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Understanding Grades and Grading

Your one-stop shop for understanding grades, how grading works, calculating your GPA and  university policies regarding grading. For more detailed information on grading policies and academic regulations, visit the University Catalog.

 

How Do I Check My Grades?

Grades are available approximately 3 weeks after the end of each semester. You may check your grades online through the MyCSULB Student Center.  To do so you will need your campus identification number. For assistance with setting up your password and/or navigating MyCSULB, contact the Technology Help Desk 562.985.4959.

If you suspect an error with your grades, please contact your instructor to discuss the discrepancy and the submittal of a Request for Change of Grade form. The form is only available through your instructor. A request for a grade change must be filed within one term from the date your grade was assigned. 

Grade Symbols and Terms 

Instructors are required to assign a final grade for each student registered for a course.  The following grades are used to report the quality of a student's work at CSULB.

Grade Symbols and Terms

Grade

Calculated In GPA?*

Description

A

YES

Peformance of the student has been at the highest level, showing sustained excellence in meeting all course requirements and exhibiting an unusual degree of intellectual initiative.

B

YES

Performance of the student has been at a high level, showing consistent and effective achievement in meeting course requirements.

C

YES

Performance of the student has been at an adequate level, meeting the basic requirements of the course.

D

YES

Performance of the student has been less than adequate, meeting only the minimum course requirements.

F

YES

Performance of the student has been such that minimal course requirements have not been met.

I

NO

Incomplete
See "Understanding Incomplete Grades" below for a full description.

WU/U

YES

Unauthorized Withdrawal  
This grading symbol indicates that a student enrolled in a course but did not officially withdraw from the course and failed to complete the course requirements. A "WU" grade is equivalent to an "F" for GPA and other calculations. In the case of CR/NC option, the grade of NC should be assigned. Instructors must report the 'Last Date of Attendance' for all WU assignments.

AU

NO

Audit  
Enrollment as an auditor is subject to permission of the instructor, provided that enrollment in a course as auditor only after credit students have had an opportunity to enroll.  Once enrolled as an auditor, a student may not change to credit status unless such a change is requested prior to the last day to add classes.

CR

NO

Credit: Usually equivalent to an A,B, or C
See Credit/No Credit Options for detailed information.

NC

NO

No Credit: Usually equivalent to a D, F or WU.
See Credit/No Credit Options for detailed information.

RD

NO

Report Delayed
This grading symbol is used by administrative staff when a department does not submit a course grade sheet.

RP

NO

Report In Progress 
This grading symbol is used in connection with courses requiring multiple enrollment, i.e. that extend beyond one academic term.

W

NO

Withdrawal
This grading symbol is used when the student was permitted to withdraw from a course after the second week of instruction with the approval of the instructor and appropriate campus official. (see Dropping and Withdrawing from Classes)

WE

NO

Withdrawal for Extenuating Circumstances 
This grading symbol is used when the student was permitted to withdraw from a course for extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control.  (see Dropping and Withdrawing from Classes)

* For Graduate students taking 100 and 200 level courses grades assigned will not be factored into overall GPA.

Understanding "Incomplete" Grades

If you cannot complete all the assigned work for a class in time for grading and there is still a possibility for earning credit, you may be allowed to take an "Incomplete" to extend the time you have to finish the assignments and receive a grade. To receive an "Incomplete" you must:

  • Have "unforeseen, but fully justified" reasons for not completing the class work (Policy Statement 02-12).
  • Bring all relevant information to the class instructor and agree with the instructor's terms for how and when you will satisfy the remaining class requirements.
  • Make sure that the class instructor completes and files the, "Requirements for Assigning an Incomplete Grade" form (your instructor must receive the form directly from their Department Office). On this form, the instructor will record the terms by which you have agreed to complete the class work.
  • Keep a copy of the completed form for your own records.
  • Complete the work within one year of the end of the semester in which you took the class, or within a shorter period as specified on the form. You may receive an extension of the one-year completion period only for compelling reasons such as serious illness or military service, and only with the prior permission of the class instructor, department chairperson, and the college dean.

After you have submitted your completed class work to the instructor, he/she will assign your final grade for the class. If you do not submit any work, you will receive the grade indicated by your instructor on the, "Requirements for Assigning an Incomplete Grade" form. If the instructor did not indicate a grade on this form and you do not submit any work under the agreement, you will receive an "F" in the class.

You should not re-enroll for an "Incomplete" class.

Calculating Your GPA

Each letter grade has a specific numeric value assigned to it EXCEPT for:

  • Withdrawal for Extenuating Circumstances (WE)
  • Credit/No Credit (CR/NC)
  • Audit (AU)
  • CSULB courses numbered below 100
  • Post Baccalaureate students enrolled in courses numbered 299 or lower.

These have no numeric value and are not calculated in a student's GPA.  

A student's total grade points are calculated by multiplying the number of units by the number of grade points associated with each grade assigned.

Consider the following example for a 3-unit course: 

Calculating Your GPA

Grade

Numeric Value

Units

Total Grade Points
(Multiply Units by Grade Points)

4

3

12

B

3

3

9

C

2

3

6

D

1

3

3

F/U 

0

3

0

  • GPA is determined by dividing the total number of units attempted into the total number of grade points awarded.

Example: If a student takes four 3-unit courses and received 3 B's and 1 C, then the student's GPA is as follows;

  • Total Units = 12
  • Total Grade Points = 33
  • Total Units (12) divided into Total Grade Points (33) = 2.75 GPA


 

Credit/No Credit Options 

A student can request "Credit/No Credit" (CR/NC) grading for a class.  A "CR/NC" grade will not affect the student’s GPA. The student will receive "Credit" or "No Credit" according to the tables below:


Undergraduates:

Credit/No Credit for Undergraduates Only

Earned
Grade

Issued

A , B or C   

 Credit 

D, F, or WU 

 No Credit

 


 


Graduate Students Only ( 100 & 200 Level Courses):

Credit/No Credit for Graduates Only 

Earned 
Grade

Issued

A , B or C*   

 Credit 

D, F, or WU 

 No Credit

* A few classes in the Graduate College of Education award Credit for "A" and "B" grades only
 



Graduate Students Only (300, 400, 500 & 600 Level Courses):

Credit/No Credit for Graduates Only 

Earned 
Grade

Issued

A or B   

 Credit 

C, D, F, or WU 

 No Credit

 


 

"CR/NC" Restrictions

In certain majors a student may not take required courses for "CR/NC." Check with your program department for college and departmental restrictions on grading options.

Undergraduate students have the following CR/NC limits:

  • 24 total units

  • 12 upper-division units

  • 8 units per semester

These limits include classes taken under the previous pass/fail option. The student may exceed the limits only with the following CR/NC classes:

  • Classes taken outside CSULB

  • Classes offering CR/NC grading only

  • Credit earned by examination only

Students may not reverse their decision and request a letter grade after the deadline for adding classes unless they declare a new major after that deadline and the new major requires a letter grade for the class in question. Under this option, the change must be requested no later than the last day of instruction. The grading option may not be changed retroactively after the end of the semester.

The Dean's List & President's List

Dean's List (Undergraduate Students Only)
An undergraduate student will be placed on the Dean's list each Fall and Spring term in which the student completes 12 or more graded course units with a semester GPA equal to or greater than 3.500 but less than 3.750. The student will be given a certificate for each term in which this honor is received and a notation will be made on the student's transcript. Students earning less than 12 graded course units per Fall or Spring term will be placed on the Dean's List in the Spring term of the academic year in which they accumulate 12 or more graded course units with an academic year GPA of 3.5 to 3.74.

President's List (Undergraduate Students Only)
An undergraduate student will be placed on the President's list each Fall and Spring term in which the student completes 12 or more graded course units with a semester GPA equal to or greater than 3.750. The student will be given a certificate for each term in which this honor is received and a notation will be made on the student's transcript. Students earning less than 12 graded course units per Fall or Spring term will be placed on the President's List in the Spring term of the academic year in which they accumulate 12 or more graded course units with an academic year GPA of 3.75 to 4.0.

Class Auditing

To audit a class (attend without receiving a recorded grade or academic credit) 

The student must meet the following requirements:

  • Count the class in your total number of units when paying registration fees.

  • Request to audit before the deadline to file for an Audit grade option.

  • Attend class regularly.

The student may not reverse this decision and request a letter grade after the deadline for adding classes.