Grading System

The School of Graduate Studies uses a letter-grading system. Letter grades are assigned numerical values called Quality Points based on a semester hour. These Quality Points are used to compute the grade point average (GPA).  A = 4; B = 3; C = 2; D = 1; F = 0; I (incomplete) = 0.   

No letter grades are given for research or seminar courses.  For these courses students receive either S for satisfactory or U for unsatisfactory.  Letter grades are allowed for special topics and methods courses, but these courses must be approved in advance by the Curriculum Committee and by the Dean.

Individual Programs may set higher standards and not accept a grade of C or lower for credit.  In addition, they may consider consistent grades below A in the major field as evidence of unsatisfactory performance.  It is the graduate students’ responsibility to know the specific requirements of the Program in which they are enrolled.

Grading in the School of Dentistry and the School of Medicine may be different from that of the School of Graduate Studies.  Letter grades will be issued to graduate students enrolled in courses in these schools.

Grading Requirements

To receive a graduate degree a student must have at least a B average on all work taken as a graduate student. A student will be dropped from the rolls of the School of Graduate Studies if the student’s cumulative average is below a B for three consecutive semesters. Credits received in thesis or dissertation research are not used in computing the grade point average. A Summer term is counted as a semester. Students in serious scholastic difficulties may be dropped from the rolls at the end of any semester if the program and Dean feel that the student is not qualified to continue.

Incomplete Grades

An incomplete grade (I) may be given for satisfactory work that has been done by a student, who for reasons beyond the student’s control could not complete all requirements of the course.  The student is responsible for petitioning the concerned Faculty with an appropriate excuse before an incomplete grade can be issued.  Failure by the student to do this will result in a grade of F.   An F will also be given if the incomplete grade is not converted prior to the deadline for adding courses for credit as published in the Catalog/Bulletin.  In extraordinary cases, such as a student called up for military service, the Dean may authorize making an incomplete grade permanent or extending the time for its removal.

For Examination Only

Students may register for Examination Only when they have completed all of their research and only have their Final Examination/Dissertation Defense pending. PhD students have three semesters to attempt to pass the examination; MS students have two semesters to attempt to pass the examination. Permission to register for Examination Only must be approved by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. Requests for additional semesters must be made in writing and must include the reason for the delay and detailed plans/timeline to completion for the additional semester. 

Satisfactory – Unsatisfactory Grades

At the discretion of the student’s Program, up to two courses taken outside of the major field (which are normally evaluated by letter grades A-F) may be issued the grades: S (satisfactory), or U (unsatisfactory).  If an S grade (A-C) is earned, credit hours will be given for the value of the course.  If a U grade (D-F) is incurred, no credit hours will be given.  The GPA of the student will not be affected by either an S or U grade.

Students must declare at the time of registration their intention to base a course on a satisfactory-unsatisfactory grade.  The registration form is completed in the usual manner except the letters, “S-U,” are put after the number of the course.

Withdrawal Grades

A withdrawal grade is given when a student drops a course after the second week.  If a student drops a course within the last two weeks of the course, an F grade is issued.

Statement of Satisfactory Academic Progress

The Program and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies review the qualitative and quantitative academic progress of each student.  A student may be dropped from a Program at anytime when academic progress is judged inadequate.  A student may be permitted to remediate upon the recommendation of the student’s Program and concurrence by the Dean. Such a student is considered to be making satisfactory academic progress.