The grading policies below may vary by program. Before discussing plans with an instructor, please contact your Student Affairs Administrator to discuss grading options available in your degree program. Your program's grading policies may be more specific than the general policies outlined below.
The following grades are awarded in graduate courses:
These are referred to as “quality grades” and carry a specific weight (point value) when GPA is officially calculated by the Registrar. A grade of “F” carries no point value and does not confer credit.
Grade minimums for degree programs are determined by departments and programs. Students with questions about grade minimums and pass/fail policies should contact their department or program directly.
Key Deadline: All pass/fail requests must be submitted to an instructor no later than Friday of the last full week of instruction of the quarter or prior to the date of the final examination or final project/assignment due date, whichever is earlier.
Pass/Fail grading typically occurs in two circumstances: (1) the course is grade on a pass/fail basis as a matter of policy (e.g. an Advanced Research course) or (2) a student obtains instructor permission to take a class for a pass/fail grade.
Before discussing pass/fail grading with instructors, students should check with their department or program to determine whether a grade of “P” will be allowed to count towards their degree requirements.
A grade of P can be awarded when the instructor determines that the student has submitted sufficient evidence to receive a passing grade. A grade of P confers credit but does not carry any point value and will not impact a student’s GPA.
Procedures to request a grade of pass/fail
- Contact your Student Affairs Administrator to determine whether taking a course for a “Pass/Fail” grade will disrupt your progress towards degree.
- Request permission from the instructor to take the course for a grade of pass/fail. These requests should be made on or before the midpoint of the quarter. All pass/fail requests must be submitted to an instructor no later than Friday of the last full week of instruction of the quarter or prior to the date of the final examination or final project/assignment due date, whichever is earlier.
Note: In courses that normally assign quality grades, you must have the instructor’s permission to take the course pass/fail. Instructors are permitted to deny this request.
Key Deadline: Students must request a withdrawal before the final exam has been given or before the final project due date.
Students who do not wish to complete a course after Friday of third week of a quarter may request a withdrawal (“W”) from the course. Withdrawals will ordinarily be granted except in cases of academic dishonesty. A withdrawal may not be granted after completion of the course requirements (typically the last day of a quarter).
A grade of “W” appears on the student’s transcript. A “W” does not carry any point value and will not impact a student’s GPA. A grade of “W” does not confer credit and may thus impact progress towards degree.
Withdrawals will not result in any changes to a student’s tuition bill.
Course changes made prior to the end of the third week of a quarter will not result in a grading penalty since these are enrollment changes made during the “add/drop period.”
Procedures to request a withdrawal
- Students must request a withdrawal before the final exam has been given or before the final project due date.
- Students should contact their Student Affairs Administrator to request withdrawal. Students are also strongly encouraged to notify their instructor that they have chosen to withdraw from the course.
- Students can verify that the Withdrawal took place by checking their current quarter enrollments in my.uchicago.edu.
Students with questions about whether a withdrawal will impact their financial aid or student visa should contact the Graduate Financial Aid Office or the Office of International Affairs, respectively.
Key Deadline: Requests for incompletes must be submitted to the instructor by Friday of the last full week of instruction of the quarter.
A student may request a grade of “Incomplete” (“I”) if they anticipate not completing the course requirements before the end of a quarter but have: (1) participated actively in the course, (2) completed the majority of the requirements of the course, and (3) made satisfactory arrangements with the instructor to complete the remaining work by a specified deadline.
If the instructor agrees to assign an “Incomplete,” a grade of “I” will appear on the transcript. An “I” does not carry a point value and does not impact a student’s GPA. Once the student has completed the course requirements, the transcript will be updated to include the quality grade. Typically, a mark of “I” will appear on the transcript next to a quality grade to denote that the work was not completed within a single quarter (e.g. “IA” or “IB+”). Quality grades with an “I” carry the same transcript weight as quality grades without an “I.”
Because an incomplete is a formal agreement between an instructor and a student, failure to submit or complete remaining requirements by the agreed-upon deadline could result in assignment of a quality grade that the student earned based on requirements partially met in the course.
Procedures to request an incomplete
- Students should discuss the possibility of an incomplete with their instructor as soon as they become aware that they may not be in a position to complete all course requirements by the end of a quarter, by Friday of the last full week of instruction of the quarter at the latest.
- If an instructor agrees to an incomplete, students are strongly encouraged to record the agreement in writing (e.g. email) and specify the work remaining to be completed and the due date for the work.
- Students should notify their Student Affairs Administrator that they will receive an incomplete in a specific course.
Key Deadline: Requests to audit a course should be made to the instructor by the end of third week of the quarter. Students are responsible for notifying their Student Affairs Administrator that they have permission to take the course on an audit grade basis.
Students may request to formally audit a course. Instructor permission is required. Students interested in auditing a course should contact the instructor directly.
MS Students should be aware that formally auditing a course will result in tuition charges for that course.
A formally audited course will appear on the student’s transcript. Typically, a grade of “R” (“Registered”) appears as the grade for an audited course. A grade of “R” does not carry any point value and will not impact a student’s GPA. Audited courses do not confer credit.
Students who receive instructor permission to audit a course should touch base with their department administrator prior to the end of third week of the quarter (the end of add/drop) to receive approval and have any approved changes made to their registrations. Changes to an audit grade basis should be made by the Friday of third week of the quarter.
PhD students should maintain 300 units of registration in addition to an audited course since audited courses do not confer any amount of credit.
MS students should note that courses taken for an audit grade basis do not confer credit and thus do not count towards full-time enrollment.
Note: Whether to allow audits is within the instructor’s discretion. Instructors are not required to allow students to audit their course.