grade.

The grade of F is a final grade and is not subject to reexamination. The number of points of P/F credit acceptable for a degree is set by each program in consultation with the Executive Committee of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

The mark of YC (Year Course)

A mark given at the end of the first term of a course in which the full year of work must be completed before a qualitative grade is assigned. The grade given at the end of the second term is the grade for the entire course.

CP (Credit Pending)

The mark of CP implies satisfactory progress. It is differentiated from IN in that it is given only in graduate research courses in those rare situations in which the research project, by the nature of its subject, unavoidably and predictably continues beyond the end of the term. Upon completion, a final qualitative grade is assigned and credit allowed. 

Deadlines for courses with the mark of CP follow the deadlines for courses with the mark of IN

UW (Unofficial Withdrawal)

The mark of UW is assigned to students who have registered for a course but who have never attended or have discontinued attendance prior to the due date of substantive work. Additional information is available on the Registrar’s website.

Retaking a Course with a Grade of F

Students may appeal to the DGS or program director of their department to retake a course in which they have received an F. The student must obtain approval from the DGS of the department offering the course, as well as from the DGS of their department. The student must retake the entire course. Students cannot retake a course for which they received a passing grade (i.e., R, P, D, or higher). To receive permission to retake a course, the student must submit the Registration Adjustment Form to the GSAS Office of Student Affairs, requesting that the course be added to the student's registration the next time it is offered. Please note: This appeal must be filed no later than 10 days after the grade has been posted on SSOL. 

The grades for both of the courses will be posted on the student's transcript; the first course will not count toward the student's minimum GPA for good standing, but the second iteration will. The student will be charged applicable tuition for both courses.

Grade Appeals

As a matter of course, GSAS recognizes that faculty members have both the right to determine grading policies for their classes, and the expertise to evaluate their students' work. A grade appeal requires objective evidence of a substantive breach in grading policy. A GSAS student wishing to appeal a final grade should first contact the professor to attempt to resolve the dispute informally. If no resolution results, the student should next consult his or her advisor, Director of Graduate Studies, or Chair. If the dispute is still not settled, a student should submit a detailed written statement describing the disagreement to the GSAS Office of Student Affairs no later than 30 working days after the end of the term in which the class was taken or, if the student receives notice of the grade after the end of the term, no later than 30 working days after receiving notice of the grade.

Please note: Grade changes are not allowed after a student has graduated and his or her terminal degree has been conferred.