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Evaluation of Academic Progress
Grades represent the permanent official record of a student’s academic performance. The grading system at Iowa State operates according to the following regulations:
1. Student performance or status is recorded by the grades and marks described below. A student’s grade point average is calculated on the basis of credits earned at Iowa State with the grades and quality points shown below. Credits earned with P, S, or T are not used in calculating the grade point average but may be applied toward meeting degree requirements. A cumulative grade point average of 2.00 is required for a bachelor’s degree.
P—Passing mark obtained under the Pass-Not Pass system. See Index, Pass-Not Pass.
NP—Non-passing mark obtained under the Pass-Not Pass system. See Index, Pass-Not Pass.
S—Satisfactory completion of a course offered on a Satisfactory-Fail grading basis. May also be reported to indicate satisfactory performance in R (required-credit) courses, and in courses numbered 290, 490, 590, and 690.
T—Satisfactory performance (equivalent to a grade of C or better in courses numbered 100-499, and a grade of B or better in courses numbered 500-699) in a special examination for academic credit. X—The course was officially dropped by the student after the first week of the term.
N—No report was submitted by the instructor. This is not a recognized grade or mark; it merely indicates the instructor has not submitted a grade and that a grade report has been requested.
I—Incomplete. An incomplete mark may be assigned when the student is passing at the time of the request, but special circumstances beyond the student’s control prevent completion of the course. In general, failing the final exam or project or not submitting course work as a result of inadequate preparation or learning are not valid excuses.
The student and instructor must complete and sign an incomplete contract (Incomplete Mark Report form) that states the reason for the I, the requirements for resolving it, and the date by which it must be resolved, not to exceed one calendar year. The instructor then enters an I on the final grade report, attaches the form to the report, and submits both to the registrar.If the student is not available at the end of the term to sign the Incomplete Mark Report form because of ill health or other reasons, the instructor may assign an incomplete mark and submit the form without the student’s signature. The Office of the Registrar will record the incomplete mark and mail a copy of the form to the student. If the student chooses not to accept the incomplete, the student has until midterm of the following semester to contact his or her instructor and request a grade be submitted to the registrar. If the student has not contacted the instructor by midterm, the student must resolve the incomplete according to the conditions set forth in the Incomplete Mark Report form.
When a student completes the requirements specified on the Incomplete Mark Report form, the instructor submits the appropriate grade, which becomes part of the student’s cumulative, but not term, grade-point average. The grade does not replace the I on the record. The I remains on the record for the applicable term.
A final course grade, once submitted to the registrar, may not be changed to an Incomplete except to correct an error at the request of the instructor and with the approval of the instructor’s department head and the dean of the instructor’s college. The instructor should send a card (Grade Report to the Registrar) reporting the change, and an Incomplete Mark Report form to the appropriate dean who will forward them to the registrar if the change is approved.
Incompletes in all courses must be resolved by the middle of the student’s term of graduation. Repeating a course will not resolve an I mark. A mark of I will automatically change to a grade of F after one calendar year (whether or not the student was enrolled during the period).
2. To change a grade or mark already reported to the registrar, the instructor submits a change card (Grade Report to the Registrar). This card is used for resolving an I with a grade, for correcting an instructor error, or for the late report of a grade.
3. Midterm Grades. The registrar will collect C-, D, and F midterm grades and nonattendance notifications from the instructor on the midterm list and report this information to students and their advisers using AccessPlus. In addition to returning the midterm list, the instructor is responsible for informing the class of the basis on which midterm grades have been submitted.
The purpose of midterm grades is to provide the student and adviser with a timely warning that the student’s academic performance to that point in the course may be lower than desirable. Students who receive midterms are encouraged to discuss their academic performance with the course instructor and their adviser.
4. Grades in all courses attempted remain on each student’s record. If a course is repeated, the record will show the grade obtained on the initial attempt as well as grades received on subsequent attempts.
5. The cumulative grade point average is calculated by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the total number of credits in all courses attempted. Grades of S, P, NP, and T are not counted in calculating the grade point average. If a course is repeated, the cumulative grade point average is calculated according to the process described in item 6a below.
6. Repeating Courses.
a. The most recent grade for a course a student repeats will be used in computing the student’s cumulative grade point average rather than the previous grade(s), up to a limit of 15 credits. (This could result in a lowered grade point average if the second grade is lower than the first, or even loss of credit if the grade is lowered to an F.) All grades will remain on the student’s record.
b. Students may repeat any course for which an F grade or any passing grade except P or S was received, but they may not elect to repeat the course under the Pass-Not Pass system.
c. Beyond 15 credits of repeats, both grades will be included in computing the cumulative grade point average.
d. Courses should be repeated as soon as possible, preferably within three semesters in residence, because of changes that occur with course updating, change in course number, or revision in the number of credits.
e. Approval to repeat a course in which the course number or number of credits has changed must be noted on a Designation of Repeated Course form, which can be obtained from departmental offices. This form must be signed by the head of the department offering the course and by the student’s adviser, and then taken to the Office of the Registrar. Deadlines for filing repeated course forms for full-semester and half-semester courses are published in the university calendar.
f. Transfer students may repeat courses at Iowa State University for which a D or F was received at another institution. They must process a Designated Repeat Form indicating they are repeating the course to reduce a transfer deficiency. Such repeated credits will count toward the 15-credit request limit and will affect only their transfer deficiency.
g. A student who has earned an F at Iowa State University may repeat the course at another institution and the credits earned may be applied toward graduation at Iowa State, but the grade earned will not be used in computing a cumulative grade point average.
7. Students who want to protest a grade submitted by an instructor should follow the procedures described in the section, Appeal of Academic Grievances.