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Academic Information and Regulations

Academic Credit and Regulations

CSULB studentlooks for a book at the University Library

Grades and Grading Procedures

Part One: Definitions

The following definitions apply to final course grades assigned in all undergraduate and graduate courses:

“A” - Performance of the student has been at the highest level, showing sustained excellence in meeting all course requirements and exhibiting an unusual degree of intellectual initiative.

“B” - Performance of the student has been at a high level, showing consistent and effective achievement in meeting course requirements.

“C” - Performance of the student has been at an adequate level, meeting the basic requirements of the course.

“D” - Performance of the student has been less than adequate, meeting only the minimum course requirements.

“F” - Performance of the student has been such that minimal course requirements have not been met.

“CR/NC” - In some courses, the university permits students to select evaluation on a “Credit” or “No Credit” basis. These grades are defined as follows:

“CR” is equivalent to an “A,” “B,” or “C,” and “NC” is equivalent to a “D,” “F,” or “WU” (defined below). In two circumstances a final course grade of “CR” reflects work at the level of “B” or better, and a final course grade of “NC” reflects work at the level of “C,” “D,” “F,” or “WU.” Those two circumstances are:

  1. in certain professional preparation courses, providing that the students are notified of such a policy both in class materials and in the catalog course description; and
  2. for graduate students in all courses at the 300, 400, 500, and 600 levels.

Special regulations and procedureså governing the “CR/NC” grading system are described below in Part Two.

The following definitions apply to administrative grading symbols assigned in all undergraduate and graduate courses:

“AU” - “Audit.” Enrollment as an auditor is subject to permission of the instructor, provided that enrollment in a course as an auditor shall be permitted only after students otherwise eligible to enroll on a credit basis have had an opportunity to do so. Auditors are subject to the same fee structure as credit students and regular class attendance is expected. It is the responsibility of the student to request from the instructor what is meant by regular class attendance. The symbol “AU” is posted to the student’s permanent academic record unless the student fails to attend a sufficient number of class meetings. In these cases, the instructor will request that the student be administratively withdrawn from the course. Once enrolled as an auditor, a student may not change to credit status unless such a change is requested prior to the last day to add classes. A student who is enrolled for credit may not change to “Audit” after the last day to add classes.

“I” - “Incomplete”. The symbol “I” (Incomplete Authorized) indicates that a portion of required course work (normally not more than one-third) has not been completed and evaluated in the prescribed time period due to unforeseen, but fully justified, reasons and that there is still a possibility of earning credit. It is the responsibility of the student to bring pertinent information to the attention of the instructor and to determine from the instructor the remaining course requirements that must be satisfied to remove the “Incomplete.” A final course grade is assigned when that work has been completed and evaluated.

An “I” must normally be made up within one calendar year immediately following the end of the term during which it was assigned. This limitation prevails whether or not the student maintains continuous enrollment. Failure to complete the assigned work will result in an “I” being converted to an “F,” except as noted in item 3) below.

An extension of time may be granted for contingencies such as military service or documented, serious health or personal problems.

The conditions for removal of the “Incomplete” shall be reduced to writing by the instructor on an “Assignment of Incomplete Grade” form. This form shall include a statement of:

  1. all work completed in the course, the grades assigned for that work, and the percentages of the final course grade accounted for by each item;
  2. the work not completed and the percentage that each uncompleted assignment will count toward the final course grade; and
  3. the final course grade the instructor will assign if the course requirements are not completed within one calendar year, or a shorter period as specified on the form, immediately following the term in which the “I” was assigned, without respect to continuous enrollment of the student during this period.

If clear percentages for assignments cannot be delineated, instructors shall explain any special conditions for determining final course grades for work wholly or partially made up.

A copy of the form is to be given to the student, a copy is to be retained in the department office, and a copy is to be filed with the Office of Enrollment Services at the time final course grades are submitted. Normally, the student should sign the “Assignment of Incomplete Grade” form. If the student is eligible for an “Incomplete”, a faculty member may assign an “I” even when the student cannot be present to sign the form. In such a case, the instructor will forward to the student a copy of the form via the department office. When the work agreed upon has been completed and evaluated, a final course grade will be assigned by the instructor. If an "Incomplete" is assigned without an "Assignment of Incomplete Grade" form attached, or with a form that is not filled in acceptably, the symbol of “WU” will be assigned to the student. The “Assignment of Incomplete Grade” form will be considered unacceptable if:

  1. more than one-third of the work remains to be completed, and no justification has been provided;
  2. the work required to complete the course has not been specified;
  3. the faculty member failed to sign the form; or
  4. the percentage fields have not been filled in and a justification for their absence has not been supplied.

The appropriate associate dean of the college shall determine whether or not the justification is adequate. Notice of the missing form, or a copy of the unacceptable form will be sent to the department chair with the request that the chair work with the faculty member to provide the information necessary to assign the final course grade of "Incomplete."

“RD” - “Report Delayed”. This symbol is used exclusively by Enrollment Services to permit processing of all final course grades when the final course grades for an entire course section have not been reported by the instructor. The symbol does not imply any academic evaluation. If an instructor fails to report a grade for an individual student, Enrollment Services will assume that an “I” could not be assigned and so will enter a symbol “WU,” discussed below.

“RP” - “Report in Progress”. The “RP” symbol is used in connection with courses requiring multiple enrollment, i.e., that extend beyond one academic term. It indicates that work is in progress but that assignment of a final course grade must await completion of additional work. Re-enrollment is permitted prior to assignment of a final course grade provided the cumulative units attempted do not exceed the total number applicable to the student’s educational objective. Work is to be completed within one (1) calendar year immediately following the end of the term during which it was assigned except for graduate degree theses. If the “RP” symbol is not replaced by a final course grade within the specified time period or prior to the student’s declared graduation date, it will be changed to a “W.” An “RP” symbol cannot be replaced by an "I” (Incomplete) symbol; an “I” is not a final course grade.

“W” - “Withdrawal”. Withdrawal from classes is discussed in more detail in this section of the Catalog. The symbol “W” is used to signify that a student formally withdrew from the course; no reference or implication of passing or failing progress at the time of withdrawal is made or implied. The symbol “W” is not a grade and does not alter a student’s grade point average.

“WU” - “Unauthorized Withdrawal”. The symbol “WU” indicates that an enrolled student did not complete course requirements but did not withdraw from the course. It is used when, in the opinion of the instructor, completed assignments or course activities or both were insufficient to make normal evaluation of academic performance possible (letter grades “A” - “F” or an “Incomplete”). For purposes of grade point average this symbol is equivalent to an “F.” A student who receives a “WU” may not complete additional work and have the “WU” changed to a letter grade. In courses that are graded “Credit/No Credit” or in cases where the student has elected “Credit/No Credit” evaluation, use of the symbol “WU” is inappropriate and “NC” will be used instead. A student who receives the symbol “WU” in the first semester of enrollment at CSULB will have that symbol automatically changed to a “W”. In such cases the student will be notified that this policy applies for that first semester at CSULB only.

Part Two: Course Grading Option

The faculty determine in advance which courses may be taken for “A” - “F” grade only, “CR/NC” only, or either. When a course is designated for “CR/NC” grading only or for “A" - “F” grading only, mention of this fact shall be incorporated in the catalog course description. Any undergraduate course may be designated for or closed to the option of “CR/NC” grading whether or not the course is a requirement for an undergraduate degree major, minor, certificate, credential, or concentration.

No course in which a final course grade of “CR” has been assigned may be used to fulfill the requirements for a master’s degree, except that the final course grade of “CR” may be permitted for master’s theses or projects (to a maximum of six [6] units) when the individual department has specifically designated “CR/NC” grading for the thesis/project course in the department, and for fieldwork, practicum, and/or internship courses (also to a maximum of six [6] units). The option of “CR/NC” grading for graduate students in undergraduate courses is subject to specific regulations of the individual departments regarding their graduate students and regarding the authorization for this option intrinsic to the approved course. Otherwise, no limitation exists as to the number of courses taken by graduate students under this policy. An undergraduate student may elect “CR/NC” grading in no more than a total of 24 units, of which no more than twelve (12) may be upper division units. No more than eight (8) units per semester may be taken for “CR/NC” grades.

Exemptions from these limitations are:

  1. courses graded “CR/NC” taken at another institution,
  2. course credit earned by examination, and
  3. courses in which “CR/NC” grading is the only form of grading.

The decision to elect the “CR/NC” grading option for a course must be made by the last day to add classes. To elect “CR/NC” grading, the student must obtain the signature of the student’s major advisor and a stamp from the department/program in which the course is offered on the appropriate form. The student must then file the signed form with the Office of Enrollment Services. The decision to register for a course on a “CR/NC” basis remains in effect unless a change is requested prior to or on the last day to add classes.
The only exception to this rule is for students who declare new majors after the last day to add classes. If the newly declared major requires letter grading for the course in question and the student has elected “CR/NC” grading, then the student may request that “A” - “F” grading be used. Such a change must be requested no later than the last day of instruction. The grading option may not be changed after the end of the semester.

Part Three: Final Assessments

  1. Every course except Distance Learning Courses shall meet and have an educational experience at the date and time listed in the Final Examination Schedule.
  2. Every course shall have a final assessment appropriate to the course that shall cover a significant proportion of the course.
  3. All instructors shall administer the final assessment (e.g., an exam or presentation) or have it due (e.g., a paper or project) at a specified time that falls within the date and time listed in the Final Examination Schedule, as part or all of an educational experience.
  4. The college dean must approve any exception to these requirements.