Undergraduate Grading System
Types and Definitions
At the end of the course, grades are awarded as defined:
a. Letter Grades - A, B, C, D, F
|Grade||Quality Points per Semester Hour||Description|
|A||4||Denotes performance that consistently exceeds expectations and demonstrates comprehensive understanding of the subject.|
|B||3||Denotes performance that meets and at times exceeds expectations and indicates good preparation in the subject.|
|C||2||Denotes performance that meets expectations and demonstrates adequate preparation in the subject|
|D||1||Denotes performance that is inadequate or inconsistently meets expectations and makes it inadvisable to proceed further in the subject without additional work.|
|F||0||Denotes performance that is inadequate or inconsistently meets expectations and makes it inadvisable to proceed further in the subject without additional work.|
b. Credit/No Credit: CR/NCR
|Grade||Quality Points per Semester Hour||Description|
|CR||(quality points not calculated in grade point average)||Pass. Denotes pass with credit at least at the level of “C” work, in courses that are graded CR/NCR.|
|NCR||0||No credit. Denotes work that fails to meet college or university standards for academic performance at least at the level of “C” work.|
c. Pass/No Pass: P/NP1
|Grade||Quality Points per Semester Hour||Description|
|P||(quality points not calculated in grade point average)||Pass. Denotes pass with credit at least at the level of “D” work, in courses that are graded P/NP.|
|NP||(quality points not calculated in grade point average)||No Pass. Denotes work that fails to meet college or university standards for academic performance at least at the level of “D” work.|
The P/NP grading basis is made available only under special circumstances that are clearly delineated by faculty and the university administration.
Students are reminded that, with the exception of courses that are offered only on a CR/NCR basis, no courses in the major may be completed under this grading system. Only one selected course in a minor may be taken under this system. Students are also urged to consider any regulations concerning academic honors, scholarship eligibility, or tuition refund plans which may be affected by use of this grading system. Certain courses (for example, University Chorale) are available only under the CR/NCR grading system. Students may enroll for no more than one course per term, up to a total of eight courses, on a CR/NCR basis. This is in addition to any courses that are offered only on a CR/NCR basis.
Change of Grading System
Students may change between the letter grade system and credit/no credit grading system by filing general petition for a change of grading with the Registrar at any time up until the end of the first calendar week of the term. No changes will be authorized beyond that date.
Incomplete Grades — Regulations and Procedures
Aurora University permits the assignment of an Incomplete (I) grade under limited circumstances upon petition by the student.
- A grade of "I" may be assigned by the Instructor only if the student has filed a Petition for Incomplete/Deferred Grade form. This petition form, which is available on the Registrar’s webpage, must be completed and signed by the student, the Instructor, Jurisdictional Dean, and Dean of Academic Administration.
- The petition must specify the reason the student has been unable to complete the work, the work to be completed, a timetable for completion, and the date by which all work must be turned in to the Instructor.
- The Petition for Incomplete/Deferred Grade must be filed by the deadline specified by the Registrar for submission of final grades.
- Completion dates for “I” grades must be on or before the last day of the fourteenth week of classes of the term following the term in which the grade is assigned, excluding the Summer Session. In the event that a final grade is not reported to the Registrar on or before noon on the Tuesday following the completion deadline (Tuesday of week 15), the grade will revert to an "F" or “NCR”. Instructors report grades to replace “I” grades in writing to the Registrar using the Change of Grade form located on SpartanNet.
- In extraordinary circumstances, the Instructor may, upon receiving written documentation from the student, petition for an extension beyond the deadline established in section 4. Such petitions must be filed with the Dean of Academic Administration on or before the deadline for completion originally specified in the petition for an “I” grade. Petitions approved by the Dean of Academic Administration must be received by the Registrar on or before the original deadline for filing of the grade.
- A grade of “I” may be assigned only in cases of illness, accident, or other catastrophic occurrence beyond the student’s control. In order for an “I” grade to be considered, the student must be in satisfactory academic standing in the specific course. In cases of emergency, the petition may be filed on the student’s behalf by the course instructor. At the earliest possible time, the course instructor will take responsibility for confirming the petition with the student and securing the student’s signature. If the student does not accept the conditions of the petition, the instructor will assign a permanent grade to be entered by the Registrar.
- A student’s Academic Warning status in a given term will be determined by the Term GPA resulting from the work completed in that term. If a subsequently completed “I” grade causes the student’s GPA to rise above or fall below 2.0, the student’s warning status, and the permanent record thereof, will be changed accordingly.
- In the case of an approved voluntary or involuntary leave of absence, the original deadline for completion of work will be maintained unless an extension is approved by the Dean of Academic Administration. A leave of absence does not automatically extend the completion deadline for the "I" grade.
Deferred Grade Policy — Regulations and Procedures
A deferred grade (X) is for use in certain courses in which it is anticipated that the student’s learning experience will continue beyond a regular academic term. The deferred grade is available for use in the cases of travel study, field experiences, clinical experiences, practica, internships, student teaching, independent study, application or research projects, and sequential courses for which a deferred grading situation has been contracted at the initiation of the experience.
- A grade of “X” may be assigned by the Instructor only if the student has filed a Petition for Incomplete/Deferred Grade form. This petition form, which is available on the Registrar’s webpage, must be completed and signed by the student, the Instructor, Jurisdictional Executive Director or Dean, and Dean of Academic Administration.
- The petition must specify the reason the deferred grade is needed, the work to be completed, a timetable for completion, and the date by which all work must be turned in to the Instructor.
- The Petition for Incomplete/Deferred Grade form must be filed by the deadline specified by the Registrar for submission of final grades.
- In the event that a course or other learning experience is planned to extend beyond the academic term, the student(s) enrolled will be given a deferred grade "X" at the end of the term. The permanent grade will be posted when received from the Instructor, and by the expiration of the "X" grade petition.
- Completion dates for “X” grades must be on or before the last day of the fourteenth week of the term following the term in which the grade is assigned, excluding the Summer Session. In the event that a final grade is not reported to the Registrar on or before noon on the Tuesday following the completion deadline (Tuesday of week 15), the grade will revert to an "F" or “NCR”. Instructors report grades to replace “X” grades in writing to the Registrar using the Change of Grade form located on SpartanNet.
- In extraordinary circumstances, the Instructor may, upon receiving written documentation from the student, petition for an extension beyond the deadline established in section 5. Such petitions must be filed with the Dean of Academic Administration on or before the deadline for completion originally specified in the petition for an “X” grade. Petitions approved by the Dean of Academic Administration must be received by the Registrar on or before the original deadline for filing of the grade.
- Tuition for multi-term courses or other learning experiences is billed and payable with respect to the first term of registration, and the course counts in the student’s load only in the first term of registration. No additional registration process is required during subsequent terms while the course is being completed.
- A deferred grade "X" has no effect on the student’s GPA and is not considered by the Academic Standards Committee or other university bodies in the review of student progress. When the permanent grade is posted, the effect of this grade will be assessed by university review bodies as though the grade were part of the work completed in the term when the grade is posted.
- In the case of an approved voluntary or involuntary leave of absence, the original deadline for completion of work will be maintained unless an extension is approved by the Dean of Academic Administration. A leave of absence does not automatically extend the completion deadline for the "X" grade.
The “D” Grade
A grade of “D” cannot be applied to an undergraduate major without the approval of the Registrar in consultation with the Jurisdictional Dean and Dean of Academic Administration. Aurora University reserves the right to require a student to repeat a course in which he/she has received a grade of “D” if he/she proposes to apply that course toward a major or continue on in a truly sequential course of study. Students who receive a grade of “D” in a prerequisite course are encouraged to repeat the course prior to matriculation into the sequential course.
Change of Permanent Grades
- Permanent grades (A, B, C, D, F) may be changed by the instructor who originally issued the grade to correct computational or clerical errors.
- Changes of permanent grades must be approved by the Academic Dean before they are forwarded to the Registrar, and must include an explanation for the change.
- Changes in permanent grades arising from clerical or computational errors must be received by the Registrar no later than 30 days following the date when the original permanent grade was filed with the Registrar.
- In cases where it is necessary to correct a grading error on the part of an instructor who has left the university or who cannot otherwise be contacted in a timely fashion, or in cases where an instructor fails to correct an evident error in a timely fashion, the Academic Dean may assign another faculty member to review the relevant materials and correct the error.
- Changes may be made in grades to reflect coursework completed after the deadline for grade submission only in instances in which the student received a grade of “I” or “X” for the course.
- All changes in permanent grades other than those arising from clerical or computational errors are addressed under the university regulations for appeal of alleged capricious grading.
Grade Point Average
Two Grade Point Averages (GPA) are calculated by the Registrar:
Term GPA — A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0, NCR=0, CR=Not Calculated into GPA. Based only on courses taken in a given term at Aurora University, the unit of credit is multiplied by the quality points assigned to the grade earned. The sums are then added and the total quality points divided by the calculable credit units producing the Term GPA. (If a course is repeated only the higher grade is calculated into the GPA and only academic credit from one can be counted toward graduation.)
Cumulative GPA of Courses at Aurora University — Calculated in the same way as the Term GPA but is based upon all work taken at Aurora University over all terms of attendance. Since fall 1990, only work completed at Aurora University has been included in the cumulative GPA of Aurora University students. Calculations of GPA for work at previous colleges are carried out by the Office of Admission for purposes of determining admission and merit scholarship eligibility and by the Registrar for purposes of student classification and to provide data for the financial aid process. No calculation of GPA including work at previous colleges is maintained as part of the student’s official academic record.
Undergraduate Academic Honors
Academic Honors at Graduation
- To be eligible for academic honors at graduation, students must have:
- A minimum of 90 semester hours of credit for a letter grade, of which 30 semester hours must have been earned at Aurora University.
- A cumulative GPA at Aurora University of:
- 3.50 – 3.749 to receive the degree Cum Laude
- 3.75 – 3.899 to receive the degree Magna Cum Laude
- 3.90 – 4.000 to receive the degree Summa Cum Laude
- In addition, a student who has a minimum of 90 semester hours for a letter grade at Aurora University and a cumulative GPA at Aurora University of 3.75 or above will receive the Gold Ivy Leaf Award (medallion).
- Term Dean’s List -- Students will be placed on the published Dean's List and receive a letter from the Chief Academic Officer at the end of each fall or spring semester that these conditions are met:
- Students with a term GPA of 4.0 will be cited for High Honors in a special section of the Dean’s List.
- A term GPA of 3.60 or higher.
- A minimum of 12 semester hours for a letter grade.
Procedures for Use in the Student Initiated Appeal of a Course Grade
A student has the right to appeal a course grade if they feel that the grade was assigned capriciously. Capricious grading is the only rationale for a grade appeal. A student may not appeal a grade based on a disagreement about grading criteria or concerns about the judgment of the faculty member.
Capricious grading, as that term is used herein, is limited to one or more of the following:
- the assignment of a grade on some basis other than performance in the course; or
- the assignment of a grade to a particular student by different standards than were applied to other students in that course; or
- the assignment of a grade using standards other than those that the students had been led to reasonably expect would be used to judge their work.
The evaluation of the quality of a student’s academic performance in participation in class and on assignments that the student turns in is one of the primary professional responsibilities of university faculty members; it is solely and properly their responsibility. It is essential for the standards of the academic programs at Aurora University and the integrity of the degrees conferred by this university that the professional judgments of faculty members not be subject to inappropriate pressures or other interference.
It is necessary, however, that any course grade be based on evidence of the student’s performance in that course, that the student have access to the evidence, that the instructor be willing to explain and interpret the evidence to the student, and that a grade be determined in accordance with announced standards. These standards must be announced and put in writing for each class at the beginning of each term. While the standards for evaluation used in a course may change during a course as the faculty member judges to be appropriate based on the performance of the students, changes to guidelines for evaluation during a course should be as minimal as is possible and must be announced to the students in advance of the application of the new standards. It is never appropriate for a faculty member to retroactively alter the standards that have been applied to work that has already been turned in.
A student who believes his/her term grade is capricious may seek clarification and, where appropriate, redress, as follows:
- The student shall confer with the Instructor, informing the Instructor of questions concerning the grade, and seeking to understand fully the grounds and procedures the Instructor has used in determining the grade. The aim of such a conference is to reach mutual understanding about the grade, the process by which it was assigned, and to correct errors, if any, in the grade. The student should do this within two weeks of receiving his/her final grade.
- If after consultation with the Instructor, the student believes that a grade was assigned capriciously, the student shall confer with the Jurisdictional Chair, who shall consult and advise with both the Instructor and student separately or together, in an effort to reach an understanding and resolution of the matter.
- If Steps 1 or 2 do not resolve the problem, the student may submit a petition in writing to the Jurisdictional Dean. This petition must be submitted to the Dean not later than the end of the fourth week of the term following that for which the grade is being appealed, excluding the summer term.
The petition shall request a meeting with the Dean and shall present evidence that the grade is capricious as defined above, and shall present the student’s arguments that substantiate his/her conclusions. The Dean shall refer the petition to the Instructor and secure from the Instructor a response in writing, setting forth the Instructor’s position on the matter.
On the basis of a consideration of the student’s petition and the Instructor’s response, the Dean shall conduct an inquiry, which shall include a meeting with the student and the Instructor separately or together and ascertain and consider relevant facts.
The Dean shall make one of these decisions:
- That the grade was not assigned capriciously and shall stand as assigned.
- That the grade was assigned capriciously and should be changed. The Dean shall then assign a new grade. The Dean may involve another faculty member with appropriate professional qualifications to review the work of the student and recommend a new grade. The Dean shall authorize the Registrar to make the grade change.
The result of either shall be final.