APS #1025

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Uniform Grading Policy

Brief Description

This policy outlines the University of Colorado’s commitment to a uniform grading policy – a policy to be followed by all campuses.

Reason for Policy

This policy outlines the University of Colorado’s commitment to a uniform grading policy – a policy to be followed by all campuses.

Policy Profile

APS Policy Title: 
Uniform Grading Policy
APS Number: 
1025
Effective Date: 
June 1, 2022
Approved By: 
President Todd Saliman
Responsible University Officer: 
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Responsible Office: 
Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs
Policy Contact: 
Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs
Supersedes: 
Uniform Grading, July 1, 2014
Last Reviewed/Updated date: 
June 1, 2022
Applies to: 
All campuses

I. Introduction

The university has had a uniform grading policy since 1974.  The purposes of this policy are:

  1. to encourage students and faculty to create and sustain a positive learning environment;
     
  2. to create consistency of grading policy across all academic units in the CU system in those areas where such consistency is beneficial to students and to the university;
     
  3. to maintain faculty control over grading and over the grading policy;

  4. to allow individual campuses, schools, and colleges to have more restrictive grading policies than those in the Uniform Grading Policy when such restrictions are not in conflict with the Uniform Grading Policy; and
     
  5. to provide some flexibility in grading practices for individual campuses, schools, and colleges where reasonable and consistent with the intentions of the Uniform Grading Policy.

    The Uniform Grading Policy is found in section II of this Administrative Policy Statement (APS). All campuses, schools, and colleges of the University of Colorado are covered by the policy. Campuses, schools, and colleges may request exceptions to the policies in accordance with the provisions of the Uniform Grading Policy.

    The Uniform Grading Policy may be revised in accordance with procedures specified in the policy.

II. Policy Statement

The following grading system and procedures for P+/P/F registration, dropping and adding courses, and withdrawal from the University of Colorado are standardized for all campuses, schools, and colleges of the university. Any campus, school, or college may further restrict any subsection of the provisions of this policy.

Grade Symbols

The instructor is responsible for whatever grade symbol (A, B, C, D, F, I, IP, P+, P, S, or U) is to be assigned. Special symbols, such as NC, W, and ***, and indications of registration or grade status are not assigned by the instructor but are automatically converted by the grade application system, explained under Special Symbols.

A superior/excellent 4 credit points per credit hour
B good/better than average 3 credit points per credit hour
C competent/average 2 credit points per credit hour
D below average 1 credit points per credit hour
F failing no credit points per credit hour
I incomplete regarded as F if not completed within a maximum of one year
IP in progress thesis or multi-semester course at the graduate level only
P+/P/F pass plus/pass/fail* Applicable for letter-graded courses where the student elects the P+/P/F option. Faculty member assigns letter grades which are converted as follows:
  • P+ = C- or greater
  • P = D-, D, D+
  • F = F
P+ and P are not included in the grade point average, but credit is earned. F is included in grade point average with no credit earned.

*Note: For Amendments and Exceptions to the Policy see below. 
S/U satisfactory/unsatisfactory Applicable for non-letter graded courses where faculty member assigns an S or U as follows:
  • S = Course requirements are satisfied or expectations are met
  • U = Course requirements are not satisfied or expectations are not met

Credit is earned for an S. No credit is earned for a U. Neither S nor U is included in grade point average.

Plus/Minus Grades

Schools and colleges may, at their discretion, choose to implement a plus/minus grading system with symbols and points as follows:

A = 4.0 points
A- = 3.7 points
B+ = 3.3 points
B = 3.0 points
B- = 2.7 points
C+ = 2.3 points
C = 2.0 points
C- = 1.7 points
D+ = 1.3 points
D = 1.0 points
D- = 0.7 points
F = 0.0 points
Grades are awarded directly by an individual faculty member to an individual student for work done in an individual course. Therefore, the grade will be entered directly into the student's record precisely as it is awarded by the instructor of record. Students may appeal grades following established school, college, or campus procedures.

Special Symbols

NC = indicates registration on a no-credit basis
W = indicates withdrawal without discredit
*** = indicates grades have not been received at the time grades are processed

Explanation of Grading Symbol I

An I is a grade indicating that work for the course has not been completed. Policies with respect to I grades are available in the individual college and school deans' offices.

P+/P/F Procedure

  1. Students should check with their academic advisors and their degree audits to determine the availability, eligibility, and implications of courses for P+/P/F grading.
     
  2. A student who opts to register for an eligible course on a P+/P/F basis should do so during regular registration period. A student may change a course to or from a P+/P/F basis only during the period specified in campus policy.
     
  3. A student may take a maximum of six hours of course work on a P+/P/F basis in any given semester, unless otherwise specified by the school or college.
     
  4. A student may take a maximum of 16 semester hours of regular course work on a P+/P/F basis for credit toward a bachelor's degree. The number of hours that may be taken on a P+/P/F basis and credited toward a graduate degree is determined by graduate school policy.  However, for both undergraduate and graduate degrees, schools and colleges may have additional requirements and may allow fewer P+/P/F credit hours.  The curriculum for an individual program or major may further limit allowable P+/P/F hours.
     
  5. The record of P+/P/F registration is maintained by the Registrar’s office in the student information system.

Course Forgiveness/Repetition

Any policy on course forgiveness/repetition shall apply only to the campus whose faculty develops and adopts it and shall apply only to the students enrolled on that campus.

Drop/Add Procedure

  1. Students will be allowed to drop and add within a period specified by the campus or its individual schools and colleges.
     
  2. The add period may be no longer than the first 15% of the academic term, (as mandated by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education.)
     
  3. Students seeking to add a course after the initial add period must obtain the instructor's permission.
     
  4. After the initial drop period, the student must obtain the instructor's permission in order to drop. All courses dropped after the conclusion of the initial drop period appear on the permanent record with the grade of W.
     
  5. After the 10th week, courses may not be dropped unless there are circumstances clearly beyond the student's control (accident, illness, etc.).  In addition to the instructor's certification (as in D above), the student must petition their dean's office for approval to drop the course. Campuses, individual schools, and colleges may have further restrictions on this time period.

Withdrawal Procedure

In order to withdraw from the university, the student must obtain approval of the academic dean's office and the Office of the Registrar. Notation is recorded on the student's permanent record. Students who do not officially withdraw are subject to grades of F for all course work.

Amendments and Exceptions to the Policy

No change in the Uniform Grading Policy shall be adopted unless it meets with the approval of the voting faculty within 60% of the schools and colleges.

Any campus, school, or college may request a special grading policy to meet its needs. (An example is the use of H/HP/P/PR/F at the School of Medicine; H = honors, HP = high pass, P = pass, PR = pass with remediation, F = fail.) Such a request for exception shall be subject to approval by the Faculty Council, after review by the Educational Policy and University Standards committee (EPUS), and shall apply only to that particular unit. Current exceptions include:

  • The School of Medicine proposed an extension to their exception to the grading symbols to include H/HP/P/PR/F.  This proposal was approved by the Faculty Council with an effective date of April 1, 2009. 
  • The School of Dental Medicine proposed an extension to their exception to the grading symbols to include PR (pass with remediation).  This proposal was approved by the Faculty Council with an effective date of April 27, 2018.

All changes to the Uniform Grading Policy must be initiated by the faculty of one or more academic units who will vote upon the change. Such requests for change shall be forwarded to the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council; the Executive Committee of Faculty Council shall consult the Educational Policy and University Standards committee (EPUS) before requiring the schools and colleges to conduct a ballot of their faculties regarding the change. (Faculty within the schools and colleges shall vote in accord with their established policies and procedures.) Following the positive outcome of such a ballot, the Chair of the Faculty Council shall request the administration to make any necessary revisions in this APS.

III. History

  • Adopted:  Spring 1984 – Uniform Grading System.
  • Revised:  August 1, 2004 – Uniform Grading Policy; January 1, 2009; April 1, 2009; January 17, 2013; July 1, 2014; April 27, 2018 – Added exception approved by Faculty Council; June 1, 2022.
  • Last Reviewed:  June 1, 2022.

IV.  Key Words

Uniform grading, pass/fail