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Undergraduate grading policies

 grading policies

Department of Economics, September 2019

1.  Grades in the economics department shall reflect demonstrated achievement in meeting course learning objectives.

2.  Standard letter grades will be given the following interpretation

A+, A, A-: Excellent.  Student has demonstrated knowledge of all or almost all course content and can apply this knowledge in unfamiliar or complex settings.  Students regularly earning grades in this range are well-suited for honours and/or graduate study in economics.  Students regularly earning a grade of A+ merit consideration for major undergraduate awards.

B+, B, B-: Good.  Student has demonstrated knowledge of most course content and can apply this knowledge in familiar settings.  Students regularly earning grades in this range are well-suited for the economics major or minor.

C+, C: Satisfactory. Student has demonstrated knowledge of basic course content.  Students earning a grade in this range are qualified to take any economics course for which this course is a prerequisite.

C-: Marginally satisfactory. Student has demonstrated knowledge of most of the basic course content.  Students earning this grade are marginally qualified to take any economics course for which this course is a prerequisite.

D: Marginally unsatisfactory.  Student has demonstrated knowledge of some basic course content.  Students earning this grade are not qualified to take economics courses for which this course is a prerequisite.

F: Unsatisfactory.  Student has not demonstrated adequate knowledge of basic course content.

3.  Demonstrated student achievement varies across courses and years, particularly in smaller courses.  Instructors are not expected to match a       predetermined grade distribution in any given course section.  However, instructors should aim to set grading standards that balances consistency with those in peer Canadian economics departments, with similar units within SFU, and within the SFU economics department over the past three years.  To assist instructors in setting grading standards:

a. Table 1 below provides an estimate of the letter grade distribution that would be consistent with the grading standards of a typical peer Canadian economics department and similar units within SFU.  Information on other Canadian economics departments has been obtained through an informal survey of department chairs.

b. The department chair will annually distribute a document to instructors giving the department’s actual letter grade distribution over the previous three years.

4.  These guidelines are intended as an aid to instructors only and are subordinate to the general responsibilities of instructors and the Chair described in SFU Policy T 20.01 (Grading and the Reconsideration of Grades). 

Table 1:  Expected letter grade distribution based on practices in peer Canadian economics departments and similar SFU units.  Typical ranges are given in parentheses.

Category

A

B

C

D, F, N

ECON 103, 105, 201

17.0%

(15 – 19)

35.0%

(30 – 40)

33.0%

(23 – 38)

15.0%

(10 – 20)

100/200-level elective

20.0%

(18 – 22)

34.0%

(29 – 39)

31.0%

(21 – 36)

15.0%

(10 – 20)

ECON 302, 305, 333

22.0%

(17 – 27)

36.0%

(30 – 40)

30.0%

(23 – 33)

12.0%

(10 – 20)

300-level elective

25.0%

(18 – 33)

37.0%

(32 – 42)

28.0%

(23 – 33)

10.0%

(5 –15)

400-level elective
(excluding honours courses)

30.0%

43.0%

22.0%

5.0%