Grading and Scholastic Regulations

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Grading System Explanation

The grades of A, B, C, D, F and WF, are included in determining student grade point averages.

An INC is assigned when, for reasons beyond their control, students engaged in passing work are unable to complete all class assignments. An INC must be changed to a completed grade within one semester following the term in which the course was taken, or graduation, whichever occurs first. Should the student fail to complete the course within the time period designated, that is, by no later than the end of the semester following the term in which the course was taken, or graduation, whichever occurs first, the incomplete will be converted to a grade of F and the grade will be computed in the student’s grade point average. Students should not re-register for courses in which an INC has been assigned with the intent of changing the INC grade. Re-registration will not prevent the INC from being changed to an F. “Effective with the Summer 2017 term, the standard letter grading system is being modified to allow the use of plus/minus grading. In addition to A, B, C, D, and F, the following are the allowable plus/minus grades with their grade points per hour:  A- (3.667), B+ (3.333), B- (2.667), C+ (2.333), C- (1.667), and D+ (1.333).”

Grade Symbol Definition Grade Points Per Hour
A Excellent 4
B Good 3
C Satisfactory 2
D Poor 1
F Failure 0
WF Failure. For student who did not officially withdraw from class, ceased attending and failed to complete requirements for the course. 0
P Pass. Used only in Pass/Fail system. See Grading System Explanation below.
PR Work in Progress. See Grading System explanation below.
W Authorized withdrawal.
INC Incomplete. See Grading System Explanation above.
AU Audit. No grade or credit earned. See below.
NS Student failed to show up for the class and will result in the registration being removed.
NR Grade not yet recorded by instructor.

 Students enrolling for an Audit must designate their intent to enroll on an Audit basis at the time of registration, or prior to the end of the second week of a sixteen-week semester and prior to the end of the second week of an eight-week summer session. An equivalent prorated amount of time would be allowed for courses of shorter duration. Students registering for short courses must register for Audit prior to the beginning of those classes. Students registering for a course on an Audit basis receive no credit. Auditors’ Course Request Forms must be marked accordingly, and they pay the same fees as though they were registering for credit. They are expected to attend regularly and to determine from the instructor the amount of work expected of them. If auditing students do not attend regularly, the instructor may determine that the student should not have a satisfactory (AU) audit grade. If the audited class is unsatisfactory, a grade of UAU will appear on the student’s transcript.

PR is an authorized grade for specifically approved undergraduate courses. For example, it is used for the required University Core Curriculum English 101, which is a course that has been designated as one in which students must receive a grade of C or better. The grade is given only to students who regularly attend class and attempt to complete the required work. The grade is to be used only once per student for any given course. The course provides additional instruction for those students not making adequate progress. Students who receive a PR grade must re-register for the course within a time period not to exceed a year from the end of the semester in which the course is taken. The grade earned in the course for which the student re-registers will be included in the grade point average. Failure to complete the course within the year will result in the PR automatically becoming an F. The F will be included in grade point computation.

Pass/Fail Grading System

Certain courses, which, in the judgment of the department or program, have been determined to be inappropriate for the traditional grading system are designated as Mandatory Pass/Fail. Courses, which carry this designation, include the words Mandatory Pass/Fail at the end of the course descriptions in the Undergrad Programs section. For courses taken on a Mandatory Pass/Fail basis, completed grades will be either a grade of P when the student’s work is satisfactory or the grade of F when the student’s work is unsatisfactory. The grade of P is not included in the grade point average but the hours earned apply toward graduation. The grade of F is computed in the grade point average as a failure but no hours of credit are earned. If a student receives an INC in a Mandatory Pass/Fail course, the same regulations apply for completion of the work as apply for all other grades of INC, as explained in the Grading System Explanation above.

In addition to the Mandatory Pass/Fail courses, an Elective Pass/Fail grading policy was in effect through the end of Spring Semester, 1987. The regulations concerning the discontinued policy appear in the 1986-1987 Undergraduate Catalog.

Changing of Grades

Grades given at the end of a course are final and may not be changed by additional work or submitting additional materials. When work is completed for a course in which an INC grade has been given, instructors notify the Registrar’s Office of that fact, along with the final grade to be given, by processing a Grade Change Card through the academic dean’s office.

Occasionally, students may wish to question grades given, either for accuracy or for removal of grades in situations when they were unable to perform some required step for reasons beyond their control. Only the assigned instructor for a course has the authority to change a grade except in the instance when the University no longer employs the instructor. Extenuating circumstances, which transcend faculty judgment of the instructor, may be appealed through procedures established by the instructor’s school or college. Matters related to faculty judgment in grading may not be appealed. Any change of grade must be approved and signed not only by the instructor but also by the departmental chair and the dean of the academic unit. In the case of an INC being changed to a final grade, only the instructor’s signature is required.

Repeat Policy

For students receiving a letter grade of A, B, C, D, or F, the course repetition must occur at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Only the most recent (last) grade will be calculated in the institutions overall GPA and count toward hours earned even if that grade is an F.

This policy will be applied to all transferable credit in that only the last grade will be used to calculate grade point average for those courses taken at the same institution. The appropriate repeat policy will be applied to work completed during that period of registration for the purpose of calculating the transfer grade point average. Duplicate credit will be counted in the GPA but a student who has passed a course may not be given credit for the same course taken elsewhere.

Grade Point Average and Scholastic Standing

The matter of scholastic standing is quite often of importance to students both while in school and later when they present a transcript of their educational record in support of their application for employment or additional schooling.

At the end of each semester or session of attendance, SalukiNet is updated for each student showing, in addition to the grades earned that semester or session, the scholastic standing and the grade point average for that semester or session and for the overall record at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. It is important that you understand the University’s system for computing grade point averages and the various grade point average requirements.

Transferred grades are not to be used in determining students’ calculated SIU grade point averages, except that transfer students who are admitted on probationary status will be required to earn a 2.0 average semester by semester before they can be removed from probation.

The significance of the above should be clearly understood by transfer students when studying the general baccalaureate degree requirements. A 2.0 (C) average is required for the work taken at this University.

In computing a student’s grade point average (GPA), all grades of A, B, C, D, F, and WF are included in determining the number of quality hours.  Each hour of these grades (one hour of A is worth four quality points) is given its numerical quality points, which are then divided by the total number of quality hours to determine the student’s GPA.  For further details about computing a GPA, see

Scholastic Probation and Suspension System

Students are expected to make satisfactory progress toward a degree, certificate or other approved objective. To ensure that students are making progress, their records are checked against the regulations below.

Scholastic Probation

When a student’s cumulative University average falls below a C average (2.0), the student will be placed on scholastic probation. A student on scholastic probation may continue enrollment at the University provided the student is not placed on scholastic suspension, which will occur if the student’s subsequent term average is below 2.0. A student will be reinstated to good standing when the cumulative University average reaches 2.0 or above.

While on scholastic probation students may not enroll for more than 14 hours per semester unless approved to do so by the dean of their academic unit. The academic unit within which the students are enrolled may establish other limitations.

Transfer Students Admitted on Probation

Transfer students admitted on scholastic probation will remain in that status until they have earned at least a C average at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. If they earn below a C average for any session while on scholastic probation, they will be placed on scholastic suspension.

Scholastic Suspension

Students will be scholastically suspended from the University if they (1) fail to meet the requirements of their conditional or probational status or (2) are enrolled full time their first term of enrollment, and earn a GPA of 0.00. Students placed on Scholastic Suspension may be readmitted after a minimum of two semesters’ interruption (excluding Summer session) but must furnish tangible evidence that additional education can be successfully undertaken. Continuing students (those suspended at the end of the immediately preceding term) may not change academic units, nor may those readmitted prior to the end of the normally required two semester period of separation from the University. Some academic units have scholastic requirements in addition to the overall University requirements listed here. Students must comply with the University requirements as well as those requirements applying to individual schools and colleges. Appeals must be approved at the Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Decisions by the Provost are final.

Positive and Negative Quality Points

Positive and negative quality points are assigned to grades above or below a C. There are two methods to figure points depending upon the information, which is available.

Grades. The SalukiNet grade report, which is updated at the end of each semester, lists the hours used in calculating the average and the quality points earned. Since C has a value of two quality points on a four-point scale, quality points equaling a C average are exactly twice the number of quality hours. All quality points over that amount are positive quality points. All quality points under the amount are negative quality points.

For example:

Quality Hours            Quality Points          Grade Point Average

            60              =               120            =             (C) 2.0

Twice the quality hours equals 120 quality points. This is a C (2.0) average. A student with 60 quality hours and only 115 quality points would have five negative points (1.92) average. A student with 30 quality hours and 55 quality points would have five negative points (1.83) average.

Grades and Hours of Credit Available. Whenever all grades and hours of credit are known and quality points have not been assigned as on SalukiNet, a simple method is to assign positive and negative points as follows:

For example:

3 hours of A x 2 positive points = 6 positive points
3 hours of B x 1 positive point = 3 positive points
3 hours of C x 0 points = 0
2 hours of D x 1 negative point = 2 negative points
4 hours of F x 2 negative points = 8 negative points
4 hours of WF x 2 negative points = 8 negative points

The above example shows eighteen negative points combined with only nine positive points, resulting in a GPA of nine negative points.

Negative points are also used to easily determine exactly what grades must be earned to raise the average to C. For example, a student with eight negative points could raise the average to C by earning four hours of A grade or eight hours of B grade, assuming all other grades earned are at least C.

Class Standing

The University requires students to earn at least 120 semester hours of acceptable credit in order to receive a baccalaureate degree. For academic classification purposes a freshman is a student who has completed fewer than 26 hours; a sophomore, from 26 through 55; a junior, from 56 through 85; and a senior 86 or more.

Academic Load

The University considers 12 hours as the minimum number to constitute full-time attendance. Academic programs are designed for four year completion; 15 credit hours a semester (fall and spring), or 30 credit hours a year. This is the figure used for enrollment reporting purposes on the undergraduate level. Academic load guidelines are as follows:

Load Regular Semester 8-Week Summer Session
Minimum load for full time  12 6
Average Load 15-16 7-8
Maximum Load without deans' approval 18 12
Maximum Load1 21 12

1This maximum may be exceeded by special request of the respective academic dean and approval from the Office of the Provost for Academic Affairs. Rarely is this exception allowed more than once in the student’s academic career.

Students on scholastic probation may not take more than 14 hours without approval of the dean of their academic unit. Students employed full-time at the University may not register for more than eight hours.


Unit of credit
The University is on the early semester calendar. All references to hours of credit in this catalog are to semester hours unless otherwise specified. One semester hour of credit is equivalent to one and one-half quarter hours. One semester hour of credit represents the work done by a student in a lecture course attended fifty minutes per week for one semester and, in the case of laboratory and activity courses, the stated additional time.

Deans List

At the end of each Fall and Spring semester – and Summer session – a Deans List is prepared.  Undergraduate students who were enrolled for and earned full-time credit¹ at SIU during the term, and whose SIU term grade point average (GPA) for all courses during the term meets or exceeds the minimum SIU GPA established by the University,² will be included on the Deans List for that term. Students recognized will see a Deans List notation along with the term academic standing on their transcript.

This University recognition of high scholastic achievement is only for that particular term, does not apply to part-time students, does not take into consideration transfer coursework, and does not take into consideration the cumulative GPA of the student for all coursework at SIU. 

 1 Undergraduates are considered full-time in Fall if they are enrolled in at least 12 credit hours, full-time in Spring if they are enrolled in at least 12 credit hours, and full-time in Summer if they are enrolled in at least 6 credit hours.

2 The minimum full-time SIU term GPA established by the University for undergraduate Deans List recognition is 3.50 for all undergraduate academic units (effective for the Summer 2014 term and subsequent terms).  Prior to the Summer 2014 term, the minimum end-of-term full-time SIU term GPA needed for undergraduate Deans List recognition varied by academic unit.

Honors Day

Each Spring semester an Honors Day Recognition Ceremony is held for undergraduate students exhibiting high achievement. Qualification for recognition is determined at the end of the third week of the Spring semester. 

Recognition at that time will be accorded to a full- or part-time undergraduate student who has (1) attained an undergraduate cumulative grade point average at SIU Carbondale of 3.50 or better and, if applicable, a 3.50 or better cumulative average in all undergraduate work (including transfer credit) recognized by SIU Carbondale;¹ and (2) reached the benchmarks of 12, 45, 75, or 105 SIU cumulative credit hours of coursework² since the prior year's qualification determination.³ 

Such an Honors student will be invited by the University to the next regularly scheduled Honors Day ceremony. An institution-wide recognition event will take place, as well as each academic unit scheduling its own ceremony. Each Honors student is recognized individually on Honors Day.

Information about the Honors Day Recognition Ceremony is available here. This ceremony is normally held on a Saturday in April. The next ceremony is scheduled for April 4, 2020.

1 In other words, at the end of the third week of the Spring semester, when looking at the registered student's transcript at that time, his/her cumulative institutional GPA must be at least 3.50, while his/her cumulative overall GPA (which includes any transfer work) must also be at least 3.50 ... subject to the credit hour benchmark condition that follows.

2 When looking at the student's transcript, this "SIU cumulative credit hours of coursework" refers only to the student's cumulative institutional Earned Hours of credit ... not the GPA Hours, not the Passed Hours, and not the Attempted Hours.

3 Traditionally, this Honors Day recognition was accorded only to full-time undergraduate students with the appropriate institutional (SIU-only work) and overall (SIU plus transfer work) GPAs. In the early 2000s, the Faculty Senate considered how to include part-time undergraduate students in such recognition, while retaining the rigorous standards that full-time students had been placed under. The eventual result that they came up with for both varieties of students was the system of the student reaching certain SIU credit hour (earned hour) benchmarks as an approximation of what the full-time student would normally be reaching during their four year program. (Thus the benchmarks themselves do not take into consideration any transfer credit hours.)

Graduation Honors

The undergraduate student's degree honors designation is printed on transcripts and on the diploma, and is determined by first measuring the SIU ("institutional") GPA against the criteria below, then the cumulative All-Work ("overall") GPA calculated according to SIU policy from all undergraduate career work including work transferred in from other institutions.  Both GPAs can be seen by the student within SalukiNet Self-Service in the "Transcript Totals" section of their Unofficial Student Academic Record.

Summa cum Laude – The Highest Honors designation awarded to graduating students with an SIU GPA of 3.900 or higher and an All-Work GPA of 3.900 or higher.

Magna cum Laude – The High Honors designation awarded to graduating students with an SIU GPA of 3.750 or higher and an All-Work GPA of 3.750 or higher, but one or both of which is less than 3.900.

Cum Laude – The Honors designation awarded to graduating students with an SIU GPA of 3.500 or higher and an All-Work GPA of 3.500 or higher, but one or both of which is less than 3.750.

Undergraduate students who successfully complete the requirements for the University Honors Program certificate receive that designation posted to their academic record at the time the degree is awarded.

Departmental Honors may also be posted to the undergraduate student's academic record at the time the degree is awarded for participating students in departments in the College of Agricultural Sciences, the College of Liberal Arts, and the College of Science.¹

Graduate students do not have special degree honors designation posted to the academic record.

Law students also have special degree honors posted to the academic record, transcripts, and diploma based on School of Law criteria.