Grades and Quality Points
Academic achievement is designated by letter grades, distinguished by plus and minus, to which numerical quality points are assigned. Students are expected to attain certain quality-point averages to meet various academic standards. For graduation, as an example, the cumulative QPA must be no less than 2.00 in all courses. The requirements and quality points assigned for each grade are as follows:
A: 4.00 points and A–: 3.67 points. These grades indicate achievement of the highest caliber. They involve expectations of independent work, original thinking, and the ability to acquire and use knowledge effectively.
A (Honors): 8.0 points. This grade, given for the two course units in senior Honors, merits the degree citation with Honors in the field of study.
B+: 3.33 points, B: 3.00 points, and B–: 2.67 points. These grades indicate higher than average achievement. Evidence of independent work and original thinking is expected.
C+: 2.33 points, C: 2.00 points, and C–: 1.67 points. These grades are given when the student has devoted a reasonable amount of time, effort, and attention to the work of the course and has satisfied the following criteria: familiarity with the content of the course, familiarity with the methods of study of the course, and active participation in the work of the class.
D+: 1.33 points, D: 1.00 point, and D–: 0.67 point. These grades indicate unsatisfactory work, below the standard expected by the College, in which one or more important aspects falls below the average expected of students for graduation. The work is, however, sufficient to be credited for graduation if balanced by superior work in other courses.
F: No points. This indicates failure.
P: No points. Indicates Pass in courses taken on a Pass/No Credit basis. Does not affect the QPA.
NC: No points. Indicates failure in courses taken on a Pass/No Credit basis. Does not affect the QPA.
W, WF: No points. These designations indicate withdrawal from a course before completion. W is assigned for all withdrawals prior to the official withdrawal deadline, normally before the last four weeks of the term; WF is assigned if withdrawal takes place after the official withdrawal deadline, except that in cases of illness or other extenuating circumstances the Office of Academic Affairs may authorize a grade of W. A WF is computed in the quality-point average as an F. W does not affect the QPA.
AUD: No points. The designation Audit is used for students granted permission to attend classes for the benefit they can derive from lectures and discussions but who are not taking the course for credit. An audit designation indicates attendance at a minimum of two-thirds of the class meetings of the course.
INC: No points. An incomplete is assigned only when, in the judgment of the instructor, circumstances beyond the student's control prevented completion of the work of the course within the term or session. (Permission of the Office of Academic Affairs, however, is required to postpone a final examination.) Under such circumstances, a student is given 42 calendar days from the last day of examinations to complete the course. At the expiration of that period, the INC will be replaced by a grade assigned by the instructor or, if the work has not been completed, by an F. Because of the accelerated nature of May term and summer courses, incompletes normally are not permitted for classes taken during these sessions.
Note: A grade earned in a final examination, paper, or presentation is not weighted more than one-third in computing the final grade for a course. This restriction does not apply to Honors, independent studies, internships, or recitals.
In order to counteract excessive preoccupation with grades and to encourage students to take advanced courses outside their major areas of study, courses may be taken on a Pass/No Credit basis subject to the following limitations and regulations:
- The option is open only to students who are degree candidates and who have earned a minimum of 14 course units.
- Pass/No Credit is allowed for no more than one course unit per academic term.
- A maximum of four course units may be taken on a Pass/No Credit basis.
- The option is limited to elective courses outside requirements for the major or minor and outside LinC requirements.
- Students normally declare their intention to take the Pass/No Credit option for a course at the time of registration, but in no case may they indicate this option later than the end of the first seven calendar days of the term.
- A grade of P is assigned if the course is passed. A grade of NC (No Credit) is assigned if the course is failed. In neither case will the grade be computed in the term or cumulative QPA or the average in the major field.
- A student who elects to take the course on a Pass/No Credit basis is permitted to change to a graded basis at any time during the term up to the official withdrawal deadline, normally before the last four weeks of a term, by submitting to the registrar a Change of Roster form signed by the teacher of the course. Under no circumstances, however, is a student permitted to change from a graded basis to Pass/No Credit after the first seven calendar days of the term.
- After due consultation with the instructor of the course, a student who has maintained an average of B or better in a course taken on the Pass/No Credit basis has the option of not taking the course's final examination.
Note: Certain physical education courses, student teaching, music ensemble participation, music lessons (for non-majors and non-minors), and specified other courses are graded Pass/No Credit for all students. These do not count toward the maximum of four course units of P/NC work specified above, nor do the other restrictions outlined above apply to these courses.