Semester Grades - Fall 2016

Deadline for Submitting Grades
Turning in Grades
Getting Help
Acceptable Grades
Grading an Independent Study
Failure Forms and Comment Cards
Grades Available (to students) in Polaris
Grade Changes
Posting Grades in a Public Place

Deadline for Submitting Grades:

Tuesday, 3 January 2017, 3:00pm: All grades are due in Polaris.

Turning in Grades:

Submit grades for the students in your classes through Polaris. You may access Polaris wherever you have an Internet connection. After logging into Polaris, click on the Enter Grades tab. Once you choose one of your classes, choose a grade for each student from the grades drop-down list. 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 (with screen shots) for Submitting Grades in Polaris [pdf]

Getting Help:

Concerns about possible violations of the Academic Honor Code/Social Code should be addressed to Dean Levy ( in Student Affairs. Call or email the Polaris Help Line (721-1414, if you have trouble using Polaris to submit grades. Questions about Incompletes should be addressed to the Dean of Student Affairs office or Julie Bedard ( Contact if you have questions about the grading process.

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.1

1 Bowdoin College 2013-2014 Catalogue, page 24

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 have the grades CR, D, and F next to their names. A grade of CR (credit), D, or F (fail) should be submitted for these students. 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 (withdrew).

Each student on your grade list must be given one of the above grades no later than the deadline for submitting grades. From the College Catalogue: "All final academic work, including final examinations, final papers, final lab reports, and final projects, is due at or before 5:00 p.m. 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 due to a pending Judicial Board case.  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.


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

Students must have initiated 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 or in this case Friday, February 5th, 2016. 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 them 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.

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.  Upon submitting an "F" grade in the Polaris "Enter Grades" tab a "pop-up" message box will display next to the grade (shown below).  Clicking this box will bring you to the Failure Form.

Fail Form Bubble

Grades Available (to students) in Polaris:

Students will be able to view their grades in Polaris no later than Thursday January 5th, 2017.

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 Julie Bedard ( 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 s/he can do anything to raise a grade after that grade has been submitted.

Posting Grades in a Public Place:

Since students may access their grades in Polaris, there should be no need to post grades in a public place. Please remember that the posting of grades in a public place by name or traceable identification number is prohibited by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). Bowdoin's student identification numbers are easily traceable, particularly in a small class. Please call Martina Duncan (x3797) if you have questions about this.