University of Colorado Grading System – 4.0 Scale
The College utilizes the grading system adopted by all four campuses of the University of Colorado.
- A superior or excellent performance 4.0 quality points per credit hour
- B good or better than average performance 3.0
- C competent or average performance 2.0
- D minimum passing performance 1.0
- F failure, no credit allowed 0.0
A plus/minus grading system may be used. A '+' increases the numeric grade by 0.3 units while a '–' decreases the numeric grade by 0.3 units. 'A+,' 'F–' and 'F+' grades are not allowed.
Incomplete Grades – 'IW' and 'IF'
Faculty may assign students an incomplete grade of "IW' or 'IF' to signify that special circumstances beyond the student's control prevented the student from completing a small portion of the course and that a final grade cannot yet be assigned. Upon completion of the missing course work, a Change of Record Form is completed by the original instructor to change the "IW' or 'IF' to a letter grade.
An "IW' is an Incomplete Withdrawal while an 'IF' is an Incomplete Failure. The 'IF' grade does not denote that the student is failing the course, but may be interpreted in such manner outside the University. Students have 12 months to complete the missing assignments with the original instructor. If the missing assignments are not completed within the allotted 12 months, the "IW' reverts to a W and the 'IF' reverts to a F on the student's transcript. The original Incomplete grade remains on the student's transcript even after a letter grade is assigned. Incomplete grades, "IW' or 'IF' are faculty discretionary grades available on the grade sheets provided at the end of the semester. However, CLAS faculty have passed a college policy relating to the awarding of Incomplete grades, and some departments have specific policies on Incomplete grades. Faculty are encouraged to state the CLAS policy their syllabus.
Pass/Fail Grading Option
Students may select the pass/fail grading option for many courses. Students should be encouraged to contact their advisor in the CLAS Advising Office to review restrictions regarding the pass/fail option. In most cases, the instructor will not have knowledge of the student's pass/fail grade option.
For pass/fail courses, the instructor submits a regular letter grade to the Records office at which time grades of D- or higher are translated to a P and do not affect the student's grade point average. A pass/fail letter grade of 'F' remains an 'F' and contributes to the student's grade point average.
Students must decide on taking a course pass/fail by the end of the add/drop period as noted in the Schedule of Courses. Students are rarely allowed to change their pass/fail status after this deadline, and never after graded assignments are due. The pass/fail grading option is exercised on the UC Denver Schedule Adjustment (Drop/Add) Form, and instructor permission is not required if within the add/drop period.
No Credit Grading Option
A No Credit grading option is an official audit and carries no credit towards graduation requirements. The 'NC' grade is automatically indicated on the course grade sheet and placed on the student's transcript. Students rarely select the No Credit grading option.
No Credit is an official registration providing students with the same rights and privileges as students registered for a letter grade. It is up to the student and instructor to formulate policies for course attendance, participation and graded exercises.
Students must decide on taking a course for No Credit by the end of the drop/add period as noted in the Schedule of Courses. Students must pay for No Credit courses consistent with tuition policies for the semester.
Students may re-register for any course. Both (all) courses remain on the transcript and both (all) grades are used to calculate the student's grade point average. Course credit toward graduation is counted only once for a given course no matter how many times the course is repeated.
The posting of grades by name or student number (even with name obscured) violates federal law under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and is strictly prohibited. In principle, no grade may be posted in a manner that would allow a student to learn another student's grade.
Assignment Grades – assignment grades and cumulative course grades during the semester
Faculty should ask each student to provide a code, known only to the student and the instructor, which can be the basis of sorting students and posting grade information. Please note that posting of grade information using a private code is still prohibited if the listing of students is done alphabetically. Faculty must sort student names according to the private code before grade information is posted.
It is not acceptable to the College to post grades using the last four digits (or any portion) of the official student number.
Course Grades – final letter grade after completion of the semester
Faculty should not post final course grades in any manner. Student grades turned in by faculty are quickly posted on the SIS computer and available to students via phone or the Internet.
It is acceptable for students to supply the faculty member with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to return the final examination or paper, and to divulge the final course grade.
The College does not have a policy regarding individual student grades or average course grades. Grading profiles are at the discretion of the instructor. Departments have the option of asking faculty to grade within a certain ranges, and instructors of courses with multiple sections have an obligation to keep grade differences between sections within a reasonable range.
The Dean's Office evaluates grades at the end of each semester. Department averages are shared across the College and individual faculty grades are shared with the department Chair.
Over the last five years the average CLAS grades are as follows:
- lower division undergraduate 2.6–2.8
- upper division undergraduate 2.9–3.1
- graduate 3.4–3.6
Frequently Encountered Situations
- Student asks whether the faculty member uses plus/minus grading. Plus/minus grading is at the discretion of the faculty member. Faculty electing to not use plus/minus grades should indicate this on the course syllabus as most CLAS faculty utilize the plus/minus grades.
- Student asks for Incomplete grade to satisfy financial aid requirements. Financial aid requires students to successfully complete certain semester hours by the end of the semester. Grades of "IW' , 'IF' , 'W', 'NC', and 'F' do not satisfy financial aid requirements. An Incomplete grade will not satisfy Financial Aid requirements.
- Student asks for Incomplete to complete a course assignment. In the absence of special circumstances, extending the semester for a student is a form of individual extra credit and not allowed by college policies.
- Student asks for No Credit after midterm. The Metropolitan State College of Denver 'no credit' is equivalent to the UC Denver 'drop.' Students should be asked if they are MSCD or UCD students. UC Denver students are ineligible for changes in the 'no credit' status after the add/drop period. MSCD students are typically subject to CLAS deadlines and course policies.
- The grade sheet from MSCD does not contain plus/minus grades. MSCD provides a separate grade sheet for their students taking UC Denver courses through the Common Pool. Plus/minus grades are not permitted for MSCD students, and handwritten '+' or '–' notations are ignored.
- Student inquires as to what it will take to earn a grade of 'X' in course. Students are responsible for knowing the passing grade, typically 'D-' or 'C', in their courses. Faculty should not encourage poorly performing students to stay in the course past the 10-week drop deadline as student performance rarely improves at the end of the semester. Regular communication of student performance during the semester is the best way to minimize this type of student question.
- Faculty deliberate "IW' or 'IF' grade for student who meets Incomplete grade policies. While Business and Engineering faculty can only use the 'IF' grade, CLAS faculty can award either the 'IF' or "IW' grade. Faculty control is the advantage of the 'IF' . Transcript appearance (avoids connotation of failing performance) to student is the advantage of the "IW' .
- Student complains about grade after the semester is completed. Faculty are encouraged to regularly communicate grade information to students during the semester to minimize student complaints. Faculty should meet with student to evaluate nature of complaint. Faculty grading mistakes are easily handled with the Change of Record Form. Otherwise, student should be directed to contact department Chair for departmental review or the CLAS Advising Office about a formal grade appeal.