6.1 Grades and Performance

Click on a topic below for more information.

(A) Grading System

The symbols A, A-, B+, B, B-, C, F, W, WF, S, U, WU, IP, I, IF/IU and AUD are used in the Laney Graduate School to indicate the following:

Grade Meaning Quality Points
A Superior 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B Satisfactory 3.0
B- 2.7
C Marginal 2.0
F Failing 0.0
S Satisfactory*
U Unsatisfactory*
W Withdrawal without penalty*
WF Withdrawal while failing 0.0
WU Withdrawal while performing unsatisfactorily*
IP In progress*
I Incomplete*
IF/IU Incomplete failing / Incomplete unsatisfactory
AUD Audit*

* These grades are not included in the calculation of a student’s grade point average; additionally, students must be enrolled in the courses they audit.

For students taking graduate-level courses (500 and above), the grades A and B only may be modified as A-, B+, B-.

(B) Grading Basis

In a number of programs, a student is allowed to take courses outside the program or division of concentration on an S/U (satisfactory/unsatisfactory) or letter grade basis. Students should consult their director of graduate studies, program director or advisors to determine whether this S/U or letter grade option is allowed within the program or division, and what restrictions may apply. No residence or course credit is allowed for an F, U, W, WF, WU, IP, I, or IU.

Two tentative status notations may be given:

  1. An I notation (incomplete) is appropriate when a student, due to illness or some other unexpected circumstance, fails to complete all requirements for a course.
  2. IP grades may only be used for courses that are designed to run two consecutive semesters. Sequential courses that require or use IP grades must be approved by the Laney Graduate School. IP grades are inappropriate for courses designed to be one semester in length.

A student must complete all incomplete (I) and/or in progress (IP) courses prior to completing a degree.

(C) Failure to Complete a Course

When course assignments are not completed in a semester, the instructor may assign a grade of I (incomplete).* If assignments are not completed within one calendar year, the Laney Graduate School will change the grade from I to IF or IU (depending on the grading basis). A grade of IF or IU is deemed unsatisfactory, resulting in probation. Only the Laney Graduate School can change the grade of IF or IU. To change the grade, the instructor must submit a request to the Laney Graduate School, citing compelling reasons for the grade change.

*Under certain conditions, an assignment of "I" can affect probation status. See Academic Performance below for more information.

(D) Academic Performance

The Laney Graduate School sets the minimum standards a student must meet for satisfactory academic performance. Programs may establish more stringent standards. The Laney Graduate School defines unsatisfactory academic performance as follows:

  • A GPA in any semester of less than 2.7
  • Receipt of a grade of F, U, IF, or IU in any course
  • Receipt of two or more incompletes in a semester, or an incomplete in one 9 credit hour course.

A student whose academic performance is deemed unsatisfactory will be placed on probation for one semester. During the probationary semester, the student:

  • Will not be allowed to take incompletes in any course without permission from the Laney Graduate School;
  • Is not eligible for a leave of absence
  • Must receive no failing grades;
  • Must reduce the number of incompletes on her/his/their record to one; and
  • Must attain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.7.

A student who fails to meet the above conditions will be placed on probation for a second semester. The Laney Graduate School will terminate a student who merits a third consecutive probationary semester unless the program provides written justification for the student’s continuation, and the Laney Graduate School grants approval. In the event of termination, international students should notify International Student and Scholar Services.

Any student who meets the conditions of probation described above will be reinstated to good standing the following term. The reinstatement happens automatically, and the student will not be notified of the action. The director of graduate studies or program director should discuss with the student the terms and conditions of probation and of reinstatement to good standing.

(E) Due Progress

A student will be considered to be making due progress toward the degree if she or he is in good standing and meets one of the following conditions:

  • The student maintains through each semester of the academic year a minimum registration of at least 9 graded semester hours with a cumulative GPA of 2.7. 
  • Students who have submitted their dissertations or theses (terminal programs) and need registration in order to apply for a degree should enroll in 799R (dissertation research) or 599R (thesis research) to meet the registration requirement.
    • Note: Only students in candidacy may enroll in 799R.
  • The student is within an officially awarded extension period and meets the registration requirement stated above.
  • The student has been granted an officially awarded leave of absence. The student should understand, however, that loan and federal agencies might not recognize a leave of absence as grounds for deferment.

(F) Permanent Academic Record (Transcripts)

The permanent and official record of a student’s academic performance, the transcript, is maintained by the Office of the University Registrar. Copies can be requested via OPUS, by email, or in person, and can be in electronic or printed format. Learn more.

(G) Grade Appeals

Students who believe that an assigned grade is incorrect should first discuss the assigned grade with the instructor. Students who do not think the problem has been or may be resolved in this manner should address their concern to the director of graduate studies or program director who will seek to resolve the matter with the instructor and the student. Consistent with principles of academic freedom, responsibility for evaluation of a student’s course performance rests with the course instructor. Use of this procedure for resolution of a grade dispute will not prejudice in any way a student’s rights under the Laney Graduate School or University student grievance procedures.

(H) Sealing Student Records

Conferral of an Emory University degree is the most important milestone in a student's academic career. Graduating students must fulfill all the academic requirements for the degree requirements prior to the date of conferral. After students graduate from the university, their records are sealed and no further changes are allowed. The correction of clerical mistakes is possible by petition to the University Registrar. View full Emory policy.

Last modified: 2/18/2020

Download Handbook as PDF