Grading Policies

This page summarize information about Allegheny’s credit and grading systems. More information may be found at Allegheny’s Academic Regulations page.

The Semester Calendar

Allegheny divides the academic year into two semesters of 15 weeks each. During semesters, classes typically meet two or three times per week for periods of 75 or 50 minutes. Most courses receive four semester credit hours, and the usual academic load is 16 semester hours in each semester and 32 semester hours for the year. Students may take up to 20 semester hours per semester without special permission. The minimum course load to be considered a full-time student is 12 semester credit hours per semester.

Grading System

Student grades are reported on either a letter-grade basis or Credit/No Credit basis.

Letter Grades

Possible grades are:

  • A (excellent); 4.00 quality points
  • A – ; 3.70 quality points
  • B + ; 3.30 quality points
  • B (good); quality points
  • B – ; 2.70 quality points
  • C + ; 2.30 quality points
  • C (fair) ; 2.00 quality points
  • C – ; 1.70 quality points
  • D + ; 1.30 quality points
  • D (passing); quality points
  • F (failure); quality points
  • CR (credit – see “Credit/No Credit” below)
  • NC (no credit – see “Credit/No Credit” below)
  • W (withdrawal): may be assigned by faculty under extraordinary extenuating circumstances (see “Withdrawing from a Course” below). Grades of “W” appear on the transcript but have no effect on the student’s grade point average.
  • IN (incomplete): may be assigned by faculty when they believe that extenuating circumstances preclude completion of the work on time by the student. Incompletes are awarded with the expectation that the work will be completed by the student in a timely fashion. (See Grades of Incomplete, below.)

Credit/No Credit

Students may take up to four credit hours per semester on the Credit/No Credit basis, but may not present for graduation more than 16 credit hours of their coursework on this basis. To take a course Credit/No Credit, students must submit a completed CR/NC card to the Registrar’ s Office by the end of the second week of classes. (A few courses are required to be taken on the Credit/NoCredit basis, and some others must be taken on a letter-grade basis.) Students who receive grades of “Credit” (CR) receive credit for the appropriate number of semester credit hours. Students who receive grades of “No Credit” (NC) receive no academic credit for the course.  A grade of CR is awarded for course performance equivalent to, or higher than, a passing letter grade (D). A grade of NC is awarded for course performance equivalent to a failing letter grade (F). In either case, the grade has no effect on the student’s grade point average.

Grades of Incomplete

Faculty stipulate grades of Incomplete (“IN”) when they believe that extenuating circumstances preclude completion of the work on time by the student. The student is responsible for providing evidence for the extenuating circumstances to the satisfaction of the faculty member, who has sole authority to grant the Incomplete. Incompletes are awarded with the expectation that the work will be completed by the student in a timely fashion. Examples of circumstances in which the Incomplete is appropriate include, but are not limited to, serious illnesses or injuries that preclude a student from finishing work for a course; cases where the course grade depends on the outcome of an honor code hearing; or death of an immediate family member. An Incomplete should not be assigned when a student simply fails to turn in a final exam or project, nor when there is little likelihood that the student will be able to make up a large quantity of incomplete work (due, for example, to prolonged illness); in the latter case a Withdrawal (see below) may be more appropriate.

After appropriate consultation with the student, the instructor will determine the date by which incomplete work must be completed. In all cases, the work must be completed no later than 30 days after the first day of classes of the semester or summer session in which the student is next registered. Students who have an “IN” but do not register in a subsequent semester or summer session must complete the work within 12 months. Extensions to these deadlines may only be granted by the Provost or designee.

When the instructor submits the completed grade to the Registrar, this completed grade is posted to the transcript and calculated into the grade point average for the semester in which the student was registered for the course.

Withdrawing from a Course

If, as a result of extraordinary extenuating circumstances, a student wishes to withdraw from a course after the appropriate course registration change period has expired, the student may ask the instructor to grant a Withdrawal. A Withdrawal can only be granted to a student whose performance has been significantly affected by unexpected circumstances beyond the student’s control. For example, a Withdrawal may be granted in the event of a prolonged serious illness, or if there is a serious and incapacitating change in a student’s family situation. A Withdrawal cannot be granted simply for poor academic performance or failure to attend class. The student is responsible for providing evidence of extraordinary extenuating circumstances to the satisfaction of the faculty member, who has sole authority to grant the Withdrawal. When such a request is granted, the student’s transcript will show a grade of “W.” This grade will not be included in the calculation of the student’s grade point average.

Grade Changes

By Faculty vote, changes in course grades are allowed only in the case of a demonstrable mathematical error in the compilation or recording of a grade; all such grade changes must be made by the Provost of the College.

Repeated Courses

With the exception of the First-Year/Sophomore Seminars, students may repeat courses at Allegheny, provided the courses are offered again. Courses designated “may be repeated for credit” may be taken any number of times, and a student will receive the appropriate credit and grade each time. Examples of courses that may be repeated for credit are music ensembles and special topics courses that cover different material with each course offering.

In all other cases, whenever a student repeats a course, the academic record and transcript will reflect all course enrollments and the grade earned for each enrollment. From the time of completion of a repeated course forward, however, only the credit and grade for the most recent attempt will be counted in computing grade point averages, unless a student withdraws from a repeated course – in this case, the academic record and transcript will include the withdrawal, and the grade previously earned will continue to be counted in computing grade point averages. Students may repeat a course initially taken on the graded basis for Credit/No Credit; however, Credit (“CR”) must be earned or the grade previously awarded will continue to be counted in computing grade point averages. In the event a student receives a grade of Incomplete (“IN”) for a repeated course, the grade previously earned will continue to be counted in computing grade point averages until such time as the student completes the coursework and a final grade has been submitted.