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Graduate Grading Systems and Policies

1.5 Graduate Grading Systems and Policies

1.5.1 Normal Grading Basis

The following grades are used at the graduate level in the University.

A+ = 4.33 point (in use since 2002-3)

A = 4.00 points

A- = 3.67 points

B+ = 3.33 points

B = 3.00 points

B- = 2.67 points

C+ = 2.33 points (in use since 2002-3)

C = 2.00 points

F = 0 points

N = 0 points

A student in a master’s or doctoral program must maintain a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0 in courses completed at Simon Fraser University. The CGPA is the cumulative average of the grade points earned in the Simon Fraser University graduate courses completed towards a graduate certificate, diploma, or towards a master's or doctoral degree.

A student in a certificate or diploma program must maintain a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.5 in courses completed at Simon Fraser University. Courses graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis are not included in the grade point average.

When a student is working on a thesis, extended essay or project as part of the requirements for the degree, the notation IP (in progress) shall be entered on the transcript. IP is not a grade and is not used in calculating the student’s CGPA.When a thesis, extended essay or project is completed, the notation CO shall be entered on the transcript. CO is not a grade and is not used in calculating the student’s CGPA.

A graduate student who fails to complete the required work in a course by the end of the term will receive a grade of 'N' or incomplete. For the purposes of calculating the CGPA, an N grade has a numeric value of 0.0.

Where circumstances warrant an extension to allow a student additional time to complete the course requirements the course instructor may defer the grade, in which case, a grade of DE shall be entered. All course work for such deferrals must be completed, and the course grade must be submitted, by the last day of the first month of the next semester. Students granted a DE grade are responsible for making satisfactory arrangements with their instructors for completion of outstanding course requirements. If the grade is not received by the deadline, the DE grade will be converted to an N.

In the case of illness or other extenuating circumstances, a deferral (DE) may be extended. Where illness is involved, a certificate from the student's physician is required. This certificate should indicate the dates and duration of the illness and should describe the impact it had on the student's ability to fulfill the academic requirements of the course, and any other information the physician considers relevant and appropriate. For exceptional circumstances other than illness, appropriate documentation, depending on the situation, will be required. The course instructor and the graduate chair must approve the extension. The request for an extended deferral and supporting documentation must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies with a final deferral date. The maximum extension allowed is the end of the term following the term in which the course was taken. No extensions will be granted beyond one subsequent term. If a student is unable to complete the course work by the end of the term following the term of initial enrollment in the course due to extenuating circumstances in the subsequent term, a request for a course withdrawal under extenuating circumstances(WE), with the required documentation should be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies. If a final grade has not been submitted and a request for a withdrawal from the course under extenuating circumstances has not been approved by the end of the term following the term in which the course was initially taken, the DE will be converted to an N.

A course that is dropped before the end of the third week of the term will not be recorded on the student's transcript. A course that is dropped within the fourth to ninth weeks (inclusive) will be recorded on the transcript with the notation WD. No course may be dropped after the end of the ninth week and before the end of the term, except in extenuating circumstances approved by the associate director, graduate admissions, records and registration or designate. Courses dropped under extenuating circumstances will receive a WE notation. See Academic Dates for dates that apply each term. WD and WE grades carry no credit value and are not used in GPA calculations.

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1.5.2 GN Notation

The notation GN (grade not reported) may be used if circumstances beyond the control of the University make it impossible for grades to be assigned for a course. The notation has no numerical equivalent and does not affect either the term grade point average or cumulative grade point average.

1.5.3 Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grading (S/U)

With the approval of the senate graduate studies committee, a department may require that a designated course be graded satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) for all students in the course.

An individual student may request permission to complete a course on an S/U basis by applying with the supervisory committee. If that committee concurs, the request will be submitted to the graduate program committee for final approval. If the course is outside the student’s department, the approval of the other graduate program committee must also be obtained.

Having enrolled in a course on any grading basis, a student may not change to another grading basis for that course.

None of the student’s minimum course work requirement under 1.7.2 may be completed S/U. Neither an S nor a U will count in the CGPA, but the grade received shall be recorded on the transcript.

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1.5.4 CGPA Required For Continuation and Graduation

A student in a master’s or doctoral program is required to maintain a CGPA of at least 3.0. A student in a graduate diploma or graduate certificate program is required to maintain a CGPA of at least 2.5. Failure to meet the minimum CGPA is evidence of unsatisfactory progress and the matter will be considered by the graduate program committee as required under the Procedure for the Review of Unsatisfactory Progress in 1.8.2.

Under no circumstances will a student, whose CGPA is below 3.0, be awarded a graduate degree.

Under no circumstances will a student with a CGPA below 2.5 be awarded a graduate diploma or graduate certificate.

1.5.5 Graduate Students Retaking a Course

A graduate student may apply to the graduate program committee to retake a course to improve a grade. At most two courses may be repeated with no course being repeated more than once.

The grades for each instance of a retaken course are recorded on the student's transcript with notation that the course was retaken to improve the grade. The better grade is used in calculating the CGPA. Units for a retaken course are counted only once toward the total units required for the degree.

1.5.6 FD Notation

The letter grade FD (fail, academic discipline) is given by the chair of the department when a student has committed academic dishonesty (see Policy S10.01 Appendix 3). The grade will convert to an F two years following graduation if the student did not commit further acts of academic dishonesty following the imposition of the FD grade.

1.5.7 AE Grades

Aegrotat standing (AE) may be awarded in an incomplete course on medical or compassionate grounds by the registrar acting on the recommendation of the instructor or department chair. Written evidence must substantiate such a request, given that the course requirements have been substantially fulfilled. This evidence normally must be received by the registrar or department within 96 hours of a scheduled final exam or within 96 hours of the last day of term lectures for which such standing is requested. Courses for which aegrotat standing is awarded are not included in the GPA calculation.

1.5.8 Student's Record after Awarding Degree

When Senate awards a graduate student's credential, the student record is normally considered closed for purposes of grade changes, degree standing and all changes to transcripts and parchments. The exceptions to this would be when there is an appeal pending that had been started prior to the awarding of the credential, or an administrative error on the part of the University or as per GGR 1.5.6.

1.5.9 Grade Point Average

The grade point average (GPA) is a method of expressing the student’s performance as a numerical average. Each letter grade is assigned a numerical equivalent, which is then multiplied by the unit value assigned to the course to produce the grade point. Grades without a numerical equivalent are not included in the calculation of the grade point average.

Term grade point average (GPA) is computed by dividing the total grade points earned by the total units completed in the term to the second decimal place.

 

Letter Grade

Numeric Value

Units

Grade Point

course 1

A

4.00

3

12.00

course 2

A+

4.33

3

12.99

course 3

B-

2.67

3

8.01

course 4

C

2.00

3

6.00

course 5

F

0.00

4

0.00

Total

16

39.00

term grade point average: 39/16 = 2.44

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