This policy establishes the allowed grading scales, grades, and symbols that appear on the University transcript. It also establishes the GPA calculation for the University transcript. Colleges and campuses may not use any other grades or symbols unless approved by SCEP and the University Senate as described in section E.8.
A. University Grading Scales
The University has two distinct grading scales: A-F and S-N.
- A-F grading scale. The A-F grading scale allows the following grades and corresponding GPA points:
Grade GPA Points Definitions for undergraduate credit A 4.000 Represents achievement that significantly exceeds expectations in the course. A- 3.667 B+ 3.333 B 3.000 Represents achievement that is above the minimum expectations in the course. B- 2.667 C+ 2.333 C 2.000 Represents achievement that meets the minimum expectations in the course. C- 1.667 D+ 1.333 D 1.000 - Represents achievement that partially meets the minimum expectations in the course. Credit is earned but it may not fulfill major or program requirements. F 0.000 Represents failure in the course and no credit is earned.
- The F does not earn grade points and the student does not earn University credit. The credit hours for the course count in the grade point average.
- The F is assigned when 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 given an I.
- Instructors are not required to use pluses and minuses when grading on the A-F scale.
- Grade points are the same regardless of the level or course of enrollment (e.g., graduate or undergraduate level).
- Except for the Law School, the University does not award A+ grades, nor are D- grades permitted.
- The F does not earn grade points and the student does not earn University credit. The credit hours for the course count in the grade point average.
- S-N grading scale. The S-N grading scale allows for the following grades and corresponding GPA points:
Grade GPA Points Definitions for undergraduate credit S 0.00 Satisfactory (equivalent to a C- or better) N 0.00 Not Satisfactory
- The S grade does not carry grade points and is not part of the GPA calculation, but the credits will count toward the student's degree program if allowed by the college, campus, or program and the Administrative Policy: Credit and Grade Point Requirements for an Undergraduate (Baccalaureate) Degree: Twin Cities, Morris, Rochester.
- The N does not carry 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.
- The N is assigned when 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.
- No campus, college, or program is required to offer a course on the S-N grading scale. Any unit may choose to limit grades in a particular course to the A-F or the S-N scale.
- When both grading scales are available to a student, the student must declare the choice of scale at the time of registration. After the end of the second week of classes (the first week in summer sessions), students may not change their election of a grading scale.
- The S-N system is a self-contained alternative to the A-F system and the two scales may not be combined for a particular student in a particular course. Students may receive grades or symbols only from the grading scale under which they have registered for a course.
- The No Grade (NG) grading scale is a limited scale used for certain research and thesis registrations.
- Instructors may assign the registration symbol I for Incomplete if, at the time the incomplete is requested:
- the student has successfully completed a substantial portion of the work of the course; and
- due to extraordinary circumstances (as determined by the instructor), the student was prevented from completing the work of the course on time.
- The assignment of an I requires a written agreement with the student specifying the time and manner in which the student will complete the course requirements.
- The written agreement must require the student to complete the course requirements no later than the day grades are due for the subsequent regular (fall or spring) term, except as provided in section B.6 for students called to active military duty.
- The contract cannot require the student to re-register for the course or to sit in on an entire course in order to resolve an incomplete.
- Students may complete the work to resolve an incomplete during a term in which they are not otherwise registered.
- Students must submit the work to resolve an incomplete as specified in the written agreement. Except for graduate and professional students, incompletes that have not been changed to a letter grade by the day grades are due for the subsequent regular (fall or spring) term will be automatically changed to an F or N, consistent with the student’s grading scale for the course.
- For graduate and professional students, an I remains on the transcript until changed by the instructor or department.
- If an I becomes an F or N under this provision, the grade may be changed later by the instructor if appropriate.
- The instructor is expected to turn in the new grade within four weeks of the date the work was submitted by the student.
- When an I is changed to another symbol or grade, the I is removed from the record.
- If a student graduates with an I on the transcript, the I will remain an I. The degree GPA is frozen upon graduation.
- With college and instructor approval, a student may be allowed to resolve an incomplete up to one year after graduation. While the degree GPA will not change, the cumulative GPA will be updated.
- 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).
C. Other Transcript Symbols
- Auditing a course. There will be a symbol V, visitor, indicating registration as an auditor or visitor. No credit is awarded and the auditing student does not receive a grade.
- 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 , is counted as filling a seat in a controlled entry course, and is counted in an instructor's student contact hours.
- Students may not sit in on a course without registering for it.
- A student maytake a previously audited class for a grade.
- Withdrawing from a course. The symbol W, withdrawal, is entered on a student's record when the student officially withdraws from a course. 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.
- 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.
- One-time late withdrawal: Students may, once during their undergraduate enrollment, withdraw from a course without documentation of extenuating circumstances or college/campus 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.
- Except as provided in the preceding section, withdrawal after the deadline 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.
- Continuation course. If a course is approved as a sequenced or continuation course and the grade cannot be determined for all students in the course until the full sequence is completed, the symbol X may be used at the end of the term while the sequence is in progress. The instructor will submit a grade for each X when the student has completed the sequence.
- Course in progress. The symbol K may be used at the end of a session in courses where course activity (e.g., rotations) has been approved to extend beyond the established end date. The K symbol indicates that course activity is still in progress. The instructor will submit a grade that will replace the K for each student when course activities are complete.
- 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.
D. 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, corresponding to the student’s registered grading scale (A-F or S-N). 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. (See Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code for a definition of scholastic dishonesty.)
- 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 an F or N, the student will be re-registered for the course and the F and N grade will be entered.
E. GPA Calculation and Other Provisions
- Counting credits toward a University degree. A course that carries University credit toward a degree in one department or college must carry University credit in all other departments and colleges. All university credit carrying GPA points will count in the GPA unless otherwise prohibited by this policy.
- 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.
- Grade point average. Every student will have a grade point average calculated at both the end of each grading period (semester) and cumulatively, 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 the transcript. Registration symbols, as described in this policy, do not count in the GPA and courses with symbols rather than grades do not earn credit.
- 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.
- Assigning final grades. 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. (For example, 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.) In courses with graded group work, instructors are expected to make efforts to ensure that each student’s grade accurately reflects the degree to which they have met the stated goals of the assignment. When an instructor believes that a student’s final grade will be significantly adversely affected by the actions or inactions of group members, the instructor is encouraged to identify ways to alleviate this.
- Final grades must be submitted to the Registrar no later than three business days after the last day of the final examination period.
- Repeating courses.
- An undergraduate student may repeat a course only once, except as noted in section 4(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.
- 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.
- Provisions 4(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."
- 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.
- 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 undergraduate 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 4(c). No department or college or campus may bracket the courses of another department or college or campus 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.
- When a student enrolled in a graduate program repeats a course, provisions 4(a) and (b) apply, but all grades for the course will be counted in the student's grade point average.
- This policy may be modified 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.
- Compiling and reporting grading data.
- Each fall, the Office of Institutional Research will produce reports on the mean grade point average by designator and course level, on the percentage of A’s awarded by course level, and on overall collegiate grade point averages. Data should be reported for all undergraduate students for all terms in an academic year. 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.
- 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.
- The information will also be reported annually to the Faculty Senate and made available to faculty and students.
- All colleges and campuses will publish each term a dean's list, consisting of students who achieved a 3.666 term 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.
- Alternative grading systems.
- 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, no college or program may use any grading system except for the one contained in this policy.
- 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.
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.
Reason for Policy
This policy establishes the grades and symbols that will appear on the University transcript. 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.