Policy Number: D05.0

Policy Name:: GRADES

I. STATEMENT OF STANDARD

At the commencement of the course, and as appropriate throughout the course, it is the instructor's responsibility to:

II. DEFINITIONS

  1. For each credit hour earned the following number of quality points will be awarded based upon the grade received, and will be calculated in the grade point averages:

Grade

Description

Quality Points

A

Excellent

4.00

B

Good

3.00

C

Satisfactory

2.00

D

Minimum Passing Grade

1.00

F

Failure

0.00

An "F" grade does not count toward residency requirements (see Policy D12.0-Graduation Requirements) at the undergraduate level.

"D" and "F" grades do not count toward the fulfillment of program requirements for a graduate degree.

  1. Additional grades and notations that may be found on a student term record or transcript are shown below.

Grade

Definition

______

Blank - that is, the grade has not yet been assigned or no grade is expected.

R

Registered - a permanent grade used in graduate coursework indicating that a student has registered for a given course but has yet to meet the total requirements for the course or has continuing requirements to be met. The grade is given in graduate thesis work. Completion of this work will be noted by having the approved/accepted thesis or dissertation title, as received by the registrar from the department, added to the student's permanent record. Full tuition is charged for these courses. "R" graded courses are allowed in the calculation of the residency requirement for graduate programs; however, they do not affect GPA calculations. A student may receive a grade of "U" or "I" in a given term of an "R" graded course. A "U" grade in this case carries no credit and the course must be repeated.

W

Withdrawn - a grade that indicates an official course withdrawal has been processed. See policy D05.IV.

S

Satisfactory - (undergraduate)- A satisfactory grade may only apply to acceptable completion of cooperative work experience, internships, courses bearing course numbers of 099 or below, and study abroad courses offered by affiliated programs.  With the exception of study abroad, such courses do not count toward residency requirements, earn credit hours or affect grade point average calculations.  In the case of study abroad courses, credits covered by the "S" grade will count toward residency requirements and will earn credit hours.  The "S" grade will not affect grade point average.

Satisfactory (graduate)- A satisfactory grade at the graduate level may only apply to seminar courses where programs have determined that a traditional "A", "B", "C", "D" letter grade is inappropriate.  An "S" grade at the graduate level carries no quality points and therefore does not enter into a GPA calculation.  A student may receive a grade of "U" or "I" in an "S" graded course.  In this case, a "U" grade carries no credit and the course must be repeated.  No more than 10% of a program’s degree credits may be "S" graded courses.  The college’s Curriculum Committee must approve the use of an "S" grade in a course.

I

Incomplete - When an instructor observes conditions beyond the control of a student such that the student is unable to complete course requirements in the given term or session, the instructor may assign an Incomplete notation (“I”) to a student.The instructor determines and advises the student of the due date, not to exceed two terms including summer session but excluding intersession, by which the student must complete course requirements. If the registrar has not received a "Change of Grade" form from the professor after two terms including summer session but excluding intersession, then the Incomplete becomes an "F" grade or a “U” grade if the “I” was associated with an “R” or “S” graded graduate course. An extension of time may be granted at the discretion of the instructor. Credit hours are not earned and the GPA is not affected until a permanent grade is assigned.

If there are extenuating circumstances which render an instructor unable to assign a grade or evaluate a student's work and assign a grade to replace an "Incomplete" notation, the head of the academic unit in which the course was taught will select an instructor to act in the place of the original instructor. After appropriate evaluation of the student's work, that instructor will assign a grade in place of the "Incomplete" notation.

U

Unsatisfactory (graduate)- a permanent grade used in certain graduate coursework indicating that a student made unsatisfactory progress towards completing the course requirements.  No credit hours are earned for a “U” grade and the “U” grade does not affect the calculation of quality points or GPA.  A “U” grade in an “R” or “S” graded course carries no credit and the course must be repeated.

WV

Waived courses - those courses eliminated from the list of requirements that a student must take to graduate. For undergraduate students, only physical education courses and cooperative work experience may be waived because of previously completed experience.

For graduate students, required courses may be waived because of previously completed academic work but in no case shall the resulting graduate program requirements be reduced below 30 semester credit hours. In addition, waiver credit for graduate courses can be applied only towards required courses and not towards elective courses. The process of waiving courses and thereby reducing graduate program requirements is not to be confused with the process of substituting specific courses for published requirements with an equal number of credit hours, thus retaining the total number of credit hours in the specified program. The total combined amount of credit applied through external (non-RIT) transfer credit, waived courses, and credit by competency may not exceed 20% of the total credits in the graduate program as noted in the graduate catalog.

X

X Grade - Assigned for successful completion of various assessments as defined in Policy D.02.0 Admissions. “X” grade has three purposes:

  • indicate credit by exam (undergraduate),
  • indicate credit for non-traditional learning (undergraduate), and
  • indicate Credit by Competency (graduate) (See policy D02.I.2)

"X" graded courses do not count toward the residency requirement and do not affect GPA calculations. Credit hours are included as hours earned.

For graduate students, the total combined amount of credit applied through external (non-RIT) transfer credit, waived courses, and credit by competency may not exceed 20% of the total credits in the graduate program as noted in the graduate catalog. Exceptions to the maximum credit by exam for graduate programs can be granted by the Graduate Council in unusual circumstances upon appeal from the dean of the college involved. For programs housed outside the college structure, the approval of the director of the academic unit is required.

AU

Audit - indicates a student has officially registered for the course for no credit. Courses available for audit are at the discretion of the college or academic unit. With permission of the instructor, the student may elect to take examinations and do course assignments. Audited courses do not count toward the residency or other degree requirements. Credit hours are not earned and GPA calculations are not affected.

A student may register for audit any time during the official registration period for the term. However, a student may not change from audit to credit or credit to audit after the official add/drop period (first seven calendar days, excluding Sundays and holidays, of the full fall, and spring terms and summer session. See Policy D03.0 - Registration. Changes from audit to credit must be accompanied by full payment of tuition.

Excluding audit courses, degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolling for 12 or more credit hours or graduate students enrolling for 9 or more credit hours may take any additional hours for audit at no incremental charge provided the total hours do not exceed 18 credit hours.

Excluding audit courses, undergraduate students enrolled for less than 12 credit hours or graduate students enrolled for less than 9 credit hours may take any additional hours for audit at a charge of one-half the normally assessed tuition rate.

III. GRADE EXCLUSION FOR UNDERGRADUATE CHANGE OF PROGRAM

After consulting with their new academic unit, degree-seeking undergraduate students who have changed their academic major to another undergraduate major have the ability to formally request to exclude grades for courses not required by the major. Final decisions regarding which courses will be accepted for Grade Exclusion rests with the new academic unit.

Exclusions require consultation and approval of the student’s primary academic department. An academic unit that wishes to exclude grades from courses that total more than 18 credits must have the approval of the senior associate provost.

All grades will remain on official and unofficial transcripts with a notation indicating that the grade is excluded from the GPA statistics.  Exclusion of grades impacts both term and cumulative grade point averages (see section VII. below). Additionally, when a course is excluded any earned credits associated with that course are also excluded.

Students may request from their academic department to include grades that have previously been excluded.

Grades for courses that were part of an earlier completed and certified program (certificate, diploma, associate or bachelor’s degree) are not eligible for exclusion.

No grade exclusions or re-inclusions may occur once a degree has been certified for completion.

IV. COURSE WITHDRAWAL

Students are strongly advised to consult with their academic advisor and instructor before they withdraw any courses. A student may not use the drop with a grade of “W” option to avoid charges of academic dishonesty or after the instructor has officially submitted the final grade.

Prior to the end of the twelfth week of fall or spring term, a "W" will be assigned upon the student’s online request. Students are strongly advised to consult with their academic advisor and instructor before they withdraw from any courses. In processing the request, the student, course instructor, advisor and the home program or department head will be notified via email.

After the twelfth week and up to the last official class day of fall or spring term, a “W” will be assigned only with the approval and written signatures of the student, course instructor, the home program or department head, and the dean from the student’s home college. For a student whose program is housed outside the college structure, the approval of the director or director’s designee of the student’s academic unit is required.

In all other academic sessions and for courses offered in time frames different from standard terms, course withdrawal is available upon the student’s request until 80% of the session or course as determined by the Registrar’s Office, has been completed. After this point and up to the last official class day, a "W" will be assigned only with the approval and written signatures of the student, course instructor, the home program or department head, and the dean from the student’s home college. For a student whose program is housed outside the college structure, the approval of the director or director’s designee of the student’s academic unit is required.

In unusual situations, a “W” may be granted after the last official class day. Such an extraordinary request is administered through the Provost’s Office, in consultation with (if possible) the student, course instructor, home program or department head, and dean from the student’s home college. For a student whose program is housed outside the college structure, the approval of the director or director’s designee of the student’s academic unit is required.

While a “W” will appear on the student's transcript, it carries no credit and does not affect GPA.

When a student chooses to drop a course with a grade of “W”, full tuition is charged. Courses with a “W” assigned do not count toward the residency requirement.

V. CHANGING GRADES

Once a grade has been officially reported by an instructor, it is normally not the right of any person to change this grade unless an actual error has been made in computing or recording it. If an error has been made, the instructor must complete the Change of Grade/Extension or Incomplete Form and the completed form must be approved by the head of the department in which the instructor teaches. When approved by both of these individuals, the form is to be forwarded to the Registrar’s Office. There is an appeal procedure for disputed grades - see Policy D17.0-Final Course Grade Disputes.

If there are extenuating circumstances which render an instructor unable to assume his or her responsibilities, or is unavailable to participate in appeal procedures about grades, the head of the department where the course was taught will select an instructor to represent the deceased or otherwise unavailable instructor in such appeal procedures.

In extraordinary circumstances and at his or her discretion, the provost may, without violating the student’s right to confidentiality and after consultation with the instructor and the dean of the college in which the course was taken, settle special cases of an appeal of an assigned grade by administratively removing a student’s name from an official course roster and removing the student’s assigned grade from the student’s official transcript. The provost will inform the instructor of this action and, if giving such information does not violate the student’s right to confidentiality, explain the reason for it. The registrar will annually inform the Academic Senate of the number of such administrative actions in the course of the year.

VI. REPEATING COURSES TO RAISE LOW GRADES 

  1. Undergraduate Students

An undergraduate student may repeat a course to raise a grade. If a student repeats a course, the last grade will stand as final even if the last grade earned is lower than the grade previously earned.

Courses taken at other institutions cannot be considered as repeats. Credit earned by examination/experience cannot be used to repeat previous course work. This process only applies to coursework in undergraduate programs.

  1. Graduate Students

    For graduate students, approval from the dean or dean’s designee of the student’s home academic unit is required for any graduate courses a student wishes to take a second time. For a student whose program is housed outside the college structure, the approval of the director or director’s designee of the student’s academic unit is required.

If permission to take a course a second time is granted:

  1. The grades of all courses attempted will count in calculating the graduate cumulative grade point average.

  2. A graduate program grade point average manually calculated by the academic unit is used for degree certification and must be least 3.00 (“B” average) as a graduation requirement. All academic program course attempts are included in this calculation.
VII. GRADE POINT AVERAGE

There will be two methods of grade point average calculation for undergraduate and graduate students that appear on grade reports and transcripts.

1. University - Term
2. University - Cumulative

Note: A yearly GPA will be calculated for part-time undergraduate students to be used for dean’s list calculations (see D05.1.A-Academic Actions and Recognitions). University averages will reflect all RIT credit bearing course work completed.

In addition to the university requirements, individual colleges and/or programs may define more rigorous requirements for maintaining good academic standing. This information must be approved by the dean, clearly defined within published college policy, communicated in the university bulletin, and communicated to the Provost’s Office. For programs housed outside the college structure, the approval of the director of the academic unit is required.

The term grade point average reflects a single term of academic activity.

The cumulative grade point average reflects the sum total of course work completed at RIT and will be updated each term the student is in attendance.

Note: For graduate students, a program grade point average is manually calculated by the academic unit, used for degree certification and reflects course work completed at RIT applicable to graduation in a student’s current academic graduate program. The current academic program refers to the university and college degree course requirements specified by the degree granting college and noted in the graduate catalog. The program grade point average must be least 3.00 (“B” average) as a graduation requirement. All academic program course attempts are included in this calculation.

All GPA calculations will be carried out to two decimal places. Rounding will be done by adding .005 to the unrounded results and truncating after the second decimal place.

For undergraduates, in the case of a repeated or excluded course, the student’s permanent academic record will show a notation indicating the course has been repeated or excluded from both GPA calculations. The notation will not affect previously posted academic actions (such as probation or suspension).

A student who completes undergraduate studies at the university and then engages in graduate study will begin a new graduate cumulative GPA when re-classified as a graduate student.

RESPONSIBLE OFFICE: Office of the Provost and the Academic Senate. For inquiries, please contact:

Academic Senate: Staff Assistant
asenate@rit.edu
(585)475-2016

Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs:
Assistant Vice President
academicaffairs@rit.edu
(585)475-5572

EFFECTIVE DATE: Approved October 1956

POLICY HISTORY:
Revised May 10, 2007
Edited August 2010
Revision for Academic Year 2012-2013 approved May 3, 2012
Revised for semesters April 25, 2013
Revised February 6, 2014 to allow Satisfactory (S) grade option at the graduate level in Graduate Seminar Courses, the Unsatisfactory (U) grade option in certain graduate coursework, and allow the current Registered (R) grade option to have additional Unsatisfactory (U) and Incomplete (I) grade options.