Printed on: 10/17/2018. Please go to for the most current version of the Policy or related document.

Grading and Transcripts: Twin Cities, Crookston, Morris, Rochester

Responsible University Officer(s):

  • Executive Vice President and Provost

Policy Owner(s):

  • Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education
  • Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education

Policy contact(s):

Date Revised:

Apr 4, 2013

Effective Date:

Apr 8, 2009


A. Establishment and Use of University Grading Systems

  1. There are two distinct grading systems on each campus of the University, A-B-C-D-F (with pluses and minuses as permitted by this policy) and S-N. The S-N system is a self-contained alternative to the A-F system and the two may not be combined for a particular student in a particular course. Students may receive grades or symbols only from the grading system under which they have registered for a course. This policy does not require any instructor to use pluses and minuses.
  2. There are, in addition, registration symbols identified and described in this policy that carry neither grade nor credit.
  3. No campus, college, or program is required to offer a course on the S-N grading system.
  4. Any unit may choose to limit grades in a particular course to the A-F or the S-N system.
  5. When both grading systems are available to a student, the student must declare a choice of system as part of the initial registration for the course. The choice may not be changed after the end of the second week of classes (the first week in summer sessions).
  6. Except as provided in this policy in Sections A (7) and F (12), no college may use any grading systems other than the ones established by this policy.
  7. The Law School and the Medical School are exempt from the provisions of this policy, but will report their grading systems, and any changes therein, to the Faculty Senate. Any other units that believe that the national norms of their profession require a different grading system may make application to the Senate Committee on Educational Policy for an exemption from this policy. The Faculty Senate must approve all such exemptions.
  8. The No Grade (NG) grading basis is used for certain graduate-level registrations as determined by the Graduate School.

B. Permanent Grades for Academic Work for Credit

  1. The list below identifies the possible permanent grades that can be given for any course for which credit is to be awarded.  These grades will be entered on a student's official transcript and, for an A, B, C, or D with permitted pluses and minuses, carry the indicated grade points.  (Except for the Law School, the University does not award A+ grades, nor are D- grades permitted).   The S grade will not carry grade points but the credits will count toward the student's degree program if allowed by the college, campus, or program.

    A 4.000 - Represents achievement that is outstanding relative to the level necessary to meet course requirements
    A- 3.667
    B+ 3.333
    B 3.000 - Represents achievement that is significantly above the level necessary to meet course requirements
    B- 2.667
    C+ 2.333
    C 2.000 - Represents achievement that meets the course requirements in every respect
    C- 1.667
    D+ 1.333
    D 1.000 - Represents achievement that is worthy of credit even though it fails to meet fully the course requirements
    S Represents achievement that is satisfactory, which is equivalent to a C- or better.

  2. These definitions apply to grades awarded to students who are not enrolled in graduate, post-baccalaureate, and professional programs, but the grade points are the same no matter the level or course of enrollment.
  3. Instructors are permitted to hold graduate and undergraduate students who are in the same class to different standards of academic performance and accomplishment. The syllabus must make clear what the different standards will be for the different groups of students who may be enrolled in the class.
  4. These are the general University standards. In connection with all symbols of achievement instructors will define for a class, at one of its earliest meetings and as explicitly as possible, the performance that will be necessary to earn each.

C. Permanent Grades for Academic Work for which No Credit is Given

  1. There are two permanent grades given for a course for which no credit is to be awarded.  These grades will be entered on a student's official transcript.

    F “0” Represents failure and signifies that the work was either (1) completed but at a level of achievement that is not worthy of credit or (2) was not completed and there was no agreement between the instructor and the student that the student would be awarded an I (see Section D).  The F carries 0 grade points and the credits for the course do not count toward any academic degree program.  The credit hours for the course will count in the grade point average.
    N Represents no credit and signifies that the work was either (1) completed but at a level of achievement that is not worthy of credit or (2) was not completed and there was no agreement between the instructor and the student that the student would be awarded an I (see Section  C). The N carries no grade points and the credits for the course do not count toward any academic degree program. The credit hours for the course do not count in the grade point average.

    1. Scholastic dishonesty. Scholastic dishonesty in any portion of the academic work for a course will be grounds for awarding a grade of F or N for the entire course, at the discretion of the instructor. This provision allows instructors to award an F or an N to a student when scholastic dishonesty is discovered; it does not require an instructor to do so. Students who enroll for a course on the A-F grading system will receive an F if such grade is warranted; students who enroll for a course on the S-N system will receive an N if such grade is warranted. (See Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code for a definition of scholastic dishonesty.)
    2. If the instructor determines that a grade of F or N for the course should be awarded to a student because of scholastic dishonesty, the student cannot withdraw to avoid the F or N. If the student withdrew from the course before the scholastic dishonesty was discovered or before the instructor concluded that there was scholastic dishonesty, and the instructor (or the appropriate hearing body if the student requests a hearing) determines that the student should receive the F or the N, the student will be re-registered for the course and the F and N grade will be entered on the transcripts.

D. Incompletes

  1. There will be a symbol I (incomplete) awarded to indicate that the work of the course has not been completed. The I will be assigned at the discretion of the instructor when, due to extraordinary circumstances (as determined by the instructor), the student who has successfully completed a substantial portion of the course's work with a passing grade was prevented from completing the work of the course on time.
  2. The assignment of an I requires a written agreement between the instructor and student specifying the time and manner in which the student will complete the course requirements. In no event may any such written agreement allow a period of longer than one year to complete the course requirements (except as provided in section D (8).
  3. Work to make up an I must be submitted within one year of the last day of final examinations of the term in which the I was given for all students except graduate and professional students. If not submitted by that time, the I will automatically change to an F (if the student was registered on the A-F system) or an N (if the student was registered on the S-N system) for the course. If an I changes automatically to an F or an N, the instructor has the discretion to reinstate the I for one additional year only.
  4. For graduate and professional students, an I remains on the transcript until changed by the instructor or department.
  5. When an I is changed to another symbol, the I is removed from the record. Once an I has become an F or an N, under the provisions of the preceding paragraph, it may subsequently be converted to any other grade, upon petition by the instructor (or the department if the instructor is unavailable) to the college.
  6. A student does not need to be registered at the University in order to complete the work necessary to convert an I to a grade with credit in the time and manner previously agreed upon between the student and the instructor. The instructor is expected to turn in the new grade within four weeks of the date the work was submitted by the student. (Depending on the timing of when the work is turned in and the ability of the instructor to award a grade, an F or an N may appear temporarily on the transcript.) Students who have received an I in a course are not allowed to sit in on the class again (that is, without registering for it) to complete the grade
  7. If a student graduates with an I on the transcript, the I will remain permanently an I. A student may petition the college, within a year of graduation, to complete the work in the course and receive a grade. The degree GPA is frozen upon graduation but the cumulative GPA will reflect the change in GPA if a student chooses to complete the work and change the I to a grade within a year of graduation.
  8. When students are called to active military duty, and reach agreement with their instructor(s) to take an incomplete, they will have up to one calendar year following their discharge from active duty to complete their incomplete(s).
  9. Receipt of an I in a course does not create an entitlement for a student to take the course a second time.

E. Other Transcript Symbols

  1. Auditing a course.
    1. There will be a symbol V, visitor, indicating registration as an auditor or visitor, which will carry no credit and no grade.
    2. Students auditing a course are required to pay full tuition but do not take exams and are not required to do homework. An auditor is entered on the class roster (grade report), is counted as filling a seat in a controlled entry course, and is counted in an instructor's student contact hours.
    3. Students may not sit in on a course without registering for it.
    4. A student will be allowed to take a previously audited class for a grade.
  2. Withdrawing from a course.
    1. There will be a symbol W, withdrawal, entered upon a student's record when the student officially withdraws from a course in accordance with procedures established by the student's college or campus. The W will be entered on the transcript irrespective of the student's academic standing in that course if the student withdraws from the course during the third through eighth week of class (Crookston) or the third through tenth week of class (Morris, Rochester, Twin Cities) or during the second or third weeks of summer sessions.
    2. If a student officially withdraws from a course during the first two weeks of classes, there will be no record of that course registration entered on the student's transcript.
    3. One-time late withdrawal: Each student may, once during an undergraduate enrollment, withdraw from a course without college approval, and receive the transcript symbol W, after the deadline for withdrawal and at any time up to and including the last day of instruction for that course.  A student may not withdraw after completing the final examination or equivalent for a course.
    4. Except as provided in the preceding section, withdrawal after the deadlines will require approval of the college and may not be granted solely because a student is failing the course; there must be extenuating non-academic circumstances justifying late withdrawal.
  3. Continuation course. There will be a symbol X, indicating a student may continue in a continuation course in which a grade cannot be determined until the full sequence of courses is completed. The instructor will submit a grade for each X when the student has completed the sequence.
  4. Course in progress. There will be a symbol K, assigned by an instructor to indicate the course is still in progress and that a grade cannot be assigned at the present time.
  5. No grade reported. There will be a symbol NR, administratively assigned to indicate that a grade was not reported for the course. The NR does not carry any GPA points.

F. Other Provisions

  1. Zero-credit courses. Courses that carry zero credits do not count in either term or cumulative grade point averages. Such courses carry normal tuition and fee charges.
  2. All grades for academic work are based on the quality of the work submitted, not on hours of effort. Instructors have the responsibility and authority to determine how final grades are assigned, including, in classes where they use numeric scores, the method that will be used to translate numeric scores into letter grades. (Examples: the instructor may decide that 90% equals an A, 80% a B, and so on, or the instructor may decide that the top 10% of the scores will receive an A, the next 20% a B, and so on.)
  3. Counting credits toward a University degree.
    1. A course that carries University credit toward a degree in one department or college must carry University credit in all other departments and colleges.
    2. A department or college has discretion to decide whether a course completed in another unit will count towards the specific college or department/program/major requirements.
  4. When a student graduates, no further changes to the student's transcript will be made (to that portion of the transcript related to the program from which the student graduated) except as expressly allowed under the provisions of this policy.
  5. Releasing transcripts. The University's official transcript, the chronological record of the student's enrollment and academic performance, will be released by the University only at the request of the student or in accord with state or federal statutes.
  6. Repeating courses.
    1. An undergraduate student may repeat a course only once (except as noted in section 6(c)). The college offering the course may grant an exception to this provision. [Morris only] Students who receive a grade of S or C or higher may repeat a course only if space permits.
    2. When a student repeats a course before receiving the degree, (a) both grades for the course will appear on the official transcript, (b) the course credits may not be counted more than once toward degree and program requirements, and (c) only the last enrollment for the course will count in the student's grade point average.
    3. Provisions 6 (a) and (b) of this policy will not apply to courses (1) using the same number but where students study different content each term of enrollment and (2) to courses designated as "repetition allowed."
    4. If an undergraduate student repeats a course after the degree has been awarded, the original course grade will not be excluded from the degree GPA nor will the new grade be included in the degree GPA.
    5. Bracketing is the practice of not including a course in the calculation of a student's GPA and not counting the course as satisfying any degree requirements, including electives, because a student has repeated a course. When a student repeats a course, all prior attempts are bracketed and only the most recent attempt counts (except as provided in 6 (c)). No department or college may bracket the courses of another department or college for any reason other than course repetition. An F may not be bracketed with an N. A University course may not be bracketed with a course taken at another institution. The Graduate School does not bracket courses.
    6. When a student enrolled in the Graduate School repeats a course, provisions 6(a) and (b) apply, but all grades for the course will be counted in the student's grade point average.
  7. Grade point average. Every student will have calculated, both at the end of each grading period (quarter or semester) and cumulatively, a grade point average, which will be the ratio of grade points earned divided by the number of credits attempted with grades of A-F (including pluses and minuses). Both the term and cumulative grade point average will appear on each student's record.
  8. Final grade due date. Final grades will be submitted to the Registrar no later than three business days after the last day of the final examination period.
  9. This policy may be modified from time to time but existing transcripts will not be modified when there are changes in policy. Changes to the grading and transcript policy will be reflected on the legend on the back of the official transcript.10.
  10. Compiling and reporting grading data.
    1. Data on the mean grade point average by designator and course level, on the percentage of As awarded by course level, and on overall collegiate grade point averages will be prepared for grades awarded each Fall Semester. Data should be reported for all undergraduate students. Cells in the tables with fewer than 10 grades should be suppressed, in order to protect the privacy of students, but the numbers should be included in the totals.
    2. The Office of Institutional Research will produce the required tables and provide them to the chair of the Senate Committee on Educational Policy and to the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.
    3. The data tables and graphs required in 10 (a) and (b) will be reported annually to the Faculty Senate. These data should also be provided to all deans and department heads and made available to faculty and students.
  11. All colleges and campuses will publish each term a dean's list, consisting of students who achieved a 3.666 GPA or higher and who completed a minimum of 12 credits on the A-F grading system. There will be a transcript notation for each term that a student achieves the dean's list. Students who have chosen to suppress all their public information (which includes academic awards and honors) will not be included on the published dean’s list.
  12. Alternative grading systems.
    1. Only the Senate Committee on Educational Policy will have the authority to grant to individual colleges or campuses permission to use alternative grading methods outside the provisions of this official University system, for a specified period (but no longer than five years), and only for the purpose of experimenting with a new grading system for possible system-wide adoption. Such permission may be granted if the proposal does not interfere significantly with the registration options of students from other colleges, campuses, and programs. Such alternative systems will be reported for information to the University Senate as soon as permitted and, after the specified period, will be re-evaluated, either to be discontinued, or with University Senate approval on recommendation from the Senate Committee on Educational policy, made part of the system-wide policy. Except for the provisions of this section 6, no college or program may use any grading system except for the one contained in this policy.
    2. Because alternative grading systems, once used, must be maintained by the University forever afterward (to preserve the integrity of the transcripts), the Senate Committee on Educational Policy will rarely grant permission for alternative grading systems. It will consider doing so only when (1) those who propose it can make a persuasive case that the alternative is a more accurate and effective way to measure and record student academic performance, and (2) there is strong reason to believe that the proposal will be useful to all colleges and campuses of the University (except the Law School and Medical School).


This policy is not applicable to the Duluth campus.


A standard grading system establishes a common understanding of the meaning of grades and promotes uniformity in assigning them. Defining grades and their associated meaning (grade points and assessment of achievement) allows for comparison and for computation of the term and cumulative grade point average.






Primary Contact(s) Sue Van Voorhis 612-625-8098
Twin Cities Campus Stacey Tidball 612-626-0075
Crookston Campus Ken Myers 218-281-8200
Morris Campus Judy Korn 320-589-6011
Rochester Campus Diane Douglas 507-258-8008


Major/program requirements
Program requirements include those determined as the requirements to complete a major or minor in a department. Program requirements must be completed in addition to the other requirements for a degree (e.g. liberal education requirements).
Scholastic Dishonesty
Plagiarizing; cheating on assignments or examinations; engaging in unauthorized collaboration on academic work; taking, acquiring, or using test materials without faculty permission; submitting false or incomplete records of academic achievement; acting alone or in cooperation with another to falsify records or to obtain dishonestly grades, honors, awards, or professional endorsement; altering, forging, or misusing a University academic record; or fabricating or falsifying data, research procedures, or data analysis.


Office of the Registrar
Maintain the transcript
Submit final grades within three working days of the last day of final exams.



May 2014 - Major Revision. Moves the drop course date from the eighth week of the class to the tenth week of the class for Morris, Rochester, and the Twin Cities, which allows the student to make a more informed decision about the drop.
April 2013 - Minor revision: 2 appendices added - Scholastic Committee Guidelines: Petition guidelines for undergraduate students enrolling in a course a third time and Student Guidelines: Petition guidelines for undergraduate students enrolling in a course a third time
April 2010 - Scholastic Dishonesty: Aligns practices across campuses and eliminates a way for students to avoid consequences for cheating by withdrawing from course; Final Grade due date - makes language consistent with related policy and with current practice.
December 2009 - Policy now applies to Crookston.
September 2009 - Added question 2 to FAQ.
April 2009
April 2009
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