Sac State University Policy Manual

Grading Policy

Policy Administrator: Vice President, Academic Affairs
Authority: Executive Order 792, FS 00-07; FS 05-17B; FS 10-55; FS 10-60; FS 11/12-52
Effective Date: September 1, 2002; Revised July 2005
Updated: June 2, 2010; February 22, 2012
Index Cross-References:
Policy File Number: UMG05150.htm

 

GRADING POLICY

DEFINITION OF GRADE SYMBOLS

A Exemplary achievement of the course objectives. In addition to being clearly and significantly above the requirements, work exhibited is of an independent, creative, contributory nature.

B Superior achievement of the course objectives. The performance is clearly and significantly above the satisfactory fulfillment of course requirements.

C Satisfactory achievement of the course objectives. The student is now prepared for advanced work or study.

Note: The letter grade "C" does not imply satisfactory achievement at the graduate level.

D Unsatisfactory achievement of course objectives, yet achievement of a sufficient proportion of the objectives so that it is not necessary to re4peat the course unless required to do so by the academic department.

F Unsatisfactory achievement of course objectives to an extent that the student must repeat the course to receive credit.

WU The symbol "WU" indicates that an enrolled student did not withdraw from the course and also failed to complete course requirements. It is used when, in the opinion of the instructor, completed assignments or course activities, or both, were insufficient to make normal evaluation of academic performance possible. For purposes of grade point average, this symbol is equivalent to an "F."

CR Satisfactory achievement of course objectives. (Not used in CSUS grade point calculation.)

NC Unsatisfactory achievement of course objectives. (Not used in CSUS grade
point calculation, but is calculated as "F" by many graduate and professional
schools.)

I

The symbol “I” (Incomplete authorized) indicates that a clearly identifiable portion of course requirements cannot be completed and evaluated within the academic term due to unforeseen but fully justified reasons 2 and that there is still a possibility of earning credit.

An incomplete shall not be assigned for the following reasons:

  • When it is necessary for the student to attend a major portion of the course when it is next offered.
  • Where normal practice requires extension of course requirements beyond the close of the academic term (e.g. thesis or project type courses).  In such cases the “RP” (Report in Progress) grade should be assigned
  • The student does not have a passing grade.

The student has the responsibility to bring pertinent information to the attention of the instructor and to determine from the instructor the remaining course requirements that must be satisfied to remove the Incomplete.

An undergraduate student may not repeat the course for which an “I” has been received until that “I” has been converted to a grade other than “I”. 

A student may petition to convert the “I” to “F” so that they may enroll in the course.

Conditions for completing the “I” grade
Conditions for completing the “I” grade shall be determined by the instructor.  In addition the instructor will specify the time period during which these conditions are to be met.  The conditions and specified time period for completion will be recorded on the student’s Incomplete Form

The specified time period shall not exceed one academic year. This one-year limit extends from the last day of instruction of the semester or session in which the “I” grade was assigned until the last day of instruction in the same semester or session one year later.  However, the instructor may specify a time period less than this one year limit.

The specified time period limitation applies whether or not the student maintains continuous enrollment at California State University Sacramento.

An extension of the one-year time limit may be granted by petition to the Academic Standards Committee for contingencies such as intervening military service and serious health or personal problems.

The student shall be provided with a copy of the Incomplete Form.

At the end of each grading period, departments shall be provided with a report and copies of all Incomplete forms submitted by their faculty.

Completing the “I” grade
A final grade will be assigned when the work agreed upon (based on conditions provided in the Incomplete Form) has been completed, submitted within the specified time period, and evaluated.  

In the event the faculty member is not available to evaluate the student’s submitted work, the department chair shall assume the responsibility of providing for the evaluation and the submittal of the grade.

Failure to complete the “I” grade
A student’s “I” grade will convert to an “F” or an “NC” and be recorded on the student’s transcript if the required coursework is not completed within the specified time period.

At the time of degree evaluation, the degree will not be awarded if a student has outstanding “I” grades that were converted to “F” grades, which cause the student’s grade point average to fall below minimum level grade point requirements for graduation (e.g. overall GPA, major or minor GPA, or General Education).

Incomplete grades will not be considered for deletion by the Academic Standards Committee.

2 Students in the military reserve who are called to active duty during or around the final examinations period are eligible to receive an “I” grade provided they meet the conditions above.

RP Report in progress. Work is in progress on thesis, project or similar course
extending beyond one term. (Not used in grade point calculation.) The "RP" symbol is used in connection with courses that extend beyond one semester. It indicates that work is in progress, but assignment of a final grade must await completion of additional work. The "RP" symbol shall be replaced with the appropriate final grade within one year of its assignment (within two years for master's culminating requirement). If no final grade is reported by the instructor within the time limit, the "RP" will be converted to "F" or "NC" on the academic transcript.

W The symbol "W" indicates that the student was permitted to withdraw from the course after the fourth week of instruction with the approval of the instructor and appropriate campus officials. It carries no connotation of quality of student performance and is not used in grade point calculation .

RD Report Delayed. A grade has not been reported to the registrar due to circumstances beyond control of student. (Not used in grade point calculation.)

AU Audit grade indicates student's status as auditor and does not earn degree
credit. Enrollment as an auditor is subject to permission of the instructor provided that enrollment in a course as an auditor shall be permitted only after students otherwise eligible to enroll on a credit basis have had an opportunity to do so. Auditors are subject to the same fee structure as credit students and regular class attendance is expected. Once enrolled as an auditor, a student may not change to credit status unless such a change is requested no later than the last day to add classes. A student who is enrolled for credit may not change to audit after the fourth week of instruction.

CSU, Sacramento will use a +/- grading system, beginning Fall 1985. (AS 82-45)

CSU, Sacramento will use A, B, C, D, and F grades for lower division courses. (AS 82-63)

GRADE CORRECTION POLICY

A grade correction is possible only in the case of a declared administrative error. A correction in letter grade must be approved by the instructor of record and the department chairperson by the last day of the semester, either spring or fall, after the grade is posted to the student’s record. The definition of administrative error is an error made by the instructor or assistant in grade determination or posting.


A grade change may not be made as a result of work completed or presented following the close of a grade period, except for completion of work when an Incomplete grade was issued.  Grades cannot be changed to “W” nor can they be changed from a letter grade to Credit/No Credit.


A grade correction after the semester following grade award will be allowed only if the course instructor and chair of the department where the course was offered submit the grade change and an explanation for the late grade correction to the Registrar. In the case where the course instructor and/or department chair is unavailable, the department faculty or a committee of department faculty must approve the grade correction. In such a case, a statement of the nature of the exception, the department’s method of approval, and the date of approval, must be forwarded with the grade correction.


A petition to delete grades may be submitted for consideration by the Academic Standards Committee for the following reasons only:

  1. To remove penalty grades assigned due to failure to complete a course for causes related to illness. Medical verification is required;
  2. To correct errors by academic departments. Department verification is required;
  3. To correct errors made in registration (e.g., use of wrong class code). The registrar’s office must confirm this error.

Petitions to delete grades must be submitted within one academic year from the end of the semester in which the grade was received. After a degree has been awarded, no petitions will be considered to delete grades posted prior to that award. 

GRADE APPEAL PROCEDURES

While there is a presumption that grades assigned by faculty are correct, students who believe that a correct final grade has not been assigned may use the Student Grade Appeal Procedure. This procedure may only be used to appeal earned letter or "CR"/"NC" grades and the assignment of a WU grade. Students must start this procedure no later than the beginning of the Fall or Spring semester following the semester in which the grade was earned. The procedure requires that students seek to resolve the matter informally with the instructor of record before initiating a formal grade appeal. Copies of the Student Grade Appeal Process are available at the office of each academic department and the offices of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Vice President for Academic Affairs. See University Manual, Grade Appeal Procedures.

GRADE DELETION POLICY

CSUS requires that students process an official drop by telephone, on-line or by petition within published deadlines. Failure to withdraw properly from a course may result in assignment of a "WU" grade in the course. The symbol "WU" indicates that the student did not withdraw from the course and also failed to complete course requirements. It is used when, in the opinion of the instructor, completed assignments or course activities, or both, were insufficient to make normal evaluation of academic performance possible. For purposes of grade point average, this symbol is equivalent to an "F."

Since some students may not be familiar with the CSUS drop policy until after they receive their first "WU," the student may petition to have the effect of the failure removed from the grade point average of the first semester in which he/she receives one or more "WU" grades. The student must obtain a Petition to Discount First "WU" Grade from the Admissions and Records Office or the Academic Advising Center and meet with an academic advisor. The petition process must be completed within six months following the end of the semester in which the "WU" was assigned. This policy applies for the one term only in which the student receives the first "WU" grade and does not apply to grades posted at institutions other than CSUS.

A petition to delete a grade other than an Incomplete or a first "WU" and an Incomplete grade may be submitted for consideration by the Academic Standards Committee for the following reasons only:

  1. To remove penalty grades assigned due to failure to complete a course for causes related to illness. Medical verification is required.
  2. To correct errors by academic departments. Department verification is required.
  3. To correct errors made in registration (e.g., use of wrong class code). The Registrar's Office must confirm this error.

Petitions must be submitted within three semesters from the end of the semester in which the grade was received. After a student's degree has been awarded, petitions to delete grades posted prior to the award of a degree will not be considered.

C- GRADES FOR PREREQUISITE COURSES

A grade of "C-" or better is required for prerequisite courses.  If a department requires a “C” or better in a prerequisite course and will not accept a “C-“ grade, then the department must specify so in the catalog course description. This policy applies to all undergraduate-level courses.