Grading Method and Procedures

The following grading system is used in reporting a final evaluation of the work of graduate students in courses or thesis research:

  • The grade of A indicates excellent performance for students in graduate courses. 
  • The grade of B indicates average performance for students in graduate courses.
  • The grade of C indicates below-average performance for students in graduate courses.
  • The grade of D carries no graduate credit but will be used to determine the student’s grade point average.  Failure will normally be indicated by a D
  • The grade of F carries no graduate credit but will be used to determine the student’s grade point average.   A grade of F indicates that the student has not achieved even a minimum grasp of the essentials of the course.

The Point Average and Scholastic Standing

The student's scholastic standing is indicated by the quality point average (also called "grade point average," "grade average," or "point average").

For determining this average, every grade has a quality point value for each semester hour it represents, as follows:

  • A, four quality points
  • B, three points
  • C, two points
  • D, one point
  • F, zero points

For example, an A in a three-hour course is worth 12 quality points; a D in a four-hour course, four points; and an F in any course, zero points. To find the point average, the total number of quality points earned is divided by the total GPA hours. Thus, a student who earns 16 hours and 40 quality points has a point average of 2.50. Only grades of A, B, C, D, and F are included in the calculation of the point average.

A graduate student may not elect to take a course under the credit/no credit option.

A student has the privilege of repeating a course once, but the repetition is treated merely as another course, along with the first, in calculating the student’s grade point average. Any required course grade of D or F must be repeated and passed with a grade of C or better.

Upon transfer to a new graduate program, a student with concurrence of the advisor, program director and department chair, may petition the dean of Graduate Studies for the exclusion from the calculation of the student's grade point average, previous courses that do not apply to the new degree program. The grades will be removed from the GPA calculation but will remain on the transcript. In no case may courses be excluded from the calculation of the grade point average once a graduate degree has been conferred.

Request a recalculation of your GPA after repeating a course.

Beginning Fall 2023, current graduate students may improve their Grade Point Average (GPA) by repeating a course in which a grade of “B”, “C”, "D" or "F" was earned and requesting a recalculation of their GPA using the higher grade that was earned when the class was repeated.

In order to recalculate the GPA, the repetition must be consistent with the policy on course repetition (detailed below), and the student must initiate the recalculation process with the approval of their Graduate Program Director.  

The course grade will be excluded from the GPA, but the letter grade will remain on the official transcript and noted with an “R” indicating the course has been repeated.  
Only students currently attending the University may request this recalculation privilege. Only courses taken at Youngstown State University may be used for the recalculation process (both the original and subsequent course). The Recalculation form and the Petition for a Late Withdrawal cannot be used for the same course. 

Only one GPA recalculation for any course will be applied to the student’s transcript record. The course repetition policy limits students to taking a course no more than twice. Students whose degree (undergraduate or graduate) has been conferred cannot repeat a course for recalculation of the students' GPA. 

The GPA can be recalculated for up to three courses.  

All GPA recalculations completed as a result of the GPA Recalculation form option are final and cannot be reversed. Once your degree has been conferred a GPA Recalculation form cannot be submitted as the academic transcript (grades and other notations) is finalized when a degree is posted to the permanent record. 

Some graduate programs may not permit the repetition of some courses for the purpose of recalculation of a student’s GPA. Submission of the GPA Recalculation form does not guarantee approval.   

Graduate workshops are graded on an S/U (satisfactory/unsatisfactory) basis.

Grade of Incomplete (I)

An incomplete grade of "I" may be given to a student who has been doing satisfactory work in a course but, for reasons beyond the control of the student and deemed justifiable by the instructor, had not completed all requirements for a course when grades were submitted. A letter grade may not be changed to an "I" after the term has ended and grades have been recorded. A written explanation of the reason for the "I" must be forwarded by the instructor to the Office of Records. This explanation will be included in the student's permanent record, with copies to the student and department chairperson. For fall term courses, the final date to complete an "I" will be March 1 of the following term; for the spring term courses, September 1; for all summer term courses, October 1. With approval by the instructor and the dean of the college in which the course is taught, the completion date may be extended. Courses not completed by the appropriate date will be converted to an "F."

Students should not register for the same course the subsequent term. Rather, the student should work individually with the instructor to fulfill the course requirements. The instructor will initiate a grade change upon completion of the course requirements. If no formal grade change occurs within the allotted time frame, the I automatically converts to an "F." Any I that is still pending by graduation will be converted to an "F."

If a student receives an "I" as a result of being summoned to active military duty, the student will have one academic year from the date when he or she is released from active duty to complete the course requirements and have the change of grade recorded. It is the student's responsibility to inform the registrar or associate director of records regarding the Incomplete grade.

Department chairs are granted authority to convert grades of "I" into final grades in cases where instructors may have severed connections with the university or have been otherwise unable to convert the grades.

With approval by the instructor and the dean of the college where the course is taught, the completion date may be extended. Courses not completed by the appropriate date will be converted to an F.

Grade of Withdrawal (W)

"W" represents a withdrawal properly processed within the period established for each semester.  A grade of “W” shall appear on a student’s academic record for any course withdrawal(s) processed after the 14th day of the fall or spring semester through the 60% period of the semester.  For summer semester courses, a grade of “W” shall appear on a student’s academic record for any course withdrawal(s) processed after the 7th day of a session through the 60% period of the session. For courses involving foreign travel, the last day to drop a course with a "W" shall be the date at which the student first leaves the campus to begin the travel. Withdrawal after the designated date (or an improper withdrawal) is recorded as "F." Withdrawal thereafter (or improperly done, at any time) is recorded as "F."

Petitions for Late Withdrawal must be submitted within one year from the time a grade in the course was earned. If the grade resulted from circumstances over which the student had no control, the student may petition the appropriate dean for a late withdrawal. A Petition for Late Withdrawal and the Repetition Form cannot be used for the same course. In other words, Petition for a Late Withdrawal cannot be processed for any course that was repeated and a recalculation of point average processed and posted on the student's academic record. Approved late withdrawals are recorded as "W."

Grade of Progress (PR)

A progress grade, "PR," is given in certain approved courses to indicate that work is still in progress on a project that occupies more than one semester. This grade is changed to a final letter grade at the end of the term in which the work is completed.

The "PR" grade may also be given at the end of a term in courses specifically identified as competency-based1 to indicate that the student needs more time to demonstrate a mastery of the subject matter. In such instances, the "PR" grade will be converted to a letter grade by the instructor no later than the end of the subsequent term, excluding the summer. A "PR" grade not changed by this time is automatically converted to an "F" grade.

In the case of thesis work, independent study, and other courses where research or scholarship is still in progress at the time grades are to be reported, a PR may be reported in place of a conventional grade. The PR grade is intended to indicate that it is the nature of the scholarship rather than the student’s ability to complete the work that is preventing the issuance of a conventional grade. A PR grade must be converted to a regular grade prior to graduation. However, a PR grade can remain on the student’s permanent record if the course is not needed. A PR grade in and of itself will not prevent a student from graduating.

AU signifies that the student was enrolled in the class as an auditor.

Grade Reports

Final grades are available through the Penguin Portal.

Grade Changes

A request for a grade change must be made to the course instructor. Applications for grade changes must be signed by the instructor, department chair, and dean. All grade changes must be submitted by the dean or the instructor to the Office of Records; they will not be accepted from the student. After a degree has been conferred, in no case may a grade change be made for a course or courses taken while pursuing that degree.

A student's academic record contains a complete history of his or her academic performance while earning a degree. Therefore, the academic record of a student who graduates may not be revised using a Grade Change Form, Repetition Form or Petition for a Late Withdrawal,