Grading Scale | Pass/Fail Grading | Course Withdrawals | Incompletes | NGR (No Grade) | Academic Probation | Honors | Class Attendance | Course Load | Repetition of Courses | Reading Period | Examination Schedule
The following grades are awarded in undergraduate courses:
|Letter Grade||Grade Point Average|
|P||N/A (See below)|
|W||N/A (See below)|
|NGR||N/A (See below)|
|I||N/A (See below)|
The grades A through F are known as quality grades and carry a specific weight in calculating official grade point averages (GPA). The mark F indicates unsatisfactory work and does not confer credit. A grade of F may not be subsequently changed, except when entered in error by the instructor or the registrar. Be aware that while a D is considered passing, some programs require a higher grade minimum for any course counting in the major or minor.
These averages are regularly calculated to determine Dean's List, academic probation, and general honors. They may influence awards like Phi Beta Kappa and departmental honors. Note that College students who take a course at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business may receive an A+ grade according to the Chicago Booth grade system, but will receive 4.0 grade points in the College grade system for that Chicago Booth course. For College students, other Chicago Booth grades convert to grade points according to the College scale above.
NOTE: Only grades for University of Chicago courses are calculated into a student's GPA. Grades from courses taken at other institutions do not contribute to the GPA. Grades from off-campus study abroad or domestic programs do not contribute to the GPA unless the courses are listed on the transcript with University of Chicago course numbers.
Students who wish to receive a passing grade rather than a quality grade have one option open to them: Pass/Fail (P/F). Students considering P/F grading should consult with their College adviser early in the quarter because this option is subject to conditions and restrictions. Whether a course with a grade of P can be counted toward a student's degree depends on how it is to be used in the student's program. All general education courses must be taken for quality grades, and most courses satisfying requirements in the major must be taken for quality grades. However, some majors permit a limited number of P marks. For P/F grading, the student and instructor reach an informal agreement, at the discretion of the instructor and according to departmental policy, before the instructor submits a grade for the course; no action is required by the student's adviser.
The P grade indicates that the student has submitted sufficient evidence to receive a passing grade. As some departments give credit only for a grade of C– or higher, students should establish with the instructor what constitutes passing work. A mark of P may not later be changed to a quality grade, and a quality grade may not be changed to a P. Although the P confers course credit, it is not calculated in the GPA. Students who do not pass a P/F course receive an F, which counts as a zero in the calculation of the GPA. A grade of F may not be subsequently changed, except when entered in error by the instructor or the registrar.
The “W” (Withdrawn) grade means that the student has decided after week 3 of the quarter not to complete the work of the course. Students who wish to exercise this option must request a W from their adviser in writing by 5 p.m. the Monday of the ninth week of instruction or the day before the final project/exam is due, whichever is earlier. When made before the deadline, a request for a withdrawal cannot be denied except in cases of academic dishonesty. A withdrawal may not be granted after completion of the course.
Once a student requests a W, it may not subsequently be changed to any other mark. W grades do not confer credit or impact GPA; however, they will count against the completion rate needed to maintain good academic standing.
Students who register for graduate-level courses are subject to the policies governing graduate grading. Students should discuss the implications of these policies with their advisers before registering for courses numbered 30000 and above. NOTE: Grades earned in graduate-level courses contribute to a student's GPA as indicated earlier in this section.
The mark “I” (Incomplete) is intended for a student who has not completed the requirements of a course before the end of the quarter but who has:
- participated actively in the course,
- completed the majority of the requirements of the course with work that is of a passing quality, and
- made satisfactory arrangements with the instructor to complete the remaining work.
The student must submit the request for an Incomplete to the instructor before the end of the course. Approval to complete work late is at the discretion of the instructor and/or according to departmental policy.
The student is also responsible for completing and submitting an official Incomplete Form, which must be obtained from the student’s College adviser and turned into the registrar’s office by Friday of the first week of the following quarter. After this point, students who are otherwise qualified for an "I" may petition the Dean of Students in the College for approval to arrange the Incomplete. If the required form has not been submitted by the deadline, a grade of "NGR" will be entered for the course.
Incompletes must be finished within a period of time agreed upon between student and instructor. In the absence of a specified due date, the work must be completed within one year. In the interim, an "I" will appear in place of a grade.
If the coursework has not been completed within the specified time period and an extension has not been granted, the “I” will remain as a permanent mark on the student’s transcript unless the instructor indicates a specific grade on the Incomplete Form.
NGR (No Grade)
The mark “NGR” (No Grade) is entered on the student’s grade report by the registrar’s office when the instructor has failed to submit a final grade for a student. The NGR may be resolved by submission of a final grade or a formal Incomplete Form. If neither has been submitted by Friday of the first week of the following quarter, students who are otherwise qualified for an Incomplete may petition the Dean of Students in the College for approval to complete the course.
The NGR should not be interpreted as an informal Incomplete. Rather, students are strongly urged to protect themselves against misunderstandings and missed deadlines by arranging for an official Incomplete by Friday of the first week of the following quarter if one proves necessary.
In each quarter of registration, students must complete, by the end of the quarter, 300 units of course credit with passing grades and with a minimum GPA of 2.0. Incompletes are not considered sufficient for course completion. A student who fails to meet this minimum requirement will ordinarily be placed on academic probation for the following quarter. For details and information about implications, please see the "Academic Probation and Suspension" section on the Academic and Enrollment Statuses page.
Each year, approximately 20 percent of degree-seeking students whose grade point averages are the highest for that academic year and who have completed a minimum of nine courses with at least seven quality grades are placed on the Dean's List for that year. Students are only considered for Dean’s List once all of their grades for the academic year have been recorded. A determination is made each year on the basis of grades available in the registrar's office after July 1. For coursework that does not contribute to the GPA, see Grading Scale. Transcripts are marked accordingly for all students who qualify for the Dean’s List.
Honors by Major
For honors within a major, students should refer to that department's program description for the eligibility requirements.
At the end of their second year, students in the top 10 percent of their class will be designated Robert Maynard Hutchins Scholars, based on the grade point average for their first and second years. This award is designed to honor students who have performed exceptionally in their general education courses and introductory courses for their major.
In their third and fourth years, students whose cumulative GPA places them in the top 5 percent of a cohort of students in the same major over the last five years will be eligible for an award by division. The names of the awards have been selected by each division and are as follows:
Enrico Fermi Scholars Physical Sciences Collegiate Divisional Honors
Gary Becker Scholars Social Sciences Collegiate Divisional Honors
Georgiana Simpson Scholars Humanities Collegiate Divisional Honors
Janet Rowley Scholars Biological Sciences Collegiate Divisional Honors
In addition to departmental honors, students whose cumulative GPA places them in the top 25 percent of students by major over the past five years will be eligible to receive Latin honors. All students in the top 25 percent will be eligible for recommendation to receive their degrees cum laude. Students whose GPA places them in the top 15 percent will be eligible to be recommended to the College for magna cum laude. Students whose GPA places them in the top 8 percent will be eligible to be recommended to receive their degrees summa cum laude.
For honors beyond cum laude, a College committee will review each student’s record to gauge broad engagement with the curriculum by, for example, promoting students who have taken graduate courses, taken multiple majors, attempted courses across divisional boundaries, taken extra courses, and completed minors. For the honor summa cum laude in particular, the committee will consider the breadth and depth of the student’s engagement with the curriculum outside of the primary major.
Exceptions to these minima may be granted by the College in response to department petition.
Many students are deeply engaged in activities that require the use of foreign languages and that connect them with individuals and cultures on or beyond our campus. Those activities range from taking courses to gaining certification of proficiency, to studying or interning abroad, to engaging with different cultural groups in the US and abroad, and to completing language majors and minors.
Global Honors provides students with a way to assemble all of these many-faceted experiences and be recognized for exceptional global engagement. It is distinct from Academic Honors, because it is earned through a large variety of different—and often real-world—experiences.
Harper Awards for Exceptional Performance in a Course
To recognize exceptional achievement in an undergraduate course beyond general education, departments are invited to nominate students for a Harper Award. The Harper Award is designed to decorate the deeply engaged, stellar student, independent of the grade the student receives in the course. Departments may nominate up to one Harper Award from each course with more than 10 students and up to two Harper Awards from each course with more than 70 students. Departments can pool courses with enrollments smaller than 10 students and allow faculty to jointly recommend a Harper Award from that group of courses.
Reading courses, independent research courses, and thesis writing courses are not eligible for a nomination.
The awards will be announced each year near the conclusion of the Spring Quarter.
It is the expectation of the College that students will attend all classes for which they have registered. Nevertheless, it is up to the individual department, faculty member, or instructor to set the attendance policy for their individual courses. Students should keep in mind that attendance at the first class is required in many courses to confirm enrollment. Many courses will automatically drop students who do not attend the first class meeting or even the entire first week of class meetings. The academic calendar can be found at academic-calendar.uchicago.edu.
A full-time course load is three or four courses per quarter; the tuition is the same in either case. Over the typical four-year program (i.e., 12 quarters), a student who registers for six four-course quarters and six three-course quarters will successfully reach the 4200 units of credit required to graduate.
Students are not allowed to take 500 units except in very limited situations. To do so, students should discuss this with their adviser and petition the Dean of Students in the College if applicable.
Although students may progress at varying rates toward the degree, no student may register for more than 12 quarters without the permission of the Dean of Students in the College. No student may register for more than 13 quarters.
Repetition of Courses
When a student repeats a course, both courses appear on the student's transcript and both grades are averaged into the student's GPA. However, only one registration for the course counts toward the total number of credits required for graduation.
In the quarter that a course is repeated, students on financial aid must register for 300 units in addition to the repeated course unless (1) a failing grade was received in a course that a student needs to meet general education requirements or requirements in their major, or (2) the student’s major mandates a higher grade than was previously received.
Every academic quarter, at least two days in advance of finals week are designated "College Reading and Review Period." Instructors and/or teaching assistants may hold review sessions on these days. However, no new material may be introduced, assignments may not be due, and final examinations may not be given (except as necessary for graduating students) during the reading period. The Reading and Review Period may not be dispensed with by classroom vote.
Students should verify that travel arrangements do not conflict with their final examinations. For the College examination schedule, visit registrar.uchicago.edu/calendars/final-exams.