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Academic Regulations

Final Course Grades, Grading Procedures, and Final Assessments

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 usually 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 procedures 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" 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. No instructor may assign an Incomplete if the student must attend a major portion of the class when it is next offered. No student may re-enroll in any course in which he/she has received an "I" until that "I" has been converted to a grade other than "I," i. e., "A," "B," "C," "D," "F," "CR," or "NC." In such cases, the instructor must assign a grade of "A," "B," "C," "D," "F," "CR," or "NC" based on the available assessments of that student's performance. It is the responsibility of the student with an "I" 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 documented 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 and a copy is to be filed with Enrollment Services within 30 calendar days after final course grades are submitted. When the work agreed upon has been completed and evaluated, a final course grade will be assigned by the instructor. If Enrollment Services does not receive an acceptable "Assignment of Incomplete Form" by 90 calendar days after the end of the semester, they will assign a grade of "WU" to the student instead of an "I." The "Assignment of Incomplete Grade" form will not be accepted 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 no justification for their absence has been provided.

"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. Individual instructors may not assign "RD." Students who remain enrolled but for whom the instructor has no assessments must receive a "WU."

"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 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.” " The symbol "W" indicates that the student was permitted to drop a course after the second week of instruction with the approval of the instructor and appropriate campus official. It carries no connotation of quality of student performance and is not used in calculating grade point average.

Students are held responsible for completion of every course in which they register or for withdrawing during the first two weeks of a regular semester (13% of non-standard session) of classes from courses that they do not intend to complete. Application for withdrawal from CSULB or from a class must be officially filed by the student with Enrollment Services whether the student has ever attended the class or not; otherwise, the student will receive a grade of "WU" (unauthorized withdrawal) in the course.

Regulations governing the refund of student fees in the California State University system are prescribed by the CSU Board of Trustees; see California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Education, Section 41802.

1. Withdrawal during the first two weeks of instruction:

Students may withdraw during this period and the course will not appear on their permanent records.

2. Withdrawal after the second week of instruction and prior to the final three weeks of the regular semester (20% of a non-standard session) of instruction:

Withdrawals during this period are permissible only for serious and compelling reasons. The approval signatures of the instructor and department chair are required. The request and approvals shall state the reasons for the withdrawal. Students should be aware that the definition of "serious and compelling reasons" as applied by faculty and administrators may become narrower as the semester progresses. Copies of such approvals are kept on file by Enrollment Services.

3. Withdrawal during the final three weeks of instruction:

Withdrawal during the final three weeks of instruction are not permitted except in cases such as accident or serious illness where the circumstances causing the withdrawal are clearly beyond the student's control and the assignment of an Incomplete is not practical. Ordinarily, withdrawal in this category will involve total withdrawal from the campus except that a Credit/No Credit grade or an Incomplete may be assigned for other courses in which sufficient work has been completed to permit an evaluation to be made. Request for permission to withdraw under these circumstances must be made in writing on forms available from Enrollment Services. The requests and approvals shall state the reasons for the withdrawal. These requests must be approved by the instructor of record, department chair (or designee), college dean (or designee), and the academic administrator appointed by the president to act in such matters. Copies of such approvals are kept on file by Enrollment Services.

4. Limits on Withdrawal

No undergraduate student may withdraw from more than a total of 18 units. This restriction extends throughout the entire undergraduate enrollment of a student at CSULB for a single graduation, including special sessions, enrollment by extension, and re-enrolling after separation from the university for any reason. The following exceptions apply:

  • a. Withdrawals prior to the end of the second week of a semester (13%) of instruction at CSULB,
  • b. Withdrawals in terms prior to fall 2009 at CSULB,
  • c. Withdrawals at institutions other than CSULB, and
  • d. Withdrawals at CSULB for exceptional circumstances such as serious illness or accident (the permanent academic record will show these as a WE to indicate the basis for withdrawal).

5. Medical Withdrawal:

CSULB may allow a student to withdraw without academic penalty from classes if the following criteria are met:

  • a. A completed Medical Withdrawal Form, including any required documentation, is submitted to Enrollment Services before the end of the semester, and
  • b. The student presents evidence to demonstrate that a severe medical or debilitating psychological condition prevented the student from attending and/or doing the required work of the courses to the extent that it was impossible to complete the courses.

Although students will normally withdraw from all courses, those with serious and compelling reasons may withdraw from only some of their courses; such instances will require additional justification.
The academic administrator appointed by the president to act in such matters will review the evidence presented and, in consultation with appropriate medical or psychological professionals as needed, determine whether the request for a medical withdrawal should be granted. Once granted, all such medical withdrawals will show on the permanent record with a grade of "WE" to indicate that the basis for withdrawal and will not count toward the limit described in 4 above. In addition, the student may be required to obtain a clearance from the appropriate medical or psychological professional that states the student is well enough to return to classes with the full expectation that the student will be able to complete the semester and intended educational objectives.

Repeat Complete Medical Withdrawal:

If the student has received a complete medical withdrawal in the immediately preceding term, then an additional complete medical withdrawal request must consider the question of whether or not the student can complete appropriate educational objectives and must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. After a repeat medical withdrawal is granted, the student may be required to obtain a clearance from an appropriate medical or psychological professional that states the student is well enough to return to classes with the full expectation that the student will be able to complete the semester and intended educational objectives.

6. Instructor Withdrawal:

An instructor may withdraw a student who has never attended a class, if done before the end of the second week of classes. Because instructors are not required to do this, students should not rely on them and should officially withdraw from classes themselves to avoid assignment of a "WU" in the course.

An instructor may also withdraw a student during the first two weeks of classes who has enrolled in a course requiring "permission of the instructor", completion of prerequisites, or concurrent enrollment in co-requisites if the student has not properly secured this permission, satisfactorily completed the prerequisites before enrolling, or enrolled in the required co-requisites.

"WE" – "Withdrawal for Extenuating Circumstances." The symbol "WE" indicates the student withdrew for reasons, usually medical or psychological but not restricted to those, clearly beyond the student's control. Such cases will normally involve the withdrawal from all courses that semester. Withdrawals for extenuating circumstances will not count toward the limits on withdrawal. The symbol "WE" is not a grade and does not alter a student's grade point averages.

"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," "B," "C," "D," "F", or an "I"). Instructors of record must report the last known date of attendance for all students who receive a "WU." 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" must be used instead. For purposes of grade point averages a "WU" is equivalent to an "F."


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