Graduate School Grading Policies

Graduate School Grading Policies

Posting of Grades:

Grades are recorded on SPIRE approximately one week following the date they are due from the instructors; check SPIRE for the precise date grades will be available each semester. As incomplete or missing grades are received and posted, they are uploaded to SPIRE. If you require a printed copy of your grades you can print an unofficial transcript from SPIRE or request an official transcript from the University Registrar's Office.

Grading System:

Course/seminar grades are assigned solely by the course instructor. The following letter grades can be given to graduate students in graduate-level courses:

A = 4.0 AUD - Audit
A- = 3.7 INC - Incomplete
B+ = 3.3 IF - Incomplete Failure
B = 3.0 IP - In Progress (for thesis and dissertation courses only)
B- = 2.7 NR - Not Reported
C+ = 2.3 DR - Drop
C = 2.0 SAT - Satisfactory
C-* = 1.7 WP - Withdraw Passing
D* = 1.0 WF - Withdraw Failing
F = 0.0 Y - Year Long Course In Progress

*Graduate students enrolled in undergraduate courses may receive these grades.

  1. Satisfactory:
    The grade of Satisfactory (SAT) may be assigned as an alternative to a letter grade. Students should check with their instructor at the beginning of the semester regarding the instructor's policy about pass/fail grades. The grade of "SAT" is equivalent to "Passing for Graduate Credit", which requires an underlying letter grade of C or higher.  A minimum of one-half of the total required credits for a master's degree must be on a letter-graded basis. Any portion of the remaining credits may be graded Satisfactory subject to prior approval by the student's department/program.  The decision as to which courses may be taken on a pass/fail basis (graded SAT) rests with the department rather than with the individual candidate.
  2. Incomplete:
    When the grade of Incomplete (INC) is assigned, the student must contact the instructor to determine what must be done to complete the course and the date by which the work is to be completed.  A student can obtain credit for an "incomplete" only by finishing the work of the course before the end of one calendar year from the time of enrollment in that course. At the end of that period, if a grade is not submitted an IF (Incomplete Failure) will be recorded. The initiative in arranging for the removal of an "incomplete" rests with the student. This regulation does not apply to thesis and dissertation credits but does apply to terminal project credits.
  3. Incomplete Failure:
    An Incomplete (INC) or blank grade reverts to an Incomplete Failure (IF) one year after initial enrollment in the course, (e.g., a course taken in the Fall 2021 semester reverts to an "IF" on the first class day of the Fall 2022 semester).
  4. In Progress:
    An interim grade of In Progress (IP) is routinely recorded for thesis/dissertation credits until the candidate receives his/her graduate degree. At that time, grades of Satisfactory (SAT) are assigned for all thesis/dissertation credits. Should a student choose not to complete his/her thesis/dissertation after registering for the credit, a grade of Drop (DR) is recorded for each registration.
  5. Undergraduate Courses:
    A graduate student who enrolled in an undergraduate level course (100-499) may receive any grade that is valid for undergraduate students enrolled in the same course. Grades of "C-" and "D+” and “D" are valid only for undergraduate-level courses.
  6. Course Withdrawal:
    Grades of Drop (DR), Withdraw Passing (WP), or Withdraw Failing (WF) are recorded when the student formally drops the course prior to the end of the semester. The instructor must indicate "WP" or "WF" and date last attended when signing the late Add/Drop Form. With instructor approval a student may convert an otherwise passing course to an audit up to the last day of classes.
  7. Audited Courses: 
    A grade of Audit (AUD) is recorded for students who register for and successfully complete the course requirements for auditing students. The instructor determines what constitutes successful completion. If an "audit" grade is not reported, the course will not be included on the student's transcript. With instructor approval a student may convert an otherwise passing course to an audit up to the last day of classes. A student may not switch from audit to credit after the end of the add/drop period. Audited courses do not count towards enrollment status and cannot be used to compete any degree or certificate requirement.
  8. Retaking Courses: 
    Unless otherwise noted a course may be taken more than once but may be offered only once toward degree requirements.  All enrollments and all grades will appear on the transcript and will count in the grade point average.