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Grading Policies

  1. Minimum Acceptable Grades
    1. Candidates for graduate degrees are required to maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA in course work counted toward the degree.
    2. A grade below C- is not accepted by the University toward a graduate degree.
    3. Departments may have additional grade restrictions that must be maintained. These restrictions will be explained in the department’s handbook.
    4. Requests to transfer credits or use credits earned as a non-matriculated student towards a graduate degree have a higher grade requirement.
  2. Credit/No-Credit Grading
    1. Graduate students are granted the option, subject to approval by their major department and review by the dean of The Graduate School, to enroll in some courses in which they will be graded on a credit/no-credit (CR/NC) rather than on a letter-grade basis.
      1. The intent of the CR/NC option is to free students to extend their studies to areas outside their major or specialty and to take classes they otherwise might not take if they had to compete with majors for a letter grade.
    2. The following apply to taking classes CR/NC:
      1. During the first year in The Graduate School, the student, with departmental approval, may register for one class each 
      2. Of the first year’s work, courses taken for CR/NC grades may not exceed approximately 25 percent of the student’s total credits and generally should be less than 25 percent. In some cases, especially if the student plans to do doctoral work, the director of graduate studies or chair of the student’s supervisory committee may determine it is desirable that all classes the first year be taken for letter grades. If so, the program should be outlined accordingly.
      3. After the first year in The Graduate School, the student may request permission from the director of graduate studies to register for more than one class per semester on a CR/NC basis.
      4. Each department has flexibility to plan the best possible program with the student. Whether the student is in the first year or advanced stages of the program, the choice of courses to be taken CR/NC is subject to the approval of the director of graduate studies or chair acting on behalf of the student’s department.
      5. Students may not elect to register for CR/NC courses in their major departments unless a course in the major department is offered only on a CR/NC basis.
      6. All courses earning credit of one hour are graded on a CR/NC basis, unless use of regular letter grades is approved by the Graduate Council.
      7. Graduate students should earn a grade of C- or better to be entitled to ‘credit.’ Students who do not wish to register for credit, either for a letter grade or CR/NC, should audit the course.
      8. Graduate students enrolled in a class for CR/NC may change to a letter grade any time before the Monday of the last week of classes. Graduate students are cautioned that it is important they receive letter grades in order to build a graduate GPA. This is especially important if students apply for fellowships or traineeships on a competitive basis or later transfer to another institution.
Last Updated: 4/5/22