Academic policies Office of the Registrar University of Texas at Austin
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General Information | 2006-2007 page 4 of 12 in Chapter 4
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Evaluation

Faculty members are free to develop their own methods of evaluating the performance of students in their classes, both undergraduate and graduate, but they are required to make the methods of evaluation to be used known in writing before the end of the fourth class day each semester and the second class day each summer term. Responsibility for assuring adequate methods of evaluation rests with departmental faculties and is subject to administrative review. In courses with multiple sections, departments should provide for necessary coordination. Materials used in evaluating a student's performance must be collected by the instructor at or before the regularly scheduled final examination. The final examination is a common method of final evaluation in courses.

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Grades

Letter grades are used to record the instructor's evaluation of students' performance in a course. Five grades are used for undergraduate courses: A (excellent), B (above average), C (average), D (pass), and F (failure). To receive credit for (complete) a course, an undergraduate student must earn a grade of at least D. [2]

For graduate courses, the following grades are used: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, and F. Plus/minus grades are recorded only for graduate courses taken by graduate students. The letter grades that may be assigned to undergraduates enrolled in graduate courses and graduate students enrolled in undergraduate courses are A, B, C, D, and F.

Only courses in which the student earns a grade of C or better may be included in the Program of Work for a graduate degree. [2] More information about the Program of Work is given in the Graduate Catalog.

Grades are given by semester; however, in a course extending through two or three semesters, credit is not counted toward the degree until all semesters have been completed.

Members of the faculty are not authorized, without the academic dean's approval, to withhold a final grade or to defer reporting a final grade at the end of the semester other than by the use of the symbol X. If a grade is withheld without the dean's approval, the grade may not be added to the official records later without the written approval of the academic dean. [3]

After a grade has been reported to the registrar, it may not be changed unless an error was made by the instructor.

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Symbols

Under specific conditions, instructors may use a symbol rather than a letter grade to report a student's standing in the semester's work. The following symbols are used:

 
CR Credit
NC No credit
Q Course was dropped
W Student withdrew from the University
X Temporary delay of course grade
I Permanent incomplete
* Course is continuing
S Satisfactory
U Unsatisfactory
# Grade was not submitted in time for this report
Z Student is registered on the pass/fail or credit/no credit basis
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Symbol X: Temporary Delay in Reporting the Final Course Grade

A student is expected to complete a course, including self-paced courses, in a single semester, summer term, or summer session. If the course is not completed as expected, the student normally will not be given additional time to complete it, or to do additional work to achieve a better grade. In rare instances, for nonacademic reasons and at the discretion of the instructor, a temporary delay of the final course grade, symbol X, may be recorded.

Improper uses of the symbol X. A student must not be assigned the symbol X to provide (1) the opportunity to raise a grade for any reason other than the approved reasons cited below; (2) time to prepare coursework in addition to that assigned the entire class; or (3) time to repeat the entire course.

Approved uses of the symbol X. The symbol X is not issued for student or faculty convenience; it may be issued for one of the following reasons only in the case of compelling, nonacademic circumstances beyond the student's control.

  1. Missing the final examination: The student is unable to take a final examination because of illness or for another nonacademic reason. A physician's statement or other satisfactory verification is required.
  2. Incomplete classroom assignment: The student has not been able to complete the required class or laboratory assignments for a reason other than lack of adequate effort. A request for temporary delay of the final course grade because of incomplete class or laboratory work can be made only if the student has a passing average on the classwork or laboratory work already completed and has taken and passed the final examination (unless a final examination is not given in the course or the student is unable to take the examination for reasons indicated in the previous paragraph).
  3. Reexamination petition: Only a student who has a grade average of at least C on all classwork and laboratory work submitted before the final examination may request a temporary delay of the final course grade because he or she failed the final examination, which is the examination given during the final examination period as defined in the official examination schedule. If the instructor denies the student's reexamination petition, the student's final course grade remains as originally determined. If the instructor grants the petition, and the student earns a grade of at least C on the reexamination, then the instructor substitutes the reexamination grade for the original examination grade in determining the student's final course grade. If the instructor grants the petition, and the student earns a grade on the reexamination of less than C, then a final course grade of F must be recorded.

Assignment of the symbol X by the registrar. If a faculty member fails to report a grade for a student, the registrar enters the symbol X; an X is also entered for a student who is given the symbol CR by the instructor when the student is not registered for the course on the pass/fail or credit/no credit basis. In either case, the student should contact the instructor promptly so that a final grade may be reported to the registrar. If no final grade is reported, the symbol X is converted to a grade of F or the symbol I as described in the following section.

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Replacement of the Symbol X with a Grade or the Symbol I

Undergraduates

If an undergraduate student receives the symbol X in a course, the student must complete the requirements for the course and the instructor must report a final course grade by the last date for grade reporting in the next long-session semester, or an F will be recorded as the final grade in the course. The symbol X will also remain on the record. The period for completion of the coursework may be extended only for unusual circumstances beyond the student's control, as recommended by the instructor and approved by the student's academic dean. A student who has received an X in a course may not register for that course again until a final grade has been recorded, unless the course is one that may be repeated for credit.

The registrar will notify the student when a grade change is recorded.

If the symbol X appears on a student's record, the course for which the symbol is recorded is not included in the student's University grade point average. When the final grade has been recorded as described in the preceding paragraph, then the course is included in the student's grade point average. More information about the grade point average is given below.

Graduate Students

If a graduate student receives the symbol X in a course, the student must complete the course requirements by the last class day in his or her next long-session semester of enrollment; the instructor must report a final grade by the end of the grade reporting period in that semester. If these deadlines are not met, the symbol X is converted to the symbol I (permanent incomplete). If the student is not enrolled during a long-session semester for twenty-four months following the end of the semester in which the X is reported, and the instructor does not report a final grade, then the symbol X is converted to the symbol I. The symbol I cannot be converted to a grade. When the symbol I is recorded, the symbol X also remains on the student's record.

The period for completion of course requirements may be extended only under unusual circumstances beyond the student's control and only upon the recommendation of the instructor and the approval of the graduate dean.

The registrar will notify the student when a grade change is recorded.

A course for which the symbol X or I is recorded is not included in the graduate grade point average and may not be listed on the student's Program of Work. If the symbol X is converted to a grade as described in the preceding paragraph, the course is included in the graduate grade point average and may be listed on the Program of Work.

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Symbols CR and NC

Some courses must be taken for a letter grade; others must be taken on the pass/fail or credit/no credit basis. These courses are identified in the Undergraduate Catalog, the Graduate Catalog, and the Course Schedule. If registration for a course is not limited to the letter-grade basis, then the student may choose to register for credit rather than for a grade. Undergraduates register on the pass/fail basis and earn either the symbol CR (credit) or a grade of F; graduate students register on the credit/no credit basis and earn either the symbol CR or the symbol NC (no credit).

The student should choose the pass/fail or credit/no credit option at the time of registration and may not change the grading basis in a course after the deadline given in the academic calendar. Undergraduates may not change the grading basis in a course more than once.

Coursework requirements and methods of evaluation in a course must be the same for students registered on the pass/fail or credit/no credit basis as they are for students registered on the letter-grade basis.

Pass/Fail

Rules affecting registration on the pass/fail basis apply to all courses taken by an undergraduate.

An undergraduate who registers for a course on the pass/fail basis and earns a grade of D or better is awarded the symbol CR for the course; if the student fails the course, a grade of F is awarded. If the student receives the symbol CR, the course is not included in the grade point average; if the student receives a grade of F, the course is included in the grade point average.

Provided the following conditions are met, an undergraduate may take a maximum of five one-semester courses, including correspondence courses, on the pass/fail basis as part of the hours required for the student's degree. [4]

  1. The course must be in an elective subject outside the student's major field.
  2. The student must have received at least thirty hours of college credit before registering for any course on the pass/fail basis, unless the course is offered only on the pass/fail basis.
  3. The student may take no more than two courses a semester on the pass/fail basis.

Other regulations may be imposed by the student's college or school. If a student decides to major in a subject in which he or she has taken a course on the pass/fail basis, it is the prerogative of the department to decide whether or not the course will count toward degree requirements.

Each department may offer as many as two courses in its major entirely on the pass/fail basis.

Credit by examination. Undergraduates may earn credit by exam on the pass/fail basis in required courses. Accepting credit by exam with the symbol CR does not reduce the number of elective courses for which the student may register on the pass/fail basis. (More information about credit by examination is given below.)

Credit/No Credit

Rules affecting registration on the credit/no credit basis apply to all courses—undergraduate, graduate, and professional—taken by a graduate student.

The student must have the graduate adviser's approval to take a course on the credit/no credit basis. There is no limit on the number of courses a graduate student may take on this basis. However, no more than 20 percent of the hours on the Program of Work for a master's degree may have been taken on the credit/no credit basis, and no more than a comparable portion of the Program of Work for a doctoral degree. (Additional information about the Program of Work is given in the Graduate Catalog.)

Performance at the level of C or above is required to earn credit (CR) for a course taken on the credit/no credit basis. Courses taken on the credit/no credit basis are not included when the grade point average is computed.

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Symbols S and U

The symbols S (satisfactory) and U (unsatisfactory) are assigned only in developmental studies (DEV) courses. These courses are not included in the student's grade point average.

Repetition of a Course

If a student repeats a course and has two or more grades, all grades and all semester hours are used to calculate the University grade point average and to determine the student's scholastic eligibility to remain in school. The official grade in a course is the last one assigned.

A student enrolled in any of the following may not repeat for credit a course in which he or she has earned a grade of C or better: the McCombs School of Business, the College of Communication, the College of Engineering, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Natural Sciences, the School of Nursing, and the College of Pharmacy.

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Computation of the Grade Point Average

While a student's performance in a course is represented by a letter grade, a grade point average is used to represent his or her academic performance more broadly. For undergraduates, the official grade point average is called the cumulative University grade point average; the official grade point average for graduate students is called the graduate grade point average. Official grade point averages are calculated by the registrar and appear on the student academic record maintained by the registrar.

Undergraduate Students

The cumulative University grade point average for an undergraduate includes all work undertaken at the University of Texas at Austin (including credit by examination, correspondence, and extension) for which a letter grade is recorded. Courses in which the symbol I, Q, W, X, S, U, or CR is recorded are excluded.

The following numerical equivalents of letter grades are used in the calculation of the undergraduate University grade point average:

 
Letter grade Grade points
A 4.00
B 3.00
C 2.00
D 1.00
F 0.00
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Graduate Students

The graduate grade point average includes all graduate courses in which the student earns a letter grade while he or she is enrolled in the Graduate School; the following are excluded: undergraduate courses taken through the University's Division of Continuing Education; courses for which the symbol Q, W, X, I, CR, or NC is recorded; graduate or undergraduate courses the student took at the University before enrolling in the Graduate School; credit earned by examination; and courses taken at other institutions. The graduate grade point average also excludes grades in all undergraduate courses the student took in fall 1999 or later; upper-division undergraduate courses he or she took as a graduate student before fall 1999 are included.

The following numerical equivalents of letter grades are used in the calculation of the graduate grade point average:

 
Letter grade  Grade points Letter grade  Grade points
  A 4.00   C 2.00
  A- 3.67   C- 1.67
  B+ 3.33   D+ 1.33
  B 3.00   D 1.00
  B- 2.67   D- 0.67
  C+ 2.33   F 0.00
 

Plus/minus grades are recorded only for graduate courses taken by graduate students. The letter grades that may be awarded to undergraduates enrolled in graduate courses and graduate students enrolled in undergraduate courses are A, B, C, D, and F.

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General Information | 2006-2007 page 4 of 12 in Chapter 4
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Academic policies Office of the Registrar University of Texas at Austin copyright 2006
Official Publications 15 Aug 2006