Grading Policy

(from the Conduct of Instruction for Faculty in the Faculty Handbook)

  1. Instructors are expected to inform classes of the basis for determining final course grades within the first two weeks of the semester. 
  2. Faculty members must be prepared to comment on the progress of first year students by mid-semester.
  3. No semester or final grade reported to the Office of the Registrar is changed (unless it is a clerical error) except by vote of the Recording Committee on recommendation of the instructor.  Recorded grades cannot be changed on the basis of additional student work without prior approval of the Recording Committee.
  4. Course grades are defined as follows: 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 (only a limited number of D grades may be counted toward the requirements for graduation); F, the student has not demonstrated a satisfactory understanding of the basic material of the course.
  5. Grades in regular courses are recorded as A, A-,B+,B,B-,C+,C,C-,D, Credit, or Fail. Grades in ensemble music courses and in courses carried on a Credit/D/Fail basis are recorded as Credit, D, or Fail.  The Office of the Registrar informs instructors of students enrolled on such a basis on class lists.
  6. Most departments require that all courses taken to satisfy requirements of the major or minor be taken for regular letter grades. Courses taken to fulfill the College’s first-year seminar requirement must be graded with regular letter grades, and courses satisfying distribution and division requirements must also be taken for regular letter grades (unless CR, D, and F are the only grades given for the course).  An independent study, collaborative study, or honors project must be graded with regular letter grades.  No course may be changed from graded to Credit/D/Fail or vice versa after the sixth week of classes.  If a student chooses the Credit/D/Fail option, a grade of Credit is given if the student produces work at the level of C- or above, a grade of D is given if the student produces work at a D level, and a grade of F is given otherwise. Students will receive course credit for work produced at the Credit or D level.
  7. In all cases of failing grades, instructors are asked to fill out a card commenting briefly on the causes of failure.  Cards should be submitted when grades are submitted or before.
  8. Students who receive a grade of D or F in a course may retake the course; both courses and both grades will appear on the transcript.  However, only one course credit will be given for successful completion of a given course.  For grades recorded prior to Fall 2013, only the first grade earned in a repeated course is counted in a student’s GPA; beginning with grades recorded for Fall 2013, all grades earned in repeated courses are counted in a student’s GPA.  Most departments will not accept as prerequisites, or as satisfying the requirements of the major, courses for which a grade of D has been given; questions should be referred directly to the department chair.
  9. A grade of INC (Incomplete) may be given to a student who through illness or other extenuating circumstances has failed to fulfill the requirements of a course. Excuses are granted by the instructor and the Dean acting jointly.  At the time an Incomplete is agreed upon by the Dean and the instructor, a date shall be set by which all unfinished work must be turned in by the student to the instructor.  In no case will this be beyond the end of the second week of the following semester. The instructor must submit a final grade within two weeks of this date.  If the course work is not completed within the specified time limit, the Incomplete will be changed to Fail.  Any exceptions to this rule will require approval of the Recording Committee.
  10. In Independent Study and Honors courses that will continue beyond one semester, instructors have the option of submitting at the end of each semester, except the last, a grade of S (for Satisfactory) in place of a regular grade.  Regular grades shall be submitted at the end of the final semester and shall become the grades for the previous semester of independent study.
  11. All grades and failure cards are due shortly after the examination period at a date specified by the Office of the Registrar. Spring semester grades for seniors are due in advance of those for remaining students.