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Grades & Honors

The following marks are used for undergraduate courses (the number weight assigned to each grade for computation of grade point averages (GPA) is listed in parentheses when applicable): A (4.0), A- (3.7), B+ (3.3), B (3.0), B- (2.7), C+ (2.3), C (2.0), C- (1.7), D+ (1.3), D (1.0), F (0.0), I, P, Q, and W. The marks A, B, C, D, and P are passing marks and confer course credit. The mark F indicates unsatisfactory work and does not confer credit. A grade of F may not be subsequently changed, except when entered in error by the instructor or the registrar.

The grades A through F are known as quality grades and carry a specific weight in calculating official grade point averages (GPA). These averages are regularly calculated to determine Dean’s List, academic probation, and general honors. They may influence awards like Phi Beta Kappa and departmental honors.

NOTE: Only grades for University of Chicago courses are calculated into a student’s GPA. Grades from advanced standing (transfer courses) do not contribute to the GPA. Grades from off-campus study abroad or domestic programs do not contribute to the GPA unless the courses are listed on the transcript with University of Chicago course numbers.

Students who wish to receive a passing grade rather than a quality grade have one option open to them: Pass/Fail (P/F). Students considering P/F grading should consult with their College adviser early in the quarter because this option is subject to conditions and restrictions. Whether a course with a grade of P can be counted toward a student’s degree depends on how it is to be used in the student’s program. All general education courses must be taken for quality grades and most courses satisfying requirements in the major must be taken for quality grades. However, some majors permit a limited number of P marks. For P/F grading, the student and instructor reach an informal agreement, at the discretion of the instructor and according to departmental policy, before the instructor submits a grade for the course; no action is required by the student’s adviser.

The mark P indicates that the student has submitted sufficient evidence to receive a passing grade. As some departments give credit only for a grade of C- or higher, students should establish with the instructor what constitutes passing work. A mark of P may not later be changed to a quality grade, and a quality grade may not be changed to a P. Although the P confers course credit, it is not calculated in the GPA. Students who do not pass a P/F course receive an F which counts as a zero in the calculation of the GPA.

The mark I (Incomplete) is intended for a student who has not completed the requirements of a course before the end of the quarter but who has (1) made satisfactory arrangements with the instructor to complete the remaining work, (2) completed the majority of the requirements of the course with work that is of a passing quality, and (3) participated actively in the course. The student is also responsible for completing and submitting an official Incomplete Form, which must be obtained from the student’s College adviser. The student must submit the request for an Incomplete to the instructor before the end of the course. Approval to complete work late is at the discretion of the instructor and/or according to departmental policy. Incompletes must be finished within a period of time agreed upon between student and instructor. In the absence of a specified due date, the work must be completed within one year. When the work is completed, the grade for the course is entered on the transcript following the I, which remains on the academic record. If the course work has not been completed within the specified time period and an extension has not been granted, the student will receive a W unless a grade is indicated on the Incomplete Form.

The mark Q stands for “Query.” It is entered on the student’s grade report by the registrar when the instructor has failed to submit a final grade for a student or has entered an I for the student without also submitting an Incomplete Form. Students with a Q on their grade reports should consult the instructor immediately about the reason for the Q. Students must have the Q replaced with a grade or with an official Incomplete Form before Friday of the fourth week of the succeeding quarter, or the Q will be converted to a W.

A grade submitted by an instructor to replace a Q will be entered on the academic record following an I unless the instructor states that the student’s work was completed on time. The Q should not be interpreted as an informal Incomplete or as a way to avoid an I on the transcript. Rather, students are strongly urged to protect themselves against misunderstandings and missed deadlines by arranging for an official Incomplete if one proves necessary.

The mark W (or WF or WP) means that the student has decided after the third week of the quarter not to complete the work of the course. Students who wish to exercise this option must request a W before the date of the final examination or the due date of the final paper. A request for a withdrawal made before the deadline cannot be denied except in cases of academic dishonesty. The instructor and/or the department have the option to issue a W, a WF, or a WP. No credit is conferred for any of these marks. A W may not subsequently be changed to any other mark.

Students who register for graduate-level courses are subject to the policies governing graduate grading. Students should discuss the implications of these policies with their advisers before registering for courses numbered 30000 and above. NOTE: Grades earned in graduate-level courses contribute to a student’s GPA as indicated earlier in this section.

Dean's List

Students who have achieved the following over the course of one academic year are eligible for dean's list:

  • A minimum annual grade point average of 3.25
  • Completion of a minimum of nine courses with at least seven quality grades (A, B, C, etc.)

Dean's List is awarded annually on July 1 for the previous academic year and is noted on the transcript as "Dean's List [academic year]." For the purpose of Dean's List only, the point equivalency of an outstanding "I" or "Q" is zero. Blank grades are ignored. The Dean's List is not recomputed for grades received after July 1 or for Summer Quarter grades. Students who take a leave of absence in the Autumn, Winter, or Spring Quarter are ineligible for Dean's List for that year.

General Honors

The notation "Degree [BA/BS] in the College with General Honors [major] awarded [date]" appears on the transcripts of students who have earned an overall grade point average of 3.25 or above when they graduate from the College.

Departmental/Program Honors

The notation "Degree [BA/BS] in the College [major] with Honors awarded [date]" appears on the transcripts of students who have earned departmental/program honors. The requirements for such acknowledgment are individual to each program.

Note: Only grades for University of Chicago courses are calculated into a student's grade point average. Grades from transferred courses do not contribute to the GPA. Grades from off-campus study abroad or domestic programs do not contribute unless the courses have University of Chicago course numbers. It is likely that graduate schools will consider all grades, regardless of origin and whether they are computed by the College into the overall grade point average.

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