Grade Information and Policy

Access to Grades
Grades are accessed by students through their Cascade Web accounts at http://cascade.pugetsound.edu. Grades are similarly provided to instructors, department chairs, and academic advisors through their respective Cascade Web accounts.

Mid-Term Grading System
Mid-term grade reports are issued in the fall and spring semesters to students who receive a U, F, W, or WF grade, with copies to the academic advisor. Mid-term grades provide an evaluation of academic progress but are no guarantee of either passing or failing grades at the end of the term. Mid-term grades are not recorded on the transcript and do not affect the grade point average. The mid-term grades are:

S: Satisfactory
U: Unsatisfactory
F: Fail
W: Withdrawal (Student has officially withdrawn from course)
WF: Withdrawal Failing
AU: Audit (Student has official registration for audit)

System of Permanent Grades
Permanent grades used are:

Letter Grade

Quality Points Per Unit

A

4.00

A-

3.67

B+

3.33

B

3.00

B-

2.67

C+

2.33

C

2.00

C-

1.67

D+

1.33

D

1.00

D-

0.67

0 (Pass - not computed in GPA;
indicates at least C- quality)

F

0.00 (Fail computed in GPA)

W

0 (Withdrawal - not computed in GPA)

WF

0.00 (Withdrawal Failing - computed in GPA)

AU

0 (Audit - not computed in GPA)

 

Dean's List
The Dean's List designation is awarded each fall or spring semester to those full-time, undergraduate students in the first baccalaureate degree program who meet the following criteria for a given semester:

  1. A semester grade point average in the top ten percent of full-time undergraduate students.
  2. No withdrawal from an academic course. (A student may drop a course without record or may withdraw from an activity course with a W grade without becoming ineligible for the Dean's List.)
  3. No incomplete grade in any course.
    A student who qualifies for the Dean's List will have "Dean's List" recorded on the academic transcript for that semester

Temporary Grades
There are two temporary grades, Incomplete (I) and In-Progress (IP). These grades will be changed by the instructor of record to the appropriate permanent grade within the time periods specified by faculty policy.

No grade points are assigned to an Incomplete or In-Progress grade until it is converted to a permanent grade. For courses initially graded Incomplete, a reference to the Incomplete remains on the transcript with the permanent grade.

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Grades to Parents and Guardians
In compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, students’ grades are not automatically provided to parents. A student who wishes parents to receive grades may complete a Request for Parent Grade Report form in the Office of the Registrar. When this form is completed, parents will receive grade reports automatically until the request is revoked in writing by the student.

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Pass/Fail Grading Option
The pass/fail grading option is designed to encourage a student to explore courses in academic areas outside the major or minor. The breadth of a liberal education may be thereby enhanced. Students who wish to exercise the pass/fail grading option must do so at the Office of the Registrar or through Cascade Web on or before the last day to add a class.

A student may take, on a pass/fail basis, a total of four academic courses (with a limit of one per term) and up to 2.00 activity units in the minimum of 32.00 units required for graduation. Any credit-bearing mandatory pass/fail academic course will count as one of the four courses allowed toward graduation. Almost all activity courses are mandatory pass/fail. A maximum of one academic course may be taken pass/fail per term in addition to any mandatory pass/fail course. The Pass/Fail grade option is only available to juniors or seniors and no pass/fail courses shall be taken in the department of major or minor.  A student planning to go to graduate or professional school is advised not to use the pass/fail grading option in academic courses.

Pass/fail registrations are not reported to the instructor. Those students registered for pass/fail receive a P if the instructor submits a grade of C- or higher and receive an F if the instructor submits a grade of D+ or lower.

Beginning in Fall 2011, an instructor may prohibit the pass/fail grading option or may limit the number of students who select the pass/fail grading option. This authority does not apply to instructors of courses with mandatory pass/fail grading.

Courses taken pass/fail will not fulfill University Core Requirements, will not be applied to the Foreign Language Graduation Requirement, and will not be applied to the Upper-Division Graduation Requirement. All courses counting toward the academic major or minor must be taken for a letter grade unless they are mandatory pass/fail. Graduate students may not select pass/fail grading for any courses applied to the graduate degree.

If a student’s grade is “pass,” credit will be given for the course and included in total units of credit, but will not be included in the calculation of the grade point average. If a student’s grade is “fail,” it will be included in the calculation of the grade point average.

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Audit
The audit allows the student to register for a course without grade or credit.

Full-time students, alumni with a Puget Sound degree, law school alumni who graduated in August 1994 or earlier, and members of the University of Puget Sound Women’s League may audit without tuition charge one class per term with a maximum of two classes per academic year, including Summer Session. Students who do not fit the categories listed above may audit regularly scheduled classes at one-half the regular tuition fee. Audit registration opens on the first day of class and all auditors register on a space-available basis and only with the instructor’s permission.

The courses listed below may not be audited. Auditors must pay all applicable class instruction fees. Reduced tuition rates are not available to students who successfully petition to change their registration from credit to audit. Continuing Education courses may not be audited without tuition charge.

Students wishing to audit may submit their request on an add form anytime during the add period at the Office of the Registrar. Because auditors are allowed only on a space-available basis, audit registrations are not confirmed until the day after the end of the add period. Students registered as auditors may participate in a class within the conditions specified by the instructor. However, the instructor has the right to withdraw an auditor for non-attendance or when participation or the lack thereof detracts from the progress of other students taking the course and, in the judgment of the instructor, the posting of an audit on the permanent academic record is not warranted. When this happens, the course will not appear on the record. If a student withdraws from a course being audited, the course will not appear on the record.

Students on Study Abroad may audit a course only if they are full-time students carrying at least three units of credit.

These Courses May Not Be Audited:

  • First-Year Seminars.
  • Independent Study, Directed Research, or Junior/Senior Research courses.
  • Senior Thesis or graduate/undergraduate project courses.
  • Laboratory, Fieldwork, or Clinic, courses.
  • Internship, Co-operative Education, or Practicum courses.
  • Any course numbered 495, 496, 497, 498, 499, 695, 696, 697, 698, or 699.
  • AFAM 401
  • ASIA 350
  • EDUC 613, 622
  • ENGL 451
  • HIST 400
  • HON 211
  • HUM 315
  • IPE 191
  • THTR 463

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Withdrawal Grades
Withdrawal without record on the academic transcript is permissible through the first two weeks of the fall and spring semesters when a student completes official withdrawal procedures. Withdrawal Passing (W) is granted during the third through sixth weeks of the fall and spring semesters when a student completes official withdrawal procedures. After the sixth week of the semester, Withdrawal Failing (WF) is given except as noted below.

During the seventh through twelfth weeks of the fall and spring semesters, a grade of W may be granted by the instructor only if all of the following conditions are met: (1) a student completes official withdrawal procedures and (2) there have been exceptional circumstances beyond the student's control, in which case the student must demonstrate in writing to the satisfaction of the instructor that exceptional circumstances exist, and (3) either the student's work has been of passing quality or the exceptional circumstances have prevented the student from completing work of passing quality. An instructor may assign a W grade using the Faculty Withdrawal Grade Submission Form available from the Office of the Registrar.

After the twelfth week of classes, the Academic Standards Committee may permit a grade of W to be assigned. The student must withdraw from the course and submit a petition to support a claim of exceptional circumstances. The petition must include a statement by the course instructor on the quality of the student's work in the course. If the petition is approved, a grade of W is assigned. If the petition is denied, a grade of WF is assigned.

Completing official withdrawal procedures after the last day of regularly scheduled classes is not allowed.

A withdrawal at any point past the date for withdrawal without record counts as a “course attempt” if the student registers again for the course.

During the summer session the withdrawal process described for the fall and spring semesters applies during the following weeks: first week, drop without record; second week automatic W grade; third, fourth, and fifth weeks, WF is the automatic grade and an instructor has the authority to assign a W; after the fifth week the WF remains the automatic grade and the Academic Standards Committee assumes the authority to assign a W grade.

A student who remains registered in a class but has a poor record of attendance may be subject to the registration and withdrawal policies that allow an instructor or the Registrar to drop that student. (See the sections titled "Registration and Attendance/Participation," "Non-Attendance," and "Withdrawal from a Course/From the University.")

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Medical Withdrawal Policy
Medical withdrawal may be an appropriate response to a medical or psychological condition that prevents a student from completing the semester work.

The Academic Standards Committee may permit medical withdrawal when the following steps are taken:

  1. The student must withdraw from all courses. Withdrawal must be initiated on or before the last day of classes of the current term.
  2. The student must submit to the Registrar a personal statement and a health care provider's statement describing the medical or psychological conditions that prevent the student from completing the semester’s work. The Registrar or the Academic Standards Committee may wish to consult with the student before acting on the petition.
  3. The Registrar makes a recommendation to the Academic Standards Committee, which then makes the final decision.
  4. If the medical withdrawal is approved, the student will receive grades of W (passing withdrawal) in all courses.

A student may return from a medical withdrawal with the permission of the Academic Standards Committee. Permission may be granted with an approved re-enrollment petition to the Committee that includes the student's personal statement, a health care provider's statement, and any other statement or documentation required by the Committee. Health care providers may also stipulate conditions under which re-enrollment will be permitted; the student must meet such conditions and any continuing conditions set by a health care provider.

Medical withdrawal petition forms, health care provider forms, and medical withdrawal re-enrollment forms may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar.

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Emergency Administrative Withdrawal Policy
Emergency administrative withdrawal may be an appropriate response to a sudden and catastrophic incident in a student’s life that prevents a student from completing the semester's work. These rare cases would include family or personal emergencies of a traumatic nature that would severely impede a student’s ability to remain enrolled (e.g. family death, home destruction by natural disaster or fire). The emergency administrative withdrawal policy is not intended to apply in situations of chronic or on-going medical, emotional, or psychological distress nor in cases covered by the medical withdrawal or Incomplete grade policies.

The Academic Standards Committee may permit emergency administrative withdrawal when the following steps are taken:

  1. The student must withdraw from all courses. Withdrawal must be initiated on or before the last day of classes of the current term.
  2. The student must submit to the Registrar a detailed statement describing the emergency conditions that prevent the student from completing the semester's work. Normally this application is submitted within ten days of the sudden and catastrophic incident that prevents the student from completing the semester’s work. In situations where the application comes after ten days, explanation for the delay is required.
  3. The student must submit to the Registrar supporting statements from the Associate Dean for Student Services and the student’s academic advisor. The Registrar or the Academic Standards Committee may wish to consult with the student before acting on the petition.
  4. The Registrar makes a recommendation to the Academic Standards Committee, which then makes the final decision.
  5. If the emergency administrative withdrawal is approved, the student will receive grades of "W" (passing withdrawal) in all courses.

A student may return from an emergency administrative withdrawal with the permission of the Academic Standards Committee. Permission may be granted with an approved re-enrollment petition to the Committee that includes the student's personal statement, an endorsing statement from the Associate Dean for Student Services, and any other statement required by the Committee.

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Incomplete Grades
An Incomplete grade (I) indicates that, although the work accomplished in a course is of passing quality, some limited portion of the coursework remains unfinished because of illness or other exceptional circumstance. It is the student’s responsibility to request an Incomplete from the instructor prior to the last class session or the final examination period and to explain the exceptional circumstance. If the instructor decides that the request is not consistent with faculty grading policy or that the circumstance does not warrant an extension of time, the instructor will assign the appropriate final grade rather than an Incomplete. When an Incomplete grade is awarded, the instructor is encouraged to use the Incomplete Grade Notice to the Registrar of Remaining Work form available in the Office of the Registrar. The form identifies the balance of work remaining and the date the work is due to the instructor (the due date may not be later than mid-term of the next regular semester).

In order to receive credit for a course in which a student has received an Incomplete, it is the student’s responsibility to complete the work by midterm or by an earlier deadline set by the instructor, to submit the work to the instructor (or, if the instructor is on leave, to the chair of the department, or to the Dean of the University), and to request a final grade. It is the responsibility of the instructor to grade the work and to submit a final grade no later than the midterm grade due date of the next regular semester. (Work in Continuing Education courses in which an Incomplete is assigned is due within five weeks after the last class session.)

The instructor must not accept work after midterm unless an extension has been approved. The faculty member must provide the Registrar with official notification of the completion of the course by means of a Grade Correction Request form. If no grade is submitted by the midterm date published in the university's academic calendar (and if no extension was requested), the Registrar records a grade of F on the permanent academic record.

When an Incomplete is assigned in the last term of study prior to graduation, the degree will not be awarded until the next regular degree granting date after submission of a satisfactory grade by the instructor.

An Incomplete may not be changed to W, WF, or AU. The Incomplete should not be assigned initially when the W or WF would be the correct grade. The Incomplete is also not to be used to collect fees or equipment for which the student is obligated.

An Incomplete grade may not be completed by attending the course when it is offered at a later date.

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Extension of Incompletes
An extension of time may be requested of the faculty member by the student. If the instructor agrees with the request, the instructor must submit a Grade Correction Request form to the Registrar. Extensions are granted only when unforeseen circumstances occurred which precluded completion of work during the period of time covered by the Incomplete. Verification of those circumstances must be provided to the instructor and the Registrar. An extension may not be granted when the circumstances are within the purview of the student to control, e.g., did not know the due date, was not present on campus, took a trip to another geographic area, or had a heavy academic or work schedule.

The Registrar (as the Dean of the University’s designee) makes the decision to grant or deny an extension request and determines the duration of the extension and the date the grade is to be reported by the faculty member.

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In-Progress Grades
In-Progress grades (IP) may be used for specific courses which are approved by the Curriculum Committee to extend over two or more terms.

In order to receive credit for the course, the student must complete the work within the time specified for the course. The instructor is expected to assign a permanent grade at the end of the course. If work is not complete at the end of the course, an Incomplete grade should be assigned (there is no such thing as an "extension" of an In-Progress grade). The unit value of a course with an IP grade is not counted among the completed units until the permanent grade is assigned.

An IP grade may be converted to W or WF through the period of the original contract constituting the duration of the course but not after an Incomplete has been assigned.

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 Change of a Permanent Grade
Once recorded in the registrar’s records, a grade may be changed in one of only two ways:

  1. By a ruling of the Hearing Board described below in the section "Disputed Grades."
  2. Upon the documentation by the instructor that an error has occurred.

Faculty may not change permanent grades (A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, F, P, W, WF, AU) once recorded in the Registrar’s records unless a documented error was made in assigning the original grade. The error must be reported to the Registrar by mid-term of the next regular term after it was assigned and must be thoroughly documented by the faculty member. If documentation is not supplied, the grade cannot be changed. After permanent grades have been assigned, an instructor may not accept late work in order to reassess or change the final grade. This means that work completed after the term is over may not be used to change a permanent grade.

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Disputed Grades
The normal presumption in the administration of grades at the University of Puget Sound is that the instructor alone is qualified to evaluate the academic work of students in his or her courses and to assign grades to that work. For this reason, questions regarding an instructor’s assessment of the quality of academic work are not normally subject to review. However, when a student believes that a particular grade was assigned in a manner that was arbitrary or unjust, or that crucial evidence was not taken into account, the student shall follow the procedures outlined below.

It is the responsibility of the student to initiate the grade dispute process and, if the dispute cannot be resolved between the instructor and the student, to request a hearing board to adjudicate the dispute.  A student's intention to dispute a grade through a hearing board must be brought in writing to the Dean of the University no later that the end of the fifth week of the semester following the term in which the disputed grade was given.  Normally, the hearing board is to be convened by the end of the semester following the term in which the grade was given.  Any change to this policy must be requested by the student no later than the end of the fifth week of the semester following the term in which the disputed grade was given and approved by the Dean of the University.

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Establishing a Claim for a Disputed Grade Grievance and Organization of the Board

  1. When a grade is disputed, the student and instructor should first discuss the matter and seek an appropriate resolution unless the nature of the situation is such that the student or the faculty member wishes to start at step 2.
  2. If a satisfactory resolution is not possible, either party may consult with the Dean of the University, who will meet with both parties to seek an appropriate resolution. The Dean may also consult with the chair or director of the department or school involved.
  3. If the claims of the student and instructor are still not resolved following these discussions, a Hearing Board will be convened to review the case.
  4. The Hearing Board will consist of: the Dean of the University (chair) and the Dean of Students, or their designees; two faculty members selected by the chair of the Academic Standards Committee; and two students selected by the chair of the Academic Standards Committee in consultation with the President of the Associated Students. The parties directly involved may have one other person present who is not an attorney. The chair shall designate a secretary, who will be responsible for recording the salient issues before, and the actions of, the Hearing Board.
  5. The parties involved will be asked to submit written statements which shall be circulated by the chair to the members of the Hearing Board. All parties have the right to appear before the board, and may be asked to appear before the board, but the hearing may proceed regardless of failure to appear. The board will review written statements submitted by the parties and any such other relevant material that the chair of the board deems necessary. When all presentations are complete, the board, in executive session, shall reach its resolution of the problem.
  6. If the Hearing Board finds that a grade has been assigned in a manner that was arbitrary or unjust, or that crucial evidence was not taken into account, the Hearing Board may direct the registrar to change the grade to one which the board deems appropriate as determined from all documented objective evidence. The decision shall be presented in writing to the parties directly involved and to such other persons as need to know the results of the hearing. Upon completion of the hearing, the chair shall maintain a file of relevant material for a period of at least two years.
  7. The decision of the Hearing Board shall be final.

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Assignment of Grades by a Person other than the Instructor
When a situation occurs in which a grade needs to be assigned and the instructor is no longer able to act or is not available, the following procedure shall be followed. This problem might occur in case of a faculty member’s death, termination, resignation, or with supplementary faculty. The procedure may be applied for assigning grades at the end of a term, in the case of a missing grade, upon completion of an Incomplete, or in response to a grade complaint.

  1. The department chair/school director shall attempt to get permission from the instructor involved to act for the instructor. Such permission should be diligently sought and documented in writing. (Permission may be "documented" by a telephone call if written documentation is not practical.)
  2. If permission is secured, the department chair/school director and the dean of the university shall work out a written agreement for the completion of the work and the assignment of the grade. One copy of the agreement shall be filed in the student’s record in the Office of the registrar.
  3. If permission cannot be secured by the department chair/school director, or if the instructor refuses or fails to provide a missing grade or finish an Incomplete, the department chair/school director, the Dean of the University, and the Chair of the Academic Standards Committee shall establish a written agreement for the completion of the work and the assignment of the grade. A copy of the agreement shall be filed in the student’s record in the Office of the Registrar.

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