Submitting Grades

Deadline for Submitting Grades
Turning in Grades
Getting Help
Acceptable Grades
Incompletes
Grading an Independent Study
Failure Forms and Comment Cards
Grades Available (to students) in Polaris
Grade Changes
Grades and Student Privacy Rights


Deadline for Submitting Grades:

All Fall 2017 grades are due January 2, 2018 at 3:00 pm.

Spring 2018 grades for Seniors are due Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at 12:00 pm. Anyone with "Senior" listed next to their name on the grade roster must have a grade submitted in Polaris by this date. Failure to do so will impact all students and the calculation of Latin Honors.

All other Spring 2018 grades due Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 5:00pm.


Turning in Grades:

Faculty may begin entering grades on the last day of classes each semester and they will notified when the portal is available. Grades are submitted for the students in your classes through Polaris. You may access Polaris wherever you have an Internet connection and it is recommended that you use Firefox or Chrome as your browser. After logging into Polaris, click on the Enter Grades tab. Once you choose one of your classes, select a grade for each student from the grades drop-down list. Please make sure you enter a grade for each student on the roster and note that you may need to enter grades on multiple pages. Clicking the Submit button will save the entries you've made. You may change the grades you have submitted until the grading deadline; after the deadline, all grades will be officially recorded on students' transcripts.

Directions for Submitting Grades in Polaris [pdf]


Getting Help:

Questions about Grading Policy:

  • Concerns about possible violations of the Academic Honor Code/Social Code should be addressed to the Assistant Dean for Community Standards, Kate O'Grady, in the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs. 
  • Questions about Incompletes should be addressed to the student's dean (you may find that information under the "Academic Contacts" section of the student's page in Polaris) or to Associate Registrar Julie Bedard (jbedard@bowdoin.edu).
  • Contact the Registrar, Martina Duncan, (mduncan@bowdoin.edu) if you have questions about the grading process.

Tips for using Polaris for Grade Entry:

  1. Call or email the Polaris Help Line (721-1414, polaris@bowdoin.edu) if you have trouble using Polaris to submit grades.
  2. The "Enter Grades" tab in Polaris is accessible anywhere in the world, but works best on campus. If you must be off campus, make sure you are using a fast internet connection.
  3. The recommended browsers for Polaris are Firefox and Chrome.
  4. Clear both the cache and cookies from your internet browser. For either browser, hold down Ctrl + Shift + Delete and then click "clear" to do so.
  5. Don't forget to scroll all the way down and hit submit!

Acceptable Grades are:

A the student has mastered the material of the course and has demonstrated exceptional critical skills and originality;
B the student has demonstrated a thorough and above average understanding of the material of the course;
C the student has demonstrated a thorough and satisfactory understanding of the material of the course;
D the student has demonstrated a marginally satisfactory understanding of the basic material of the course;
F the student has not demonstrated a satisfactory understanding of the basic material of the course.

Plus (+) or minus (-) modifiers may be added to B and C grades; only the minus (-) modifier may be added to the A grade. Students taking courses on a Credit/D/Fail basis will receive a grade of CR (credit), D, or F (fail) only. A student must have earned a C- or higher to be given a CR grade. A Failure Form must be submitted to explain each grade of F. Students who dropped a course after the deadline have received a W (withdrawn).

Each student on your grade list must be given one of the above grades no later than the deadline for submitting grades. According to the Academic Handbook, "All final academic work, including final examinations, final papers, final lab reports, and final projects, is due at or before on the last day of the final examination period; although instructors may set earlier deadlines, they may not set later deadlines." An INC (incomplete) grade may be given if an Incomplete Agreement Form has been signed (see next section). Instructors may only give a grade of NG (no grade) if arrangements are made with the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs to submit it for you. If no grade is submitted by the instructor and an Incomplete Agreement Form has not been received in the Office of the Registrar by the grade submission deadline, a grade of F will be recorded.


Incompletes:

An INC (incomplete) grade will only be recorded if  a signed copy of the Incomplete Agreement Form is submitted to the Office of the Registrar. This agreement is made and signed by the student, the instructor, and the Dean of Student Affairs.

Students must initiate their request for an incomplete on or before the final class day of the semester. Students must meet with a dean to receive an Incomplete Agreement Form. The agreement includes a date by which all unfinished work must be submitted. According to College policy, this will ordinarily be no later than the end of the second week of classes of the following semester. If an incomplete form has not been received in the Office of the Registrar by the grade submission deadline (and no grade was submitted), a grade of F will be recorded.

Extensions of the deadline by which all work must be submitted may only be granted by the Dean of Student Affairs in consultation with the instructor. If an extension is granted, the agreement form must be amended and redistributed. Therefore, if a student asks for additional time to complete course work, please remember to direct him/her to consult a dean about an extension.


Grading an Independent Study:

For an independent study or honors course that will not continue past this semester, assign a standard letter grade for this semester's work and assign a permanent grade (on the separate form provided electronically) for any previous semester of work for which an S grade was awarded. An independent study may not be taken on a Credit/D/Fail basis. For an independent study or honors course that will continue into another semester, instructors may choose to submit a grade of S (satisfactory) in place of a regular grade. Permanent grades are then submitted at the end of the final semester of work on the independent study. Students must be awarded a letter grade after two consecutive semesters of an independent study.


Failure Forms and Comment Cards:

A Failure Form explaining a student's lack of achievement must be submitted for each grade of F. Use only Failure Forms, not Comment Cards, to explain failing grades. Instructors may complete Comment Cards for other students who, along with their academic advisors, might find the evaluation useful.


Grades Available (to students) in Polaris:

Students will be able to view their Fall 2017 grades in Polaris no later than Tuesday, January 4, 2018.

Seniors will be able to view their Spring 2018 grades in Polaris no later than Wednesday, May 23, 2018.

All other students will be able to view their Spring 2018 grades in Polaris no later than Friday, June 1, 2018.


Grade Changes:

With the exception of correcting clerical errors, approval of the Recording Committee is required to change a recorded grade. In the case of a clerical error, the instructor should submit the change in writing directly to Associate Registrar Julie Bedard (jbedard@bowdoin.edu). No special form is required. Be sure to state the reason for the change.

College policies are very clear that grades cannot be changed on the basis of additional student work without prior approval of the Recording Committee. Please be mindful of this policy if a student asks if they can do anything to raise a grade after that grade has been submitted.


Grades and Student Privacy Rights:

Since students may access their grades in Polaris, there should be no need to post grades in a public place. The 1974 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) governs the handling of student information. The impact FERPA has one students is outlined in Bowdoin’s student handbook.

Faculty must abide by FERPA when handling student grades. Please do not:

  • Post grades by student name or by the Bowdoin student ID numbers;
  • Allow grades to be visible if you leave tests or papers in a box for students to pick up;
  • Cite specific grades in a letter of recommendation or other communications without a student’s permission to do so.

Please contact the Office of the Dean of Academic Affairs if you have questions about this.