Grade Information and Policy

Access to Grades
Grades are accessed by students through Student Center in PeopleSoft. Grades are similarly provided to instructors, department chairs, and academic advisors through Faculty Center in PeopleSoft.

Mid-Term Grading System
Midterm 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. Midterm grades provide an evaluation of academic progress
but are no guarantee of either passing or failing grades at the end of the term. Midterm grades are not
recorded on the transcript and do not affect the grade point average. The midterm 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W: Withdrawal (Student has officially withdrawn from course)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 a first baccalaureate degree program who meet the following criteria for a given semester:

  1. A semester grade point average in the top 10 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 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.

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 authority 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 3.00
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
HIST 400
HON 211
HUM 315
IPE 191
MUS 109, 309, 422
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 (10 class days) when a student withdraws or is withdrawn by an instructor.
Following this period, a Withdrawal grade of W may be assigned through the tenth week of classes when a
student completes withdrawal procedures through the Registrar’s Office. If, following the first two weeks,
a student is withdrawn without completing withdrawal procedures, or if a student withdraws after the time
allowed for a W grade, a Withdrawal Failing (WF) is automatically assigned.

During the Withdrawal Failing period (class weeks 11-15), a student may petition the Academic
Standards Committee requesting withdrawal with a W grade. To support such a petition, the student
must 1) have completed withdrawal procedures, 2) outline in a statement to the Committee the exceptional circumstances prompting withdrawal, and 3) provide supporting documentation of exceptional circumstances from a health care provider, counselor, Puget Sound advisor, or other university advocate. Additionally, the student may submit a statement from the course instructor regarding the student’s progress in the class and, in the absence of such a statement, the Registrar’s Office may solicit comments or recommendations from the instructor.

The last day of class, as listed in the academic calendar, is the last day a student may withdraw from a
class. Once Reading Period begins, a student is no longer able to withdraw.

Withdrawal from a course past the date for withdrawal without record counts as a “course attempt.”
This means if a student registers again for a course that had been assigned a W or WF grade, the student
is repeating that course under the terms of the policy titled “Reregistration for the Same 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, third, and fourth weeks,
automatic W grade; fifth week and later, WF is the default grade and the Academic Standards Committee
may assign a W grade in response to a student’s petition.

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.”) Students who receive withdrawal grades for all courses in a given semester must petition the Committee for re-enrollment in 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’s work.
The Academic Standards Committee may approve a medical withdrawal petition 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, who 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 approve an emergency administrative withdrawal petition
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 10 days of the sudden and catastrophic incident that prevents the student from completing the semester’s
    work. In situations where the application comes after 10 days, explanation for the delay is required.
  3. The student must submit to the Registrar supporting statements from the Assistant Dean of Students
    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 Assistant
Dean of Students, 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 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 midterm 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 Final Grade Submission 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 also is 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 Incomplete

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 Extension 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 to 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 Grade

An In-progress grade (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 other such 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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