Undergraduate Academic & University Policies

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Grading System for Undergraduate Students

UW Tacoma uses a numerical grading system. Instructors may report grades from 4.0 to 0.7 in 0.1 increments and the grade 0.0. The number 0.0 is assigned for failing work or unofficial withdrawal. Grades in the range 0.6 to 0.1 may not be assigned. Grades reported in this range are converted by the registrar to 0.0. Numerical grades may be considered equivalent to letter grades as shown in the chart below. Some instructors use their own grade scale which they include in their course syllabus.

Undergraduate grading scale

 
Letter Grade
 
 
Numerical Grade
 

A

4.0 – 3.9

A-

3.8 – 3.5

B+

3.4 – 3.2

B

3.1 – 2.9

B-

2.8 – 2.5

C+

2.4 – 2.2

C

2.1 – 1.9

C-

1.8 – 1.5

D+

1.4 – 1.2

D

1.1 – 0.9

D-

0.8 – 0.7 (Lowest passing grade)

E

0.0 (Failure or unofficial withdrawal; no credit earned)

 

Grading System for Graduate Students

At the graduate level, instructors may report grades from 4.0 to 1.7 in 0.1 increments. Grades below 1.7 are recorded as 0.0 by the Registrar and do not count toward residency, total credit count, or grade and credit requirements. A minimum grade of 2.7 is required in each course that counts toward satisfying the Graduate School requirement for 18 hours of coursework numbered 500-700 at the master's level. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation. Numerical grades may be considered equivalent to letter grades as follows:

Graduate grading scale

 
Letter Grade
 
 
Numerical Grade
 
A 4.0 – 3.9
A- 3.8 – 3.5
B+ 3.4 – 3.1
B 3.0 – 2.9
B- 2.8 – 2.5
C+ 2.4 – 2.1
C 2.0 – 1.7
E 1.6 – 0.0

The following letter grades may also be used:

CR: Credit awarded

CR: Credit in a course offered on a credit/no-credit basis only or in courses numbered 600, 601, 700, 750 and 800. The minimum performance level required for a CR grade is determined, and the grade is awarded directly by the instructor. CR is not computed in GPA calculations.

NC: Credit not awarded

NC: Credit not awarded in a course offered on a credit/no-credit basis only or in courses numbered 600, 601, 700, 750 and 800. The grade is awarded directly by the instructor and is not included in GPA calculations.

S: Satisfactory

S: Satisfactory grade for courses taken on a satisfactory/not-satisfactory basis. An S grade is automatically converted from a numerical grade of 2.0 or above for undergraduate classes and 2.7 or above for graduate classes. The grade S may not be assigned directly by the instructor, but is a grade conversion by the Office of the Registrar. Undergraduate students may elect this option only for free electives and cannot be used to satisfy a university, college or department course requirement. With the approval of their program advisor, graduate students may elect to be graded S/NS in any numerically graded course for which they are eligible. A maximum of 20 credits of S/NS grades may be applied to an undergraduate degree. S is not computed in GPA calculations. For graduate students, see your Program Advisor.

NS: Not Satisfactory

NS: Not Satisfactory grade for courses taken on a satisfactory/not-satisfactory basis. For undergraduate students, a grade less than 2.0 is converted to NS. For graduate students, a grade less than 2.7 is converted to NS. NS is not included in GPA calculations. No credit is awarded for courses in which an NS grade is received.

X: No Grade

X: An instructor may submit a grade of "X" for a student if the student's grade is not available when grades for the classes are submitted. The student does not receive credit for the course until a numerical grade is turned in. In addition, if an instructor has not turned in any grade by the time grade reports are printed or at any time after, an "X" will be recorded until the numerical grade is submitted. The GPA is not affected and no credit is granted.

I: Incomplete

I: Incomplete given at the discretion of the faculty only when a student has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work until within two weeks of the end of the quarter and has furnished proof satisfactory to the instructor that the work cannot be completed because of illness or other circumstances beyond the student’s control. To obtain credit for the course, an undergraduate student must convert an Incomplete into a passing grade no later than the last day of the next quarter. The student should never re-register for the course as a means of removing the Incomplete.

For undergraduate students, an Incomplete grade not made up by the end of the next quarter is converted to a grade of 0.0. However, an instructor can assign a grade other than 0.0 even if the student does not complete the assigned course work. The Incomplete is not removed from the permanent record and appears on the transcript with the completed grade. An instructor may approve an extension of the Incomplete removal deadline by contacting the Office of the Registrar no later than the last day of the quarter following the quarter in which the Incomplete grade was assigned. Extensions, which may be granted for up to three additional quarters, must be received before the Incomplete has been converted into a failing grade. In no case can an Incomplete received by an undergraduate be converted to a passing grade after the lapse of one year.

For graduate students, an Incomplete grade does not automatically convert to 0.0 but remains a permanent part of the student’s record. To obtain credit for the course, a student must successfully complete the work and the instructor must submit a grade. In no case can an Incomplete received by a graduate student be converted to a passing grade after a lapse of two years or more.

W: Official Withdrawal

W: Official Withdrawal or drop from a course from the third through the seventh week of the quarter for undergraduates. A number designating the week of the quarter is recorded with the “W” when a course is dropped. It is not computed in GPA calculations.

HW: Hardship Withdrawal

HW: Hardship Withdrawal grade assigned when a student is allowed to withdraw from a course after the 14th calendar day of the quarter (see Hardship Withdrawal Policy on page 12). It is not computed in GPA calculations.            

N: Hyphenated Course

N: Indicates that the student is making satisfactory progress and a final grade will be given at the end of the quarter the work is completed. Used only for hyphenated courses (courses not completed in one quarter) and courses numbered 600, 601, 700, 750 or 800.

 

Grade point average (GPA)

The cumulative GPA includes credits granted for courses taken in residence at all campuses of the University of Washington and those with a “DL” (Distance Learning) suffix taken through UW Educational Outreach (UWEO). The UW transcript also reflects grades for other UWEO courses that are not residence credit and grades for credit by examination. These latter grades do not affect the student’s UW cumulative GPA.

Computation of GPA

The grade point average for graduation is computed by dividing the total cumulative grade points by the total credits attempted for courses taken in residence at the university. Grade points are calculated by multiplying the number of credits by the numeric value of the grade for each course. The sum of the grade points is then divided by the total credits attempted. Courses elected on an S/NS basis are counted as follows: Satisfactory grades are printed on the permanent record as an S and do not count in the quarterly or cumulative grade point average, but they do count as credits earned toward graduation. Not-satisfactory grades (NS) do not count in the quarterly and cumulative grade point averages and do not count as credits earned toward graduation.

Examples of how to calculate your GPA:

Example 1: 
                                                                       Grade
Course               Credits        Grade       Points
TIAS 498                  3        x       0.0      =      0.0
TSMIN 300              5        x       2.9      =     14.5
TCSIUS 445             5        x       3.2      =     16.0
                                                                          30.5
Total credits earned toward graduation: 10
Total graded credits attempted: 13
Grade point average = 30.5 ÷ 13 = 2.35

The total graded credits attempted, not the credits earned toward graduation, are used in computing the GPA.

Example 2: 
                                                                       Grade
Course              Credits        Grade        Points
TBUS 300               5        x       2.3      =      11.5
TBUS 310               5        x       2.9      =      14.5
TBUS 320               5        x         I        =        0.0
                                                                          26.0
Total credits earned toward graduation: 10
Total graded credits attempted: 15
Grade point average = 26.0 ÷ 10 = 2.60

The student attempted 15 credits, but only 10 are graded; the I is not computed in the grade point average. If the work in TBUS 320 is not made up by the end of the quarter, the I will convert to a numeric grade of 0.0 and the grade point average will be recomputed. When the grade of 0.0 is received, it is computed in the grade point average, but no credit is awarded toward graduation.

 

Grading Procedures

Change of grade

Except in case of error, an instructor may not change a grade that he or she has submitted to the registrar. A student who finds administrative omissions or errors in a grade report must make application for review not later than the last day of the student’s next quarter in residence. Grades used to meet graduation requirements cannot be changed after the degree has been granted. Students are not automatically notified of grade changes posted after the first of the quarter.

Changing or Appealing Final Grades

Except in case of error, no instructor may change a final grade(1) that he or she has turned in to the Registrar. Grades used to meet graduation requirements cannot be changed after the degree has been granted.

Written Appeal of Grade Error

If you believe that the instructor made an error in the assignment of a grade, or believe a grade recording error or omission has occurred, the following procedures are required to resolve the matter:

  • You must first discuss the matter with the instructor before the end of the following academic quarter.
  • If you are not satisfied with the instructor’s response, you may submit a written appeal that must include documentation(2) to the director or the dean of the program(3) that offered the course, with a copy of the appeal to the instructor. This must be done no later than 10 class days after your discussion with the instructor.  The director or dean will consult with the instructor to ensure that the evaluation of your performance was fair and reasonable or whether the instructor's conduct in assigning the grade was arbitrary or capricious. Should the dean or director believe the instructor's conduct to be arbitrary or capricious(4) and the instructor declines to revise the grade, the director, with the approval of the voting members of his or her faculty, shall appoint an appropriate member, or members, of the faculty of that program to evaluate your performance and assign a grade. The vice chancellor for academic affairs and the provost will be informed of this action.

Once you submit a written appeal, this appeal, any supporting documentation, and all subsequent actions on this appeal may be maintained and/or recorded in written form for deposit in a department, school or college file.

(1) Final grade means the grade received in the course and reported to the Office of the Registrar.
(2) Documentation means all materials relevant to the grade determination and to the grade appeal process. Examples include grade reports, graded work, syllabus, student/faculty correspondence, etc.
(3) Director or Dean means the administrator responsible for the respective school or program offering the course which is under appeal.
(4) Arbitrary or Capricious means in a manner deemed to be inappropriately subjective or otherwise inconsistent.

Grade Reports

The University of Washington does not mail grade reports. Students access their grades online using MyUW.