The Grading System

Letter Grades

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences uses the following letter grades: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, E. The grade of E is a failing grade.

Letter grades are to be used in every case except as follows:

Non-letter Grades

ABS      Students who miss a regularly scheduled mid-year or final examination, arranged by the Office of the Registrar during the mid-year or final examination period, are given a failing grade of ABS, which will be changed only if the student is granted and takes a make-up examination. The grade of ABS should not be assigned to students who miss an examination administered by the course. (See "Grading and Examination Requirements," Chapter V.)

EXC      Graduate students may be excused from a final examination or other course assignment by their division, department, or committee chairs on the basis of having passed departmental examinations or other requirements. At the written request of a chair, the registrar records the grade of EXC (Excused). If students elect to take the final examination and complete the course, they receive a letter grade.

INC      A graduate student who receives a grade of INC (Incomplete), which is granted only at the discretion of the instructor, must complete the work of the incomplete course before the end of the term following that in which the course was taken, even if the student’s registration status during that term is leave of absence, unless she or he is given an earlier deadline by the instructor. If the work is not submitted by that time, the INC becomes a permanent grade, unless the student has petitioned successfully for an extension. Petition forms may be obtained from the registrar, the Office of Student Affairs in Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center, or below; the fee for each approved petition is $15. Students should discuss the completion date with the instructor. Petitions must be approved by the instructor, the Director of Graduate Studies, and the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs. Extensions, when granted, ordinarily will not exceed one additional term. INC grades incurred in cross-registered courses in another school are subject to GSAS rules and deadlines unless the other school’s deadlines are earlier. Extensions must be approved both by GSAS and by the other school. Incomplete grades cannot be changed once a final degree has been awarded.

SAT/UNS      For graduate students, Satisfactory indicates that the course was passed with distinction (B- or above). The grade of SAT/UNS is used in graduate courses of Reading and Research (300-level courses) which must be graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory. SAT/UNS is also an option for GSAS degree candidates in some foreign language courses. Permission of the course head is required to take language courses on a SAT/UNS basis. Language courses may not be counted toward the minimum course requirements for a higher degree. See the Academic Calendar for relevant deadlines.

Petition for Extension of an Incomplete Grade

Non-GSAS Petition for Extension of an Incomplete Grade

If a student is submitting a petition for the extension of the incomplete and has other incompletes, the student should attach a note to the petition explaining if, and when, the other work will be completed. Once the work is submitted to the faculty member, the faculty member needs to notify the Registrar's Office of the grade change.