See also Faculty Grading Guidelines and Syllabus Standards.
To remain in good standing, graduate students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) at or above the 2.67 minimum institutional threshold and any department or program thresholds. The term GPA must be at or above the 2.33 institutional threshold and any additional department or program thresholds. See also Academic and Judicial Discipline.
In addition to the minimum institutional cumulative GPA requirement of 2.67, students must achieve a 2.67 GPA among courses required for their chosen program of study to graduate. Each department or program can identify and define stricter standards than the institutional cumulative 2.67 minimum and institutional term 2.33 minimum, and should communicate these requirements in their General Announcements Programs of Study listing.
Graduate students may not take a course pass/fail within their graduate degree requirements. Courses outside of their degree requirements must be designated as pass/fail no later than the end of the 10th week of classes; however, a pass/fail course may later be converted to a graded course by submitting the proper online form with the Office of the Registrar by the end of the second week of the following semester. Students wishing to designate a course as pass/fail during the summer sessions should see Registration During Summer Sessions.
Students should be aware that while a grade of P does not affect their Grade Point Average, a grade of F is counted as a failure and is included in their GPA. Graduate students cannot use a course taken pass/fail toward a graduate certificate. Visiting Post Baccalaureates cannot take courses on a pass/fail grading basis.For more information, see The Pass/Fail Option .
Satisfactory/unsatisfactory courses are those that do not use traditional grading procedures and instead assign a grade of S or U rather than a letter grade. With S/U courses, instructors report the S if the student successfully completes the course, or the U if they have not. Students should be aware that while a grade of S or U does not affect their grade point average, no credit will be awarded if a grade of U is received. Courses with a grade of S will count towards total credits earned. Visiting Post Baccalaureates cannot take courses on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading basis.
Students have the option of auditing courses. For auditing students, instructors report either the AUD or the NC grade symbol, the AUD if the student met the audit requirements of the class, or the NC if they have not. There are no credit hours associated with audited courses, and auditing a course does not affect a student’s GPA. Request to audit a class or to change from audit to credit or vice versa must be done by the end of the second week of the semester. (See Grade Designations AUD and NC below.)
Instructors are required to report a grade for all students whose names appear on the class roster. They grade their students using the following conventional symbols: A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, F.
Under certain circumstances, special designations accompany the student’s grade. These designations do not affect the grade point average. The special designations include the following:
AUD (“Audit”)—This designation is only used for people auditing the course, and specifically where the auditing student has met the audit requirements of the course. A grade designation of “NC” (No Credit) is given to students who do not meet the audit requirements. There are no credit hours associated with an AUD grade designation. (See Audit above.)
INC (“Incomplete”)—Instructors report this designation to the Office of the Registrar when a student fails to complete a course because of verified illness or other circumstances beyond the student’s control that occur during the semester. For an INC received in the fall semester, students must complete the work by the end of the first week of the spring semester or an earlier date as defined by the instructor, and instructors must submit a revised grade by the end of the second week. For an INC received in the spring or summer semester, students must complete the work before the start of the fall semester or an earlier date as defined by the instructor, and instructors must submit a revised grade by the end of the first week. If a grade is not submitted by the appropriate deadline, the INC will be autmatically converted to a failing grade.
Students with an INC must be certain that tests, papers, and other materials affecting their grade or essential to completing a course requirement are delivered by hand to the appropriate professor or office according to the timeline previously stated, for the instructor to grade the documents and submit the final grade to the Office of the Registrar by the deadline. Loss or lateness because of mail service is not an acceptable excuse for failing to meet academic deadlines. A student who receives two or more INC in a semester may not enroll in the next semester for more than 14 semester hours. Students also should be aware that they may be placed on probation or suspension when the INC is changed to a grade, either by an instructor or by default.
NC (“No Credit”)—This designation signals that no credit was granted for the course. It is used in situations where a person auditing a course has not met the audit requirements of the course as defined by the instructor.
OT (“Other”)—Instructors report this designation to the Office of the Registrar when a student fails to appear for the final examination after completing all the other work for the course. Students must resolve the matter, and instructors must submit a revised grade, by the end of the first week of the spring semester or by the end of the fourth week after Commencement, whichever is applicable. An OT awarded during a summer semester must be resolved and the grade submitted by the start of orientation week. If a grade is not sumbitted by the appropriate deadline, the OT will be automatically converted to a failing grade. Students should be aware that they may be placed on probation or suspension when the OT is changed to a grade, either by an instructor or by default.
W (“Official Withdrawal from University”)—Students who officially withdraw from the university after the designated drop deadline, the seventh week of classes, will receive a final grade of “W” for each course in which they were enrolled at the time of withdrawal.
Students who officially withdraw from the university before the drop deadline will not receive the grade of “W” for any courses in which they were enrolled for that semester. These courses will not be included on the official transcript.
W (“Late Drop with Approval”)—A student who receives approval from the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies to drop a course after the designated drop deadline will receive a grade of “W” for that course. When requests for late drops are denied, the Office of the Registrar records the submitted grade.
If a student drops a class before the designated drop deadline for the semester, the course will not be included on his/her official transcript. Graduate students are reminded that the rule allowing new matriculants in their first semester at Rice to drop a class up until the last day of classes applies only to undergraduates.
To compute grade point average, letter grades are assigned numeric values as follows:
* Effective in Fall 2018 semester, the grade A+ will be worth 4.0, not 4.33, in calculating the GPA.
Grade Point Average Calculation—For each course carrying standard letter grades, the credit hours attempted and the points for the grade earned are multiplied. The grade points for each course are added together, and the sum is divided by the total credit hours attempted. Grade point averages are noted each semester on the student’s official transcripts. Courses taken on a S/U or pass/fail basis are excluded from the grade point average calculation.
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