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Grading System


Standard Grading System

The UW uses a numerical grading system, with certain exceptions in the schools of Dentistry, Law, and Medicine. Instructors may report grades from 4.0 to 0.7 in 0.1 increments and the grade 0.0. The number 0.0 is assigned for failing work or if a student does not officially withdraw. Grades in the range 0.6 to 0.1 may not be assigned. Grades reported in this range are converted by the Office of the University Registrar to 0.0. Numerical grades may be considered equivalent to letter grades as follows:

Letter Number Note
A 4.0-3.9
A- 3.8-3.5
B+ 3.4-3.2
B 3.1-2.9
B- 2.8-2.5
C+ 2.4-2.2
C 2.1-1.9
C- 1.8-1.5
D+ 1.4-1.2
D 1.1-0.9
D- 0.8-0.7 Lowest passing grade.
E 0.0 Academic failure.
No credit earned.

Additional information on grades and scholarship rules may be obtained from the Graduation and Academic Records Office, 264 Schmitz.

The following letter grades also may be used:

Nontraditional Grading Options

Credit/No Credit–Only as a Course Option

With appropriate departmental review and approval, a course may be offered on a credit/no credit-only basis. The standard for granting credit in credit/no credit-only courses under this option is the demonstration of competence in the material of the course to the instructor's satisfaction.

Satisfactory/Not-Satisfactory Grading Option

You may elect to take certain courses on a satisfactory/not satisfactory (S/NS) basis.

When registering through Personal Services on MyUW, select the Grade Option box to select S/NS grading option. The S/NS grade option can be elected through the day shown on the academic calendar for the current quarter. NO EXCEPTIONS. A $20 fee is charged beginning the eighth calendar day of the quarter.

As an undergraduate, a course in which an S is earned may not be used to satisfy any department, college, or University requirement, except that the credits may be applied to the minimum of 180 credits required for graduation. Each instructor will report numerical grades to the Registrar, who will convert satisfactory grades (2.0 or greater) to S, and unsatisfactory grades (less than 2.0) to NS for the student's transcript. No more than 25 S/NS credits may apply toward an undergraduate degree.

If you are a graduate student and earn grades of 2.7 or above, you will receive a grade of S while 2.6 or below are recorded as NS. With the approval of your graduate program adviser or the Supervisory Committee Chairperson, you may elect to take any course for which you are eligible outside of your major academic unit on an S/NS basis.

In cases of withdrawal, the W is recorded. Neither S nor NS is included in the grade-point average.

Grade-Point Average (GPA)

The University's cumulative GPA is based solely on courses taken in residence at the UW; this includes some, but not all, courses taken through UW Extension. The UW transcript also reflects grades for UW Extension course work that is not residence credit, and the grades for credit by examination. These latter grades do not affect the University cumulative GPA.

Computation of GPA

The GPA for graduation is computed by dividing the total cumulative grade points by the total graded credits attempted for courses taken in residence at the University. Grade points are calculated by multiplying the number of credits by the numeric value of the grade for each course. The sum of the grade points is then divided by the total graded credits attempted. Courses elected on an S/NS basis are counted as follows: Satisfactory grades are printed on the permanent record as an S and do not count in the quarterly or cumulative GPA, but they do count as credits earned toward graduation. Not-satisfactory grades, NS, do not count in the quarterly and cumulative GPA and do not count as credits earned toward graduation.

Course Credits Grade Grade
CLAS 205 3 CR
OCEAN 101 5 2.7 = 13.5
HIST 111 5 4.0 = 20.0
SCAND 100 2 3.3 = 6.6
Total credits earned toward graduation 15
Total graded credits attempted 12 40.1

GPA = 40.1 ÷ 12 = 3.34

The total graded credits attempted, not the credits earned toward graduation, are used in computing the GPA.

Course Credits Grade Grade
ENGL 121 5 2.3 11.5
OCEAN 101 5 0.0 = 0.0
SPHSC 100 3 2.7 = 8.1
ART 121 5 I = 0.0
Total credits earned toward graduation 8
Total graded credits attempted 13 19.6

GPA = 19.6 ÷ 13 = 1.51

The student attempted 18 credits, but only 13 are graded, because the Incomplete (I) is not computed in the GPA. The 0.0 for OCEAN 101 is computed in the GPA, but no credit is awarded toward graduation.

If the work in ART 121 is not made up by the end of the next quarter, the I is converted to a numeric grade and the GPA is recomputed.

Repeating Courses


With the approval of the academic department offering the course, an undergraduate may repeat a course once. Both the original grade and the second grade are computed in the GPA but credit is allowed only once. Veterans receiving benefits must receive approval from the Office of Special Services before a course is repeated.


Graduate students may repeat any course. Both the original grade and the second grade are computed in the GPA. Subsequent grades will not be included, but will appear on the permanent record. The number of credits earned in the course will apply toward degree requirements only once. Veterans receiving benefits must receive approval from the Office of Special Services before a course is repeated.

See Registration Restrictions for additional information about repeating courses.

Grading Procedures

Change of Grade

Except in case of error, no instructor may change a grade that he or she has turned in to the Registrar. Grades cannot be changed after a degree has been granted.

Grade Appeal Procedure

A student who believes that the instructor erred in the assignment of a grade, or who believes a grade recording error or omission has occurred, shall first discuss the matter with the instructor before the end of the following academic quarter (not including Summer Quarter.)

If the student is not satisfied with the instructor's explanation, the student, no later than ten days after his or her discussion with the instructor, may submit a written appeal to the chair of the department, or in a nondepartmental college, to the dean, with a copy of the appeal also sent to the instructor. Within ten calendar days, the chair or dean consults with the instructor to ensure that the evaluation of the student's performance has not been arbitrary or capricious. Should the chair believe the instructor's conduct to be arbitrary or capricious and the instructor declines to revise the grade, the chair (or the dean in a nondepartmental school or college), with the approval of the voting members of his or her faculty, shall appoint an appropriate member, or members, of the faculty of that department to evaluate the performance of the student and assign a grade. The dean and Provost should be informed of this action.

Once a student submits a written appeal, this document and all subsequent actions on this appeal are recorded in written form for deposit in a department or college file.

Grade Reports

Grades are not mailed. You may display and print a grade report through MyUW.