Grades

The grading system is as follows:

A excellent
B good
C fair
D poor but passing
F failure (the grade of F is a final grade and is not subject to reexamination)

Plus and minus grades are also used, except with D. Grade point averages are computed on the following scale:

A+ = 4.33
A  = 4.00
A- = 3.67

B+ = 3.33
B  = 3.00
B- = 2.67

C+ = 2.33
C  = 2.00
C- = 1.65

D = 1.00

F = 0.00

The Columbia College GPA calculator can help students calculate their grade point average outside of SSOL.

When the Office of the Registrar calculates the grade point average, courses are weighted according to the number of credit points. Unless otherwise stated in specific degree or program requirements, each student must maintain at least a B (3.0) average. Students may appeal to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs to retake an SPS course in which they have received an F. In certain cases, there might be program-specific courses that have higher minimum grades. In consultation with the student’s academic program, the Associate Dean of Student Affairs will confirm if the course repeat offer is approved. Courses repeated without advance approval will not be honored. Please note: This appeal must be filed no later than 10 business days after the grade has been posted on SSOL. The grades for both of the courses will be posted on the student’s transcript; the first course will not count toward the student’s minimum GPA for good standing, but the second iteration will. The student will be charged applicable tuition for both courses.

P (Passed): Indicates a course taken and passed for examination credit but without indication of quality. Course instructors award the appropriate letter grade, which is converted by the Office of the Registrar into a mark of P (for grades A through D) or F. Elementary and intermediate foreign language courses, except for American Language Program courses, cannot be taken on a Pass/Fail basis. Visiting students should not request the mark of P without first obtaining permission from the appropriate official at their home institution. Students in structured postbaccalaureate programs or in a degree program are not permitted to have courses taken on a Pass/Fail basis count toward the requirements of the certification or degree. Students for whom the mark of P is academically acceptable may indicate this during registration or on subsequent application based on the deadline for the term. Under no circumstance may a student change from taking a course Pass/Fail after the last day to exercise the Pass/Fail option. See the Academic Calendar.

Students in the Postbaccalaureate Studies and Visiting Students Programs are allowed to uncover a grade of Pass within two weeks of the start of the semester immediately following that in which the grade of Pass was received. Students have until the end of the Change-of-Program (Add/Drop) Period in the Spring semester to uncover the grade of a Fall course, and until the end of the Change of Program (Add/Drop) period in the Fall semester to uncover a grade of a Spring or Summer Session course. Students who wish to uncover their letter grade(s) for courses taken on a Pass/Fail basis may make this request via SSOL within two weeks of the start of the following semester.

UW (unofficial withdrawal): UW (unofficial withdrawal): The mark of UW may be assigned to students who have registered for a course but have never attended, or have discontinued attendance prior to the due date of substantive work, without officially dropping the course. Alternatively, a letter grade may be assigned by averaging uncompleted work.

Although marks of UW are not counted as part of a student's overall academic average, they do indicate that the student is not making satisfactory academic progress. Thus, students who receive marks of UW may be placed on academic warning or probation, or they may be asked to terminate their studies.

The mark of UW is permanent and cannot be changed by subsequent completion of course work. (See INC (Incomplete) below.)

INC (Incomplete): Granted only with the permission of the Office of Student Affairs, in consultation with the course instructor. The purpose of the mark of INC is to permit postponement of the final written work or exam for the course when incapacitating illness (as certified in writing by the University Health Service or by a private medical practitioner), serious family emergency, or other comparably grave situations require such postponement. The major portion of the course requirements must have been completed if a student is to be eligible for the mark of INC.

Students who wish to receive the mark of INC must submit an Application for Grade of Incomplete to the Office of Student Affairs before the last day of class. Applications for a Grade of Incomplete will not be accepted after the last day of class. Students who are granted the mark of INC must agree with the course instructor on a terminal date for the completion of the work required for the course. After the agreed upon terminal date, the mark of INC will be changed to the appropriate letter grade. If the student does not complete the work by the deadline, the student will earn the grade indicated on the Application for Grade of Incomplete. In extraordinary instances, a maximum one-term extension may be granted by the Office of Student Affairs. Students with marks of INC in 50 percent or more of their coursework will not be permitted to register for the following term. An INC may not be removed by auditing or otherwise attending the course a second time.

Grade Appeal Policy

The performance of a student is judged at the discretion of the course instructor. If a student finds himself or herself in an untenable situation during a course, and believes procedures are not appropriate or are biased towards an individual or group, students should submit their documented concerns to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs.

Only final course grades may be appealed; students may not appeal individual assignment grades. Prior to pursuing an official grade appeal, a student should first objectively compare and evaluate what he or she earned for each component of the final course grade, per the requirements outlined in the course syllabus.

If students remain certain that there was a miscalculation, they should first connect with their instructor to clarify the grading discrepancy. If all attempts to contact the instructor have failed and more than 7 business days have passed, or if the student still objectively disagrees with the instructor’s assessment after receiving concrete feedback, the student may begin the formal grade appeal process by contacting the Office of Student Affairs at studentaffairs@sps.columbia.edu. Formal grade appeal requests must be submitted no more than 14 business days after the end of term.

Grade changes are not permitted after a degree or certificate has been conferred.

This grade appeal policy applies to SPS courses only; for courses that are administered by other schools, the student must contact the school directly to inquire about grade appeals.