For most graduate coursework and graduate tutorials, GSAS assigns letter grades corresponding to a 4-point scale as follows:
- A Outstanding = 4.0
- A- Excellent = 3.75
- B+ Very good = 3.5
- B Good = 3.0
- B- Pass = 2.75
- C Minimal pass = 2.0
- F Fail = 0.0
There are no grades of “C+”, “C-”, or “D” in GSAS. For most research and reading courses, a grade of “P” (Pass) replaces a letter grade.
Undergraduates taking graduate courses for undergraduate credit will be graded according to the undergraduate grading system.
For certain graduate preparation and development courses (e.g. “Requirement Prep;” “Requirement Prep in Summer;” “Proposal Development;” “Proposal Acceptance;” “Dissertation Mentoring;” and “Dissertation Direction”) GSAS uses the following grades in place of a letter grade. These grades do not affect a student’s GPA:
- AP Adequate progress
- LP Lack of adequate progress
For graduate comprehensive exams, the GSAS uses the following grades. These grades do not affect a student’s GPA:
- PCE Pass comprehensive exam
- HPCE High-pass comprehensive exam
- PREP Failure of comprehensive exam with option to retake
- FCE Failure of comprehensive exam
For English Department Capstone, the GSAS uses the following grades. The grades do not affect a student’s GPA:
- PCP Pass capstone
- HPCP High-pass capstone
- FCP Failure of capstone
GSAS also assigns the following permanent and temporary grades as appropriate:
- AUD Audit
- INC Permanent incomplete
- W Withdrawal
- PI Passing incomplete
- FI Failing incomplete
- ABS Missing required or final coursework, or absent from final examination
- NGR No grade reported
For students enrolled in consortium courses (see Registration Procedure), or enrolled in maintenance of matriculation (see Enrollment Policy), GSAS uses a designation of a dash (—). Consortium courses are graded following the system of the host institution, and are not calculated into a student's GSAS cumulative GPA. Consortium grades will be made available on the student’s official transcript.
It is expected that the requirements and assignments for a graduate-level course will be completed by the date listed for the final examination in that course. Since graduate work is research oriented and the quality of graduate projects is often improved by several revisions, it is understandable that students sometimes wish to extend the time allowed for the completion of coursework. Nonetheless, the status of “incomplete” is assigned solely in the event of circumstances outside of the student’s control, and will not be approved for students simply wishing to revise graduate work.
Applications for incompletes should be made on the official form, available from Enrollment Services, and shall be made no later than the date of the last class/final examination in that course. Requests for incompletes may be made by filling out the Request for Grade of Incomplete (available at GSAS Student Resources) and requires approval by the instructor, department chair or program director, and the dean.
Students who are on academic probation or those who have had several previous incompletes should submit documentation demonstrating that the circumstances surrounding the request for an incomplete are outside of the student’s control, along with their application.
At the time of submission of grades, the instructor will assign a grade of “PI” or “FI” to the student (see Permanent and Temporary Grades). The grade “PI” indicates that the student has not completed all required coursework, but that work turned in to date is of a passing nature. The grade “FI” indicates that the student has not completed all required coursework and that either insufficient work has been turned in on which to make a judgment, or that the work turned in is not of passing quality.
Upon completion of all required course requirements, the instructor submits a Change of Grade form to the dean’s office. When approved, the “PI”/”FI” will be removed and replaced by a permanent grade. If all course requirements are not completed by the date specified in the GSAS Academic Calendar for removal of incompletes, a “PI” will automatically become a permanent “INC”, while an “FI” will become a permanent “F”. Students (and professors) should be aware that universities and fellowship sponsors examine transcripts and that receipt of incompletes diminishes a student’s prospects for jobs or fellowships.
Permission to extend a “PI” beyond the incomplete deadline stated in the GSAS Academic Calendar requires the written approval of the instructor, the department chairperson or program director, and the dean, and reasons offered in support of the application must be substantial. If, following approval of a deadline extension, the requirements are still not met by the new deadline, the grade of “PI” is automatically changed to an “F” (called an “administrative F”). Only in extraordinary circumstances will an administrative F be changed, pursuant to the approval of the dean and the provost.
Permission to extend an “FI” beyond the incomplete deadline stated in the GSAS Academic Calendar is not normally granted.
If a student does not formally apply for an incomplete, yet fails to satisfy the necessary requirements of the course by the date of the final exam, the instructor will turn in a grade of “ABS,” which will become an “F” if not cleared by the ABS deadline in the GSAS Academic Calendar.
Students who are absent from a final examination must have a valid reason for their absence, or their grade for the examination will be an “F.” If a student possesses a valid reason for her/his absence, the instructor will record a final grade of “ABS.” The student must then request a make-up examination on the appropriate form, available from the department/program office, and have it signed by the instructor. The form must then be submitted to enrollment services.
Upon completion of the make-up examination, a grade of “ABS” will be removed and replaced by a permanent grade. If the make-up examination is not completed by the specified deadline in the GSAS Academic Calendar (generally four weeks after the officially scheduled final examination) the “ABS” is automatically changed to “F”. Only in extraordinary circumstances will this administrative “F” be changed, pursuant to the approval of the dean and the provost.
No Grade Reported
The notation “NGR” is used by the Office of Enrollment Services to indicate that the instructor reported no grade for a student. Instructors may fail to submit a grade if the student is missing assignments.
An “NGR” automatically becomes an “administrative F” at the same time as uncleared “ABS” grades. Thus, if a student receives “NGR,” s/he should contact the instructor immediately.
Change of Grade
Except as outlined in Incomplete Coursework and Absence from Final Examination, grades will be changed only under extraordinary circumstances. This policy also applies to administrative grades.
To change a grade, the instructor must submit the appropriate form to the dean, specifying the reason for the change. If approved by the dean, the grade change request will typically be forwarded to the Provost for final approval. If either office deems the reason for change insufficient, the grade will not be changed.
Grade changes are primarily approved for reason of a clerical error; grade changes for extra work or revised work are not permitted.
A student who believes that an incorrect assessment has been made in connection with specific course (e.g., final course grade) or in connection with a specific course or program assessment (e.g., quiz, examination, research paper, lab report, language examination, or comprehensive exam) may appeal the grade in question by undertaking the following procedure.
NOTE: For situations concerning academic integrity violations and grievance procedures, please refer to §9.1.
- Academic grade appeals must be made in writing by the student to the instructor of record or faculty member who assigned it, within ten (10) business days of receipt of the contested grade. In the case of a grade assigned by a committee, the student will direct her/his request to the committee chair or, in cases where there is no serving chair, to the Department Chair or Program Director.
- The recipient of the grade appeal (e.g., instructor of record or faculty member, commit-tee chair, Department Chair, Program Director) shall review the appeal and render a decision based on the merits and her/his academic judgment within ten (10) business days of receipt. The determination shall be communicated in writing to the student in a timely fashion.
- Should the student remain unsatisfied with the results of the initial review, s/he may request a secondary review by undertaking the following process:
- The student shall file a request for secondary review in writing to the Department Chair or Program Director, within ten (10) business days of receiving the determination of the initial review. In cases where the initial review was carried out by the Department Chair or Program Director, s/he will identify and assign the responsibility for the review to a qualified faculty member of the department or program.
- The recipient of the secondary review request shall institute the review within ten (10) business days of receipt and render a decision based on the merits and her/his academic judgment. The secondary reviewer may ask for additional information from the parties to the appeal, and shall have discretion in the methods used to conduct the review. The determination shall be communicated in writing to the student and instructor/faculty member of record in a timely fashion, and any necessary changes to the grade shall be made and recorded.
- Should the student remain unsatisfied with the results of the secondary review, s/he may request a final review by undertaking the following process:
- The student shall file a request for final review in writing to the GSAS Dean, within ten (10) business days of receiving the determination of the secondary review.
- The GSAS Dean shall undertake a final review and render a determination decision based on the merits and her/his academic judgment within thirty (30) days of receipt of the final review request. The GSAS Dean may ask for additional information from the parties to the appeal, and shall have discretion in the methods used to conduct the re-view. The GSAS Dean’s determination, which is not subject to further appeal, shall be communicated in writing to the student and instructor/faculty member of record in a timely fashion, and any necessary changes to the grade shall be made and recorded.
NOTE: It may be necessary to make adjustments to the timing of the procedures described if an academic grade appeal is lodged outside of or in close proximity to the commencement or conclusion of the normal academic semester (e.g. summer, holiday, or vacation periods). In such instances, all relevant parties shall be notified and every effort will be made to ensure that the process proceeds in a timely and efficient manner.