May 24, 2024  
College Handbook 
College Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


Grading System

Within each course the instructor determines the basis for evaluation and the system used, founded upon academic performance professionally judged, and not on matters irrelevant to that performance. Refer to The Discrimination Policy in this Handbook.

Plus/minus grading became effective for undergraduate students during fall 1991. Plus/minus grading became effective for graduate students in spring 1993.


  • “C-” work is below the 2.0 GPA requirements for overall and major program averages for undergraduate students.
  • “B-” work is below the 3.0 GPA requirements for overall and major program averages for graduate students.

Grade Chart

Grades of Excellence A 4.00
  A- 3.67
Grades of Good B+ 3.34*
  B 3.00
  B- 2.67
Grades of Fair C+ 2.34*
  C 2.00
Grades of Poor C- 1.67
  D+ 1.34*
  D 1.00
  D- 0.67
Grades of Failure E 0.00

* effective with summer 1994 grades

Grades Not Affecting Grade Point Average

PEN - Pending grade (undergraduate only)
I - Incomplete
W - Withdrawal
WI - Involuntary Withdrawal
W(grade) - Withdrawal with parenthetical grade
P/P* - Pass (pass/fail grading)
F/F* - Fail (pass/fail grading)
NR - Grade Not Reported (assigned by Registrar)
CH - Course Challenge (assigned by Registrar)
REP - Remedial Pass †
REF - Remedial Fail †
T(grade) - Transfer coursework
Z(grade) - Grades/credits are removed from grade calculation (forgiveness policy)
^(grade) - Course was repeated; higher grade counts in GPA

Remedial grades are assigned to students enrolled in developmental courses, below the 100-level. These courses carry imputed credit. The registration in the course carries “implied” credit during the semester for determination of full/time student status, but carries no academic credit once the course is graded.

* Indicates student opted for Pass/Fail grading.

Calculating Grade Point Average

Undergraduate Students

The grade point average for each student is computed on both a semester and a cumulative basis. For each semester, grades of “A” through “E” yield the quality points listed in the grade chart above. No other grades carry quality point values.

The GPA for one semester is determined by dividing the number of quality points earned during the semester by the number of credit hours carried during the semester for all courses in which weighted grades were received.

The cumulative GPA is determined by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the total number of credit hours carried for all courses in which weighted grades were received.

Grades for course work earned through transfer credit are not used in the calculation of the grade point average.

Grade point averages are not rounded; they are truncated. Thus, a student with a 2.959 will have an earned GPA of 2.95.

Graduate Students

GPAs are calculated for two different purposes, which are described below.

Academic Retention: For the purpose of academic retention, graduate students (degree and non-degree) must maintain a “B” average (3.00) in all graduate course work taken at the College at Oneonta, whether or not the course(s) apply to the student’s degree program. There is no rounding up of grade point averages.

Graduation: Graduate students are required to have a “B” average (3.00) in all courses used to fulfill degree requirements. There is no rounding up of grade point averages.

Examples of courses not used in the “graduation grade point average” are:

  • any undergraduate courses, even if they were required for remediation
  • graduate courses that apply to another graduate program
  • graduate courses that are taken as an elective (over and above elective courses required within the program)
  • graduate courses in which grades of “C-” and below are earned
  • graduate courses where grade earned did not meet a specified course minimum grade requirement.

    (e.g., School Counselor program requires a minimum grade of “B” in CNED 500. A student earns a “C” the first time and a “B+” the second time. The “C” grade does not apply to the program, thus will not be used in the calculation of the graduation grade point average. The “C” grade will, however, be used for purposes of retention in the program.)

Grading Policies and Procedures

Grade Posting

Federal law (FERPA) prohibits posting grades using students’ name and/or Social Security number, and/or Oneonta ID number, or any part thereof. However it is possible to post by a code name or number (not the Oneonta ID #, S.S. # or any part thereof) agreed to by the student and faculty member. Also, please scramble the names on your roster before assigning code names so that posting does not reflect an alphabetical listing of your roster.

It is also against FERPA regulations to leave students’ graded course work in a general pick up area. Graded course work must be returned individually to students. Violations of this law can result in termination of Federal funding to the College.

Questions regarding posting of grades should be directed to the Registrar’s Office (x2472).

Interim Progress Reports (Mid-Term Grades)

Faculty are required to submit Interim Progress Reports for all undergraduate students (degree and non-degree). Interim grades are not required for mini- and half-semester courses. Interim grades do not apply to graduate students.

Grading Scale for Mid-Term Grades

3 - satisfactory (“A” through “C”; or “Pass” for Pass/Fail grading)
2 - marginal (“C-” through “D-“)
1 - unacceptable (unacceptable academic performance or participation)
0 - faculty unable to provide evaluation

There may be a limited number of other courses where early evaluation is inappropriate or impossible; reports are expected for all standard undergraduate courses, and especially for all general education courses.

Interim grades are due from faculty within the first six weeks of the semester. Specific deadlines are available on the Keydates and Deadlines distributed prior to the beginning of each semester. They are also available on the Registrar’s web page at Interim grades are provided to students via web services prior to the last day to withdraw from an individual course.

Final Grades

All faculty are required to submit final grades no later than 48 hours after administration of the final exam. Grades must be submitted via the web ( effective Fall 2010.

Grade Changes

Letter grades on file with the Registrar at the end of a semester are final unless an error in calculating the grade is discovered. If so, the instructor must file a grade change form explaining, in detail, the error. This form requires the approval of the department chair and is then processed by the Registrar. Grade changes that are not consistent with academic policy will be reviewed by the appropriate dean. The student will receive an e-mail notification when a change has been made. Permitting a student to submit missing work or extra credit to improve a grade, or re-evaluating an individual’s course work after grades have been submitted is not acceptable.

It is the student’s responsibility to call the instructor’s attention to a possible grading error in a timely manner, typically during the semester following that in which the questioned grade was received. If twelve months have elapsed since the grade was issued, no grade change will be made.

Changes from “I” (Incomplete) or “PEN” (Pending) to a final grade do not require department chair approval.

Students and Grading

Students (including work study students, teaching assistants, etc.) must not be permitted to participate in any form of grading. This includes, but is not limited to, evaluating and/or assigning grades, posting grades, handling grade change forms or grade sheets.

Incomplete Grades

Incomplete grades may be assigned only on request by the student and only under the following conditions:

  • A majority of the course work has been completed
  • Completion was not possible due to circumstances beyond the student’s control
  • Course work can be completed without additional faculty instruction.

Faculty may not assign an incomplete in circumstances where the student’s performance to date clearly indicates an inability to pass the course as originally structured in the syllabus. Faculty may not assign an incomplete grade in place of a failing grade or because the student stopped attending class.

An example of acceptable circumstances would be a student who missed the final exam or final paper because of an illness or family emergency that can be documented.

Faculty may not assign an incomplete grade without the student’s knowledge.

An understanding of the remaining course requirements and the deadline for completion of them must be established between the student and faculty member prior to assigning the incomplete.

Faculty must complete an Incomplete Grade Agreement Form and submit it to the Registrar’s Office at the same time end-of-term grades are submitted.

Students must not re-register for the course in order to complete the course work. If they do, a failing grade will be assigned for the first course registration.

Deadlines for completing incompletes are determined by the course instructor. However, they must be within College designated deadlines noted below.

  • For incompletes received in spring or summer terms, the deadline for completion is approximately the last week of November unless course instructor determines an earlier date.
  • For incompletes received in fall terms, the deadline for completion is approximately the last week in April unless course instructor determines an earlier date.

Specific dates are posted in Keydates and Deadlines distributed each semester to faculty and students. They are also available on the Registrar’s web page

Extension of the deadline beyond the College designated one should not be necessary. However, under extreme circumstances, a student may submit a Petition for Extension of Incomplete form. The petition must state reasons for the request, and contain documentation supporting the request. The student submits the petition to the course instructor and advisor for signature indicating support of the request. The petition is then submitted to the division dean for final approval. The approved forms are submitted to the Registrar for recording.

The Registrar will send notification of outstanding incompletes to students and their instructors, indicating specific deadlines and any approved extension dates.

Any incomplete grades not resolved by the College deadline via incomplete extension form or grade change form will be converted to failing grades. These failing grades will not be changed back to incomplete grades, so both faculty and students must be attentive to these deadlines.

Incomplete grades may not be changed to “W” grades at a later date.

Degrees will not be awarded to students who have Incomplete grades. The student must opt to change the Incomplete to an “E/F” or complete the course work and reapply for the degree during the semester in which the course requirements are completed.

Pending Grades

Note: Pending Grades are not assigned at the graduate level.

The grade “PEN” indicates that the course work has been satisfactory but there is some persistent inadequacy in writing or reading. Instructors should refer a student to the Center for Academic Development and Enrichment as soon as a problem is discovered and not wait to assign a “PEN” grade at the end of the term.

The “PEN” grade may be used when an instructor discovers a specific skill deficiency (writing or reading) in a student’s work, but not in place of an “E” or “I” grade. Students who receive a “PEN” grade are required to start remediation during the next semester in residence.

Pending grades may not be assigned in non-credit courses. When a “PEN” grade is given in a course, the deadline for completion of the course is identical to that given for an Incomplete, i.e., during the semester following that in which the “PEN” was assigned. For “PEN” grades assigned in the fall, the deadline is approximately the last week in April. For “PEN” grades assigned in the spring or summer, the deadline is approximately the last week in November. Failure to complete “PEN” grades will result in a failing grade for the course. With the student’s consent, an instructor may extend the “PEN” grade whenever there is an educational advantage in doing so. This may be accomplished by submitting an Extension of Incomplete form with the Registrar, prior to the incomplete/pending deadline.

Instructors assigning “PEN” grades must complete and attach a “Student Notification of Pending Grade” form, providing a brief but clear written statement of the exact skill to be mastered in order to pass the course. The Registrar will send a copy of this form to the student and to the Center for Academic Development and Enrichment.

Pass-Fail Grading


There are two types of Pass/Fail grades. Academic departments designate the grading category of a course or courses when a new course is proposed or through a course change proposal for existing courses. These grade mode designations become part of the College’s Course Master File and cannot be changed for individual students or for an individual course or section of a course in a given semester.

Pass/Fail Only

Courses with Pass/Fail Only designation are always graded with a Pass or Fail (“P” or “F”). Credits earned count toward degree requirements; grades are not used in calculating grade point average. These courses may not be taken on a letter grade (“A-E”) basis.

Pass/Fail Option

Student may opt to receive either “A” through “E” grading or P/F grading. In these courses, students will be graded “A-E”, unless they register their Pass/Fail status with the Registrar during the add/drop period. These Pass/Fail option grades are reflected as “P*” or “F*”. The asterisk delineates them from the Pass/Fail only grades. Instructor permission is not required for student to take this option. The student’s grade mode choice is indicated on class rosters and grade sheets. Credits earned count toward degree requirements; grades are not used in calculating grade point average. Student may choose to change back to a letter grade mode during the semester in accordance with Keydates and Deadlines.

Pass/Fail at the Undergraduate Level

At the undergraduate level a “Pass” grade is defined as achievement of the minimum requirements of the course.

  • Students may not opt for Pass/Fail grading during their first semester at Oneonta;
  • Courses taken to fulfill major requirements, concentration requirements, General Education requirements, or minor requirements may not be taken on a Pass/Fail option basis;
  • Some departments may have Pass/Fail restrictions on courses required for related work.
  • Students are limited to one Pass/Fail option course in any semester and to a total of 12 semester hours of Pass/Fail option overall;
  • Students may take up to 4 semester hours of Pass/Fail option physical education activity credits in addition to the 12 semester hours described above. They may use this option during their first semester on campus as well as during a semester in which they have enrolled for an academic course on a Pass/Fail basis.
  • Students who exceed the maximum Pass/Fail option credits must complete an equal amount of additional credit beyond the 122 credits required for graduation.

Pass/Fail Grading at the Graduate Level

Grades of “P” (Pass) may be counted toward a master’s degree when the course is offered on a Pass/Fail Only basis. If students register in a course where they select Pass/Fail Option rather than “A-E” grading, that course will not be counted toward a master’s degree. For graduate level courses a Pass is equivalent to a grade of “B” or higher.

Withdrawal Grades

There are three types of “W” grades:

  • “W” grades are assigned if a student drops a course after the add/drop period but before the last day to withdraw from a course; or if the student withdraws from the College or takes a leave prior to the last day to withdraw from a course.
  • “WI” grades are Involuntary Withdrawal grades and are assigned when an instructor requests that a student be removed from the course for poor attendance. This occurs after the add/drop period but before the last day to withdraw from a course. See the chapter on Class Attendance.
  • “W” with a parenthetical grade (e.g., “WC+”). When a student withdraws from the College, takes a leave of absence, or is suspended from college after the last day to withdraw from a course, the “W” grade is reported along with a grade indicating the student’s performance to date. This gives the College an indication of the student’s academic abilities should the student apply for readmission.

Withdrawal (“W”/”WI”) grades are administrative grades assigned by the Registrar’s Office under the following conditions:

  • Student withdraws from the College
  • Student withdraws from an individual course
  • Student takes a leave of absence after the semester has begun
  • Student is disciplinary suspended
  • Faculty requests student be withdrawn for poor attendance.