Please see the updated grade policies for Spring 2020

At the end of each semester or term, each student who is registered for a course receives either a grade or a mark in that course. In each case, the grade or mark is one of the following letters: A, B, C, D, F, I, R, S, or W. At the discretion of the instructor, the grade A may be followed by a minus, as A-, and the grades B, C, D may be followed either by a plus, +, or a minus, -. The use of plus and minus indicates performance levels between those suggested by these characteristics:

A Excellent work
B Very good work
C Satisfactory work
D Poor but passing work
F Failing work
I Incomplete
S Satisfactory
R Unsatisfactory
W Withdrawal
NR Indicates a grade that has not been recorded

The grades A, B, C, D, either alone or followed by a plus or minus, and the grade F are called regular grades. Each of these grades has an associated grade point value. These values are listed below:

A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
4.0 3.7 3.3 3.0 2.7 2.3 2.0 1.7 1.3 1.0 0.7


Marks of W, I, R, and S have no grade point value.

The grade point total is the sum of grade points (multiply each grade point value by the number of credits for the course) for all courses with grade point value.

The grade point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the grade point total by the number of credits with grade point value.

For example, using a standard four-credit course as a basis, if a student received two A’s (32 points), one B- (10.8 points), and one C+ (9.2 points) divided by 16 (the number of credits), the GPA would be 3.25. If the student received a grade of F (0 points) in a course, the grade point total would still be divided by 16 credits, and the GPA would be lower.

To encourage a wider choice of courses by lessening the student’s concern for the grade point average (GPA), selected courses may be taken using the S-D-R grading option, where:

S Satisfactory performance - the student would have received a grade of A, B, or C
D Equivalent to letter grade of D
R Unsatisfactory (failing) performance

The following rules apply to courses taken on this basis:

  1. The S-D-R grading option is not available for courses taken to fulfill a requirement in the core curriculum. 
  2. No more than one-eighth of the credits taken through the undergraduate program may be taken on the S-D-R grading option. 
  3. A student must complete a form at the Office of Student Data and Registrar for any course to be taken on this basis. The published deadline date is in the academic calendar for each term. Once a student opts in to the S-D-R option, the student may not revert back to regular grading.
  4. If the course is part of the major or minor program (including allied requirements), the signature of the department chair is required. 
  5. If a student receives a letter grade of C- or above, the mark of S (satisfactory) and credit will be given. If the grade of D, D+, or D- is received, the student has the option of:
    • accepting a mark of R with no effect on the GPA and no credit earned, or
    • earning the credit, with the grade of D, D+, or D- becoming the grade of record and used in computing the GPA.
  1. All experiential learning courses are marked with S for satisfactory work and R for unsatisfactory work. 
  2. For individual study or research courses, the mark of S is given for satisfactory work and the mark of R for unsatisfactory work. If a student wishes to be graded according to the regular system (A, B, C, D, F), this choice must be approved by the appropriate faculty supervisor and the department chair. In addition, this choice must be indicated on the form used to outline the individual study project. 
  3. Several other courses in various departments are routinely marked with S for satisfactory and R for unsatisfactory work. The grading system for such courses is indicated as part of the regular course description. 
  4. Courses that are routinely graded on the S-R system are not counted among the one-eighth of a student’s courses for which the S-D-R grading system may be selected.

The mark of I is used if the student has not completed the work of the course, has good reason for delay, and has made arrangements with the instructor before grades for the course are due. Ordinarily, good reason will involve matters not wholly within the control of the student such as illness. The mark may not be used to allow a student to improve a grade by completing additional work over and above that ordinarily expected for the course or by repetition of work already submitted to the instructor. The mark of I should not be used without prior arrangement between instructor and student.

If a mark of I is assigned, an Incomplete Form must be submitted to the office of Student Data Registrar. This form includes a description of work left to complete, a deadline for completion, the option for an instructor to provide a provisional grade based on work the student has completed to date, and signatures of both the student and instructor.

The student must complete the designated work and submit it to the instructor by the date designated by the instructor on the incomplete form. The latest possible date for entering a final grade is May 1 for an incomplete received in fall semester or January term and by December 1 for an incomplete received in spring semester or a summer session.

If a final grade is not submitted by the faculty member before the deadline, the mark of I will change to the provisional grade assigned on the form, or to a grade of F or R if no provisional grade was assigned. The deadline may not be extended. The instructor may change a resulting F or R by means of university grade change policies and procedures (see below).

An instructor may change a grade using the Grade Change Form only if there has been an error in the computation, transcription, or reporting of the grade. All grade changes must be submitted to the Office of Student Data and Registrar within 6 months of the original grade submission. From six months until one year after the original grade submission, changes require the approval of the department chair and dean. 

After one year, grade changes are not allowed.

Instructors may change grades of F that resulted from the lapse of incomplete notations, but those changes require department chair and dean approval.

Changes may not be made on the basis of additional work completed by a student unless all members of the class had the option to submit additional work.

Final grades can be accessed by the student through Murphy Online, the St. Thomas student self-service system.  

St. Thomas will post non-traditional grades that meet our minimum transfer grade policy (these include AB or a grade value of 3.5 and BC or a grade value of 2.5). to be posted, all non-traditional grades must be the equivalent of a C- or higher.