Faculty and instructors submit grades once coursework has been completed. The approved grade mode(s) are included in the information with each course in this General Catalog (in the course bubble). Grade modes are Traditional (A through F letter grades), Student Option Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, Instructor Option, Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, and Audit. See below for more information.

Grading Scale 

Grade points

Grade   Grade points per credit
A+ 4.000
A Excellent 4.000
A- 3.667
B+ 3.334
B Good 3.000
B- 2.667
C+ 2.334
C Satisfactory 2.000
D Poor, but passing 1.000
F Failure 0.000
S Satisfactory 2
U Unsatisfactory 1
I Incomplete 1
W Withdrawal 1
H Honors 2
AU Audit 1
NG No Grade Reported 1
NGC Non Graded Component 2
1

Credits not used to compute grade point average (GPA) and not counted toward graduation.

2

Not used to compute GPA. Non-graded components are attached to a graded component carrying credits.

Credits for courses graded F are used to compute GPA, but they do not count toward graduation.

Effective Fall 2008, C-, D+, and D- grades are not assigned at CSU.

When an X is placed before a grade, e.g., XA, XB, etc., the student has been granted an Academic Fresh Start. These grades are not calculated into the grade point average.

When an R is placed before the grade, the student has elected to repeat the course under the terms of CSU’s Repeat/Delete policy. The original course grade is not calculated into the grade point average.

When an AM is placed before the grade, it indicates a finding of academic misconduct by the student in the particular course. For more information, see Procedures for Dealing with Academic Misconduct in the Students' Responsibilities section of University Policies.

Students may contest whether or not an assigned grade was recorded accurately in the educational record by following the procedures described under the Grade Appeal section.

Grade Mode Descriptions 

Traditional

Term grades are reported using the Grading Scale above.

Faculty use of +/- grading is optional. Course instructors should indicate on the course syllabus and/or policy statement the grading system used in the course.

Student Option Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Undergraduate students may elect satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading in one course per term in courses offered for Student Option Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading under the following conditions:

Undergraduate students, except first-term freshmen and transfers, with a cumulative CSU grade point average of 2.000 or better and with the advisor’s consent, may register for approved courses on a Student Option Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis. This work may not be in areas of study required in the student’s major, minor, teacher licensure, or for All-University Core Curriculum requirements (i.e., it must consist of free electives not specified as to general area of study). (A three-credit social science requirement, for example, would not be considered free electives.) Students must register for the course first, then complete the Student Option Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory and Audit Grading form to elect this option. The form can be found at the Registrar’s Office website. Changes to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading can only be made during the add/drop period.

Performance equivalent to a grade of C or better is recorded as Satisfactory. Performance equivalent to D or F is recorded as Unsatisfactory. Neither the S nor U grades are used in calculating the CSU grade point average; however, courses graded S may apply to graduation requirements.

A grade for a course taken as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory may not be converted to a traditional grade for purposes of improving the GPA to meet graduation or scholastic requirements. In situations where students change their major or minor to include required courses taken previously for Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grades, the major department will determine if such courses may be considered as fulfilling degree requirements. When it is determined that an ineligible student is or has been registered for a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory course, a traditional grade will be assigned. A correct Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory registration including advisor approval is the express responsibility of each student.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory registration policies for graduate students are described in the Graduate and Professional Bulletin.

Instructor Option

Instructor option grading allows the instructor to determine whether Traditional or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading is to be used for a course. In courses approved for instructor option grading, the type of grading (Traditional or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory) to be used for all students in the course during the term is to be indicated on the course syllabus. 

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Performance equivalent to a grade of C or better is recorded as Satisfactory. Performance equivalent to D or F is recorded as Unsatisfactory. Neither the S nor U grades are used in calculating the CSU grade point average; however, courses graded S may apply to graduation requirements.

Audit

A student wanting to attend a class without earning credits may register as an auditor. Auditing a course requires prior approval of the instructor of the course. If an instructor determines that an auditor’s attendance or participation is unsatisfactory, the course will not be recorded on the student’s academic record. Changes to or from audit status must be made during the registration or add/drop period. Tuition and fees are assessed for audited credits. Audits do not count for full-time status for loan deferments, financial aid, etc., and are not eligible for the College Opportunity Fund (COF). Students must register for the course first, then complete the Student Option Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory and Audit Grading form. The form can be found at the Registrar’s Office website.

Incomplete Grades

At the discretion of the instructor, a temporary grade of “I” may be given to a student who demonstrates that it is not possible to complete the requirements of a course due to circumstances beyond the student’s control and not reasonably foreseeable. A student must be passing a course at the time that an incomplete is requested unless the instructor determines that there are extenuating circumstances to assign an incomplete to a student who is not passing the course. When an instructor assigns an “I”, the instructor shall specify in writing the requirements the student shall fulfill to complete the course as well as the reasons for granting an “I” when the student is not passing the course. The instructor shall retain a copy of this statement in the grade records and provide copies to the student and the department head or designee. The student should not register for the course again to complete the coursework. After successful completion of the makeup requirements, incomplete grades will be changed by the instructor of record or the department head, in absence of the instructor of record. After one year, an incomplete will be automatically changed to an “F” (failure) unless the course has been previously completed and a grade change submitted by the instructor or the head of the department. The temporary grade of “I” must be changed to a grade (e.g., A, B, C, D, F, S, U) prior to the student being awarded a diploma from CSU.

Discontinuing a Class (Student Non-Attendance) 

If a student discontinues attending a class and has not officially dropped or withdrawn through RAMweb or the Registrar’s Office, the grade of F (failure) is recorded.

Semester Grades 

Students may access their semester grades through RAMweb three business days after the week of final exams of each term.

Transcripts 

Transcripts of students’ official academic records are maintained by the Registrar’s Office. Official and unofficial copies of a student’s transcript may be obtained by the student through RAMweb.

Grade Appeals 

Instructors are responsible for stating clearly the instructional objectives of the course at the beginning of each term and for evaluating student achievement in a manner consistent with these objectives. Students are responsible for maintaining standards of academic performance established for each course in which they are enrolled. Instructors are responsible for determining and assigning final course grades. Graded examinations, papers, and other materials used as a basis for evaluating a student’s achievement will be available to the student for inspection and discussion.

Students may appeal instructor’s grading decisions. The burden of proof, however, rests with the student to demonstrate that the grading decision was made on the basis of any of the following conditions.(faculty council approved minutes May 4, 2010) 

  1. A grading decision was made on some basis other than performance and other than as a penalty for academic misconduct.
  2. The grading decision was based upon standards unreasonably different from those which were applied to other students in the same course and section.
  3. A grading decision was based on a substantial, unreasonable, or unannounced departure from previously articulated standards.

Before making an appeal, the student should discuss the situation with the instructor(s) involved in the decision. To appeal a grading decision, the student shall submit a written request to the department head. The request must set forth the basis for the appeal, identifying one or more of the three criteria set forth above.

The request must be submitted (or postmarked, if mailed) no later than thirty (30) calendar days after the first day of classes of the following spring semester for appeal of grades recorded for the fall, and no later than thirty (30) calendar days after the first day of classes of the following fall semester for grades received in the spring or summer semester. If no appeal is filed within this time period, the grade shall be considered final.

Within 30 days of receipt of an appeal, the department head shall forward the appeal to the course instructor(s) who assigned the grade and an appeal committee shall be formed. If the request is received during or shortly before the summer session, when the course instructor(s) who assigned the grade or member(s) of the appeal committee may not be available, the appeal committee will be formed no later than 30 calendar days after the beginning of the following fall semester. The appeal committee shall be composed of two (2) faculty members and two (2) students from within the department and one (1) faculty member from outside the department who shall serve as a the chair.  All five (5) members of the committee shall be voting members.  The procedure for the selection of the members of the appeal committee shall be specified in the department code.

The appeal committee will review the written appeal and response of the instructor(s). They may elect to separately interview both the student and the instructor(s) before rendering a decision. The decision of the appeal committee will be based upon whether one of the conditions for an appeal set forth above has been met. At the conclusion of the deliberations, the committee shall render one of the following decisions:

  1. the original grading decision is upheld, or 
  2. the department chair or designee(s) will reevaluate the student’s achievement of the instructional objectives of the course and assign a grade accordingly.

Written notice of the committee’s decision and the reasons for the decision normally will be sent to the student and the instructor(s) within 30 calendar days of the appointment of the committee. The appeal committee’s decision is the final decision of the University. Written summaries of the hearing and decision, together with a rationale for that decision, shall be provided to the student and the instructor who assigned the grade and shall be retained in the department office for a period of one year.

Repeat/Delete Policy 

Repeat/Delete is a one-time per course grading option that may be used by undergraduate students who repeat a course. Once a student has graduated from CSU, a student may not repeat/delete any CSU course taken prior to the date of graduation. The following rules apply when the Repeat/Delete option is applied:

  1. The grade received in the repeated course will be used in calculating the student’s GPA, regardless of whether the repeated grade is higher, the same as, or lower than the initial grade received. The initial grade will remain on the transcript, but will not be used in calculating the GPA when the Repeat/Delete option is applied.
  2. It is the student’s responsibility to request the Repeat/Delete option from the Registrar’s Office, before the expiration of the course withdrawal period in the semester in which the course is first repeated.
  3. The Repeat/Delete option may be used for a maximum of twelve (12) credit hours and no more than three courses.The Repeat/Delete option may not be applied to a course for which the final grade was given as a penalty for academic dishonesty in accordance with the academic integrity policy under section I.5.1 of the Academic Faculty and Administrative Professional Manual.
  4. If the course is repeated at any time subsequent to the use of the Repeat/Delete option, all grades in that course, except the initial grade, are used in computing the student’s GPA.
  5. Although a course may be repeated as often as a student chooses, the Repeat/Delete option can be used only the first time a course is repeated.
  6. The Repeat/Delete option will not retroactively affect academic standing for previous terms. For example, use of the Repeat/Delete option may change a student’s cumulative grade point average, but will not change the notation of probation previously recorded on the student’s record.

Note: Although CSU does not use the original course grade for GPA calculation once the Repeat/Delete option has been used, other educational institutions and potential employers may use this grade in their GPA calculation. Medical schools, many law schools, and other graduate programs, for example, may recalculate cumulative GPA using ALL grades on a transcript.