St. Cloud State University Policies & Procedures

Grading System Link☍

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Current Status: Approved

Policy Type: Academic

Department/Division: Academic Affairs

Effective Date: 01/07/2013

Last Updated: 09/24/2020

Applies To: Students, Faculty, Staff

Responsible University Officer: Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs

Policy Owner: Vice President for Strategic Enrollment Management

Policy Contact: Registrar


Students have an expectation that their academic performance is assessed and determined fairly and honestly. St Cloud State University will use a letter grading system to measure and differentiate student performance. When course design permits, a pass/fail (satisfactory/unsatisfactory) grading system may be used, but must be selected by the student at registration.

Students have the right to question the procedure by which their grade was determined. St. Cloud State University will address student grade appeals fairly and expeditiously. Grade appeals are neither a judicial nor a disciplinary process.

Certificate of Scholastic Achievement - Dean's List

The University recognizes outstanding scholastic achievement by awarding certificates each term, with the exception of summer term, to students who earn a grade point average of 3.75 or better. An undergraduate student must be a degree seeking enrolled student, and must complete at least nine credits of ABCDF graded courses to be eligible for the award.


The grading system at St. Cloud State University includes the following grades as described in this section (A B C D F S U NA AU I IP R/RC W):

St. Cloud State University employs an A – F grading system to measure student achievement:

A – Excellent

B - Above Average

C - Average

D - Below Average

F – Fail.

These grades, with the exception of F, may include a “+” or “–” for further differentiation of achievement. If the grade of A+ is assigned, it does not provide for assignment of a higher value on the four point scale used to calculate grade point average; 4.0 remains the highest assigned value.

The university also records the following grades when permitted in course design. (Students must select grading system A – F or S/U at registration):

S – Satisfactory
U – Unsatisfactory

NA - Non-attendance (entered as FN prior to 2017). Entry of a grade of NA occurs automatically when an instructor enters information that a student has never attended class or participated in class-related activities (Effective Summer term 2017).

AU – Audit. Students may register for courses as auditors, meaning their performance in the course is not evaluated for a grade. Upon completion of courses students registering as auditors receive the grade of AU. An instructor may assign a grade of U to a student who registers to audit a course and then fails to meet the attendance requirement established by the instructor.

I – Incomplete. Instructors may assign the grade of I to students who are doing satisfactory work in a course but due to extenuating circumstances are unable to complete all course requirements during the term. A student and instructor must have a recorded understanding, such as an exchange of e-mails, that the assigned grade for the course is I. Completion of course requirements must occur by the end of the following semester unless the instructor sets a shorter time limit. For courses in spring semester the following semester is fall. A grade of I automatically changes to F or U at the end of that following semester if no other grade has been assigned.

IP – In progress. Instructors may assign the grade of IP to students whose work at the end of a term is still in progress because the course, by design or by arrangement prior to registration, requires more than one term to complete all assignments. Examples of such courses include field work and internship assignments, contract-based courses, and courses which must be taken in a series before any grade is earned. Completion of course requirements must occur within one year. IP automatically changes to F or U at the end of one year.

R - Registered. The grade of R is applied only to the following graduate continued enrollment courses, 691 and 891. This is considered a final grade and is not used to compute GPA or completion rate.

RC - Research Continued. The mark of RC is used for graduate courses when the completion of dissertations, master’s theses, creative works, or field studies is projected to extend beyond two terms. RC will remain on the transcript until such time as the work is completed. The RC is considered an appropriate grade for a culminating project extending beyond two terms and is not used to compute GPA or completion rate.

When a student has completed all of the requirements for a master's thesis, creative work, a specialist degree field study, or doctoral dissertation, the adviser submits the appropriate mark to replace the RC.  A student may not graduate with a mark of RC on their transcript. An RC remaining on a student transcript beyond the seven year time period allowed to earn a graduate degree will be administratively changed to a U.

W – Withdraw. Withdrawal from a course is initiated by students.  Faculty do not enter a W except as the result of a grade appeal.

Z – Appears on student transcript as soon as a student registers for a course. The Z is replaced with entry of a grade. In the absence of a grade Z automatically changes to F (fail) or U (unsatisfactory) after one semester.

After the published last date to withdraw from courses the transcript will indicate the grade submitted by the instructor. If extenuating circumstances warrant other considerations, an appeal may be made through the Office of Records and Registration (AS-118).

Computing Grade Point Average (GPA)

A student's grade point average is a numerical ratio of the total credits attempted and the total grade points received. The method of computing GPA is to multiply the credit hours a class is worth (4-credit class, 3-credit class, 2-credit class, 1-credit class) by the GPA (honor) points for the grade received.

GPA (honor) points:

A+ = 4.00 A = 4.00 A- = 3.67
B+ = 3.33 B = 3.00 B- = 2.67
C+ = 2.33 C = 2.00  C- = 1.67
D+ = 1.33 D = 1.00 D- = 0.67
F = 0 RC = 0 NA = 0
R = 0   S = 0
U = 0    

For example, add the number of credits for the classes in which an A+ or A was received and multiply by 4; add the number or credits for the class in which an A- was received and multiply by 3.67; add the number of credits for the classes in which a B+ was received and multiply by 3.33, etc. When a mark of “F” is earned, the credits attempted are included in the computation of a grade point average. Courses in which the mark of “S”, “R”, “U”, "NA" or “RC” is given are not included in the computation of grade point average. Divide the total GPA (honor) points received by the total credits.

Only courses taken at St. Cloud State University or courses taken through an approved off-campus program are used in computing a student's SCSU grade point average.

Courses in which a mark of C-, D, F, NA or U was earned are not applicable to a graduate degree/certificate and may not be included on the program of study.  

Repeating Courses

Repeating courses at St. Cloud State University is permitted, however, the university may limit the number of times a student repeats a course. No courses or grades are removed from the transcript when a student repeats a course. Graduate students must receive written permission from their advisor and approval from the School of Graduate Studies prior to repeating a course and may only retake a course if their original grade was C-, D, F, NA, or U or W. Repeating courses can affect:

  • Credit completion percentage
  • Graduation credit requirements
  • Grade point average

Credit Completion Percentage: Credit completion refers to the percentage of courses attempted that resulted in a passing grade. Every time a course is taken, it counts toward completion percentage. Students are expected to successfully complete at least 2/3 or 66.67% of all attempted credits to remain in good academic standing.

Graduation Credit Requirements: Course credits may only be counted one time toward graduation requirements unless the course is specified as repeatable for additional credit in the course description. Coursework completed as part of a graduate certificate program may be counted toward a graduate degree program.

Grade Point Average: An undergraduate student repeating a course in an effort to improve the grade will have either the original grade or the repeat grade count towards grade point average, whichever is highest. If a graduate student repeats a course, the grade from the repeated course will be averaged with the grade assigned after the first attempt to compute grade point average.

Grade Appeals

Grading issues or concerns can often be the result of a misunderstanding or miscommunication between faculty and students. SCSU encourages the resolution of grading issues or concerns informally whenever possible. If informal resolution has not been attempted independently it will be required as the first step in the formal grade appeal process.  (See Grade Appeal in Related St. Cloud State University Policies).


retakes, grade replacement, retake a class,

Supporting Documents (Forms, Instructions)

Dec 7 2015 11:15AM

Related St. Cloud State University Policies


Responsible University Officer
   Zink, Abbey L.
   Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs
   Woods, Jason L.
   Vice President for Strategic Enrollment Management
   Meendering, Timothy J.

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