Jul 18, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Examinations & Grading

Tests & Final Exams

Tests may be held at any time during a course at the discretion of the instructor. If a final examination (whether cumulative or not) is given, it should be given during exam week, not during the last week of classes.

Make-up examinations may be given to students who are legitimately absent from a final examination. Requests for make-up exams are made directly to the professor of the course. Students who are suspended for disciplinary reasons are not eligible to take examinations or to make them up, unless such permission is given at the time of suspension.

Grading Information

Instructors report final course grades at the end of each semester. The deadline to submit grades is 48 business hours after the course’s final exam time concludes regardless of whether a final exam is held.

Grades are reported and recorded as letter grades. The tranlation of numeric scores translate to letter grades is the purview of the instructor and/or department, and conversions may differ from course to course.

Student averages and class ranks are computed on the following quality point basis:

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
F 0.0

To determine the quality points earned for a particular course, multiply the number equivalent to the letter grade by the credit hours assigned to the course. To arrive at the grade point average (GPA), add the quality points for all courses and divide the sum by the number of credit hours attempted.

In certain instances, grades are assigned that appear on the transcript, but aren’t used in grade point calculation. These grades are:

Notation Grade Description
AU Audit Student elected to take course for no academic credit. This is a permanent notation.
I Incomplete Some assignments have not been completed for a legitmate reason. This is not a permanent notation.
P Pass Student elected to take course on Pass/Fail basis. A grade of “P” may represent work completed at the “D” level or higher.This is a permanent notation.
WD Withdrawn Student withdrew from the course and did not earn credit. This is a permanent notation.
XT Extended Credit Course is linked to work across multiple semesters, and final course grade is assigned after a subsquent term. This is not a permanent notation.


With instructor approcal, students may enroll in a course on an audit basis. An audit must be declared prior to the drop/add deadline. The fee for auditing a course is one-half the tuition fee, unless it is being taken as part of a full-time course load, in which case there is no additional fee. Full-time students may audit only one course per semester (a maximum of four full courses and one audit). An audit is recorded on the student’s academic record as “AU”, but no grade or credits are assigned. The expectations of the audit are established by the instructor, who will verify successful completion of the audit to the Registrar’s Office at the end of the semester. An auditor is expected to attend classes, but is generally not required to complete assignments or to take examinations unless required by the instructor.


  • A student may request an Incomplete in a course for reasons of illness, emergency or other extenuating circumstances.
  • An Incomplete may be assigned if the student has done acceptable work in a majority of course requirements and/or assignments.
  • If a student has not completed acceptable work in the majority of course requirements and/or assignments prior to the circumstances that prevented completion of the course, a letter grade shall be assigned. (During the withdrawal period, the student also has the option of withdrawing from the course).
  • The faculty instructor has the right to decide whether or not an Incomplete is appropriate based on the student’s performance in the class and the nature of the missing assignments.
  • An Incomplete is not typically available if there are any outstanding Incompletes on a student’s record from a previous term.
  • If the student and faculty instructor agree on the terms of an Incomplete, the faculty instructor will complete the Incomplete Grade Request Form, which serves as a contract between both parties. The Incomplete Grade Form will include an expiration date for the Incomplete and the grade that should be assigned should the student fail to complete the coursework.
  • The Incomplete Grade Form will be routed to the Associate Dean, who will review the student’s eligibility for the Incomplete. The Associate Dean will inform the Registrar, who will record the Incomplete, the expiration date, and the default grade. The Registrar will send a copy of the approved Incomplete form to the student.
  • The Incomplete should be completed as soon at the earliest possible date, but no later than 30 days after the end of the semester in which it is assigned. Extensions to the Incomplete deadline may be approved by the Associate Dean.


A course may be taken on a pass/fail basis with permission from the instructor. Students may not satisfy core, major or minor requirements with courses graded on a pass/fail basis. Students must select the course(s) they wish to take pass/fail and complete the Pass/Fail Grading Request Form prior to the end of the drop/add period for a given term.

Repeating Courses

When a student repeats a course, both grades appear on the transcript and both are computed in the student’s cumulative grade point average. If a repeated course counts toward a student’s major or minor, only the higher grade is computed in the major/minor grade point average. The student earns credit for a repeated course only once. In accordance with the Transfer Credit Policy, if a course is repeated at another college or university, credit is only awarded if institutional credit was not already awarded (i.e. the student repeats a course for which they received an “F” at SMC). Grades in repeated transferred courses do not appear on the SMC transcript, nor do they count toward a student’s grade point average.