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*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Student Governance and Policies

Scholastic Regulations

Chapter 110



Grades, Honors, and Scholarship




1.  The Grading System

  A. System of Grades

The following shall be the system of grades, subject to the exceptions noted in Subsections B, C, D, and E of this section.

    1) Numeric Grades

Numeric grades shall be entered as numbers, the possible values being 4.0, 3.9, . . . and so on decreasing by 0.1 until 0.7 is reached. The numbers 0.6, 0.5, 0.4, 0.3, 0.2, 0.1 shall not be assigned as grades. The number 0.0 can be assigned as a grade.

Correspondence between numeric grades and letter grades is as follows:
 
Letter Grade Numerical Grade-
Point Equivalent
Explanation
      A 4.0-3.9 Honor
      A- 3.8-3.5  
      B+ 3.4-3.2  
      B 3.1-2.9 Good
      B- 2.8-2.5  
      C+ 2.4-2.2  
      C 2.1-1.9 Medium
      C- 1.8-1.5  
      D+ 1.4-1.2  
      D 1.1-0.9 Poor (low pass)
      D- 0.8-0.7  
E (or F) 0.6-0.0 Failure or other than official withdrawal
   
2)

Letter Grades

The following letter grades also may be used:
     
Letter Grade Meaning
Incomplete
Satisfactory without grade
Official Withdrawal
S/NS  Satisfactory/Non-Satisfactory
CR/NC  Credit/No Credit
HW  Hardship Withdrawal

Complete descriptions of the above letter grades follow.

    3) The Grade I

      a) An Incomplete shall be given only when the student has done satisfactory work to within two weeks of the end of the quarter and has furnished proof satisfactory to the instructor that the work cannot be completed because of illness or other circumstances beyond the student's control. A written statement of the reason for the giving of the Incomplete, listing the work which the student will need to do to remove it, must be filed by the instructor with the head of the department or the dean of the college in which the course is given.

      b) In order to obtain credit for the course, a student must convert an Incomplete into a passing grade by the last day of the following quarter. An Incomplete grade not made up by the end of the next quarter shall be converted to the grade of 0.0 (E) by the Registrar unless the instructor has indicated when assigning the Incomplete grade that a grade other than 0.0 (E) should be recorded if the incomplete work is not completed. For Spring Quarter, the following quarter is considered to be Fall Quarter.

A student may petition the Registrar to retain the Incomplete grade on his or her record for a maximum of three additional quarters. Petitions will be granted by the Registrar if approved by the instructor of the course involved. Petitions must be received by the Registrar's Office prior to the end of the quarter in which the I grade will convert to a failure.

      c) In no case shall an Incomplete on the record at the time a degree is granted be subsequently changed to any other grade.

      d) The grade I shall count neither for registered hours nor in computation of grade-point averages.

      e) For DL courses that do not follow the quarter schedule, an Incomplete shall be given only when the student has done satisfactory work to within two weeks of the maximum term for completion of the course, as specified at the time of registration. In order to obtain credit for the course, a student must convert an Incomplete into a passing grade by the end of the quarter following the one in which the Incomplete was given. All other provisions and deadlines of Subsections 1.A.3.a through 1.A.3.d shall also apply.

    4) The Grade N

The grade N may be given in thesis, research, and hyphenated courses in which the grade is dependent upon the work of a final quarter. When the grade of N is given in a course it may indicate that the work has been completed to the end of the quarter in which the N is given. It shall carry with it no credit or grade until a regular grade is assigned. The use of the N grade also Subsection 1.B.3.)

    5) The Grade W

The grade W will be assigned to any course dropped after the 14th calendar day of the quarter through the seventh week, to be followed by a number representing the week in which the course was dropped.

      a) The Office of the Registrar will assign a grade of W to any course in which a student is enrolled when a University withdrawal is filed after the 14th calendar day of the quarter.

      b) Proportional schedules will be published in the Time Schedule for Summer Quarter a and b terms.

      c) The grades of W and HW are not computed in the grade-point average.

      d) Students unofficially dropping a course will receive a grade of 0.0.

      e) For DL courses that do not follow the quarter schedule, the grade W shall be assigned to any course dropped after the 14th calendar day after the start of the course and no later than two weeks before the end of the maximum term for completion of the course, as specified at the time of registration. The date of withdrawal shall be noted on the transcript. The provisions of Subsections 1.A.5.c and 1.A.5.d.

    6) S/NS

      a) An undergraduate may earn up to 25 elective credits of the 180 minimum credits required for graduation on a satisfactory/non-satisfactory (S/NS) basis. Each instructor shall report numeric grades to the Registrar, who shall convert satisfactory grades (2.0 or greater) to S, and non-satisfactory grades (less than 2.0) to NS for the student's transcript. S/NS shall not be considered in computation of the grade-point average.

      b) The student may indicate at the time of registration if she or he elects to take a course on an S/NS basis. The student can change to and from an S/NS option through the seventh week of the quarter through electronic registration. There is no limit to the number of S/NS credits that a student can register for in a given quarter. Withdrawal from an S/NS course is subject to the same regulations as for any other course.

      c) An instructor may not submit an S or NS in a course. S/NS grades shall appear on the transcript only in the event that the student is registered on an S/NS basis.

    7) Credit/No Credit

      a) With appropriate departmental review and approval, faculty may offer a course or courses on a CR/NC basis. The standard for granting credit in CR/NC courses shall be the demonstration of competence in the material of the course to the instructor's satisfaction. Students demonstrating such competence shall have CR entered on the transcript; those who do not shall have NC entered on the transcript.

      b) Although CR and NC grades are entered on the transcript, they are not used in the computation of the grade-point average.

      c) CR/NC courses must be so designated in the Time Schedule.

  B. Grading Practices for Graduate Students

    To provide for consistency in reporting of grades for graduate students, the system of numeric and letter grades listed in Subsection 1.A shall be used subject to the following special provisions:

    1) Minimum Grade Level

Grades below 1.7 will be recorded as 0.0 by the Registrar and will not count toward residency, total credit count, or grade and credit requirements. A minimum of 2.7 shall be required in each course which counts toward satisfying the Graduate School requirement for 18 hours of course work numbered 500–700 at the Master's level and for half of the course work at the 500–800 level for the doctoral level. A minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 is required for graduation.

    2) The Grade I

      a) An Incomplete may be given as indicated in Subsection 1.A.3.a.

      b) In order to obtain credit for the course, a student must convert an Incomplete into a passing grade by the last day of the next quarter in residence. This rule may be waived by the dean of the college in which the course is offered. In no case may an Incomplete be converted into a passing grade after a lapse of two years.

    3) The Grade N

The grade N is used only for hyphenated courses and courses numbered 600 (Independent Study and Research), 700 (Thesis), and 800 (Dissertation). An N grade indicates that satisfactory progress is being made, but evaluation depends on completion of the research, thesis, or dissertation, at which time the instructor or supervisory committee chair should change the N grade or grades to one more appropriate to the final evaluation (normally CR/NC).

    4) The Grade W

Grading for Withdrawals from the University and for Drops from Courses are specified in Scholastic Regulations, Chapter 113. The special provisions pertaining to graduate students are that:

      a) Except for Subsections 1.A.4, 1.C, and 1.D, the provisions of Scholastic Regulations, Chapter 113, Section 3, "Dropping a Course," do not apply to graduate students.

      b)
Official withdrawal from a course during the first 10 class days of a quarter will not be entered on the permanent academic record. After the first two weeks and through the seventh week of the course, a graduate student may withdraw from a course by filing a form with the Registrar's Office. A grade of W will be recorded. No official withdrawal will be permitted after the seventh week of the quarter except under the conditions described in Scholastic Regulations, Chapter 113, 3.A.4.

    5) The Grade S/NS

A graduate student, with the approval of the graduate program advisor or supervisory committee chair, may elect to be graded S/NS in any numerically-graded courses for which he or she is eligible. If a student does not so elect, then he or she will be graded on a numerical basis. If approval is granted, the student must elect the S/NS option when registering or no later than the end of the seventh week of the quarter. Numeric grades will not subsequently be converted to S/NS grades (or vice versa). The instructor shall submit a numeric grade to the Registrar, who shall convert grades of 2.7 and above to S and grades lower than 2.7 to NS for graduate students in graduate or

    6) The Grade CR/NC

With the approval of the faculty in the academic unit, any course may be designated for grading on the CR/NC basis by notice in the appropriate Time Schedule. For such courses, the instructor shall submit a grade of CR or NC to be recorded by the Registrar for each student in the class at the end of the quarter.

    7) Numerical Grade Requirement

Of the minimum credits required for a graduate degree, a graduate student must show numerical grades in at least 18 quarter hours of course work taken at the University of Washington. These numerical grades may be earned in 300-, 400-, and 500-level courses.

    8) Grade-Point Average

A graduate student's grade-point average shall be calculated entirely on the basis of numeric grades in 300-, 400-, and 500-level courses. The grades of S, NS, CR, NC, and N shall be excluded, as shall all grades in courses numbered 600, 700, and 800, and in 100- and 200-level courses.

    9) Petition for Modification of Grading Practice

The student may petition the Dean of the Graduate School to modify the procedures described above. The petition shall be accompanied by comments and recommendations from the graduate program adviser or supervisory committee chair.

  C. Grading Practice for the School of Medicine

    The system of grades for the School of Medicine shall be Satisfactory/Not Satisfactory/Honors. All required courses in the medical school curriculum must be completed with a Satisfactory grade, and the determination of Honors grades shall remain the prerogative of the faculty instructing the courses. An Incomplete shall be converted to a passing grade by the next quarter in residence except that this time limit may be extended up to one year with the approval of the dean's office. Incompletes not so converted shall be replaced by a Not Satisfactory grade.

Withdrawals are unusual, as in illness situations, and are processed upon approval of the dean's office.

  D. Grading Practice for the School of Law

    Applicable to first-year J.D. students who matriculate in Autumn 1998 and thereafter, grades to be assigned to all courses for credit toward the J.D. degree, except courses taken on a Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) or Satisfactory/Non-Satisfactory (S/NS) basis, shall consist of the following: A, A-, B+, B, C, D, and E.

    1) Grade Significance

The significance of each grade is as follows:
   
Letter Grade Numerical
Equivalent
Explanation Percentage of Class
     A 4.0   Less than or equal to 10% (may be 0%)
     A- 3.7   Less than or equal to 30% (minus % given A)
     B+ 3.3 Median grade. More than 50% (minus % given A and A-) and less than or equal to 60% (minus % given A or A-)
     B 3.0   % discretionary
     C 2.0   % discretionary
     D 1.0 This grade indicates that the level of performance is below that which on average is required for the award of the degree. % discretionary
     E 0.0 No credit. This grade indicates unsatisfactory performance and no credit is given for the course. % discretionary


      But this significance is subject to the following conditions:
      a) The percentage for the grade of B+ is mandatory for all required first-year courses.

      b) The percentage ranges for grades of A and A- in all three years, and of B+ in the second and third-year classes, are guidelines and are strongly recommended. These guidelines should not be thought of as applicable to specialized and individualized courses such as seminars, clinical, experiential, and " practice" offerings, independent study, and workshops, nor to summer-quarter courses, courses heavily directed to non-law students, and courses in which most of the enrolled students are candidates for post-J.D. graduate degrees. They would also not have significance for classes of ten students or less.

      c) A faculty member who submits grades that deviate from the suggested percentages shall submit a written explanation to the associate dean before the grades are recorded.

      d) A numerical class rank, based on the numerical equivalencies shown above, shall be computed for the sole purpose of awarding academic honors, including graduation awards, prizes, or membership in scholarly societies, including Order of the Coif, legal journals and reviews. Class rank shall not be disclosed on a student's transcript or otherwise disclosed except for the purpose of computing eligibility for academic honors.

    2) Academic Difficulty and Disqualification Rules

      a) A student will be in Academic Difficulty if he or she receives, during any three consecutive quarters, a grade of E or two grades of D. A student will regain good academic standing upon completion of two consecutive quarters with no grade of D or E. A student in Academic Difficulty shall be counseled by a dean concerning ways to improve his or her performance.

      b) A student will be disqualified as a candidate for the J.D. degree and will not be allowed to re-enroll in the Law School if he or she receives:
       
  • During any academic year, grades of E for nine credit hours or grades of E or D for 17 credit hours;

  • During the first and second years, grades of E for 14 credit hours or grades of E or D for 25 credit hours;

  • During three years, grades of E for 21 credit hours or grades of E or D for 37 credit hours.
        A student who has been disqualified as a J.D. candidate for unsatisfactory grades may petition the faculty for readmission.

    3) Grade System Start Date

This grading system shall apply to all incoming first-year students in the Autumn of 1998, and to all incoming first-year students thereafter.

  E. Grading Practice for the School of Dentistry

    The School of Dentistry uses the following University grade-point system: A=4, B=3, C=2, and E=0. The grade-point average is calculated by multiplying the grade points received in a course by the number of credits earned in the course, totaling these values, and dividing by the total number of credits earned.

The progress of professional dental students is reviewed at least quarterly. Students experiencing academic or clinical difficulties are identified and referred to student progress committees which make determinations regarding academic progress. If the work in a course is incomplete or inadequate, a grade of I may be given. This Incomplete must be removed before September 15 if the student is to advance into the next year's class. If academic or clinical achievement is unsatisfactory the student may be dismissed from the school.

S-B 54, June 1951; S-B 102, June 1967; S-B 103, March 1968; S-B 111, May 1970; S-B 117, June 1971; S-B 120, February 1972; S-B 124, March 1975: all with Presidential approval; AI, June 1976; CR, June 1976; GSM 19, October 1979; S-B 134, June 1980 with Presidential approval; AI, August 1980; S-B 137, June 1981; S-B 144, January 26, 1985; S-B 150, April 9, 1990: all with Presidential approval; CR, May 1990; S-B 154, December 2, 1991 with Presidential approval; CR, December 4, 1997; S-B 165, May 12, 1998; S-B 166, December 8, 1998; S-B 167, November 26, 2001; S-B 173, April 6, 2007: all with Presidential approval; RC, August 9, 2010; RC, December 3, 2013; S-B 180, February 27, 2014 with Presidential approval.

2.  Change of Grade

  A. Grade Error

Except in cases of error no instructor may change a grade which he or she has turned in to the Registrar.

  B. Written Appeal of Grade Error

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 follow the following procedure to resolve the matter:

    1) The student shall first discuss the matter with the instructor before the end of the following academic quarter (not including Summer Quarter.)

    2) A student who is not satisfied with the instructor's response may submit, no later than ten class days after his or her discussion with the instructor,* a written appeal to the chair of the department (or the dean in a non-departmentalized school or college), with a copy of the appeal to the instructor. Within ten calendar days of receipt of the appeal, the chair shall consult with the instructor to determine whether the evaluation of the student's performance was fair and reasonable or whether the instructor's conduct in assigning the grade was arbitrary or capricious. Should the chair believe the instructor's conduct to be arbitrary or capricious and should the instructor decline to revise the grade, the chair (or the dean in a non-departmentalized 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 student's, or students', performance and assign a grade. The dean and Provost shall be informed of this action.

*This time may be extended by the chair in exceptional circumstances, such as the situation in which the student did not learn of the appeals process deadlines in time.

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

  C. Instructor Unable to Assign Grades

In the event that an instructor is physically or mentally incapacitated and unable to assign course grades, or unable to address requests for grade changes as provided in Subsection 2.B, or in the event that the instructor is no longer in the employ of the University and is unavailable or refuses to address requests for grade changes as provided in Subsection 2.B, the chair (or the dean in a non-departmentalized school or college) with the approval of the voting members of his or her faculty, may designate another instructor, or instructors, to act in the stead of the original instructor to assign grades or address requests from students in accord with Subsection 2.B.

HB, 1946; S-B 79, May 1958; S-B 106, May 1969; S-B 145, May 23, 1985: all with Presidential approval; RC, December 3, 2013.

3.  Honors Awards

  A. Annual Senior Awards

Four Medals shall be conferred at the annual commencement ceremonies.

    1) At the Seattle commencement ceremony, a President's Medal shall be conferred upon the graduating senior who has completed at least three-fourths of his or her degree requirements at the University of Washington Seattle campus and who has the most distinguished academic record among such students. The President's Medalist shall be selected from among graduating seniors eligible for University Honors.

    2) Also at the Seattle commencement ceremony, a President's Medal shall be conferred upon the graduating senior who entered the University of Washington Seattle campus with at least 60 transfer credits from a Washington community college, and who has the most distinguished academic record among such students. The President's Medalist shall be selected from among graduating seniors eligible for University Honors.

    3) At each of the Bothell and Tacoma commencement ceremonies, a medal shall be conferred upon the graduating senior with the most distinguished academic record.

  B. Annual Junior, Sophomore, and Freshman Awards

The following awards shall be presented annually by the President in the name of the faculty:

    1) The Junior Medal, which shall be awarded to the senior having the highest scholastic standing for the first three years of his or her course. To be eligible, students must have completed at least 40 credits in residence at the University of Washington.

    2) The Sophomore Medal, which shall be awarded to the junior having the highest scholastic standing for the first two years of his or her course. To be eligible, students must have completed at least 40 credits in residence at the University of Washington.

    3) The Freshman Medal, which shall be awarded to the sophomore having the highest scholastic standing for the first year of his or her course. To be eligible, students must have completed at least 36 credits in residence at the University of Washington.

  C. Quarterly Dean's Lists

Quarterly dean's lists shall include the names of registered undergraduate students who have attained a grade-point average, non-cumulative, of 3.50 in the final grades for at least 12 registered credits. They are published in many newspapers in Washington State about four weeks after the end of each quarter.

  D. Annual Dean's List

The yearly dean's list shall include the names of all undergraduates who have achieved a cumulative grade-point average of 3.50 or better for at least 36 credits in resident instruction in three quarters or 46 credits of resident instruction in four quarters at the University of Washington during the preceding academic year.

Senate Action, May 1939; S-B 70, April 12, 1956; S-B 86, November 1961: both with Presidential approval; HB, 1966; S-B 138, December 1981; S-B 158, March 1995; S-B 170, June 20, 2003: all with Presidential approval; RC, December 3, 2013; S-B 180, February 27, 2014 with Presidential approval.

4.  Degrees with University Honors

Degrees with University honors may be conferred by determination of the Registrar and deans of the colleges and schools, following guidelines provided by the Faculty Council on Academic Standards with the confirmation of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee. Students are eligible for honors if they have earned at least 90 approved credits at the University of Washington of which at least 60 are numerically graded.

HB, 1966; S-B 177, April 14, 2010 with Presidential approval.

5.  Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus Award

Annually at Commencement, the University of Washington Alumni Association awards to a former student who is judged to be an outstanding living alumnus, distinguished for service over a period of years, the designation of Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus. The recipient of the award is chosen by a special committee composed of representatives of the Alumni Association and the University. The award is given for achievement not only during the preceding year, but also during an individual's entire career. "Alumnus" is construed to mean a student who has been awarded any bachelor's degree, or a graduate student who, after not less than two years of resident study, has been awarded a degree, or a former student who, in the opinion of the committee of selection, has qualified for this honor.

A1, March 1966; S-B 158, March 1995 with Presidential approval.

6.  Honorary Degrees

Upon the recommendation of the faculty, the Board of Regents may confer honorary degrees upon a person or persons of exceptional merit, other than graduates of this University. The Special Committee on Honorary Degrees will have jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to the award of honorary degrees. Nominations for candidates may come from a variety of sources, including faculty councils, committees, departments, programs, schools, colleges, or campuses. The names of nominees approved by the special committee will be forwarded to the President of the University. After consultation with the President, the special committee will, on behalf of the faculty, recommend candidates for honorary degrees to the Regents. Honorary degrees will be presented at either a commencement ceremony or a formal academic convocation.

S-B 168, February 2002; S-B 176, January 13, 2010: both with Presidential approval.