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Grade Information

This page contains general information for Faculty regarding grades.  Please refer to the College Catalog for more detailed information.

Letter Grades ; Incomplete GradesDeferred Grades ; Grade Changes  

Letter Grades

Letter grades are assigned grade points as indicated below and are used to denote the quality of a student's work. All work recorded with these grades (graded credits attempted) is used in the calculation of grade point averages.


 Grade Points
per Credit

A+, A  4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0
B- 2.7
C+   2.3  
C 2.0
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D 1.0
D- 0.7
F (Failure) 0.0

Grade point averages are computed by dividing the number of grade points earned by the number of graded credits attempted. The following symbols carry no grade points; work recorded with any of these symbols is not used in the calculation of grade point averages:

P The symbol P is used to designate credit earned for those courses completed under the P-D-F grade option in which the student has received the equivalent of a C- or better grade. Certain courses may also be designated as graded on a P-D-F basis only; such courses are identified on the student's permanent record.

CR Denotes that credit is allowed for a course graded on a credit-no credit basis.

NC Denotes that no credit is allowed for a course graded on a credit no- credit basis. The use of the CR and NC grades is limited to activity courses and other courses specifically designated by the faculty.

AU The symbol AU is used to designate a course is completed on an audit basis in which the student receives no credit.

NR An administratively recorded temporary symbol used when a standard grade has not been submitted by the instructor.

X The symbol X, which is used to designate a deferred grade, may be assigned only if prior approval has been granted by the Board of Review.

I The symbol I, which is used to designate an incomplete, may be assigned only under the conditions listed in the section which follows.

W This symbol is used to indicate the official withdrawal from a course after the sixth week but prior to the end of the tenth week of classes.

Incomplete grades

A grade of incomplete is initiated by the student at the Dean of Student's Office. At Whitman College, and depending upon the reason, the Dean of Students or the Board of Review authorizes incompletes. However, the faculty must indicate on the form the quality and the quantity of the work completed to date and whether on not completion of the work is feasible. Students are encouraged to talk with their faculty prior to initiating the incomplete process. When the student fulfills the remaining course requirements, the instructor must convert the "I" to a final grade through the Registrar's Office. If course requirements are not completed by the appropriate time, the "I" remains a permanent part of the student's record.  Effective Fall 2005, grades of incomplete (except those still pending completion) are replaced by a standard letter grade.

When a grade of incomplete has been authorized, the instructor shall record a provisional grade.  The provisional grade is the default grade that the student will receive if he or she fails to do the work required to complete the course.  As such, it should be calculated assuming a grade of zero on all outstanding work.  The result of this calculation in many cases will be an F, and under no conditions should the provisional grade be an A.

Deferred grades

Grades may be deferred at the request of the instructor and must be approved by the Board of Review, with a deadline for the completion of the course requirements given. An email or letter to the Registrar is sufficient for this purpose, but it must be turned in prior to or at the time the grade sheet is submitted. The instructor must convert the X grade into a definite and final grade.

Grade changes

A grade may be changed by the instructor only with the approval of the Board of Review. An email or letter to the Registrar explaining the reason for the change is sufficient for this purpose.

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