Oct 31, 2020  
2020-2021 Academic Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Academic Catalog

Grades


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Change of Grade

The basic principle underlying changes of grade is that all students be treated fairly and be given equal opportunities to demonstrate their academic learning and earn course grades representing that learning. Application of this criterion precludes the assignment of extra credit unless such assignments were made known and available to all students in the class. It further precludes rejudgment, afterthought, or reconsideration of an individual’s graded work unless such opportunity for change of grade is made equally available to all students in the class.

Unless a rejudgment, afterthought, or reconsideration is applied fairly and equally for all students in a class, a change of grade request may be submitted only when there is an error in grading an assignment or course component, or in the case of a clerical, computational, transcriptional, or other administrative error. The specific nature of the error shall be recorded on the form requesting the change of grade. Once approved, the original grade will be removed from the transcript and the new (changed) grade will replace it.

A change of grade request must be submitted by the department office directly to the Office of the Registrar in a timely fashion. Normally, such requests must be received by the drop deadline of the following Spring or Fall semester and will require the signatures of the instructor and the department chair. Further extension of this deadline will be considered only when there is documentation of the student’s attempt(s) to contact both the instructor and the department chair, and the late submission of the change of grade form is clearly beyond the student’s control.

A change of grade request received after the drop deadline of the following Spring or Fall semester and within one calendar year after the posting of the grade requires the signature of the appropriate college Associate Dean in addition to those of the instructor and the department chair.

A change of grade request received more than one year after the posting of the grade will require, additionally, the approval of the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education or Associate Dean for College of Graduate Studies, as appropriate.

Grade Appeals and Grade Assignments

Student Fairness Dispute, University Policy S14-3

Assignment of Grades and Provisions for Appeals

The following principles support the minimum standards governing the assignment of grades and provisions for appeals (per CSU Executive Order 1037):

  1. Faculty have the sole right and responsibility to provide careful evaluation and timely assignment of appropriate grades.
  2. There is a presumption that grades assigned are correct. It is the responsibility of anyone appealing an assigned grade to demonstrate otherwise.
  3. In the absence of compelling reasons, such as instructor or clerical error, prejudice or capriciousness, the grade assigned by the instructor of record is to be considered final.
  4. Process for student appeal
    1. Students who believe that an appropriate grade has not been assigned should first seek to resolve the matter informally with the instructor of record (per Change of Grade section).
    2. If the matter cannot be resolved informally, the student may pursue a grade appeal and present his or her case to the Student Fairness Committee (according to University Policy S14-3, Student Fairness Dispute Resolution), have it reviewed and, where justified, receive a grade correction.
  5. If the instructor of record does not assign a grade, or if he or she does not change an assigned grade when the necessity to do so has been established by appropriate campus procedures, it is the responsibility of other qualified faculty as determined by the appropriate campus entity. “Qualified faculty” means one or more persons with academic training comparable to the instructor of record who are presently on the faculty at that campus.
  6. SJSU shall maintain and implement existing policy and procedures covering the assignment of grades and grade appeals that include the following provisions:
    1. The time and manner of reporting course grades including provisions for assuring that such grades have been assigned by the instructor of record.
    2. Circumstances under which the instructor of record may change a grade once assigned, and procedures for making such changes.
    3. A means for preliminary review of potential appeals that may resolve differences before initiation of formal proceedings.
    4. Grounds for which a grade appeal is permitted.
    5. One or more committees for hearing grade appeals that shall provide safeguards to assure due process for both student and instructor. Such committees shall include student membership. Student members shall not participate in assignment of grades.
    6. Procedures whereby grades are assigned by other qualified faculty in circumstances where the instructor of record does not do so, including those instances where a grade change is recommended by a grade appeals committee and the instructor of record does not carry out that recommendation.
    7. Specification of time limits for completion of various steps in the appeal process and of the time period during which an appeal may be brought.
    8. Description of the extent of the authority of the appeals committee(s), including provisions that clearly limit grade changes to instances where there is a finding that the grade was improperly assigned.
    9. Limitation of committee authority to actions that are consistent with other campus and system policy.
    10. A statement that there is a presumption that grades assigned are correct. Thus, the burden of proof rests with the individual who is appealing.
    11. Procedures for dealing with allegations of improper procedure.
    12. Assignment of authority to revise policies and procedures for grade appeals to the campus Academic Senate. The campus president is responsible for ensuring that such revisions conform to the principles and provisions of this executive order.
    13. Provision for annual reporting to the President and Academic Senate on the number and disposition of cases heard.

Change of Grade (Not Resulting from a Grade Appeal)

  1. The basic principle underlying changes of grade is that all students be treated fairly and be given equal opportunities to demonstrate their academic learning and earn course grades representing that learning. Application of this criterion precludes the assignment of extra credit unless such assignments were made known and available to all students in the class. It further precludes rejudgment, afterthought, or reconsideration of an individual’s graded work unless such opportunity for change of grade is made equally available to all students in the class.
  2. Unless a rejudgment, afterthought, or reconsideration is applied fairly and equally for all students in a class, a change of grade request may be submitted only when there is an error in grading an assignment or course component, or in the case of a clerical, computational, transcriptional, or other administrative error. The specific nature of the error shall be recorded on the form requesting the change of grade. Once approved, the original grade will be removed from the transcript and the new (changed) grade will replace it.
  3. A change of grade request must be submitted by the department office directly to the Office of the Registrar in a timely fashion. Normally, such requests must be received by the drop deadline of the following Spring or Fall semester and will require the signatures of the instructor and the department chair. Further extension of this deadline will be considered only when there is documentation of the student’s attempt(s) to contact both the instructor and the department chair, and the late submission of the change of grade form is clearly beyond the student’s control.
  4. A change of grade request received after the drop deadline of the following Spring or Fall semester and within one calendar year after the posting of the grade requires the signature of the appropriate college Associate Dean in addition to those of the instructor and the department chair.
  5. A change of grade request received more than one year after the posting of the grade will require, additionally, the approval of the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies or Graduate Studies, as appropriate.
  6. If a request for a change of grade is approved by the instructor but denied at a subsequent level of review, a written explanation for the denial shall be provided to the student, the faculty member, and the department chair.

Integrity of the Academic Record

  1. All grades reported at the end of each semester are final, unless changes have been made according to the provisions given above, or those of University Policy F08-2. Students are responsible for reviewing their grades for accuracy before the beginning of the subsequent term. They are also responsible for verifying their transcripts for changes, e.g., from grade forgiveness, withdrawals, clearance of Incomplete grades, or clearance of Report Delayed (RD) grades.
  2. A student who believes he or she has received a grade in error should contact the instructor to verify and, if appropriate, correct the grade. If an instructor is unavailable or absent during the subsequent semester, the student should promptly consult with the department chair about the grade in question. If the department chair is unable to contact the instructor, he or she shall notify the Associate Dean of the college in writing, requesting that an extension of the grade correction deadline be granted. The Associate Dean will then contact the Office of the Registrar if the request for an extension is deemed valid.
  3. After a degree has been posted, no further adjustments can be made on the record except under extraordinary circumstances as determined by Undergraduate Studies or Graduate Studies.

Grade Disputes and Grievances

What is a Grievance?

A grievance is an allegation of an unauthorized or unjustified act or decision by a faculty or staff or an administrative officer (hereafter referred to as university employee(s), that in any way adversely affects the status, rights or privileges of a student.

What is a Grade Dispute?

There is a presumption that grades assigned are correct. It is the responsibility of anyone appealing an assigned grade to demonstrate otherwise (EO 1037).

We encourage you to contact the University Ombudsperson with questions or concerns related to a grievance or dispute. The Ombudsperson is a neutral, confidential, and impartial resource accessible to students, faculty, and staff.

For more information, please visit: www.sjsu.edu/ombudsperson.

Grade Forgiveness

Grade Forgiveness (Formerly known as “Academic Renewal”)

Course Repeats with “Grade Forgiveness.”

Formerly known as “Academic Renewal” at SJSU, Grade Forgiveness is the circumstance in which the new grade replaces the former grade with respect to the calculation of GPA. The original grade remains on the transcript.

  1. Undergraduate and postbaccalaureate students may repeat a maximum of 16 units of total Grade Forgiveness, consisting of a combination of up to 9 units (maximum) of lower division (numbered 0-99) course work, and up to 9 units (maximum) of upper division (numbered 100-199) course work.
  2. Graduate (numbered 200-299) course work is not eligible for Grade Forgiveness. Graduate students are not eligible for Grade Forgiveness, but may repeat up to 9 units of upper division or graduate course work through Grade Averaging.
  3. Grade Forgiveness will be assigned automatically for all eligible courses as soon as a student registers. Eligible courses include those courses with earned grades lower than a “C” (including “WU”, “IC”; but excluding “NC”). Once the pool of available units is insufficient for the next repeated course, unused units may be applied to a future course of lower unit value or simply left unused in the pool. If a repeated course is dropped prior to the Drop Deadline or a “W” is recorded for a repeated course, then the Grade Forgiveness units return to the pool of available lower division or upper division units, as appropriate.
  4. To opt out of grade forgiveness: A student may petition to have a repeated course NOT be granted Grade Forgiveness. Such petitions must be submitted prior to the Census Date for the term in which the course is repeated. See www.sjsu.edu/ugs for instructions and forms.
  5. Students may repeat an individual course for Grade Forgiveness only once.
  6. Grade Forgiveness shall not be applicable to courses for which the original grade was the result of a finding of academic dishonesty.

Grade Forgiveness that results in a higher GPA will not remove a prior academic standing.

The policy regarding repetition of courses with Grade Forgiveness apply only to courses taken and repeated at SJSU (University Policy F08-2)

Grading System for Undergraduate Courses - “Traditional Grade Rules”

SJSU does not mail grades. Grades from Spring 1991 to the present are available at MySJSU (Search “MySJSU” in the Search Bar at One.SJSU.edu). SJSU ID and Password required.

See Transcripts in the Directory for information on official transcript requests.

Letter Graded - “Graded” or “Normal Grade Rules”

The grading policy of SJSU provides that A, B, C, D, F, shall be the basic grading system and shall apply to all course work acceptable toward a degree program except for those courses in which it is mandatory or permissible that Credit/No Credit grades be used. To determine a student’s standing, whether “good,” probationary or disqualified, quality of performance and progress toward degree completion are considered based on units attempted, grade points earned and grade point average (GPA).

Grade Points Per Unit
A+, 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
D- 0.7
F 0.0
WU, NC, CR, I, IC, AU, W, WB , RP 0.0

The scholarship average is based on courses in which letter grades are earned (the total number of grade points divided by the number of units in letter graded courses). Grade points are assigned as follows.

The grades of “CR,” “NC,” “AU” (audit), “I,” “W,” “WB,” and “RP” (report in progress) receive no grade points and the units are not considered in computing grade point average. A plus or minus sign following a grade of “A,” “B,” “C,” or “D” will affect the grade points allowed as indicated in the table. A grade of “A+” cannot exceed 4.0 grade points per California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Division 5, Chapter 1, Subchapter 2, Article 2, 40104.

Undergraduate and postbaccalaureate students must maintain an SJSU Cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better (calculated by dividing grade points (GP) by units graded (UG)).

Auditing a Class - “AU”

An auditor must be officially enrolled in the course. Enrollment as an auditor is subject to permission of the instructor provided there is space available in the course. Auditors are subject to the same fee structure as credit students and regular class attendance is expected. Once enrolled as an auditor, a student may not change to credit status unless such a change is requested no later than the last day to add classes in that term. A student who is enrolled for credit may not change to audit after the last day to add classes in that term.

Credit/No Credit - “CR/NC”

Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) - Elective (Undergraduates Only)

An upper-division (Junior or Senior) student shall have the option of taking a maximum of 12 semester units as long as the units are not in the major or minor, or in support of, preparation for or prerequisite to the major or minor, or for General Education on the basis of Credit/No Credit for courses under the basic letter grade system. Eligible students may choose this option by turning in the CR/NC Option Form, by the add deadline. Students may accumulate a maximum of 60 semester units of Credit/No Credit grades toward a baccalaureate degree.

In addition to turning in the CR/NC Option form, you must have officially added the class. For undergraduate courses: Credit = A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-; No Credit = D+, D, D-, F, IC, WU.

Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) - Mandatory 

“CR/NC” grades are mandatory for thesis and remedial course work. It is also normally used in projects, field work, internships, individual studies, or directed reading. As recommended by departments and approved by the college dean, credit/no credit grades may be used in activity and laboratory courses, workshops, and selected seminars (colloquia). Students may accumulate a maximum of 60 semester units of Credit/No Credit grades toward a baccalaureate degree (excluding any remedial course work). A maximum of 40 percent of the units required in a graduate degree can be credit/no credit (e.g., 12 units in a 30 unit program). In accordance with University Policy F18-5:

For undergraduate courses: Credit = A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-; No Credit = D+, D, D-, F, IC, WU.
For graduate courses: Credit = A, A-, B+, B, B-; No Credit = C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, F, IC, WU

Incomplete - “I/IC”

The symbol “I” (Incomplete Authorized) indicates that a portion of required course work has not been completed and evaluated in the prescribed time period due to unforeseen, but fully justified, reasons and that there is still a possibility of earning credit. The student cannot re-enroll in the course. It is the responsibility of the student to bring pertinent information to the attention of the instructor (regarding the unforeseen reason(s) for requesting an Incomplete) and to determine from the instructor the remaining course requirements that must be satisfied to remove the Incomplete. A final grade is assigned when the work agreed upon has been completed and evaluated. Clearing an incomplete grade does not permit retaking previously completed portions of the course, nor does it permit assignment of additional graded work (e.g., extra credit) that was not available to other students in the class.

An “I” must normally be made up within one calendar year immediately following the end of the term during which it was assigned.

This limitation prevails whether or not the student maintains continuous enrollment. Failure to complete the assigned work will result in an “I” being converted to an “IC” symbol, or an “NC” for non-traditionally graded courses, unless the faculty member assigns a specific letter grade at the time the Incomplete is assigned, which would replace the “I” in the student’s record after the calendar year deadline.

Failure to complete the assigned work within the established calendar year period for an “I” grade will result in an automatic grade change to an “IC” grade which calculates as a failing grade for grade point average and progress point computation.

Report Delayed - “RD”

The “RD” symbol may be used where a delay in the reporting of a grade is due to circumstances beyond the control of the student. The symbol may be assigned by the registrar only and, if assigned, shall be replaced by a substantive grading symbol as soon as possible.

Report in Progress - “RP”

The “RP” symbol is used in connection with courses that typically extend beyond one academic term. It indicates that work is in progress but that assignment of a final grade must await completion of additional work. Work is to be completed within one year except for graduate degree projects and theses (supervised courses, e.g., 298 & 299 courses), which have a two-year time limit. Failure to complete the assigned work for an “RP” grade will result in an automatic grade change to an “NC” grade unless a request for an extension has been made and approved.

A final grade will be assigned to all segments of the course on the basis of overall quality. Any extension of this time period must receive prior authorization by the instructor and department chair or school director.

Withdrawal - “W”

The symbol “W” on the official transcript indicates that the student was permitted to withdraw from the course after the drop deadline for the term with the approval of the appropriate campus administrator. It carries no connotation of quality of student performance and is not used in calculating grade point average or progress points. However, there are limits on the number of allowable units of “W” on the official transcript. Undergraduate students may withdraw from no more than 18 units. Postbaccalaureate students may withdraw from no more than 12 units. Graduate students may withdraw from no more than 9 units. Exceptions to these unit limits are granted when the cause of withdrawal is due to circumstances clearly beyond the student’s control and the assignment of an Incomplete is not practicable. Such exceptions are designated “WB” for internal processing of drops and withdrawals, and will revert to “W” on the transcript (University Policy S09-7).

Undergraduates may download the appropriate petition (course drop or withdrawal from all courses forms). Graduate Students may download the Course Drop/Semester Withdrawal petition.

Withdrawal Unauthorized - “WU”

The symbol “WU” indicates that an enrolled student did not officially withdraw from the course and also failed to complete course requirements. It is used when, in the opinion of the instructor, completed assignments or course activities or both were insufficient to make normal evaluation of academic performance possible. For purposes of grade point average and progress point computation this symbol is equivalent to an “F.”

Grading System for Graduate Work

Traditional letter grades are used for all courses taken by graduate students except for field work, thesis, project, individual study and internship courses, which are usually graded Credit/No Credit or Credit/No Credit/Report in Progress. Incomplete grades are not permitted for thesis or project courses, and Credit may not be given for a thesis or project course before completion of the coursework. Graduate students do not have the option of choice between the traditional or non-traditional grading system. A grade of Credit in a graduate-level course indicates performance by the student equal to a letter grade of “B-” or above.

The cumulative GPA for the master’s degree (3.0 minimum) includes all letter-graded work in 100-level or 200-level courses completed within the preceding seven years and for which the student received graduate credit, excluding transfer courses taken at another institution and those taken as an undergraduate at SJSU. Both the cumulative GPA and GPA of all of the course grades on the student’s candidacy form, with the exception of non-Open University transfer courses, must be at least at the 3.0 level. Both the cumulative GPA and the GPA of all courses on the candidacy form must be a minimum of 3.0.

The cumulative GPA of the graduate student is computed by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of graded units attempted at SJSU, excluding Open University courses that are not counted as degree requirements, subsequent to enrollment in the graduate school.

Timely Feedback on Class Assignments

In accordance with Students’ Rights to Timely Feedback on Class Assignments, University Policy F13-1, every student has the right to know, within reasonable time, his or her academic test scores, to review his or her papers and examinations, and to be provided with an explanation of the determination of a his or her course grade.

With changing pedagogical perspectives and increasing use of technology, instructors give a much wider range of assignment types - presentations, online discussion, group projects, etc. - and students should be granted the same expectation for feedback on all assignments within a reasonable period as with papers, tests, and examinations.

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