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02-03 LS&A Bulletin

Chapter IV: Academic Policies and Procedures

The policies and procedures described in this chapter govern the conduct of academic matters affecting students enrolled in the College. Exceptions to these policies may be granted only upon written petition to the Academic Standards Board. Honors students petition the Honors Academic Board; Residential College students petition the RC Counseling Office.

Grade Notations and Grading Policies


Academic Record

The Academic Record is the official record of a student's course elections, grades, and credits earned toward a degree. Since the academic record is a permanent record of a student's academic performance, it must be correct. Students who believe an error has been made on their academic records should contact the Assistant to the Academic Standards Board (1255 Angell Hall).

LS&A academic records are maintained by the Records and Enrollment Department in the Registrar's Office (1513 LS&A Building).

A student wishing to have a transcript of the academic record sent to another college or university or to an employer can place an order online from http://wolverineaccess.umich.edu/. You will need a Uniqname and university password and should receive a confirmation number. Requests with attachments or needing special services should be brought to a Student Services site, 1010 LS&A Building or 1212 Pierpont Commons. Mail requests can be sent to:

Transcript and Certification Office
555 LS&A Building
500 South State Street
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor 48109-1382.

All requests should include dates of attendance and a student identification number. A transcript of the academic record bearing the official seal of the University of Michigan and the signature of the Registrar is forwarded directly to the institution or person specified by the student, assuming there is no outstanding financial commitment from the student to the University. There is no fee for official transcripts. A student may request and receive on demand an academic report of the academic record. The academic report is "unofficial" and contains additional information not included in the official transcript. It should not be used in lieu of a transcript for the purposes of admission or employment. A copy of your academic report can be obtained from: http://wolverineaccess.umich.edu.

A student may pay a fee set by the Registrar's Office and request a special transcript

1. listing courses but no grades,

2. translating all grades into P or F, or

3. including an appendix listing the original grades submitted for all courses elected "Pass/ Fail."

A specially prepared transcript indicates which of these options has been chosen. A request for a special transcript does not permanently revise the original academic record.

Summary of Transcript Notations

Letter Grade Honor Points
A+ 4.0
A 4.0
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
E 0.0

Pass/Fail
P (passed) credit, no honor points
F (failed) no credit, no honor points
Credit/No Credit
CR (credit) credit, no honor points
NC (no credit) no credit, no honor points
Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory
S (satisfactory) credit, no honor points
U (unsatisfactory) no credit, no honor points
(The S/U symbols are used by the School of Education.)
Withdrawal/Drop
W (official withdrawal) no credit, no honor points
ED (dropped unofficially) no credit, no honor points
(A notation of ED for a graded election has the same effect on the grade point average as does an E.)
Incomplete/Work in Progress
I (incomplete) no credit, no honor points
Y (work in progress for project approved to extend for two successive terms) no credit, no honor points
Official Audit (VI)
VI (VIsitor) no credit, no honor points
Miscellaneous Notations (NR, ##)
NR (no report) no credit, no honor points
## (no grade reported) no credit, no honor points
NG (no grade reported) no credit, no honor points

A notation of P, F, CR, NC, S, U does not affect a student's term or cumulative grade point average. A notation of I, Y, NG, ## or NR, if not replaced by a passing grade, eventually lapses to E or ED and, for graded elections, is computed into the term and cumulative grade point averages.

If an LS&A student elects a course in another Ann Arbor unit which is graded on a pattern not indicated here (for example, graduate courses in the Business School), the grade will be translated by the Registrar to fit with LS&A's letter grading scale.

Drop (W) / Official Withdrawal / Unofficial Withdrawal (ED)

If a student withdraws officially from a course after the first three weeks of a full term (first two weeks of a half-term), the course is recorded on the transcript with a W notation; neither credits toward a degree program nor honor points are earned. The W notation is posted regardless of a student's reasons for requesting the official withdrawal. If a student unofficially withdraws from a course (i.e., stops attending the course but does not obtain permission for an official withdrawal), the notation ED (Unofficial Withdrawal) is posted on the transcript. An ED is computed into the term and cumulative grade point averages as an E if the course was elected for a regular letter grade; neither credit toward a degree program nor honor points are earned.

Grading for a Two-Term Course (Y)

A few courses (e.g., senior Honors thesis courses or some Biological Sciences research courses) are approved as "two-term" sequences. In these specially approved cases only, an instructor can report a Y grade at the end of the first-term course to indicate work in progress. When a final grade is reported at the end of the second term, that final grade is posted for both terms' elections. In cases where a Y grade is reported for a course which is not approved to extend for two successive terms, an I (Incomplete) is posted on the transcript and the course is subject to the regular deadline for incompletes. Students needing more time to complete this work must petition the Academic Standards Board for an official extension of the deadline (see below).

Incomplete Courses and Notations (I)

An "Incomplete" (denoted on the transcript by the symbol I) may be reported only if the amount of unfinished work is small, the work is unfinished for reasons acceptable to the instructor, and the student's standing in the course is at least C—. The I grade is not included in the computation of the term or cumulative grade point averages during the period when a student has the privilege of making up the work. Incomplete grades may be made up while a student is not in residence even if a student has been dismissed from the College for reasons of unsatisfactory academic performance. An incomplete grade must be made up by the fourth week of a student's next fall or winter term in residence or by an extended deadline approved by the Office of Academic Standards.

An instructor has ten days following the "four-week deadline or ten days following an approved extended deadline" in which to report a final grade. The final grade is posted on the transcript, and credits and honor points are posted accordingly. The I is not removed when the course is completed but remains on the transcript. An I grade not finished by the incomplete deadline or an approved extended deadline lapses to E. In such cases, no degree credit is earned and the course is then computed as an E in the term and cumulative grade point averages. Unfinished courses elected on a non-graded pattern ("Pass/Fail," "Credit/No Credit," etc. ) lapse to "Fail" or "No Credit" but do not affect the term or cumulative grade point averages.

No Report (NR), No Grade (NG), Blank Grades

If an NR is reported by an instructor, the grade is treated as an I and will convert to an ED at the fourth week of the next fall or winter term of registration. An ED carries no degree credit, and the course is computed as an E in the term and cumulative grade point averages.

If an instructor does not report a grade (leaves the grade blank), the Registrar's Office records the grade as ##. If unresolved after the first four weeks of the next fall or winter term in residence, the ## in a graded election is lapsed to an ED. An ED carries no degree credit, and the course is computed as an E in the term and cumulative grade point averages.

The NG is recorded when a student has been registered into a class after the course grade sheets have been sent to the instructor. The NG will convert to an ED if unresolved after the first four weeks of the next fall or winter registration. An ED carries no degree credit, and the course is computed as an E in the term and cumulative grade point averages.

Non-Graded Courses
(P/F, CR/NC, S/U)

Students may count a maximum 30 non-graded credits toward the 120 credits required for a degree. Non-graded credits are earned in courses for which no letter grade (A+ through E) is recorded on the transcript. Only those non-graded credits actually earned are counted as part of the total number of non-graded credits applicable toward a degree.

  1. Non-graded courses may be included in a distribution plan.
  2. Pass/Fail courses may not be included in a concentration plan or in an academic minor.
  3. Experiential and Directed Reading/Independent Study courses that are graded on a Credit/No Credit or Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory basis may be included in a concentration program.
  4. The final course in a sequence used to fulfill the Language Requirement may not be elected on a Pass/Fail basis. (Effective for all students admitted to the College in Fall Term, 1995 and thereafter.)
  5. A change in grading pattern for a course is not permitted after the first three weeks of a full term (first two weeks of a half-term). Grading pattern choices must be modified through the registration system. Courses elected after the third week of a term may not be elected on a non-graded basis unless the course is offered as a "mandatory non-graded" course. The only exceptions to this policy are short courses (e.g., GEOSCI 101-115) which have started after the beginning of the term. In these cases, the grading pattern may not be changed after the second week of class. The Academic Standards Board does not grant exceptions to this policy.
  6. The College holds students responsible for ensuring the accuracy and completeness of their class schedule.
  7. Non-graded courses earn credit toward a degree but not honor points. Therefore, "Pass" (or Credit) grades do not enter into the computation of the term or cumulative grade point averages.
  8. Instructor approval is not required for a choice in the elected grading pattern nor should the instructor be informed of such a choice. Instructors report letter grades (A+ through E) for all students in their courses, except in mandatory CR/NC courses. In the case of a student who has chosen to elect a course "Pass/Fail," the Office of the Registrar converts the letter grades according to the following policies:
    • Grades of A+ through C— are posted on a transcript as "P" (Pass); credit toward a degree is earned.
    • Grades of D+ through E are posted on a transcript as F (Fail); no degree credit is earned.
  9. In the case of an incomplete course elected "Pass/Fail," credit is posted only when the work has actually been completed and a grade of at least C— has been reported. "Pass/Fail" courses which are not finished lapse to "Fail," although the term and cumulative grade point averages remain unaffected.
  10. If the instructor of a mandatory Credit/No Credit course believes that the amount and quality of a student's work is such that it deserves credit, CR (Credit) is posted on the transcript. If the instructor believes that a student's work does not justify the awarding of credit, NC (No Credit) is posted on the transcript. Courses offered mandatory Credit/No Credit are designated in the course listings in Chapter VI.
  11. In computing the grade point average for honorary societies, the reported letter grades for "non-graded" elections are computed into the cumulative grade point average.
  12. No course elected "Pass/Fail" will receive the Honors notation on the transcript or be counted as an "Honors" course for the Sophomore Honors Award.
  13. A student may pay a special fee set by the Registrar's Office and request a specially prepared appendix to the transcript on which the original grades submitted for all courses elected "Pass/Fail" are listed.
  14. Students who have transferred "non-graded" credit to the College must count that credit as part of the maximum 30 hours of "non-graded" credit which may be counted toward an LS&A degree.
  15. A student cannot choose to elect a course by the CR/NC and S/U grading patterns; the optional non-graded pattern is P/F.

Auditing Courses

Students are expected to elect courses for credit. Occasionally, however, a student may wish to attend a course but not elect it for credit. This arrangement can take the form of an official audit (sometimes called Visitor status).

An official audit obligates a student to attend classes regularly and complete course requirements (e.g., papers, laboratory assignments, tests, and the final examination). Regular tuition fees apply, and the course appears on the transcript with the notation VI (Visitor); no grade is posted and no degree credit is earned. To arrange an official audit, a student must submit to the Academic Standards Board a written statement, signed by the student and instructor, indicating the reasons for the official audit and outlining the student's obligation to course requirements. A request to officially audit a course should be approved before the election is made and at least by the end of the third week of a full term. Students who do not fulfill course requirements earn the grade ED to indicate that the course was unofficially dropped. In these special cases, the term and cumulative grade point averages remain unaffected. A course elected as an official audit without permission will be posted on the transcript as an unapproved election. Tuition is assessed by the Office of the Registrar for both approved and unapproved audits.

Repetition of Courses

If a course was taken in residence and a grade of A+ through C—, P, CR, or S was earned, then repetition of this course results in no additional credit or honor points. The course and grade appear on the transcript with the notation "Not for Credit." A student repeating a course in which D+ through D— was previously earned will receive honor points but no additional credit toward a degree. The course appears on the transcript with the notation "Repetition." Repetition of a course in which an E, F, or U grade was originally earned produces both credits toward a degree and honor points for courses elected on the graded pattern; there is no special transcript notation. In all such cases, the first election and grade earned remain on the transcript. The grades earned by repetition of courses are not averaged and posted as a single entry; but are posted as separate elections.

Out of Sequence Courses

If a course is elected which is a prerequisite for in-residence credits already received, the course and grade will appear on the transcript with the notation "Not for Credit." No credits or honor points will be granted.

If a course is elected which is a prerequisite for credits previously transferred from another institution, the transferred credits will be deducted and the in-residence course will be posted for both credit and honor points.

Grade Point Average

Term and Cumulative Grade Point Averages

The Term Grade Point Average is determined by dividing the total number of Michigan Semester Hours (MSH) elected during a term into the total number of Michigan Honor Points (MHP) earned during the same term. The Cumulative Grade Point Average is determined by dividing the total number of Michigan Semester Hours (MSH) into the total number of Michigan Honor Points (MHP) earned. Notations of Y, I, NR, NG and ## are not initially calculated into the term or cumulative grade point averages. Notations of I, NR, NG and ##, if unresolved by the end of the fourth week of the next fall or winter term in residence or by an approved extension deadline, lapse to E or ED and are computed into both the term and cumulative grade point averages, if the course was a graded election.

Minimum Term and Cumulative Grade Point Averages Required

To be in good academic standing, a student must earn at least a 2.0 term grade point average and a 2.0 cumulative grade point average. If a student fails to accomplish this, the "honor point deficit" can be determined by multiplying the Michigan Semester Hours (MSH) elected by 2.0 and subtracting the total number of Michigan Honor Points (MHP) earned. Only honor points earned in courses elected at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Dearborn, or Flint campus) may affect the grade point average.


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