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Grading Guidelines

Guidelines for Assigning Course Grades in the Graduate Program

The university guidelines stipulate that graduate students maintain a minimum CGPA of 3.0. Since a GPA of 3.0 is equivalent to a letter grade of “B,” it follows that this letter grade should serve as an indication that the student has achieved “satisfactory performance” in a course. All other letter grades should be interpreted relative to this benchmark.


A letter grade of “B” need not mean the same thing across MA and PhD students.In particular, a “B” should be translated as “satisfactory performance” at the MA level and “marginally satisfactory performance” at the PhD level.The following constitute suggested interpretations.

A-, A, A+ Very Good, Excellent, or Outstanding Performance. For MA students, this would signal that they are likely capable of pursuing a PhD.


B+ Good Performance at the MA level; Satisfactory Performance at the PhD level.


B Satisfactory Performance at the MA level; Marginally Satisfactory Performance at the PhD level.


B- Marginally Unsatisfactory Performance at the MA level; Marginally Unsatisfactory Performance at the PhD level.


C, C+ Unsatisfactory Performance (PhD students may be required to retake the course).


F Unsatisfactory Performance (likely requiring withdrawal from the program).


DE Deferred Grade. According to our calendar: "In exceptional circumstances, the grade for a course may be deferred for a specified period determined by the course instructor. This shall be entered as DE in the student’s record. If the grade is not received by the assistant director, graduate studies by the last day of the first month of the next semester, the DE grade will automatically be converted to an F."

The mapping between letter grades and grade points is as follows:

                    A+ (4.33)

                  B+ (3.33)    

C+ (2.33)

                    A   (4.00)    

                  B  (3.00)  

C (2.00)

                    A- (3.67)

                  B- (2.67)  

F (0.00)