The Grading System

At the close of a session or upon the completion of a course, each instructor reports a letter grade indicating the quality of a student’s work in the course. Grade points are assigned for each semester hour of credit earned, according to the following grading system:

Letter Grade Explanation Grade Pts. Per Sem. Hr.
A Marked Excellence 4
B Superior 3
C Average 2
D Passing but low 1
F Failure 0
I Incomplete
S Satisfactory
U Unsatisfactory
W Withdrawn
NR Not Reported
AU Audit
WAU Withdrawn from Audit
WV Course Waived
SP Satisfactory Progress
UP Unsatisfactory Progress


Students wishing to enroll in University classes as auditors must seek and receive the prior written consent of the instructor. They must also, at that time, learn from the instructor what will be expected of them or allowed as an auditor. The earliest date to add an audit is the first day of class. The regular deadline for adding a class will also be the deadline for all of the following:

  1. adding a class as an audit:
  2. changing from grade to audit; and
  3. changing from audit to grade.

Auditors have no claim on the time or service of the instructor. Normally, auditors will be expected to attend, but not required to participate in the oral or written work of the class. If they are allowed to take examinations, the exams would normally not be graded. It is up to the instructor, however, to determine the appropriate requirements or restrictions for auditors for any given course. If students fulfill the expected requirements, their transcript will show no credit for the class, but a designation of “AU.” If they do not meet expectations, a grade of “WAU” will be entered on their transcript. Auditors are identified to the instructor on the official class list. An auditor may not later establish credit in that course by taking a special examination. The course must be repeated to earn credit. Audited courses do not count toward class load for financial aid or other purposes.

Incomplete Grades

It is expected that students will complete all requirements for a course during the time frame of the course. For reasons beyond a student’s control, and upon request by the student or on behalf of the student, an incomplete grade may be assigned by the instructor when there is reasonable certainty the student will successfully complete the course without retaking it. The mark “I,” Incomplete, will be assigned only to the student who has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work up to a time within four weeks of the close of the semester, including the examination period, and whose work is incomplete for reasons satisfactory to his or her instructor.

Incompletes are entered on the final grade roster, and instructors must submit by email a “Report of Incomplete Grade” form to the Office of the Registrar. The instructor may choose any one of the following options for the deadline to complete the course:

  1. The default date as stated in the “UND Schedule of Courses.”
  2. Extend to 12 calendar months after the end of the course.
  3. A date of the instructor’s choosing no later than 12 months after the end of the course.

Incomplete grades will convert to a grade of “FI” if a grade or incomplete extension is not submitted by the instructor to the Office of the Registrar on or before the deadline written on the “Report of Incomplete Grade” form.

The instructor of the course and the dean of the college offering the course for undergraduates or the dean of the School of Graduate Studies for graduate students must approve and sign the “Report of Incomplete Grade” form for any extension of incomplete beyond the default date listed in the “UND Schedule of Courses.” An incomplete grade must be changed by 12 calendar months from the ending date of the class. It is the student’s responsibility to contact their instructor about an incomplete grade posted on the final grade report.

An “I” may be converted as indicated above but cannot be expunged from the record. Students may not register in courses in which they currently hold grades of incomplete, except for courses that allow repeated enrollment. A student will not be allowed to graduate with an unconverted incomplete grade on the academic record.

In Progress Grades

The School of Graduate Studies, Honors Program, or specially approved classes, may assign a grade of “SP,” Satisfactory Progress or “UP,” Unsatisfactory Progress to courses such as Honors Thesis (489), Thesis (998), Dissertation (999), Independent Study (997), ENGL 591 Readings for Ph.D. Comprehensive Examinations, Professional Exhibition (ART 599 Professional Exhibition), or Research (leading to the thesis or dissertation). The “SP” or the “UP” grade for these activities, which usually span several sessions, must remain on the record or may be replaced at the conclusion of the activity, usually a student’s final semester. Grades of “SP” or “UP” are not calculated into term or cumulative GPA values and may be expunged from the record upon submission of final grades in some cases.

Grade Changes

Grade changes must be submitted to the Registrar's Office no later than twelve months after the course has ended and are to be signed by the instructor and dean or dean designee. Grade changes after twelve months or grade changes resulting from student request are to be approved by the Administrative Procedures Committee. All other grade changes are processed upon receipt by the Registrar's Office.

S-U Grades

Grades of S or U rather than the traditional grades of A through F are used by the University under regulations specified. A grade of S grants credit toward graduation but does not affect a student’s grade point average except as outlined below in item number 4. A grade of U also does not affect the grade point average and does not grant credit toward graduation.

Elective S-U Enrollment

A student of sophomore, junior or senior standing (as determined by the Registrar) may elect to enroll in one or more courses per semester for S-U grading subject to the following regulations. Students with fewer than 24 completed credits may elect S-U grading only with the permission of their advisor and dean.

  1. A maximum of 30 semester hours of credit of elected S-U grades may be counted toward his or her baccalaureate degree.
  2. Students may not elect S-U grading for courses in their major. (This restriction does not apply to those courses that have only S-U grading.) In the event a student wishes to major in a field in which he/she has taken a required course for an S-U grade, the department, with the approval of the Academic Dean, may (a) accept the S-U grade, (b) select an additional class to substitute or (c) request the Registrar’s Office to change the S or U to the letter grade submitted by the instructor.
  3. A student may take extra-departmental major requirements for an S-U grade with the approval of the major department chair and his/her Academic Dean.
  4. Repeating a course by S-U registration will eliminate the effects of the earlier grade from a student’s grade point average if the achieved result is an S. Repetition, which results in a U, will leave the effects of the earlier grade intact.

Class rolls and grade sheets will not identify students who are enrolled for S-U grading. Grades of A, B, and C will be converted by the Office of the Registrar to a grade of S. Grades of D and F will be converted to U. Changes in registration to or from S-U grading may, with the approval of the advisor, be made up to the last day to drop the course.

Students who utilize the S-U grading system are cautioned that they may encounter difficulty in having such credit accepted or evaluated, should they attempt to transfer credit to another university, change majors, or make application for graduate or professional study.

Required S-U Courses

Some courses, as approved by the University Curriculum Committee, will be offered by S-U grading only. The restrictions on Elective S-U courses do not apply to these Required S-U courses. These courses may be taken in excess of the 30 hour limitation.

Repetition of Courses

Students generally may repeat courses to attempt to receive a better grade, but restrictions may apply. Individual colleges may limit the number of times that a course may be taken, and may not allow repeats of C or better grades. Examinations for credit, e.g., CLEP, AP, IB, DSS and Foreign Language Placement and Credit Test, may not repeat course grades.

If a course repetition is taken for traditional A through F letter grading, the highest grade achieved in the course will be used in calculating the student’s grade point average. Repeating an approved course with S-U grading will eliminate the effects of previous credits from the student’s GPA if the achieved result is an S, but repetition which results in a U will leave the effects of the earlier grade intact.

Please note: New Federal regulations may not permit financial aid to be used to pay for a repeat of an already passed course. Please contact the Financial Aid Office regarding questions.

While courses may be taken again after a student has graduated, these will not serve to repeat older grades: the older grades will still be counted in the Grade Point Average.

If a student has previously passed the course twice with a “D” or higher, that course will not be counted for federal financial aid.

Raising a “D” Grade

To raise a D grade, a student may have the alternative of retaking a final examination at the time of the first regularly scheduled final examination in the subject if it meets with the approval of the department and dean of the course and the student’s advisor, except in the School of Graduate Studies, School of Law, the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and the College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines. If a student decides to retake the final examination, approval must be obtained from the instructor and department chair of the course and the dean of the college offering the course. No re-examination will be given except at the time of the regularly scheduled examinations at the end of each semester.

Grade Forgiveness

Currently enrolled undergraduate students who have interrupted their college/university education for a period of seven years or more, may petition to exclude all previous grades from GPA calculations. The student may not select certain courses to be part of the seven-year rule, but must include all courses which are seven years or older. Such courses and their actual grades would appear on the student’s academic record, but letter grades would not be calculated for GPA purposes. Excluded courses could not be used to satisfy any academic requirement.

A student requesting this option must have a written petition approved by the student’s academic advisor, department chairperson, and Dean of the college from which the degree is sought. If the student changes degree college after approval of this petition, the student would be required to petition again.

Deficiency Reports

Individual mid-term reports of unsatisfactory work (i.e., D, F, and U) of students are made by all instructors at the end of the first eight weeks of the semester. A grade of D is considered unsatisfactory although it is a passing grade. The Registrar sends deficiency reports to students who have been reported deficient. Reports of deficiency are also sent to the academic deans and advisors to be used for advisement purposes. Deficiency grades do not appear on the student’s permanent record. It is also the student’s responsibility to keep informed of his/her own performance in a class.

Semester Grade Reports

Grade reports are available to students by accessing their records after term grades are posted through UND CampusConnection. Grade reports are not mailed, but a printed copy is available upon written request.