Grading Policies

Grading System 

Grading System Included in SAP Calculation
Grade Quality Points Range Interpretation CGPA ICR MTF
A 4 90-100 Excellent Y Y Y
B 3 80-89 Above Average Y Y Y
C 2 70-79 Average Y Y Y
D 1 60-69 Minimum Passing Y Y Y
F 0 0-59 Failure Y Y Y
W 0 0 Withdraw - Y Y
WF 0 0 Withdraw/Failure Y Y Y
NCF 0 0 Non-Completion Failure Y Y Y
LP* - - Limited Progress - Y Y
WV - - Waiver - - -
EX - - Course Exempted - Y Y
PR - Proficiency Credit Earned - Y Y
TR - - Transfer Credit - Y Y
P - - Pass - Y Y
AU - - Non-Credit Audit - - -
I - - Incomplete - - -
^ - - Developmental Course Grade - Y Y

Refer to the catalog section on "SAP Definitions" for additional information on calculation of Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA), Incremental Completion Rate (ICR) or Maximum Allowable Timeframe (MTF).

*Note: The grade of LP may be awarded in Pass/Fail courses. Students who complete the remaining assignments in the extension course receive a letter grade or grade of P and the grade for the original dissertation course is changed to a letter grade or to P.  Students who complete at least half of the remaining assignments may be awarded the grade of LP and then register for a subsequent extension course. Students who do not make adequate progress receive a grade of F and the grade for the original dissertation course is changed to a grade of F.

Grade Rounding 
The grade rounding policy will be followed unless otherwise stated in the course syllabus. Procedure for rounding: 

  • Only final course grades which are determined by percentages involving decimals should be rounded up to the next whole number when equal to .5 or greater. For example, an 89.51 would be rounded to an A, while an 89.48 would remain a B.

Calculation of Grade Point Average

The cumulative grade point average (CGPA) is determined by dividing the total number of quality points, calculated by multiplying the numeric equivalents of course grades (e.g., A=4.0) by the number of credit hours assigned to each course (e.g., 4 credit hours x 4.0), by the total number of credit hours attempted.  

School of Pharmacy Grading and Credit Hours

To satisfactorily complete a course, a student must earn a grade of 2.00 (C) or better for the course.  The course grade may be based upon components such as quizzes, examinations, participation and assignments as outlined in each course syllabus.  The format of course examinations may vary at the discretion of the instructor(s).  Common exam formats used include multiple choice, matching, short answer, essay and demonstrations of clinical competencies.  Specific instructions regarding missed assignments or examinations are outlined in each course syllabus, but approval of the course coordinator(s) is a common requirement for making up a missed test or examination.  Specific information regarding the calculation of course grades can be found in the syllabus of each course.  Students are encouraged to read course syllabi carefully and to contact the course coordinator(s) if any questions arise.

Course instructors will make every effort to post graded examinations and assignments promptly.  Students may be allowed to review and/or required remediate examinations and assignments after they have been graded.  At that time, faculty members are expected to maintain reasonable availability to address student questions regarding the test.  

The School of Pharmacy employs the following grading scale: 

Percentage Grade GPA
90 and above 4.00
89 3.90
88 3.80
87 3.70
86 3.60
85 3.50
84 3.40
83 3.30
82 3.20
81 3.10
80 3.00
79 2.90
78 2.80
77 2.70
76 2.60
75 2.50
74 2.40
73 2.30
72 2.20
71 2.10
70 2.00
69 1.80
68 1.60
67 1.40
66 1.20
65 1.00
64 & below 0.00
F (Failure) 0.00
WF (Withdraw/Failure) 0.00
NCF (Non-Completion Failure) 0.00
LP (Limited Progress)  0.00

Courses are rated at one credit hour for 10 hours of lecture, 15-20 hours of recitation/small group discussion, or 30 hours of laboratory/and or practice session.  A total of 2.0 credit hours will be assigned for each week of Intermediate Pharmacy Practice Experience/Rotation (IPPE) and 1.6 credit hours will be assigned for each week of advanced practice experiences/rotations (APPE).  A cumulative grade point average will be calculated and posted on the student's transcript at the end of each academic quarter.  Class ranking information is available upon request from the Office of the Registrar.

The following symbols are used on grade reports, but are not used in the determination of a student's grade point average: 
EX Course exempted 
PR Course credit earned through credit by examination 
TR Course credit through transfer 
P Pass 
AU Audit 
W Withdrawal, no grade penalty 
WV Waiver for a course, does not affect ICR/MTF/CGPA, does not count as an attempt for programmatic progressions I Incomplete 
^ Caret Symbol, which denotes a developmental course grade

Grades or symbols of  "D," "F," "W," "WP," "WF," "NCF" and "LP" can negatively affect one or more of the following and should be considered punitive in terms of a student's Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP):  Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA), Incremental Completion Rate (ICR) or Maximum Allowable Timeframe (MTF).  A grade of "C" may also be punitive in certain graduate and professional program courses requiring a grade of "B" or 
higher.  Refer to the catalog section on "Explanations of Related Issues" for additional information on calculation of CGPA, ICR, and MTF.

Repeating Courses

Students may repeat coursework to meet academic requirements. A student enrolled in developmental coursework (ENG0099 and MAT0099) must be able to successfully complete the course within their first three attempts or the student will be academically dismissed. The last grade received replaces any previous course grades in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average for graduation unless the last grade is one of the following: W, WV, or AU. When one of these is the last grade, the previous grade continues to be used in the GPA calculation. However, the cumulative grade point average for the calculation of honors at graduation will include all grades earned at South University. Students who are veterans can only receive veteran benefits when repeating courses for which failing grades were earned.

Late Work Policies

Campus-based courses in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Business 

Due dates are essential in our learning environment, just as they are in the work environment. Our assignments have due dates to ensure that students can successfully complete the class in an accelerated timeframe while also benefiting from instructor and peer input before completing each new assignment. To avoid point deductions for late submissions, assignments should be submitted on or before the due date. A student should contact their faculty member before the assignment due date to discuss options, when circumstances beyond the student's control prevent assignment completion by the deadline.

Where a class participation grade is offered:  
Students can only earn participation points during the current class session. A student attending class is not guaranteed participation points. Participation points are gained from interaction in class. 

Assignment Expectations 
Assignment submissions are accepted through 11:59 p.m. Mountain Time on the date indicated as due, unless your instructor specifies otherwise. No assignments will be accepted after the due date (without point deductions) unless there is an extenuating, and documented circumstance and/or an Incomplete grade is granted by the faculty member. If a student does not make prior arrangements with the faculty member and fails to turn assignments in on time, the following deductions may be applied: 

Calendar Days Late Point Deduction
Up to 5 days*  5% 
Up to 10 days*,**  10% 
11+ days*,**  Assignment not accepted 

All days are counted including weekends and holidays. All policies must be applied evenly for the class. Time period does not extend beyond the end of the term.

* Applicable to 5 week courses offered from a campus.

** Applicable to 10-11 week courses offered from a campus.

Makeup weeks: 
In weeks, 7 – 9 instructors may participate in makeup weeks and allow students the opportunity to make up certain assignments for a maximum of 70% of the grade. Makeup weeks are not guaranteed to be offered. To take advantage of makeup work during weeks 7-9, a student is required to resubmit the assignment(s) as outlined by the instructor and attend any two sessions of instructional facilitator or peer tutor assistance prior to submitting late coursework. Students are encouraged to attend a session related to the assignment, such as attending the English Lab if an essay is due.

Online courses in all Colleges

Due dates are essential in our learning environment, just as they are in the work environment. Our assignments have due dates to ensure that students can successfully complete the class in an accelerated timeframe while also benefiting from instructor and peer input before completing each new assignment. To avoid point deductions for late submissions, assignments should be submitted on or before the due date. A student should contact their faculty member before the assignment due date to discuss options when circumstances beyond the student's control prevent assignment completion by the deadline.

Participation Expectations 
Students can only earn discussion participation points during the current week. For example, students must actively participate by posting peer responses during Week 2 in order to earn participation points for Week 2. Students will not receive participation points for Week 2 if they respond to classmates in the discussion threads after the week ends.  

Assignment Expectations 
Assignment submissions are accepted through 11:59 p.m. Mountain Time on the last day of the course. No assignments will be accepted after this deadline unless there is an extenuating circumstance and/or an Incomplete grade is granted by the faculty member. If a student does not make prior arrangements with the faculty member and fails to turn assignments in on time, the following deductions may be applied: 

Calendar Days Late Point Deduction
1 day  Up to 5% 
2 days  Up to 10% 
3 days  Up to 15% 
4 days or more  Up to 20% 

All days are counted including weekends and holidays. All policies must be applied evenly for the class. Time period does not extend beyond the end of the term.

Grade Reporting and Challenges

Grade Reporting

Grade reports are made available to students at the end of each class. Students in online programs may request a grade report four days after the completion of each course from the Student Support center at 
studentsupport@southuniversity.edu.

Grade Challenges for All Programs Except Nursing Programs the School of Pharmacy, and the Physician Assistant Program 

Any student wishing to challenge a final course grade must first discuss the grade with the faculty member of the course in question within 14 consecutive calendar days of the end of final's week for campus-based courses and within 14 consecutive calendar days of the end of the online session in writing. Challenges after that time will not be permitted, and the grade recorded on the official grade sheets will prevail.

If the grade challenge is denied in whole or in part by the faculty member and the student is not satisfied with the explanation for the denial, it may be appealed to the Department Chair or campus Program Director and thereafter, in succession, to the Campus Director & Dean of Academic Affairs and Operations for campus-based courses or to the Dean for Online Learning for online courses, and then to the Dean of the College offering the course. The decision of the Dean of the College is considered final. Appeals of a decision rendered at any level must be received in writing by the person to whom the appeal is made within seven calendar days of the issuance of the decision at the previous level.

Grade Challenges for Nursing Programs

Any student wishing to challenge a final course grade must first discuss the grade with the faculty member of the course in question within 14 consecutive calendar days of the end of final's week for campus-based courses and within 14 consecutive calendar days of the end of the online session in writing. Challenges after that time will not be permitted, and the grade recorded on the official grade sheets will prevail. The faculty member will communicate receipt of an appeal to the Program Director.

If the grade challenge is denied in whole or in part by the faculty member and the student is not satisfied with the explanation for the denial, it may be appealed to the Program Director. The Program Director will communicate receipt of an appeal to the Assistant Dean of the College of Nursing and Public Health and, as a courtesy, to the Campus Director & Dean of Academic Affairs and Operations for campus-based students or the Dean for Online Learning and Innovation for online students.

If not satisfied with the decision of the Program Director, the student may appeal to the Dean of the College of Nursing and Public Health. The decision of the Dean of the College of Nursing and Public Health is final.  

Appeals of a decision rendered at any level must be received in writing by the person to whom the appeal is made within seven calendar days of the issuance of the decision at the previous level.

Grade Challenges for School of Pharmacy

School of Pharmacy Academic Appeals Policy (Final Grade in a Course) 

A student has the right to file a formal appeal if there is a disagreement with the final grade, which has been awarded in a course that is based on an appropriate concern.  The procedure for bringing an academic appeal is as follows: 

  1. A formal appeal must be initiated within seven calendar days following the date final grades are posted for the term.  To initiate an appeal, the student must present the appeal in writing utilizing the appropriate School of Pharmacy Notification of Appeal Form to the faculty member in charge of the course.  Appeals submitted for consideration should have clearly stated grounds for such an appeal with objective support for consideration.
  2. Once the appeal is received by the course faculty member, it is his/her responsibility to forward the notification of the appeal to the appropriate Assistant Dean for Operations, the Registrar, and the Dean to inform them that a grade appeal has been filed.  After reviewing the student's appeal, the faculty member will render a decision in writing no later than five calendar days after receiving the appeal.
  3. If the faculty member does not resolve the appeal, the student may forward the notification of appeal to the appropriate Assistant Dean for Operations within two calendar days.  After reviewing the student's appeal, the Assistant Dean for Operations will render a decision in writing no later than five calendar days after receiving the appeal.
  4. If the Assistant Dean for Operations does not resolve the appeal, the student may present the notification of appeal to the Office of the Dean within two calendar days.  After reviewing the student's appeal, the Dean or his designee will render a decision in writing no later than five calendar days after receiving the appeal.  The decision of the Dean of the School will be final.

Grade Challenges for the Physician Assistant Program

Any student wishing to challenge a final course grade must first discuss the grade with the course director of the course in question. If a formal challenge is to be initiated, it must be submitted in writing to the course director within one business day of the publication of the final grade. Challenges after that time will not be permitted and the grade recorded on the official grade sheets will prevail. The student will be notified of a decision within 5 business days (by 5 PM) in writing.

If the grade challenge is denied by the course director, it may be appealed in writing to the campus Program Director.  If the course director is the Program Director, the appeal proceeds directly to the Department Chair. Thereafter, appeals proceed to the Department Chair (or the Assistant Dean of the College of Health Professions in the absence of the Department Chair), and then to the Dean of the College of Health Professions. The decision of the Dean of the College is considered final. Appeals of a decision rendered at any level must be received in writing by the person to whom the appeal is made within 5 business days (by 5 PM) of the issuance of the decision at the previous level.

Incomplete Policy

Incompletes are given at the discretion of the faculty member to any student who does not complete the course requirements. To receive an incomplete, the student must complete at least one-half of the course requirements; then, it is the student's responsibility to complete the remainder of the required coursework.

Incomplete grades must be cleared within 14 consecutive calendar days of the end of session (unless special approval is received from the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Campus Director & Dean of Academic Affairs and Operations, or College/School Dean) or the incomplete will be changed to the grade earned. The final grade for the course will be designated on the transcript by the appropriate letter grade.

Note: Students in online courses cannot earn participation points on discussion assignments completed during the incomplete period.

University Examinations/Culture of Assessment

South University seeks to provide an optimal learning experience for each of its students. To provide evidence of learning achievement in the classroom, students are required to participate in university-level assessment activities 
(e.g., Standardized Assessment of Information Literacy Skills, course embedded assessment and portfolios) on an ongoing basis throughout their academic studies. Current university level assessment activities are focused on general education learning outcomes (skills in the areas of mathematics, communications, critical thinking, etc.) in the undergraduate programs, in addition to the learning assessment, which takes place in each academic program. The final formal examinations of general education skills occur before graduation, usually after students enter their final two quarters of their program. Students' scores will not be factored into their GPA or entered on their transcript. Completion of these exams is an official University requirement for graduation.