Academic Policies

Grades and the Grading System 

Note:  Information on Law and Medicine grading systems are listed under Alternative Grading below.

Grade: In GPA: Description:
A yes excellent       (regular grade)
B yes good             (regular grade)
C yes satisfactory  (regular grade)
D yes poor              (regular grade)
E yes failure            (regular grade)
 
S no superior     (alternative grade)
P no passing      (alternative grade)
 
P no passing      (pass/fail option)
F no failure         (pass/fail option)
 
K no course in progress 
I no incomplete
W no approved withdrawal from a course (drop)
WC no approved complete withdrawal from the U
WC no approved retroactive withdrawal from the U
O no audit
WO no audit, withdrawal
XO no audit, administrative withdrawal
CR no credit for Special Exam for Credit
and the final term of 930 courses
(Blank) no no grade submitted by instructor

Regular Grades:

A, B, C, D, and E constitute the regular grades used at the University of Arizona.  Regular grades are included in the calculation of the grade-point-average (GPA).  

The majority of courses at the University are graded with regular grades.  Exceptions include:  most house-numbered courses (independent study, colloquium, etc), and some law, medicine, pharmacy and public health courses.  Courses using alternative grades are designated as such in the course descriptions.


Alt
ernative Grading:

S (superior) and P (pass) grades are used in place of regular grades A and B, respectively, for courses graded S, P, C, D, E and S, P, E, K.   S and P grades are NOT included in the calculation of the GPA, nor do they count toward meeting the criteria for dean's list, honorable mention, or academic distinctions.

S, P, C, D, E grading:  for several house numbered courses (proseminar, colloquium, etc), one of the grading systems available is the combination of special and regular grades (S, P, C, D, E).  *

S, P, E, K grading:  some 900-level house numbered courses use this grading system.  In these cases, the grades S and P are used in place of regular grades A and B, respectively, and students not attaining B level course work receive the failing grade of E.  See K Course in Progress below.

S, P, F grading:  For the majority of individual studies courses, the only grades available are the special grades of S, P, F.  Grades of S (superior), P (pass), and F (fail) are not included in the calculation of the GPA, nor do they count toward meeting the criteria for dean's list, honorable mention, or academic distinctions.

Medical grades:  all 800-level courses offered by the College of Medicine are graded on an honors/ high pass/ pass/ fail system (H, HP, P, F, K).  See the External Link College of Medicine Grading System for more information.

Law grades:  law students please consult the External Link College of Law Grading System.

* NOTE: For house numbered courses with a choice of grading systems (senior capstone, colloquium, etc.), an instructor may have the option of awarding regular grades only (A,B,C,D,E) or the combination of special and regular grades (S,P,C,D,E), as departmental policy dictates.  However, in any single class offering, all registrants must be graded by the same system.


K Grade, Course in Progress:

K for non-900-level courses:  if a course requires more than one term for completion, the grade of K is awarded for each term except the final term.  The final term is awarded a non-K grade appropriate to the grading scheme for the course (see regular and alternative grading above).  For example, a course that continues for 3 terms would receive the permanent grade of K for the first 2 terms, while the final term would receive a non-K grade appropriate to the grading scheme for the course.  Course re-registration is not required.

K grade for 900 through 925 house numbered courses and graduate level English writing project courses (e.g. ENGL 501, 604, & 609):  the grade of K is awarded by the instructor for each term when the course continues for longer than one term.  Once the course is completed the K grades are replaced with permanent non-K grades appropriate to the grading scheme for the course.  For example, a course that continues for 3 terms would receive temporary K grades for the first 2 terms.   When the course is completed successfully in the 3rd term all 3 terms then receive the same permanent non-K grade appropriate to the grading scheme for the course.  Students must register for these courses each term, as needed.  Time-limit for completion of such work for full credit for the master's degree is 6 years; for the doctoral degree, 10 years.

Pass/Fail Option for Undergraduates:

For certain courses, a qualified student may elect to register under the pass/fail option. Under such registration, the only final grades available to the student are P (pass) or F (fail).  To receive the grade of P, the student must be doing work comparable to a D or better.  If a course is taken under the pass/fail option, the grade of P or F will be permanently recorded.  If the course is passed, the units of credit will be applied toward graduation.  Pass/fail grades are NOT included in the GPA.

Undergraduate students may elect to take courses under the pass/fail option only after they have attained sophomore standing and only if they have earned grade-point-averages (GPAs) of 2.000 or better.  

Courses taken under the pass/fail option must be electives only, and may not be used to fulfill general education, major, minor, or other specified curriculum requirements.

Students registering for a course under the pass/fail option must meet the prerequisites or otherwise satisfy the instructor of their ability to take the course.

Undergraduate students may register under the pass/fail option for not more than 2 courses per semester up to a maximum of 12 courses.  Further, they must carry a minimum of 12 course units graded with regular grades during each term in which they take courses under the pass/fail option.  Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the student's academic dean.

Students may change from pass/fail enrollment to enrollment for a regular grade, or vice versa, only during the time period prior to the last day of the fourth calendar week (Fall and Spring) during which classes are held, except with special permission of the student's college dean.

Each department decides which of its courses will be available under the pass/fail option.  Further, the instructor of the course must approve when it is offered for pass/fail. The instructor's class roster will serve as notification of any students enrolled in the class under the pass/fail option.

Courses that are available for pass/fail are designated as such in the Schedule of Classes as "Available: Pass/Fail."

Student Teaching:  pass/fail grades are the only grades available for FSHD 489, TTE 493A, and TTE 493B. Enrollment in these courses will not reduce the amount for which a student can otherwise enroll under the pass/fail option.

Pass/Fail Option for Graduate Students: 

For certain courses, a graduate student may elect to register under the Pass/Fail option. Under such registration, the only final grades available to the student are P (pass) or F (fail). To receive the grade of P, the student must be doing work comparable to a C or better. If a course is taken under the Pass/Fail option, the grade of P or F will be permanently recorded. If the course is passed, the units of credit may be applied toward the degree at the discretion of the student'smajor advisor. Pass/Fail grades are NOT included in the GPA.

Students registering for a course under the Pass/Fail option must meet the prerequisites or otherwise satisfy the instructor of their ability to take the course.

Students may register under the Pass/Fail option for not more than 2 courses per semester. Students may change from Pass/Fail enrollment to enrollment for a regular grade, or vice versa, only during the time period prior to the last day of the fourth calendar week (Fall and Spring) during which classes are held, except with special permission of the Dean, Graduate College.

The department determines which of its courses will be available under the Pass/Fail option, but this is subject to approval by the instructor teaching the course. Graduate students may take courses offered by the College of Law for Pass/Fail for graduate credit. Graduate students who need to complete admission deficiencies or who wish to take undergraduate courses for Pass/Fail, may do, so but they will not earn graduate credit for those courses. The instructor shall be informed by the Office of the Registrar which students are enrolled under the Pass/Fail option.

Courses that are available for Pass/Fail are designated as such in the Schedule of Classes as "Available: Pass/Fail."

Incomplete Grade:

The grade of I may be awarded only at the end of a term, when all but a minor portion of the course work has been satisfactorily completed. The grade of I is not to be awarded in place of a failing grade or when the student is expected to repeat the course; in such a case, a grade other than I must be assigned.  Students should make arrangements with the instructor to receive an incomplete grade before the end of the term.

Instructors are encouraged to use the Report of Incomplete Grade form as a contract with the student as to what course work must be completed by the student for the I grade to be removed and replaced with a grade. On the form, the instructor states:  (1) which assignments or exams should be completed and when; (2) how this work will be graded; and (3) how the student's course grade will be calculated. Both the instructor and student sign this agreement and both should retain copies.

After the course work is completed, the instructor should assign the appropriate grade on the UAccess Grade Roster.  After posting, the new grade will be included in the calculation of the student's GPA.

If the incomplete grade is not removed by the instructor within one year (the last day of finals one year later), the I grade will convert to a failing grade. For undergraduate courses, the one-year limit may be extended for one additional year if, prior to converting to an E, the extension is approved by the instructor and the dean of the college in which the student is registered. For graduate courses, the one-year extension must be approved by the instructor and Graduate College dean.  This extension requires the instructor and dean's signature on a Petition for Extension of Course Work.  Notification of the dean's approval or denial is to be provided to the student by the dean's office.  A copy of the approved or denied Petition must then be forwarded from the dean's office to the Office of the Registrar, Administration 210, for appropriate processing.  Once the I has converted to an E, a one-year extension will only be considered for an undergraduate course if the student submits an appeal to the University General Petition Committee.  Additionally, a request for an extension of time beyond 2 academic years of the original course enrollment requires approval by the General Petition Committee.  For courses taken for graduate credit, an extension beyond 2 academic years may be considered only by the Graduate College.

Withdrawal, Dropping a Course:

5/7/14 Note: The 18-unit cap on course withdrawals applies to all undergraduates, effective Fall 2014; that is, the count of W grades begins for all incoming, continuing, and readmitted undergraduates in September 2014.

Prior to the end of the second week of classes in regular semesters (see External LinkDates & Deadlines for shorter terms) official withdrawal (drop) of a course cancels the registration for the course.  No approval is needed. No grade for the course will appear on the student's permanent record. 

During weeks three through ten in regular semesters (see External LinkDates & Deadlines for shorter terms), students may use UAccess Student Self-Service to withdraw from a course.  No approval is needed.  The grade of W is awarded regardless of whether the student is passing at the time of withdrawal.  The W will appear on the student's permanent record.

After the tenth week of classes, the grade of W can be awarded only with the approval of the student's instructor and academic dean, and only under exceptional circumstances. Students with extenuating circumstances must file a Late Change Petition with their college dean for permission to drop a course, and such petitions are only available through the thirteenth week of the semester. The end of the 13th week is the student's final course-withdrawal (drop) deadline.  The college dean must submit any approved Late Change Petitions to the Registrar before the final exam period.

W Grade Unit Maximum:  The number of undergraduate course withdrawals (drops) cannot exceed 18 units during the student's undergraduate career.   The 18-unit maximum applies to all courses dropped with a W grade.  The W grade is awarded for all withdrawals between the first and final withdrawal deadlines--from the third week through the thirteenth week of a regular semester (including those awarded for administrative drops or for approved Late Change Petitions).

WC Withdrawal, Complete Withdrawal and Retroactive Withdrawal from the University:

5/7/14 Note: The WC grade for complete and retroactive withdrawals is effective for all undergraduates beginning in Fall 2014.

11/4/14 Note: The WC grade for complete and retroactive withdrawals is effective for all graduate and professional students beginning in Spring 2015.

In the case of complete Withdrawal from the University, if a student withdraws before the end of the second week of classes in a regular semester (before the end of the fourth week for graduate and  professional students), no classes show on the student's permanent record.  If a student withdraws from the University after the second week of classes during a regular semester (after the fourth week for graduate and professional students) and before the final exam period, the grade of WC (withdrawal-complete) is awarded for all classes processed in the complete withdrawal.  WC grades are NOT included in the GPA and are not included in the 18-unit W maximum. The refund schedule is listed for each term in the External Link Registration Dates and Deadlines calendar.

Audit Grade:

The grade of O is awarded for courses taken for audit.  Audit grades are not awarded unless the student is registered for audit.  (In the case of COOP 100, students are automatically registered for audit.)   Audit grades are NOT included in the GPA.  See the audit policy for details and the use of WO and XO grades.

CR  Credit:

The grade of CR is a passing grade awarded for courses taken by Special Examination for Credit.  Failing grades are not recorded.  The CR grade is NOT included in the GPA.

CR grade for 930 house numbered courses:  the grade of CR is awarded upon completion of degree requirements.  Also see K grade for 930 courses above.

(Blank)  No Grade Submitted:

No grade indicator is entered when an instructor fails to submit grades for all students in a course by the grade reporting deadline at the end of the term.  Prior to Spring 2003, students were awarded a temporary grade of 'Y' after the grade reporting deadline and prior to receiving the final grade from the instructor.

Consistent with current practice, if grades are issued for some but not all students in a class, those students who were not awarded a grade by the instructor will be awarded an administrative grade of 'E' by the Registrar's Office.

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