Grading

Grades and points

Except in cases of clerical error, no instructor may change a grade that he or she has submitted to Student Academic Services. A student may not do additional work after the quarter ends in order to improve their final grade. Grade changes may be made only in the quarter following the course.

The quality of a student’s performance in a course is recognized by a letter mark or grade, which is counted in points. Grade points (or quality points) are the numerical equivalent of letter grades and are assigned for each credit earned according to the scale below. 

For example, a student receiving a grade of A (worth 4.0 points) in a 3-credit course would earn 12 grade points. These points express the quality of a student’s performance in terms of numbers for the purpose of determining scholastic achievement and individual and graduation honors.

Grade Points Explanation
A 4.0 Excellent attainment
A- 3.7  
B+ 3.3  
B 3.0 Highly satisfactory attainment
B- 2.7  
C+ 2.3  
C 2.0 Satisfactory attainment
C- 1.7  
D+ 1.3  
D 1.0 Insufficient attainment with credit allowed
E 0.0 Failure
Au   Audit
P   Pass (used only with the pass/no credit option)
NC   No credit (used only with the pass/no credit option)
I   Incomplete
N, G   In progress
HW   Hardship Withdrawal
W   Withdrawal with official approval

Grade point average

A student’s grade point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the total number of grade points earned during a given period by the number of credits for which the student was enrolled and for which he or she received a regular grade during the same period.

For example, if a student earns 27 grade points during a quarter in which he or she is enrolled for 9 credits, his or her GPA for the quarter will be 3.0.

Use of I, G, N, HW, W grades

“I” grade (incomplete): Indicates the student did not complete the work assigned for a course because of absence from school during the quarter due to illness or an acceptable emergency. The student must initiate the request for the “I” grade prior to the final examination or last class session. Unless the student is incapacitated, the Agreement for Incomplete Grade form should be completed. Documentation verifying the illness or acceptable emergency (e.g., a note from a medical doctor) may be required by the instructor. 

A student cannot carry more than 20 credits of incomplete grades without prior approval from the registrar.

The instructor is under no obligation to grant the request for an “I” grade. However, if the instructor chooses to issue an “I” grade, the instructor and student must formulate a plan for the student’s completion of the course requirements.

The student may not attend a future class in which she or he is not registered as a means of working toward completion of an “I” grade. 

A timeline for course completion will be determined by the instructor. However, the student must submit final coursework within one calendar year or the “I” becomes an “E.” The student must initiate the removal of the “I” grade once coursework has been completed. A student who has an "I" grade that has not yet been converted to a final, regular grade may not enroll in a course with the same subject code and course number.

“G” grade: Used only in specified courses in which a final grade is dependent upon additional work and applies only to approved 6000–7000 level courses, including internships, theses, dissertation, and projects at the discretion of the graduate program. Work must be completed within three calendar years or the “G” becomes permanent.

“N” grade: Used only in specified courses in which a final grade is dependent upon additional work.

  • The “N” grade indicates that work is satisfactory to date, but carries with it no credit or final grade until all work is completed.
  • Work must be completed within one calendar year or the “N” becomes permanent.

A student’s degree will be awarded effective the quarter in which the final grade for the degree is assigned.

“HW”: The hardship withdrawal is assigned in rare cases by University administration after thorough review and substantiation of a student’s circumstances. Examples of situations leading to a hardship withdrawal include incapacitating illness or injury, or death of a family member. 

“W”: Withdrawal with official approval during weeks two through seven will result in a “W” appearing on the transcript. (See Withdrawal From Courses.)

Pass/no-credit option

  • A “P” grade in this option must be at least equivalent to a “C” grade (2.0).
  • 6000- and 7000-level courses may not be taken for P/NC, with the exception of thesis, dissertation, research, and projects, to be determined at the discretion of the academic school or department.

Equivalent courses

Courses noted as being “equivalent” may be substituted for each other. You may not receive duplicate credit for two courses considered equivalent to each other. If you take an SPU course equivalent to a course previously completed at SPU, the rules outlined below in the section regarding “Repeating Courses” will be employed.

If you enroll in and complete an SPU course equivalent to a course previously transferred from another school, credit for the transfer course will be rescinded and the SPU credits and course grade will apply. Courses taken at another institution cannot replace an equivalent SPU course for which credit has been received.

Repeating classes

You may repeat any course previously taken at SPU (or enroll in an SPU course noted as being “equivalent”) for the purpose of earning a higher grade, unless the course is designed to be repeated for additional credit.

Effective Autumn 2011, the highest grade received at SPU in a course or its equivalent will apply to the GPA.

The original and repeated course will still appear on the transcript, but the lower grade and credits will be excluded from the overall GPA and credit total. Only courses taken at SPU will be used to change course grades. A course may be repeated only once.

If you believe you have unusual circumstances, you may petition to repeat a course more than once by submitting a registration petition, accompanied by a statement from the course instructor, to Student Academic Services. Courses taken at another institution cannot replace an equivalent SPU course for which credit has been received.