Explanation of Grading System

Text:
Increase font size
Decrease font size

Grades based upon the following system of marking are the only authorized grades to be used on the Official Class Roll and Grade Report Form.

train image 7 Undergraduate Grades
train image 7 Graduate Grades
train image 7 Law School Grades
train image 7 Pharmacy Professional Program (PHARMD) Grades
train image 7 Classroom & Laboratory Courses
train image 7 Clinical Courses
train image 7 All Courses
train image 7 Dentistry Professional Program (DDS) Grades
train image 7 Medical School (MD) Grades

Undergraduate Grades

Letter grades of A, B, C, D, and F are used. Pluses and minuses may be assigned to grades of B and C. Minus may be assigned to an A, and plus may be assigned to a D.

Grades of AB, FA, IN, PS, SP, and W are assigned as explained below.

Grade points are assigned as follows:
A 4.0 C 2.0
A- 3.7 C- 1.7
B+ 3.3 D+ 1.3
B 3.0 D 1.0
B- 2.7 F 0.0
C+ 2.3    

Temporary grades of IN or AB are treated as an F (zero quality points) until removed. Courses with a grade (or notation) of PS, SP, BE, W or PL are ignored in establishing the quality point average.

The following definitions will be used as a guide for the assignment of undergraduate grades.

A

Mastery of course content at the highest level of attainment that can reasonably be expected of students at a given stage of development.

The A grade states clearly that the students have shown such outstanding promise in the aspect of the discipline under study that he/she may be strongly encouraged to continue.

B

Strong performance demonstrating a high level of attainment for a student at a given stage of development.

The B grade states that the student has shown solid promise in the aspect of the discipline under study.

C

A totally acceptable performance demonstrating an adequate level of attainment for a student at a given stage of development.

The C grade states that, while not yet showing unusual promise, the student may continue to study in the discipline with reasonable hope of intellectual development.

D

A marginal performance in the required exercises demonstrating a minimal passing level of attainment.

A student has given no evidence of prospective growth in the discipline; an accumulation of D grades should be taken to mean that the student would be well advised not to continue in the academic field.

F

For whatever reason, an unacceptable performance. The F grade indicates that the student’s performance in the required exercises has revealed almost no understanding of the course content.

A grade of F should warrant an advisor’s questioning whether the student may suitably register for further study in the discipline before remedial work is undertaken.

AB

Absent from final examination, but could have passed if exam taken.

This is a temporary grade that converts to an F* after the last day of class for the next regular semester unless the student makes up the exam.

FA

Failed and absent from exam.

The FA grade is given when the undergraduate student did not attend the exam, and could not pass the course regardless of performance on the exam. This would be appropriate for a student that never attended the course or has excessive absences in the course, as well as missing the exam.

IN

Work incomplete.

This is a temporary grade that converts to F* at the end of eight weeks into the next semester unless the student makes up the incomplete work.

PS

Passing grade for a course using Pass-Fail grading.

For undergraduate students who elect to take a class under the PS/D/D+/F option, the instructor must assign the regular appropriate letter grade. Instructors are not informed of which students have elected the Pass-Fail option.

The Office of the University Registrar will convert grades of C- or better to PS.

SP

Satisfactory Progress (Authorized only for the first portion of an Honors Program.)

W

Withdrew passing. Entered when a student drops after the six-week drop period.

Return to top

Graduate Grades

The following definitions will be used as a guide for the assignment of Graduate grades.
H

High Pass

P

Pass

L

Low Pass

F

Fail

IN

Work Incomplete

A temporary grade that converts to an F* unless the grade is replaced with a permanent grade by the last day of classes for the same term one year later.

AB

Absent from Final Examination

A temporary grade that converts to an F* unless the grade is replaced with a permanent grade by the last day of classes for the same term one year later.

NOTE: Graduate students enrolled in courses numbered 099 and below (prior to Fall 2006) and 399 and below (starting with Fall 2006) should receive undergraduate grades.

Return to top

Law School Grades

Effective August 2007, letter grades of A, B, C, D, and F are used. Pluses and minuses may be assigned, but there is no grade of D-.

In rare instances, a grade of A+ is awarded in recognition of exceptionally high performance. Some designated courses are grades on a pass-fail basis.

Grade points are assigned as follows:
A+ 4.3 C 2.0
A 4.0 C- 1.7
A- 3.7 D+ 1.3
B+ 3.3 D 1.0
B 3.0 C+ 2.3
B- 2.7    

From Fall 1993 – August 2007, grades were assigned on a numerical scale ranging from 4.0 to 0.0. A grade of .7 will be considered the lowest passing grade. In rare instances, a grade of 4.3 may be awarded in recognition of exceptionally high performance.

4.3 3.5 2.9 2.3 1.7 1.1
4.0 3.4 2.8 2.2 1.6 1.0
3.9 3.3 2.7 2.1 1.5 0.9
3.8 3.2 2.6 2.0 1.4 0.8
3.7 3.1 2.5 1.9 1.3 0.7
3.6 3.0 2.4 1.8 1.2 0.0

The following definitions will be used as a guide for the assignment of undergraduate grades.

IN

Work Incomplete

AB

Absent from Final Examination

PS

Passing grade for course using Pass-Fail grading

F

Failed

Return to top

Pharmacy Professional Program (PHARMD) Grades

Effective Fall 1997 Semester for Professional Pharmacy (PHARMD) students:

H

Clear Excellence

HP

Above Average

P

Entirely Satisfactory

LP

Below Average

L

Low Passing

F

Failed

IN

Work Incomplete

AB

Absent from Final Examination

Adopted in 1997, and amended in 2001 to eliminate +/- grading for all cohorts admitted to the Doctor of Pharmacy (professional degree) program in or after Fall 2002:

Return to top

Classroom & Laboratory Courses

The following definitions will be used as a guide for the assignment of Classroom & Laboratory Courses grades.
A

Clear Excellence

B

High Level of Achievement

C

Satisfactory Level of Achievement

Return to top

Clinical Courses

The following definitions will be used as a guide for the assignment of Clinical Courses grades.
H

Clear Excellence

P

Entirely Satisfactory

Return to top

All Courses

The following definitions will be used as a guide for the assignment of All Courses grades.
F

Failed, Unacceptable Level of Achievement

AB

Absent from Final Examination

A temporary grade; converts to an “F*” unless replaced with a permanent grade by the last day of classes for the same term one year later OR at the end of the term in which the course is next taught.

IN

Work Incomplete

A temporary grade; converts to an F* unless replaced with a permanent grade after one year OR at the end of the term in which the course is next taught.

PS

Passing grade (for elective courses using pass-fail grading under the University’s PS/D/D+/F option)

NOTE: Graduate Programs in the School of Pharmacy (MS or PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences) use the standard University graduate grading scheme. No quality points are assigned to these grades.

Return to top

Dentistry Professional Program (DDS) Grades

The following definitions will be used as a guide for the assignment of Dentistry Professional Program (DDS) grades.
A

Highest Level of Attainment

B&

High Level of Attainment

C

Adequate Level of Attainment

D

Minimal Passing Level of Attainment

F

Failed, Unacceptable Performance

IN

Work Incomplete

AB

Absent from Exam

PS

Pass

Return to top

Medical School (MD) Grades

The School of Medicine records their own grades and houses the transcripts for students seeking the MD degree.

Return to top


Have a question about Grades?

Contact the records team at grades@unc.edu