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Grading System for Graduate Students

Effective Date Jun 25, 2008

(Graduate Policy 4.8)

Graduate work is evaluated by letter grades, with only grades of A, B, C and P being credited toward graduate degrees. Grades of D, F and U are failing grades in graduate studies. Failed courses must be repeated at the earliest opportunity if they are required courses. An elective course in which a D or F is received must either be repeated or an additional course taken with the approval of the academic unit.

The preceding requirements and limitations apply to required English as a Second Language (ESL) courses as well as academic courses. Any such course that a graduate student is required to take must be passed with a grade of at least C. A higher grade may be required where appropriate (e.g., for teaching assistants) by the dean of the appropriate college or school.

Minimum grade point averages for awarding degrees are given in the following graduate policies:  “Academic Probation and Dismissal for Master’s and Specialist Degree Students,” "Grading System and Requirements for Master's and Specialist Degree Students,"  “Academic Probation and Dismissal for Ph.D./D.B.A. /Av.D. Students,” "Grading Requirements for Ph.D./D.B.A./Av.D. Students," “Academic Dismissal for Psy.D. Students,” and "Grading Requirements for Psy.D. Students."

Pass/Fail Grading

(Graduate Policy 4.8.1)

Pass/Fail grading is used only for informal courses and certain seminar-format courses. Graduate Council approval is required for any course to be offered on a Pass/Fail basis.

When a grade of P is assigned, the semester credit hours appear on the transcript.

A student who fails a Pass/Fail course will receive an F just as in any other course and this will result in a lower grade point average.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grading

(Graduate Policy 4.8.2)

Grades of S (Satisfactory) and U (Unsatisfactory) are similar to grades of P and F except that:

  • They carry no credit
  • An S grade may be replaced at any later time with a grade of P
  • A U grade has no effect on the grade point average but may affect the granting or renewal of graduate assistantships and could result in academic dismissal in some cases. 

Use of S/U grades is restricted to the following categories of courses:

  • Thesis
  • Design Project
  • Doctoral Research Project
  • Dissertation
  • Internship
  • Research
  • Zero-credit courses

A grade of S need not be replaced, in which case no credit is earned. A grade of U cannot be replaced.

See also graduate policies "Academic Warning, Probation and Dismissal for Master's and Specialist Degree Students," “Grading System and Requirements for Master’s and Specialist Degree Students,” "Academic Probation and Dismissal for Ph.D./D.B.A./Av.D. Students,"  “Grading Requirements for Ph.D./D.B.A./AvD.  Students,” "Academic Dismissal for Psy.D. Students," and “Grading Requirements for Psy.D. Students.”

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