47-00, 48-00, and 49-00 Grades

47-20 Basis for Grades

Grades shall be assigned to individual students on the basis of the instructor’s professional judgment of the student’s scholastic achievement as set forth in Section 47-60. The instructor should provide written (paper or electronic form) notification of the basis for grades to students on or before the first class meeting. Any changes in that basis should likewise be presented to students in writing. Instructors also should provide evaluations of student progress in advance of the late-drop deadline in order for students to make an informed decision about ways to improve their performance or, as a last option, to late drop the course.

For grade assignments related to cases of academic dishonesty, refer to Section 49-20 (sanction on grades) and G-9 academic integrity procedures.

G-10 Grade Mediation and Adjudication
R-5 Syllabus

Revised: 6/1/76
Revised: 9/8/77
Revised: 5/25/82
Revised: 5/3/83
Revised: 1/31/84
Revised: 12/4/01
Revised Editorially: 4/10/07
Revised: 9/10/13
Revised: 4/19/16 – Effective Fall 2016 – Archive

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47-40 Grading System

Grades for undergraduate and graduate students shall be reported by the following letters: A, A-, B, B+, B-, C+, C, D, or F. In addition, the symbols of SA (Satisfactory) and UN (Unsatisfactory) may be recorded on the student’s transcript in accordance with Section 49-60. Courses that do not carry credit shall be graded NCP if passed and NCF if failed. The symbols of W, LD (Late Drop), R (Research), DF (Deferred Grade), AUS (Audited, Regular/Satisfactory Attendance), AUU (Audited, Unsatisfactory Attendance), and CRX (Credit by Examination) also may be recorded in place of grades in accord with Section 42-50; 48-40; 48-80; and 49-40. Note that CRX does not apply to graduate students.

XF grade–see 49-20 for assignment, designates a disciplinary sanction assigned due to academic misconduct.

Revised: 1/9/73 (as Rule M-2)
Revised: 10/14/75
Revised: 1/6/76
Revised: 9/11/84
Revised: 10/2/84
Revised: 4/30/85
Revised: 10/8/95
Revised: 1/23/90
Revised Editorially: 1/11/05
Revised Editorially: 4/10/07
Revised: 3/16/10
Revised: 10/27/15-Effective Fall 2016

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47-45 Grading System for M.D. Candidates

The grading system for candidates enrolled in M.D. programs shall be reported as follows:

Honors (H)–Honors Grades (Outstanding Work)
High Pass (HP)–High Passing Grade
Pass (P)–Passing Grade
Low Pass (LP)–Low Passing Grade
Fail (F)–Failing Grade

This grading system is limited to candidates for the medical degree taking 400- and 500-level preclinical courses and 700-level clinical “Low Pass (LP)” grade is for 700-level clinical courses only (Years 3 and 4).

Initial Legislation: 10/14/75
Revised: 1/6/76
Revised: 9/12/89
Revised: 10/10/89
Revised: 10/26/04

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47-60 Definition of Grades

For undergraduates and graduates the grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, D, and F indicate a gradation in quality from Excellent to Failure and are assigned the following grade-point equivalents:

Grade Grade-Point Equivalent
A 4.00
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B 3.00
B- 2.67
C+ 2.33
C 2.00
D 1.00
F 0

Revised: 3/7/57 (as Rule M-3)
Revised: 4/11/72 (as Rule M-3)
Revised: 1/9/73 (as Rule M-3)
Revised: 6/1/76
Revised: 4/30/85

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47-70 Online Student Progress Report

To help students evaluate and improve their academic performance, instructors should submit early progress reports for all undergraduates in courses numbered 499 and below.  Prior to the late-drop deadline in a given semester, instructors should complete online early progress reports, especially noting whether a student is in danger of earning a grade of less than C.   Because academic success is a shared effort, it is the expectation that students take appropriate actions as outlined in any early progress report received.  Early progress reports are sent via email to students and their assigned academic adviser.

G-7 Student Progress Reporting

(Formerly Mid-semester Evaluation)
Revised: 9/13/83

Revised: 4/28/87
Revised: 4/29/08
Revised Editorially: 9/1/09
Revised: 4/29/14
Revised: 3/14/17

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47-80 Repeating Courses

Revisions to this policy were approved at the April 24, 2018 Senate meeting. THESE REVISIONS WILL BE EFFECTIVE BEGINNING SUMMER 2020. This policy will then be revised accordingly. For more information, view the legislation.

A student is limited to attempt any given course a maximum of three (3) times. Attempts are defined as earning a grade in a class or late-dropping the class. Any exceptions to the three-attempt limit must be approved by the appropriate academic official within a student’s college of enrollment.

In situations where a student withdraws from the university (Policy 56-30) these courses will not be counted as one of the three allowed attempts on given courses.

A course in which a grade of C or better was obtained may only be repeated if written evidence of consultation is obtained from the student’s adviser and a copy is submitted to the Office of the University Registrar. Any course repeated under this policy may be counted no more than once as a graduation requirement. Under this policy both grades are included in the computation of the grade-point average.

This policy does not apply to courses designated as “repeatable.”

Revised: 12/11/73 (as Rule M-3B)
Revised: 2/5/74 (as Rule M-3B)
Revised: 10/14/75
Revised: 11/11/75
Revised: 12/9/75
Revised: 10/6/81
Revised: 10/27/15 – Effective Fall 2016 – Archive
Revised: 4/24/18

C-7 Course Repeats
H-2 Undergraduate Grade Forgiveness (effective Summer 2020)

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48-20 Failure to Complete a Course

  1. When a student officially drops a course within the course drop period, no symbol or grade of any kind is to be reported.
  2. When a student officially drops a course after the course drop period, a symbol of LD, according to the policies of Sections 34-89, is to be reported.
  3. When a student registers for a course but ceases to attend class without officially dropping the course, the student is to be given a grade of F in the course.
  4. When a student officially withdraws from the University in accordance with Section 56-30, the symbol W shall be reported for each course, unless an accusation of academic dishonesty has been made against the withdrawing student. In such a case, Section 49-20 supersedes the assignment of the symbol W in that course.
  5. A symbol of AUU shall be recorded for unsatisfactory attendance in an audited course in accordance with Section 48-80.

Revised: 1/9/73 (as Rule M-4)
Revised: 9/8/77
Revised: 3/16/10
Revised: 10/27/15 – Effective Fall 2016 – Archive

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48-30 Corrected Grades

A corrected grade may be submitted by the instructor for a course taken in a previous semester to correct a mistake made in calculating or recording a grade for a particular student. Each student is responsible for checking the semester grade report for accuracy immediately upon receipt and for informing the instructor of any course in which the student suspects an error has been made in grading. Each instructor is responsible for checking the semester grade list after grades have been recorded for a previous semester.

If an error in calculating or recording a grade is brought to an instructor’s attention, the instructor may request a grade change authorization form to correct the error. This form must be signed by the instructor. No grade change can be made more than one year after the end of the semester in which the course was taken.

When a course instructor is no longer available to resolve an error in calculating or recording a grade, the instructor’s department head is authorized to take the necessary action.

G-5 Corrected Grades

Initial Legislation: 1/6/76
Revised: 10/6/81
Revised: 5/25/82
Revised: 10/17/17

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48-40 Deferred Grades

If, for reasons beyond the student’s control, a student is prevented from completing a course within the prescribed time, the grade in that course may be deferred with the concurrence of the instructor. The symbol DF appears on the student’s transcript until the course has been completed. Non-emergency permission for filing a deferred grade must be requested by the student before the beginning of the final examination period. In an emergency situation, an instructor can approve a deferred grade after the final exam period has started. Under emergency conditions during which the instructor is unavailable, authorization is required from one of the following: the dean of the college in which the candidate is enrolled; the executive director of the Division of Undergraduate Studies if the student is enrolled in that division; the campus chancellor of the student’s commonwealth campus.

In certain courses where normal work of the course extends beyond the scheduled period, deferment may be granted routinely for all students in the course if prior approval of the Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs has been obtained.

The period during which a grade may be deferred shall not extend beyond ten weeks following the grade reporting deadline. A deferred grade that is not changed to a quality grade by the instructor before the end of this period automatically becomes an F. A deferred grade that is automatically converted to an F can later be corrected in accordance with Senate Policy 48-30.

Students with DF on their transcripts will not be allowed to graduate.

G-3 Deferred Grades

Revised: 1/9/73 (as Rule O-4)
Revised: 1/6/76
Revised: 1/29/85
Revised: 3/26/85
Revised 4/30/85
Revised Editorially: 2/4/05
Revised Editorially: 3/12/08
Revised: 10/20/09
Revised: 3/15/11
Revised Editorially: 8/30/11
Revised: 4/29/14
Revised: 12/6/16

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48-50 No Grade (NG)

If an instructor does not submit a grade for a student by the grade-reporting deadline and a deferred grade was not requested and approved (see policy 48-40), the symbol NG (no grade) appears on the student’s transcript until a grade is submitted.

The NG is to be reconciled within five weeks following the grade reporting deadline. If a grade is not forthcoming by that deadline, the registrar’s office shall automatically change the NG to an F.

A NG grade that is automatically converted to an F can later be corrected in accordance with Senate Policy 48-30. Students with NG on their transcripts will not be allowed to graduate.

G-2 No Grade (NG)

Initial Legislation: 4/26/88
Revised: 3/15/11
Revised Editorially: 8/30/11
Revised: 12/6/16

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48-80 Symbols for Course Audit

When a student is registered in a course as an auditor, no final grade is to be given, but the symbol AUS shall be used if attendance has been regular (satisfactory), the symbol AUU if attendance has been unsatisfactory.

Revised: 10/27/15-Effective Fall 2016 Archive

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49-20 Academic Integrity

Definition and expectations: Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner. Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at The Pennsylvania State University, and all members of the University community are expected to act in accordance with this principle. Consistent with this expectation, the University’s Code of Conduct states that all students should act with personal integrity, respect other students’ dignity, rights and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts.

Academic integrity includes a commitment by all members of the University community not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others.

To protect the rights and maintain the trust of honest students and support appropriate behavior, faculty and administrators should regularly communicate high standards of integrity and reinforce them by taking reasonable steps to anticipate and deter acts of dishonesty in all assignments (Senate Policy 44-40: Proctoring of Examinations). At the beginning of each course, it is the responsibility of the instructor to provide students with a statement clarifying the application of University and College academic integrity policies to that course.

Committee on Academic Integrity: Each College Dean (or Chancellor as determined by College policy) shall appoint a Committee on Academic Integrity made up of faculty, students, and academic administrators with faculty being the majority. This committee shall:

Promote expectations for academic integrity consistent with the definition in this policy.

Ensure fairness and consistency in processes and outcomes. To ensure University-wide consistency, College Committees will work with the Office of Student Conduct and the Office of the Provost of the University to develop procedures for handling and sanctioning dishonesty infractions.

Review and settle all contested cases in which academic sanctions are applied. If necessary, further disciplinary action will be taken by the Office of Student Conduct.

Record all cases of academic dishonesty within a college and report them to the Office of Student Conduct.

G-9 Academic Integrity

Revised: 3/6/58
Revised: 9/8/77
Revised: 1/31/84
Revised: 2/28/84
Revised: 4/27/99
Revised: 10/26/99
Revised: 2/29/00
Revised Editorially: 4/10/07
Revised Editorially: 7/6/11

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49-40 Research Grades

In specifically designated variable-credit courses in which it is expected that students register for more than one semester, the instructor may report the symbol R (Research) in place of a grade. This symbol indicates that the student has devoted an adequate amount of time and effort to the work, but has given no indication of its quality. Upon completion of the work, the instructor reports an appropriate grade that applies to all prior credits so scheduled and will replace the R symbol(s) on the transcript. All affected grade-point averages are recomputed and entered. A course with an unresolved R grade may remain on the transcript after graduation, but may not be used to fulfill graduation requirements.

Revised editorially: 12/7/10

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49-60 Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory–Baccalaureate and Associate Degree Candidates

A limited number of courses may be taken for credit by any baccalaureate or associate degree candidates under the satisfactory/unsatisfactory (SA/UN) grading system, subject to regulations of the college and the limits of the degree program in which the candidate is enrolled. General Education courses may not be taken under the satisfactory/unsatisfactory option. Certain courses may be designated to be offered only under the SA/UN grading system at the request of an academic unit and after the approval of the Senate Curricular Affairs Committee.

  1. Each candidate, depending on the requirements and limitations of the candidate’s college, may schedule courses under the SA/UN grading system up to a maximum of 12 credits for baccalaureate degree candidates and 6 credits for associate degree candidates.
  2. A candidate in the Division of Undergraduate Studies may take courses under the SA/UN grading system. The candidate should confirm that the regulations of the proposed program of study are not violated.
  3. No candidate may take more than two courses per semester on this basis.
  4. Once the SA/UN grading system form is submitted, the candidate cannot revert to a conventional (A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, D, F) grade after 21 calendar days.
  5. Conventional grades submitted by the instructor to the Office of the University Registrar are recorded as SA, meaning satisfactory achievement or better (A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C), or UN, indicating unsatisfactory achievement (D, F), where applicable.
  6. If the grade is UN, a course may be taken again but only under the conventional grading system.
  7. Courses abroad may not be taken under the SA/UN grading system except under highly unusual circumstances and then only with the advance authorization of the Office of Education Abroad Programs.
  8. Credits taken in courses offered only under the SA/UN grading system will not be counted toward any SA/UN credit limit imposed elsewhere in these rules.

G-6 Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Initial Legislation: 1/16/68 (as Rule M-12)
Revised: 5/6/69 (as Rule M-12)
Revised: 1/11/72

Revised: 4/11/72
Revised: 5/5/75
Revised: 10/14/75
Revised: 11/11/75
Revised: 1/6/76
Revised: 5/5/81
Revised: 9/13/83
Revised: 3/25/86

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