Exams and Grading

Hour Tests

One or more hour tests are usually given during a semester in each course. These are scheduled by the faculty member within the assigned class periods.

In a course which has several sections meeting at different hours, a common test for all sections may be given only by arrangement with University Event Services.

Attendance at hour tests scheduled outside the normal meeting time of the class shall not have precedence over attendance at other scheduled activities or other important commitments of the students concerned. Faculty members must be prepared to give a make-up test for those unable to be present at the time set.

University academic responsibilities have priority over other campus events. Attendance at

  1. regularly scheduled classes have priority over specially scheduled common hour exams,
  2. common hour exams have priority over attendance at other activities.

Final Exams

  1. Final in-class exams for all courses, including Graduate and Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) courses, will be held during the exam period established by the university calendar. Classes in the Larner College of Medicine and in the summer session are not affected by these regulations.
  2. No course may conduct more than one in class exam or test during the last two weeks of the semester (week prior to finals week and the week of finals) except lab exams with specific lab sections and practical exams associated with non-lab courses.
  3. For courses scheduled in the evening, every effort will be made to schedule the exam on the evening of the regular meeting, even if that day is a designated reading day.
  4. In-class final exams will be no more than three hours in length. However, lab exams in courses with specific lab components may be longer than three hours.
  5. The time and place of each final exam are determined by the Registrar under the direction of the Faculty Senate and a schedule is circulated and posted. Any change in the scheduled time or place may be requested by the chair of the department concerned when conditions seem to warrant such special arrangement. Decision on such requests rests with the Registrar.
  6. In every course in which a final exam is given, every student shall take the exam unless excused in writing by the Instructor.
  7. Students having a conflict in their final exam schedule must notify the faculty concerned of such a conflict not later than the close of business one week prior to the last day of classes for the semester in which the conflict arises.
  8. Students who are absent from a final exam for any reason must report that fact and the reason, in writing, to their Instructor within 24 hours. If the absence is due to any situation beyond the reasonable control of the student (e.g., illness or family tragedy), the Instructor must provide the student with the opportunity to complete the course requirements. At the Instructor’s discretion, this may be an exam or some other suitable project. The Instructor may require evidence in support of the student’s reason for absence.
  9. If the absence is not reported as provided above, or is not excused by the Instructor, the exam is regarded as failed.
  10. No student shall be required to take four or more final exams in one 36-hour period.
  11. If a student has four or more proctored in class final assessments in a 36-hour period then, unless a mutually agreeable alternative time can be reached by the student and one Instructor, the make-up will be scheduled for the next day after the regularly-scheduled exam. These considerations are subject to the constraints that all exams will be given in the final exam period and all conflicts must be resolved before the start of the final exam period.
    Students will select which of the four exams they wish to take at an alternative time. In cases where the Instructors in all four sections feel it is impossible to give the exam at an alternative time, and all conflicts are in the same academic unit, the appropriate Dean's Office, in consultation with the faculty involved, will establish which of the four exams will be taken as a make-up. If the unresolved conflict involves more than one college, the deans of the units in question will resolve the matter. If the deans involved cannot reach agreement, then a person from the provost's office will establish which of the four exams will be taken as a make-up.
  12. All final exam materials should be retained for at least one month after the commencement of the following semester in case any questions arise concerning grades and to afford students the opportunity to review their graded final exam papers if they wish to do so.


Grades are reported and recorded as letter grades. Student grade-point averages (GPA) are calculated from quality point equivalents noted here:

A+ Excellent 4.00
A Excellent 4.00
A- Excellent 3.67
B+ Good 3.33
B Good 3.00
B- Good 2.67
C+ Fair 2.33
C Fair 2.00
C- Fair 1.67
D+ Poor 1.33
D Poor 1.00
D- Poor 0.67
F Failure 0.00
AF Administrative Failure due to a missing grade.1
XF Failure resulting from academic dishonesty.2

 The AF grade is equivalent to the grade of F in the determination of grade-point averages and academic standing (effective spring, 2017).


The XF grade is equivalent to the grade of F in the determination of grade-point averages and academic standing (effective fall, 2005). 

In certain instances, grades are assigned that will appear on the transcript, but will not be used in grade-point calculation. These grades are:

AU Audit (see below)
INC Incomplete (see below)
P/NP Pass/No Pass (see below)
S/U Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (see below)
SP/UP Satisfactory Progress/Unsatisfactory Progress (see below)
W Withdrawn
ANP Administrative No Pass due to a missing grade
AUP Administrative Unsatisfactory Progress
R Repeated course

AU: Students wishing to regularly attend a course, but not receive credit, may register as an auditor, with the approval of the dean and the instructor. Auditors have no claim on the time or service of the instructor. Students must meet minimum levels of performance set by the instructor at the time of registration in order to receive an audit grade. Tuition is charged at the applicable rate. Under no circumstances will changes be made after the add/drop period to allow credit for courses audited.

INC: This grade may be assigned when course work is not completed for reasons beyond the student’s control. Incompletes require the approval of the student’s college/school dean. The incomplete course requirement will be satisfied at the earliest possible date, but not longer than the beginning of the corresponding semester of the next academic year. In cases of laboratory assignments, the student must complete all work the first time that the laboratory experience is offered again.

Incompletes may be approved due to extenuating medical, academic, or personal circumstances beyond the student’s control. An incomplete can only be issued with the agreement of the Dean’s Office, the faculty member, and the student. The student’s Dean’s Office is responsible for deciding whether a student’s circumstances meet the criteria for an incomplete, after which the faculty member determines whether to offer the incomplete based on established guidelines listed on the Office of the Registrar grading policies page. The faculty member will also establish the timeline for completion.

P/NP: Undergraduate degree program students, not on academic trial, are permitted to take up to six courses (or as many courses as they have semesters remaining for transfer students) on a pass/no pass basis, beginning in their sophomore year. Courses in the student’s major department, either for the major or for the degree, and electives within the distribution requirements of a department may not be taken on a pass/no pass basis. This option may be used without condition for free electives. It also may be used for physical education (activity) courses, and shall not be counted as a part of the six standard courses described above.

Students must complete all work normally required in these courses to receive full credit toward graduation for passing them. The instructor will not be informed of the student’s status and the registrar will record grades of D or higher as Pass and grades of F as No Pass. The grade submitted by the instructor will not become available to the student nor to any third party. There are no quality points associated with pass/no pass grades.

To apply, a Pass/No Pass Request form, obtained from the Registrar’s Office, must be approved by the student’s academic advisor and submitted to the registrar’s office during the first ten instruction days of the semester. Requests to be removed from that status must be filed during the same period. Any question about a course or courses being appropriately elected as pass/no pass for a student will be resolved by the student’s college/school dean.

Note: Non-degree, graduate and certificate students may not take courses on a pass/no pass basis.

S/U: These grades are used in courses where the A-F grade is inappropriate, such as in seminars, internships, practica, etc. For graduate students, S and U are used to indicate levels of performance for credits received in Thesis or Dissertation Research and may be used to indicate levels of performance in a Seminar. There are no quality points associated with the letter grades of S and U. For undergraduates, the S/U is available only on a whole course basis and is available for courses that count toward degree requirements.

SP/UP: These grades are used in courses with a linkage in credits to multiple semesters. Neither SP nor UP will be included in the student's GPA. The grade of SP will be assigned when a student has made satisfactory progress during a semester prior to the final semester of the linked courses; credit will be awarded with the grade of SP. The grade of UP will be assigned when the student's progress has been unsatisfactory and no credit will be awarded. Both SP and UP are final grades and can remain on the transcript. If desired, they may be changed according to the following: SP may be changed to a letter grade once the final grade for the multiple semester work is completed; a grade of SP cannot be changed to a UP or F based on a student not completing the final semester's work satisfactorily. UP may be changed to an F.


Grades must be reported to the Registrar’s Office as soon as possible after the course is completed but not later than 72 hours after the final examination for that course. If the final exam is on the Friday of exam week, grades are due by noon on the following Tuesday.

Grade Appeals

A student who believes that s/he has received an unfair course grade should first contact the registrar’s office to verify that the grade submitted by the instructor is the same grade the registrar has recorded. If the grade has been recorded correctly, the student should next contact the instructor, department chair (or the chair designate in academic units that do not have chairs), and dean of the college/school in which the course is offered (in that order) to discuss the matter.

The following deadlines must be observed by the student who wishes to appeal a grade (though extensions may be granted by the dean of the college or school offering the course). The student should contact the instructor as soon as possible, and no later than the tenth day of instruction of the fall or spring semester following the assignment of the grade in question.

More detailed information is available on the Grade Appeals Policy webpage.