Grading Method and Procedures

Grading System

Faculty assign grades on the basis of achievement in the subject matter of the course and in accordance with accepted professional standards for that subject. The grade earned by a student thus represents the quality of work and is not based merely on competition within the class.

  •  The grade of A represents exceptional work in which the student shows that the students have firmly grasped and achieved the objectives of the course.
  •  The grade of B indicates very good work and considerable grasp of the essentials of the course.
  •  The grade of C indicates good work and a usable grasp of the essentials of the course.
  •  The grade of D indicates a definite, but not necessarily coherent, knowledge of the course.
  •  The grade of F indicates that the student has not achieved even a minimum grasp of the essentials of the course. This grade can also result from failure to withdraw officially from a course (see Change of Registration and Refund of Fees Upon Withdrawal).

Grade of Incomplete (I)

An incomplete grade of "I" may be given to a student who has been doing satisfactory work in a course but, for reasons beyond the control of the student and deemed justifiable by the instructor, had not completed all requirements for a course when grades were submitted. A letter grade may not be changed to an "I" after the term has ended and grades have been recorded. A written explanation of the reason for the "I" must be forwarded by the instructor to the Office of Records. This explanation will be included in the student's permanent record, with copies to the student and department chairperson. For fall term courses, the final date to complete an "I" will be March 1 of the following term; for the spring term courses, September 1; for all summer term courses, October 1. With approval by the instructor and the dean of the college in which the course is taught, the completion date may be extended. Courses not completed by the appropriate date will be converted to an "F."

Students should not register for the same course the subsequent term. Rather, the student should work individually with the instructor to fulfill the course requirements. The instructor will initiate a grade change upon completion of the course requirements. If no formal grade change occurs within the allotted time frame, the I automatically converts to an "F." Any I that is still pending by graduation will be converted to an "F."

If a student receives an "I" as a result of being summoned to active military duty, the student will have one academic year from the date when he or she is released from active duty to complete the course requirements and have the change of grade recorded. It is the student's responsibility to inform the registrar or associate director of records regarding the Incomplete grade.

Department chairs are granted authority to convert grades of "I" into final grades in cases where instructors may have severed connections with the university or have been otherwise unable to convert the grades.

Grade of Progress (PR)

A progress grade, "PR," is given in certain approved courses to indicate that work is still in progress on a project that occupies more than one semester. This grade is changed to a final letter grade at the end of the term in which the work is completed.

The "PR" grade may also be given at the end of a term in courses specifically identified as competency-based1 to indicate that the student needs more time to demonstrate a mastery of the subject matter. In such instances, the "PR" grade will be converted to a letter grade by the instructor no later than the end of the subsequent term, excluding the summer. A "PR" grade not changed by this time is automatically converted to an "F" grade.

Grade of Withdrawal (W)

"W" represents a withdrawal properly processed within the period established for each semester.  A grade of “W” shall appear on a student’s academic record for any course withdrawal(s) processed after the 14th day of the fall or spring semester through the 60% period of the semester.  For summer semester courses, a grade of “W” shall appear on a student’s academic record for any course withdrawal(s) processed after the 7th day of a session through the 60% period of the session. For courses involving foreign travel, the last day to drop a course with a "W" shall be the date at which the student first leaves the campus to begin the travel. Withdrawal after the designated date (or an improper withdrawal) is recorded as "F." Withdrawal thereafter (or improperly done, at any time) is recorded as "F."

Petitions for Late Withdrawal must be submitted within one year from the time a grade in the course was earned. If the grade resulted from circumstances over which the student had no control, the student may petition the appropriate dean for a late withdrawal. If the Late Withdrawal is approved, only courses with a grade of "F" will be changed to a grade of "W".  A Petition for Late Withdrawal and the Repetition Form cannot be used for the same course. In other words, Petition for a Late Withdrawal cannot be processed for any course that was repeated and a recalculation of point average processed and posted on the student's academic record. Approved late withdrawals are recorded as "W."

The Point Average and Scholastic Standing

The student's scholastic standing is indicated by the quality point average (also called "grade point average," "grade average," or "point average").

For determining this average, every grade has a quality point value for each semester hour it represents, as follows:

  • A, four quality points
  • B, three points
  • C, two points
  • D, one point
  • F, zero points

For example, an A in a three-hour course is worth 12 quality points; a D in a four-hour course, four points; and an F in any course, zero points. To find the point average, the total number of quality points earned is divided by the total GPA hours. Thus, a student who earns 16 hours and 40 quality points has a point index of 2.50. Only grades of A, B, C, D, and F are included in the calculation of the point average.

Grading Options


You may change your grading option only through the last day to add a class.

Traditional Grade/No CREDIT (A,B,C/No Credit)

To receive credit for courses offered on a traditional grade/no credit basis, a student must earn a grade of "C" or better. If the student fails to do so, an "NC" is entered on the student's transcript.

An "NC" does not fulfill the requirements for satisfactory completion of the course; it does not affect the grade point average.

Audit (AU)

The "AU" grade indicates a student has registered for a course on an audit basis and has met the audit attendance requirement established by the instructor. Failure to meet the attendance requirement results in a grade of "AU (W)."

Students must indicate their election of the audit grading option at the time of registration or within the time limits established for adding a class. The audit option will not be changed to the standard grading option beyond the last day to add a class.

A student may audit any course. The student pays the full tuition, as well as any other applicable fee, for the course(s) audited. Audited courses are carried in a student's load only for fee purposes. A student receiving financial aid should confer with the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships before electing to audit a course.

A student may not change registration from audit to credit status or from credit to audit status after the last day to add a class.

Credit/No-Credit (CR/NC)

Credit/no-credit grades are given in some specific courses as approved by the Academic Senate. Such courses are identified in the course descriptions.

Credit/No-Credit (CR/NC) (Student Option)

To encourage students to experiment with courses outside their major field of concentration, a credit/no-credit policy exists within the following guidelines.

  • Youngstown State University students who have completed at least 15 semester hours of credit and have a grade point average of 2.00 or better, or transfer students admitted unconditionally who have at least 30 semester hours of transfer credit, may elect to take a course for credit/no-credit.
  • The grade recorded for the student is not a letter grade, but either "CR" (credit) or "NC" (no-credit). If a student who has opted for CR/NC earns an A, B, or C in the class, the grade officially assigned is CR; otherwise it is NC. In either case, the grade point average is not affected.
  • This option may be elected for a maximum of twelve (12) semester hours for the baccalaureate degree or six (6) semester hours for the associate degree. Courses offered only under the CR/NC option (by department designation) do not count as a student-elected credit/no credit class. Students are restricted to taking one CR/NC course per fall and spring semester and one CR/NC course per non-overlapping summer term.
  • Courses taken under the CR/NC option may not be counted toward a student's major or minor. Students should confer with their advisors prior to electing the CR/NC option.
  • Students must indicate their election of the CR/NC option at the time of registration or within the time limits established for adding classes. The CR/NC option will not be changed to the standard grading option beyond the last day to add a class.

Grade Reports

Final grades are available through the Penguin Portal.

Grade Changes

A request for a grade change must be made to the course instructor. Applications for grade changes must be signed by the instructor, department chair, and dean. All grade changes must be submitted by the dean or the instructor to the Office of Records; they will not be accepted from the student. After a degree has been conferred, in no case may a grade change be made for a course or courses taken while pursuing that degree.

A student's academic record contains a complete history of his or her academic performance while earning a degree. Therefore, the academic record of a student who graduates may not be revised using a Grade Change Form, Recalculation Form, Petition for a Late Withdrawal, or Academic Reassessment.

In the case of a student who has completed an associate degree, the above policy may, on occasion, be waived, but only if the student is currently pursuing a baccalaureate degree. However, changes cannot be made in a student's record which would affect the status of the awarded associate degree. Waivers must be approved by the appropriate dean.

Credit by Examination-Departmental

A currently enrolled student who can demonstrate ability and knowledge in a particular subject area may establish credit in certain courses without enrolling in them, by taking a special examination (through the appropriate department). An examination fee is assessed for each examination. The only grade possible is "CRX", and there is no effect on the student's grade point average. For the examination fee, see "Fees and Expenses". Information on courses for which credit by examination is possible may be obtained from the student's academic dean or the Office of Testing. Registration for departmental tests is done through the specific department.

Course Repeat

A student may repeat a course once, unless otherwise stipulated in the course description or unless an additional repeat is authorized by the student's academic dean. If the course is a prerequisite to another course, the repeated course must be successfully completed before the other course is taken. If the student has received credit for a more advanced course in the same subject, a repeated course is treated merely as another course, along with the first, in calculating the point average, unless the student secures an approved repetition form for recalculation of point average from the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled. A course repeated, however, may be counted only once as credit toward a student's total academic hours for graduation.

Credit towards graduation will not be given for a course on the semester system if the student has credit for the equivalent course on the quarter system.

Recalculation of GPA

Current undergraduate students may improve their GPA by repeating a course and requesting a recalculation in which a grade of "D" or "F" was earned. In order to recalculate the GPA, the repetition must be consistent with the policy on course repeats, and the student must initiate the recalculation process with the approval of their advisor (or the dean, if it is a second repetition).

Only one recalculation for any course will be applied to the student’s transcript record, which is the most advantageous for the student’s GPA, regardless of the number of times the course was repeated. The course repeat policy limits the student to taking the course no more than three times. The two most recent attempts are taken into account when recalculating grades.

In order to properly document the repeated course that will be removed from the GPA, students must submit a Recalculation form to their advisor prior to graduation. Upon approval and processing the grade, GPA hours, and earned hours (if applicable) are removed from the GPA calculation and cumulative hours. The course and grade will be excluded from the GPA, but the letter grade will remain on the official transcript and noted with a “R” indicating the course has been repeated. The hours credited toward degree hours completed, are those earned with the passing grade.

Only courses taken at Youngstown State University may be used in recalculating the GPA. The original course and subsequent attempts must be completed at YSU. Transfer, study abroad, and/or transient courses are not eligible to be used as a repetition. Students who have been conferred a bachelor's degree cannot repeat a course for recalculation of the students' GPA. A student holding an associate degree may petition for a GPA recalculation only if currently pursuing a bachelor's degree at YSU. The Recalculation form (formerly known as a Repetition form) and the Petition for a Late Withdrawal cannot be used for the same course.

 All YSU grades, including grades of "D" or "F" deducted from the GPA as a result of an approved Recalculation form, will be counted in determining honors for graduation.

Academic Reassessment

Purpose: A student transferring to a new major before earning 60 credits has the option of requesting an Academic Reassessment. The student may request the deletion of up to 16 credits earned for courses required in the old major; these credits will be deducted from the total earned credits and will result in a recalculated cumulative GPA. No credits earned for a grade of “C” or higher may be deleted. These credits may only include courses required for the old major and for general education courses if also designated by the old major, but may not include courses only taken to fulfill general education requirements, requirements from the new major, or graduation requirements. The student must initiate the request through their Academic Advisor, and the request must be approved by the Department Chairperson of the new major.

Eligibility: The student must be changing their major and have earned less than 60 overall credit hours. Students changing their major to or from exploratory or undecided are not eligible.

Procedure:  The student, in consultation with his/her academic advisor, shall identify the courses to be included in the reassessment. The student may request up to 16 credits be included in the reassessment. Only courses in which the student earned a “D“ or “F” may be included in the reassessment. Only undergraduate courses taken prior to the change of major at YSU are eligible to be included in the GPA recalculation. The request must be approved by the Department Chairperson of the new major.

Exceptions/Explanations: The Academic Reassessment option may only be used one time. All GPA recalculations completed as a result of the Academic Reassessment Option are final and cannot be reversed. Any academic probations, suspensions or dismissals earned prior to the reassessment shall not be forgiven. The student’s transcript reflects all courses taken, even if not computed in the GPA.

Excluding Older Grades (Academic Forgiveness)

A degree-seeking undergraduate student who re-enrolls at Youngstown State University after an absence of five or more calendar years may be eligible for academic forgiveness. At the time of the petition the student must be currently enrolled and have successfully completed at least 15 semester hours with a grade point average of no less than 2.00 following their return. An absence is defined as a period of time in which no enrollment activity (i.e. attempted or earned academic credit) is posted to a student’s record.

To request academic forgiveness an eligible student may petition the dean of his or her college to exclude from the calculation of the grade point average grades earned five or more calendar years before. If the petition is approved, all grades (not merely grades of D and F) earned during the specified quarter or semester and all previous grades (not merely grades of D and F) will then be removed from the calculation. However, all grades remain on the permanent record.

Excluded course credit will not count toward the total hours required for graduation. However, courses passed may fulfill general education requirements and may satisfy prerequisites for higher courses where applicable. Courses excluded may be taken again and repeated once without infringing upon repeat privileges specified in catalog course descriptions. Courses excluded are not subject to credit by examination.  A student whose petition has been approved is ineligible for graduation honors. Only one petition from each student may be approved and is irreversible once it is applied. A student who has earned a degree or certificate from YSU may not petition for academic forgiveness.  

Absence from Classes and Examinations

The problem of excessive class absence concerns instructor and student, and consequently requires their mutual effort. All students must realize that for their own welfare, they are expected to attend all class meetings of courses in which they are enrolled.

The instructor, however, has the prerogative of determining the relationship between class attendance, achievement, and course grades, and the responsibility for communicating the relationship to the students at the beginning of each term.

A student must have the instructor's consent in order to take any examination at a time other than that scheduled.

The faculty believes that classroom activities are essential to learning. The student is responsible for knowing and meeting all course requirements, including tests, assignments, and class participation, as indicated by the course instructor.

The responsibility for work missed during absence rests with the student. The instructor has no obligation to give make-up graded coursework or to review other class work missed by a student as a result of absence except under those specific conditions cited below:

  •  Participation in University-sponsored activities. University-sponsored activities are those that are scheduled by academic, student affairs, and athletic units. They include, but are not limited to: intercollegiate athletic competitions activities approved by academic units, including artistic performances; R.O.T.C. functions; academic field trips; professional conferences; and special events connected with coursework.
  •  Government-required activities, such as military assignments, jury duty, or court appearances.
  •  Religious observances that prevent the student from attending class.
  •  Death of an immediate family member, including father, mother, sister, brother, spouse, children, step-children, step-parent, parent-in-laws, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, grandparents, foster parents, foster children, legal guardians, any person who stands in the place of a parent (loco parentis), or a domestic partner.
  •  Documented personal illness.


The following guidelines describe procedures for students, sponsors of appropriate activities, and instructors. 

Students shall:

  •  Provide all scheduled activity dates to their instructors at the start of the semester. For unforeseen absences, notify the instructor as early as possible in the semester of the upcoming activity.
  •  In the case of a University-sponsored event, provide the sponsor of the activity with a list of classes that conflict with the proposed activity.
  •  In the event the absence was due to illness or injury, verification from a health center or medical professional should be presented to the instructor. If the illness was not severe enough to warrant a medical visit, instructors should use their best judgment in determining if it should be excused.
  •  Be responsible for all material covered in class during their absence. Students are responsible for completing any work resulting from their absence. In no case is an excuse from class to be interpreted as a release from class responsibility.
  •  Out of courtesy, remind the instructor of the absence approximately one week prior to the absence.

Sponsors of University-sponsored activities shall:

  •  Provide each participating student with a signed letter for each of the student’s affected classes to be given to their instructors, including time, date, and location of the event. This letter should be provided at the beginning of the semester, or as early as possible in the semester.
  •  Address any concerns a faculty member might have related to the scheduled activity.

Instructors shall:

  •  Inform the student about graded coursework that will be or was missed.
  •  Determine an alternative due date for graded coursework missed.

Religious Accommodations of Students

Youngstown State University instructors will provide students with reasonable alternative accommodations with regard to examinations and other academic requirements missed due to an absence described in the Religious Accommodations of Students policy 3356-8-09 if the student's sincerely held religious belief or practice severely affects the student’s ability to take an examination or meet an academic requirement.
To request an accommodation, no later than fourteen calendar days after the first day of instruction in a course, a student is required to provide the instructor with written notice of the specific dates for which the student requests alternative accommodations. If you have any questions about the policy, contact the Dean of Students, Dr. Nicole Kent-Strollo, at or 330.941.4721 or in person at Cushwa Hall Room 3325.
If you have a complaint about the implementation of this policy, you may submit an academic complaint electronically by visiting the Dean of Students’ website and selecting Student Complaint System, or you may contact Dana Lantz, Director of Equal Opportunity at or (330) 941-4629. Complaints will be addressed pursuant to the Guidelines for Initiating and Investigating Complaints on the Youngstown State University Office of Equal Opportunity, Policy Development and Title IX webpage.  


Office:  Office of the Registrar
Location:  Meshel Hall