VCU Bulletins

Undergraduate study

Grading and marking system

Evaluation and final grade reports
Grades and grade points
Grade-point average
Repeated courses
Grade exclusion policy
Change of grade

Evaluation and final grade reports

Students are encouraged to discuss their progress in courses with their instructors, especially before the withdrawal deadline.

University policy requires faculty to provide students with feedback about their academic performance before the semester or class withdrawal date. Although such feedback does not always take the form of a letter grade, grades do provide a clear indication of class progress.

Students who do not attend class are responsible for dropping or withdrawing from class during the established dates. Exceptions to this policy are made only in rare instances. Requests for an exception must be filed with the Academic Regulations Appeals Committee within three years of the semester of enrollment.

Grades are available via the Web through eServices at https://my.vcu.edu.

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Grades and grade points

VCU course work is measured both in terms of quantity (semester hours of credit) and quality (grades). Grades are assigned according to a letter system. Each letter is assigned a grade-point value. These letter grades and their respective meaning and grade-point values follow:

Grade letter Meaning
Grade-point values per semester credit
A  
4.0
B  
3.0
C  
2.0
D  
1.0
F  
0.0
FI Incomplete changed to fail
0.0
AP Advanced Placement
( _ )
AU Audit
( _ )
CO Continued
( _ )
CR Credit
( _ )
H Honors
( _ )
HP High Pass
( _ )
I Incomplete
( _ )
IB International Baccalaureate
( _ )
IM Incomplete Military
( _ )
M Marginal
( _ )
NC Administrative grade with no credit
( _ )
NR/NG Administrative grade assigned when no grade is submitted by the instructor
( _ )
P Pass
( _ )
PR Progress
( _ )
TR Transfer credit
( _ )
W Withdrawn
( _ )
WM Withdrawn Military
( _ )
DN D grade excluded from GPA
( _ )
FN F grade excluded from GPA
( _ )
Grades designated by a blank, (_), in the grade-point column are not considered in the computation of grade points earned or GPA.

The above scale is known as a four-point grading system since 4.0 is the highest grade point assigned. The number of grade points earned is computed by multiplying the grade-point value for the letter grade times the number of semester credits for the course. For example, a student who receives an A (four grade points) in a three-credit course earns 12 grade points.

The E notation, when following a letter grade, means that the course has been repeated and the grade and earned hours are excluded from the GPA. Letter grades preceded by an X are not computed in the GPA. Grades of D or F may be assigned by the Honor Council and the grade is computed in the GPA. However, a grade of W may be assigned by the Honor Council and is not computed in the GPA. In both cases a notation will be made on the academic transcript detailing the Honor Council assignment.

Mark of audit (AU)
Courses assigned the AU grade will not be computed into the GPA.

Mark of continued (CO)
The mark of CO may be assigned as an interim mark for those courses that run over more than one grade reporting period. The CO mark indicates the course is not expected to be completed in a single semester and that the student must reregister for the course in the following semester. Upon departmental notification, CO marks for courses not reregistered for in the following semester are converted to F grades. Upon completion of the course, a final grade is assigned for that semester and the previous CO mark(s) remain. This mark may be assigned only in courses approved for such grading. Courses assigned the CO grade will not be computed into the GPA.

Mark of credit (CR)
Courses assigned the CR grade will not be computed into the GPA.

Mark of honors (H)
Courses assigned the H grade will not be computed into the GPA.

Mark of high pass (HP)
Courses assigned the HP grade will not be computed into the GPA.

Mark of incomplete (I)
When circumstances beyond a student’s control prevent the student from meeting course requirements at the end of the semester, the student may request the instructor to assign the mark of I for that semester. If in agreement with this request, the instructor fills out an Incomplete Grade Assignment Form bearing the student’s signature. A grade cannot be changed to I after the deadline for grade submissions.

All work must be completed and submitted in time to allow the instructor to evaluate the work and submit a grade to the department no later than 30 calendar days after the beginning of the next semester. Incompletes assigned in a fall semester must be converted within 30 calendar days of the beginning of the spring semester. Incompletes assigned in the spring semester or summer session must be converted within 30 calendar days of the beginning of the fall semester.

Courses assigned the I grade will not be computed into the GPA. Upon expiration of the deadline, an FI will be given automatically for any incomplete that has not been changed to a grade.

Mark of incomplete military (IM)
See the Defense crisis tuition relief, refund and reinstatement guidelines in the “Tuition, fees and expenses” section of this bulletin. Courses assigned the IM grade will not be computed into the GPA.

Mark of marginal (M)
Courses assigned the M grade will not be computed into the GPA.

Mark of pass (P)
The mark of P may be assigned only in courses approved for such grading. This grade denotes satisfactory completion of course requirements. If course requirements are not met satisfactorily, a grade of F is assigned. Courses assigned the grade of P are not computed in the GPA. However, courses assigned the grade of F are computed in the GPA.

Mark of progress (PR)
A PR is assigned as an interim grade for certain continuing course requirements that run over the grade reporting periods. The mark of PR may be assigned only in courses approved for such grading. Courses assigned the PR grade will not be computed into the GPA.

Mark of withdrawn (W)
The mark of W indicates the student has officially withdrawn from the course or has been withdrawn for nonattendance. Students should refer to any school- or course-specific policies related to withdrawal dates. The last day to withdraw for the fall and spring semesters is the end of the 10th week of classes. Summer session students should check the summer Schedule of Classes for withdrawal dates.

Courses assigned the W grade will not be computed into the GPA. For further information see the Withdrawal from the university section of this bulletin.

Mark of withdrawn military (WM)
Courses assigned the WM grade will not be computed into the GPA. See the Defense crisis tuition relief, refund and reinstatement guidelines in the “Tuition, fees and expenses” section of this bulletin.

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Grade-point average

The GPA is computed by dividing the number of grade points earned at VCU by the number of credit hours attempted at VCU. The grades of accepted transfer courses are not included in the computation of the VCU GPA. However, transfer grades are included in the computation of laudatory graduation honors.

VCU has three program levels: undergraduate, graduate and professional. Each program level has a cumulative GPA. If you enroll in multiple programs at the same degree level, your GPA for the multiple programs will be merged. For example, if you graduate from an undergraduate program at VCU and pursue a second undergraduate program at VCU, you will have one continuous GPA.

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Repeated courses

Because some programs do not allow students to repeat courses, any student planning to do so must first consult with his or her adviser, department chair or program head.

The semester credits attempted and the grade points earned for all attempts are included in computing the cumulative GPA. No matter how often a course is repeated, it may be counted only once as credits presented toward graduation.

If a student repeats a course in which a D or F was earned on the first attempt, the student can file the Historical Repeat Course Option form at any time during a semester prior to the awarding of the undergraduate degree. This form must be filed before the last week of classes in any semester so the cumulative GPA can be adjusted at the end of that semester. It is available online at www.enrollment.vcu.edu/rar.

In the case of courses that are no longer offered at VCU, students may take the established equivalent course at VCU and file the Historical Repeat Course Option form as described in the previous paragraph.

The grade is not excluded until the request is made. If, however, more than one D or F grade is received in the same course, only one of these grades will be excluded from the computation of the cumulative GPA.

Grades for all attempted courses remain on the student’s permanent record. Students may not repeat courses for which they have previously received transfer credit. A repeated course may be counted only once toward credits necessary for graduation. Before repeating a course, the student should consult with the adviser, department chair or program head.

Initiating the repeated course option by using the Historical Repeat Course Option form will not result in a change in previously earned academic statuses (warning, probation, suspension). Students who choose to repeat a course must do so before the awarding of their undergraduate degrees from VCU, or from any other college to which VCU course work is transferred. The student’s GPA at graduation will not be affected by repeating a course at any time after graduation.

Students who are eligible to file a historical repeat on a course that would change their academic standing have until the end of the add/drop period the following semester to file an ARAC petition with their school/college ARAC representative to request that the academic status be changed. Once the add/drop period the following semester has passed the student can still submit the historical repeat and have the grade point average changed, but the academic status will not be changed. For courses taken in the spring semester, the following semester is the summer session and the petition must be filed within one week (seven days) of when the first summer session starts.

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Grade exclusion policy

This policy is applicable to former students enrolled in any undergraduate program at the university who:

  1. Have not enrolled at VCU for five years or more
  2. Are now entering an undergraduate program
  3. Earn at least a 2.0 GPA on the first 12 semester hours completed upon return

Under this policy, eligible students may request that D and F grades previously earned at VCU be excluded from their total credits earned and GPA computation for the purpose of meeting scholastic continuance and graduation requirements.

All earned grades, including those excluded D and F grades, remain on the student’s academic record. Excluded grades must be approved by the student’s major department chair and by the dean of the school.

Initiating the grade exclusion option will not result in a change in previously earned academic statuses (warning, probation, suspension). Grades of DN and FN indicate that the letter grade is not computed in the GPA.

The grade exclusion policy may be used only once during a student’s enrollment at VCU and cannot be revoked by the student after approval is granted. A student who chooses to use this policy must do so before the awarding of his or her undergraduate degree.

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Change of grade

A final grade may be corrected by the faculty member with proper submission of the Change of Grade Form to the chair of the department in which the course was taught. The chair will forward the form to the school’s dean, who will send it to the Office of Records and Registration. For grades awarded in the fall semester, the change of grade must be submitted by the department chair no later than 30 calendar days after the beginning of the following spring semester. For grades awarded in the spring semester or summer, the change must be submitted no later than 30 days after the beginning of the following fall semester. However, a change of grade that affects the student’s academic eligibility to enroll must be made during the add/drop period in the semester or summer session in which the student plans to continue attendance.

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Last update: 6/19/2014

Created by VCU University Relations