Grading System

Student work is evaluated according to the following system: A for excellent, B for good, C for satisfactory, D for passing, F for failing, I for incomplete work (see below), W for withdrawn, and P for passing in a course graded only on a pass/fail basis. Grades are recorded in the Office of the University Registrar, and, with the exception of I, may not be changed except in cases of clerical error.  Such changes—i.e., those based on a clerical error—should be made no later than the semester following the one in which the original grade was given.

The grade I (incomplete) is given only when a professor deems that a student has failed to complete the work of a course for legitimate and unavoidable reasons. The incomplete must be replaced with a grade within one week after final examinations. An extension exceeding one week requires that a student supply very clear evidence of extenuating circumstances to the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs of the College. Such extensions can be granted only by that office. 

Averages are computed in grade points. Each graded semester hour of academic credit carries with it a corresponding number of grade points as follows:

A+ 4.00
A 4.00
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B 3.00
B- 2.67
C+ 2.33
C 2.00
C- 1.67
D+ 1.33
D 1.00
D- 0.67
F 0.00

Class standing and eligibility for graduation are determined by the number of semester hours and cumulative grade point average a student has earned.

Grade Appeal

A student who believes that they have been assigned a course grade which is unfair or inappropriate, and who has been unable to resolve the matter with the faculty member directly, may appeal to the College Standards Committee. Appeals should be initiated no later than the semester following the one in which the grade in question was given. Such appeals are made by letter to the Committee via the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs and are taken up as regular agenda items at the next scheduled meeting. The Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs informs the faculty member involved of the appeal and invites this faculty member to respond to the student’s claim.

The concept of academic freedom as practiced at the College prohibits the Committee or any administrative officer from forcing a faculty member to change a grade. Therefore, an appeal serves more as a form of peer review than an appeal per se. The committee may suggest a solution to the dispute, may request that both the faculty member and the student justify their positions, and may require the faculty member to review a grade in light of clearly new and substantial information. The committee may also recommend legislation to the faculty that might prevent conflicts from occurring in the future.

All faculty members should be aware that they may be asked to justify their personal grading procedures and should keep adequate records of class performance. In addition, faculty should not request grade changes later than the semester following the one in which the grade in question was given.

Pass/Fail Grading Option

A degree-seeking student may elect to have up to eight semester hours (the equivalent of two full courses) graded on a pass/fail basis, with no more than four semester hours so graded in any given term. Courses utilizing only pass/fail grading and courses transferred from other institutions do not count toward the eight-semester-hour maximum.

  • A grade of D- or above converts to "P" (Pass), which is not computed in the student's GPA.
  • Courses converted to the pass/fail grading option may not be used in fulfillment of requirements for a major, minor, or certificate of curricular study but may be used to satisfy general education and elective degree requirements.
  • Some professional and graduate schools insist that certain courses required of applicants be taken on a graded basis.
  • Converted grades are used in calculating the student's transcript GPA, which will be used in determining eligibility to enroll, receive financial aid, and graduate; course grades originally issued by the instructor will be used in determining class rank as well as eligibility for the Dean's List; Order of the Gown; Phi Beta Kappa; graduation, departmental, and athletic honors; membership in academic honor societies; awards and prizes; and in most other instances where grade point average is among the criteria considered.
  • The decision to convert a course to the pass/fail grading option may not be revoked; once the change has been made, the original grade does not appear on the student's transcript and cannot be sent by the Office of the University Registrar to any third party including graduate and professional schools.
  • A course may not be designated as pass/fail if a final grade of F has been assigned by the instructor or as the result of an Honor Code sanction.

Students may designate a pass/fail grading option through the last day to withdraw from a course with a grade of W in the last term of enrollment prior to graduation, whether the course is one still in progress or one in which a grade has already been recorded. Such designation is made through the Office of the University Registrar.