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Grading Symbols | Policies | CSUSM

Grading Symbols

Definition: This policy governs the assignment of grading symbols.
Authority: Executive Order 1037 -- Grading Symbols, Minimum Standards Governing the Assignment of Grades, Policies on the Repetition of Courses, Polices on Academic Renewal, and Grade Appeals.
Scope: All courses offered for academic credit.
Responsible Division: Academic Affairs
Approval Date: 09/10/2009
Originally Implemented: 08/01/1999
Signature Page/PDF: View Signatures for Grading Symbols Policy


California State University San Marcos uses the following grading symbols:
  • The traditional grades of A, B, C, D and F (with plus and minus designations used in combination with A, B, C and D),
  • The credit/no credit grades of CR and NC, and
  • The administrative grading symbols AU (audit), I (incomplete authorized), IC (incomplete charged), RD (report delayed), RP (report in progress), W (withdrawal), and WU (withdrawal unauthorized) as defined and authorized by the Office of the Chancellor.

Grading System Grades are assigned as described below.

Definitions of Letter Grades:

A (Excellent): Performance of the student has been at the highest level, showing sustained excellence in meeting all course objectives and exhibiting an unusual degree of intellectual initiative.

B (Good): Performance of the student has been at a high level, showing consistent and effective achievement in meeting course objectives.

C (Satisfactory): Performance of the student has been at an adequate level, meeting the basic objectives of the course.

D (Passing): Performance of the student has been less than adequate, meeting only the minimum course requirements.

F (Failing): Performance of the student has been such that minimum course requirements have not been met.

Plus/Minus Grading:

The use of plus/minus grading is not required. It is used at the discretion of the individual instructor. The following decimal values of plus/minus grades are used in the calculation of grade point averages:

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

D- = 0.7

F = 0

Nontraditional Grading:

Courses are graded on an A through F basis, as described above, except those specifically designated as follows: CR/NC (Credit/No Credit): Credit (CR) is awarded for grades equivalent to C or better. No credit (NC) is awarded for grades equivalent to C- or less. Grades of CR and NC are not included in the calculation of grade point averages.

Courses graded Credit/No Credit, whether taken at this or at another institution, may not be used to satisfy requirements for the major, except for specific courses designated by the discipline. General Education courses may not be taken at Cal State San Marcos with a Credit/No Credit option. A maximum of nine (9) semester units may be taken at CSUSM with a Credit/No Credit option and applied toward an undergraduate degree.

When a student does not complete a course, and does not officially withdraw from it, the following grading symbols may be assigned by the faculty:

  • I Incomplete Authorized
  • RP Report in Progress
  • WU Withdrawal Unauthorized

I (Incomplete Authorized): The "I" symbol shall be used only when the faculty member concludes that a clearly identifiable portion of course requirements cannot be met within the academic term for unforeseen reasons. An Incomplete shall not be assigned when it is necessary for the student to attend a major portion of the class when it is next offered. An Incomplete is also prohibited where the normal practice requires extension of course requirements beyond the close of a term, e.g., thesis or project type courses. In such cases, use of the "RP" symbol is required. The conditions for removal of the Incomplete shall be reduced to writing by the instructor and given to the student with a copy placed on file with the appropriate campus officer until the Incomplete is removed or the time limit for removal has passed.

A student may not re-enroll in a course for which he or she has received an "I" until that "I" has been converted to a grade other than "I"; e.g., A-F, IC.

An Incomplete shall be converted to the appropriate grade or symbol within one year following the end of the term during which it was assigned provided, however, an extension of the one-year time limit may be granted by petition for contingencies such as intervening military service and serious health or personal problems. Where campus policy requires assignment of final grades on the basis of numerous demonstrations of competency by the student, it may be appropriate for a faculty member to submit a letter grade to be assigned in the event the Incomplete is not made up within one year. If the Incomplete is not converted to a credit-bearing grade within the prescribed time limit, or any extension thereof, it shall be counted as a failing grade in calculating grade point average and progress points unless the faculty member has assigned another grade in accordance with campus policy.

RP (Report in Progress): The "RP" symbol shall be used in connection with thesis, project, and similar courses in which assigned work frequently extends beyond a single academic term and may include enrollment in more than one term. The "RP" symbol shall be replaced with the appropriate final grade within one year of its assignment except for master's thesis enrollment, in which case the time limit shall be established by the Dean of Graduate Studies. The president or designee may authorize extension of established time limits.

WU (Withdrawal Unauthorized):
The symbol "WU" shall be used where a student, who is enrolled on the census date, does not officially withdraw from a course but fails to complete it. Its most common use is in those instances where a student has not completed sufficient course assignments or participated in sufficient course activity to make it possible, in the opinion of the instructor, to report satisfactory or unsatisfactory completion of the class by use of the letter grade (A-F). The instructor shall report the last known date of attendance by the student. The symbol "WU" shall be identified as a failing grade in the transcript legend and shall be counted as units attempted but not passed in computing the grade point average. In courses which 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" shall be used instead.
The following administrative grading symbols are assigned by the Office of Registration and Records:

  • AU Audit
  • IC Incomplete Charged
  • RD Report Delayed
  • W Withdrawal

AU (Audit): California State University San Marcos permits enrollment as an auditor. Authority to permit enrollment in this status rests with each campus. When audit status is permitted, students may not change from credit to audit later than the census date for the term for which the student is enrolled in the course for which such grades are to be awarded.

IC (Incomplete Charged): The IC symbol is used when a student who received an authorized incomplete fails to complete the required coursework within the allowed time limit. The IC replaces the I and is counted as a failing grade for grade point average and progress point computation. Note that the IC is not used if the course was taken for Credit/No or if the faculty member assigns a specific letter grade at the time the Incomplete is assigned (see Incomplete Authorized).

RD (Report Delayed): The "RD" symbol may be used where a delay in the reporting of a grade is due to circumstances beyond the control of the student. The symbol may be assigned by the registrar only and, if assigned, shall be replaced by a substantive grading symbol as soon as possible. An "RD" shall not be used in calculating grade point average or progress points. Whenever the symbol is employed, an explanatory note shall be included in the transcript legend. The registrar shall notify both the instructor of record and the department chair within two weeks of the assignment of RD grades.

W (Withdrawal): The procedures governing course withdrawal are addressed separately in the Withdrawal Policy.