UW Graduate School

Memo 19: Grading System for Graduate Students

In reporting grades for graduate students, graduate degree-offering units shall use the system described herein. Grades shall be entered as numbers, the possible values being 4.0, 3.9,… and decreasing by one-tenth until 1.7 is reached. Grades below 1.7 will be recorded as 0.0 by the Registrar and no credit is earned. A minimum of 2.7 is required in each course that is counted toward a graduate degree. A minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 is required for graduation.

Correspondence between number grades and letter grades is as follows:

Numeric Grade-Point Equivalent Letter Grade
4.0 A
3.8 A-
3.4 B+
3.0 B
2.8 B-
2.4 C+
2.0 C
1.6-0.0 E

The following letter grades also may be used:

I  Incomplete. An Incomplete may be given only when the student has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work to within two weeks of the end of the quarter and has furnished proof satisfactory to the instructor that the work cannot be completed because of illness or other circumstances beyond the student’s control.

To obtain credit for the course, a student must successfully complete the work and the instructor must submit a grade. In no case may an Incomplete be converted into a passing grade after a lapse of two years or more. An incomplete received by the graduate student does not automatically convert to a grade of 0.0 but the “I” will remain as a permanent part of the student’s record.

N  No grade. Used only for hyphenated courses and courses numbered 600 (Independent Study and Research), 601 (Internship), 700 (Thesis), 750 (Internship), 800 (Dissertation), and 801 (Practice Doctorate Project/Capstone). An N grade indicates that satisfactory progress is being made, but evaluation depends on completion of the research, thesis, internship, or dissertation, at which time the instructor or Supervisory Committee Chairperson should change the N grade(s) to one reflecting the final evaluation.

S/NS  Satisfactory/Not-Satisfactory. A graduate student, with the approval of the Graduate Program Coordinator or Supervisory Committee Chairperson, may elect to be graded S/NS in any numerically-graded course for which he or she is eligible. If a student does not so elect, then he/she will be graded on a numerical basis. If approval is granted the student must elect the S/NS option either when registering or no later than the end of the seventh week of the quarter. The instructor shall submit a numeric grade to the Registrar, who shall convert grades of 2.7 and above to S and grades lower than 2.7 to NS.

CR/NC  Credit/No Credit. With the approval of the faculty in the academic unit, any course may be designated for grading on the CR/NC basis by notice in the appropriate Time Schedule. For such courses, the instructor will submit a grade of CR or NC to be recorded by the Registrar’s Office for each student in the course at the end of the quarter. All courses numbered 600, 601, 700, 800, and 801 may be graded with a decimal grade, a CR/NC or N at the instructors’ option.

W  Withdrawal. Refer to the University of Washington time schedule or homepage at www.washington.edu/students/reg/wdoffleave.html.

HW  Hardship withdrawal. Grade assigned when a graduate student is allowed a hardship withdrawal from a course after the seventh week of the quarter.

Unofficial withdrawal from a course shall result in a grade of 0.0

The grade W and HW count neither as completed credits nor in computation of grade-point average.

Graduate students who withdraw from the University (dropping all courses for the quarter) during the first week of two consecutive quarters (Summer Quarter excepted) will not be eligible to register as a continuing graduate student for the third quarter. Such graduate students must reapply as former graduate students returning to the University. For example, if a graduate student withdraws during the first week of Spring Quarter and Autumn Quarter, he or she must reapply as a returning former graduate student for Winter Quarter.

A graduate student’s grade-point average will be calculated entirely on the basis of number grades in 400- and 500-level courses. The grades of S, NS, CR, NC, and N will be excluded, as will all grades in courses numbered 600, 601, 700, 750, 800, 801, and in 100-, 200-, and 300- level courses.

The graduate student may petition the Dean of the Graduate School to modify the procedures described above. The petition should be accompanied by comments and recommendations from the Graduate Program Coordinator or Supervisory Committee Chairperson.

Revised: July 1996; July 2015