Grading

Grading Guidelines

Syllabi for all graded courses at the School of Theology shall state the percentage of the final course grade contributed by each assignment.

All required courses in the core curriculum are given a letter grade, except when pass/fail grading is requested by the instructor and authorized for a particular course by action of the faculty.

All electives are given a letter grade, unless the instructor designates the course as pass/fail at the start of the term.

Individual students may request, at the beginning of a particular course, that a letter-graded elective be graded pass/fail. An instructor is free to deny the request. If written permission is given, the coordinator of academic affairs will change the grading type from letter to pass/fail. A pass/fail grade is not included in the GPA nor is it used to qualify for honors.

If pass/fail grading is selected by an instructor for a course as a whole, students may not request to be given a letter grade.

Summer courses are given a letter grade. The Doctor of Ministry project is graded on a pass/fail basis, while the Master of Sacred Theology thesis is given a letter grade.

Grading Scale

4.0 A 100–93 (Exceptional work)
3.7 A- 92–90
3.3 B+ 89–87 (More than adequate work)
3.0 B 86–83
2.7 B- 82–80
2.3 C+ 79–77 (Adequate work)
2.0 C 76–73 (Less than adequate)
1.7 C- 72–70
1.3 D+ 69–67 (Deficient work)
1.0 D 66–63
0.7 D- 62–60
0 F 59–00 (Failure to accomplish task)

Grade Appeals

A student who believes that he or she has been assigned a course grade that is unfair or inappropriate, and who has been unable to resolve the matter with the instructor directly, may appeal to the associate dean for academic affairs. Appeals must be initiated in writing no later than the semester following the one in which the grade in question was given. To act on an appeal, the associate dean must find that the complaint has a reasonable basis. The associate dean informs the faculty member involved of the appeal and requires this faculty member to respond to the student’s claim.

The concept of academic freedom as practiced at the University prohibits any administrative officer from forcing a faculty member to change a grade. Therefore, an appeal serves as a form of peer review that cannot compel a change in grade. The associate dean may suggest a solution to the dispute, may request that both the faculty member and the student justify their positions, and may recommend policies and procedures to the faculty member.

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.

Incompletes in the Academic Year

The grade of “I” ("Incomplete") is given when a student fails to complete the work of a course for good reason (the instructor being the judge of what constitutes “good reason”). The instructor must record the grounds for assigning a grade of “I,” specifying a deadline for the work’s completion, and give a copy to the student, to the coordinator of academic affairs and to the associate dean for academic affairs. If a student believes that she or he will be unable to meet the stated deadline due to grave, extenuating circumstances, the student may request an additional extension from the instructor. In no case can the deadline for completion be later than the end of the midterm break of the following semester, without authorization by the faculty.

If a student fails to submit the work by the deadline, the instructor is to assign a grade of “F” (“zero” if using a 100-point scale for grade calculations) for the missing work and then calculate the final grade for the course.

Incompletes in the Summer Session

Work is to be turned in by Sept. 1 each year unless otherwise specified in the syllabus. A grade of “I” (“Incomplete”) is given when a student fails to meet the Sept. 1 deadline. A professor may grant an extension if the student requests it in writing and the professor deems there is good reason for the extension. The professor must document the grounds for granting the extension, specifying a deadline for the work’s completion and any grade penalty to be assessed, and distributing three copies of the statement: one to the coordinator of academic affairs, one to the student, and one to the associate dean for academic affairs. A grade of “I” will be entered with the extension deadline. If the work is not turned in by the new deadline, the “I” will be changed to “F.” The extension date may not be later than Dec. 31 of the calendar year, without authorization by the Advanced Degrees Program committee. The professor’s policy concerning grade penalties for work submitted late is to be stated in the course syllabus if different from the program policy below.

Unless a student has been given an extension by the professor, work turned in after Sept. 1 is dropped one grade fraction immediately (e.g. A to A-). Work received on or after:

  • Oct. 1 is then dropped an additional full letter grade (e.g. A- to B-);
  • Nov. 1 is then dropped another full letter grade;
  • Dec. 1 is then dropped another full letter grade;
  • Jan. 1 receives an F.

Master of Sacred Theology Thesis/Doctor of Ministry Project Hours and Incompletes

Candidates for the Master of Sacred Theology or Doctor of Ministry degrees who are writing a thesis or project register for the appropriate credit hours once. The thesis or project must be submitted in time for the candidate to graduate before the time limit to degree has elapsed; however, the work need not be submitted in the same term for which the candidate registered for the thesis/project credit hours. If the thesis or project is not submitted by the end of that term, the placeholder of “IP” is entered. This is later removed and replaced by the grade the work earns. If the thesis/project is not submitted by the deadline for the student to graduate before the time limit to degree, the “IP” is converted to an “F.”

Late Work

Unless a student has made prior arrangements with the instructor, a student who is late with work due during a course is dropped one grade fraction immediately (i.e. A to A-), and then a full letter grade for each week (five working days) that the work is late. Instructors have the prerogative to set different policies regarding the penalties for their individual classes and will state their policies in their syllabi. If the work is not turned in by the last day of classes of the term, the instructor is to assign a grade of “F” (“zero” if using a 100-point scale for grade calculations) for the missing work and then calculate the final grade for the course.

Course Assignments in Summer

Most courses in the summer session require reading to be done prior to the start of class. Each professor has the prerogative to exclude a student from class for failure to complete preparatory assignments. Additional reading may be assigned during the course.