D. Grading Policies

1. Grading In all Colgate courses, the final grades used to indicate the quality of the student’s performance are as follows: A means excellent, B means good, C means satisfactory, D means poor but passing, F means failing. Final course grades reported to the Registrar must be recorded as follows: A+, A, A–, B+, B, B–, C+, C, C–, D+, D, D–, F, S, U, W, or I. Policies governing the grades of S, U, W, and I are explained below.

2. Course Warnings Students experiencing academic difficulties in a course should seek assistance well in advance of the end of the course. Faculty with concerns about a student's course progress are encouraged to submit a course warning which notifies the student, academic adviser, and administrative dean. Instructors will have access to submit course warnings via the Colgate portal. Instructors will select the appropriate class from the Faculty Dashboard. In the "Course Warning" column on the class roster page, instructors can submit a course warning for a student by following the "Submit Warning" link in the appropriate row. The appropriate administrative advisers send a formal course warning to the student and their faculty adviser. The course warning system is relatively easy to administer and provides valuable information to the student that can result in dramatic improvement in academic performance.

3. Completion of Student Work in Courses Work in all courses, including independents, must be completed by the last day of classes, so that faculty can grade papers and students can study during the review period prior to exams.

4. Cumulative and/or Integrative Assignments/Examinations It is essential that some substantial component of the work in every class be cumulative and/or integrative in nature. One way this expectation may be fulfilled is by one or more in-class examinations (midterm or midterms) and a two-hour final examination. Alternatives to this model may take many forms, including (but not limited to) take-home exams, reflective essays,  individual or group projects, research papers, oral presentations, or multiple, small, in-class examinations.

It is expected that every class, with the exception of senior seminars, will have one and only one major assignment due or exam take place at the time set by the Registrar for the final exam.  All other coursework must be submitted by 5 pm on the last day of classes.  The Office of the Associate Dean of the Faculty provides administrative support for self-scheduled exams.

As faculty design their final assignments, they should be mindful of students' final-exam-week workload.

It is a general rule that a student who has three final examinations scheduled in a single day has a right to request that he or she be allowed to take one of them at a different time. This is usually accomplished informally with a request to one of the instructors involved. In some cases the student may ask his or her administrative advisor to intervene with the instructor(s), and faculty members are asked to cooperate with such a request. If the problem cannot be resolved in this manner, it will be referred to the Associate Dean of the Faculty for Curricular and Academic Affairs, who will determine which of the student’s three examinations will be rescheduled.

Except in the unusual case of a student having three examinations scheduled in a single day, however, students are expected to take the final examinations in their courses at the regularly scheduled times. Students should not make end-of-semester travel plans prior to the publication of the final exam schedule (or should schedule travel for after the end of the final exam period). Faculty members are strongly discouraged from giving “make-up” or special final examinations for students except in very unusual cases and for compelling reasons.

It is requested that faculty members inform a student’s administrative adviser if the student fails to appear for a scheduled final examination in a course.

5. Reporting Final Grades  Final grades for all students are to be submitted online through the Faculty Dashboard. Final grades for seniors who expect to graduate at the end of a term are due by 9 a.m. on the Monday following the exam period. Final grades for all other students are due in the Registrar’s Office by the date specified on the academic calendar.

Final grades are officially reported to students by the Registrar only after all grades have been submitted by the faculty. It is therefore extremely important that instructors adhere to the Registrar’s specified deadlines for submission of final course grades.

6. Incompletes The University’s policy on “incompletes” is contained in the section on “Academic Regulations” in the Colgate University Catalogue. The last sentence in the statement below was added to the Catalogue statement by the Dean’s Advisory Council in May 1982.

The temporary status of “incomplete” in a course is given only when the student has not finished the work in the course. It is used rarely and only for sufficient cause, such as illness or absence necessitated by emergency. A student’s request for an incomplete, which should be made in advance, must be directed to their administrative dean, who will consult with the instructor in the course before approving the request. An incomplete must be made up within 20 days of the end of the term in which it was granted, unless an extension has been granted by the student’s administrative dean as a consequence of extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s ability to predict or control. The instructor will submit a grade to the Registrar within 10 days of the date the make-up is completed, or, if the make-up is not completed, submit the appropriate grade to the Registrar within 10 days of the final day granted by the student’s administrative dean; otherwise the incomplete is converted to an F.

7. Changes of Grade Once a grade has been reported to the Registrar (or converted from an incomplete to an F), an instructor who wishes to request a change of grade for a student must obtain the approval of the Associate Dean of the Faculty. Requests for a grade change must be based on reevaluation of work completed by the student during the term and not additional work completed after the end of the term.

The request for a change of grade should be made in writing to the Associate Dean of the Faculty with an explanation of the reason for requesting the change of grade. The request should be accompanied by a Special Grade Report Card (available in department offices or from the Registrar), which must be signed by the instructor and the department chair (signifying departmental approval) before it is sent to the Associate Dean. If the request for a change of grade is approved, the Associate Dean will inform the Registrar who will make the change in the student’s official records. See also Chapter IV, Section E.2, Review of a Grade.

Grades appearing on a student's academic record may normally not be changed after one semester from the end of the term in which the grade was awarded. Under extraordinary circumstances, grade changes beyond one semester but before graduation may be approved by the associate dean of the faculty.

8. Academic Honors A description of the academic honors awarded at Colgate may be found in the section on “Academic Regulations” in the Colgate University Catalogue.

Reporting honors and high honors to the Registrar is the responsibility of the department chair or concentration program director. Because a number of students complete graduation requirements at times other than May, the Dean’s Advisory Council has issued the following ruling regarding the dates for reporting of honors and high honors to the Registrar:

Departments must report honors and high honors to the Registrar no later than five calendar days after the end of the fall semester examination period if the student completes their graduation requirements in the fall term. If the student completes their graduation requirements in the spring term, the department must inform the Registrar no later than the end of the regular examination period. University honors are based on the final grade point average.

9. Satisfactory–Unsatisfactory (S/U) Option This option is designed to encourage students to explore new areas outside their concentration in the true spirit of a liberal education.

Students with junior and senior standing, who have been accepted in a concentration, may elect to take up to four courses which are evaluated “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” instead of by the usual letter grades. The following conditions apply to this option.

a. The decision to use the S/U option rests with the student and is restricted to students with junior or senior standing.

b. A student may take no more than one course per term on a S/U basis.

c. A student on academic warning may not use the S/U option.

d. Courses in the Common Core, when taken toward the fulfillment of the Common Core requirement, may not be taken under the S/U option. Also courses used to fulfill the Global Engagements requirement, the areas of inquiry/distribution requirement, the language requirement, the writing requirement, and the major or minor requirements may not be taken S/U.

e. The choice to take a particular course under S/U must be made prior to the end of the withdrawal period and must be officially recorded by the student with the Office of the Registrar.

f. In the event of a course’s limited enrollment, a student’s desire to take a course on a S/U basis shall not be a criterion in determining their eligibility for the courses or section.

g. To achieve the grade of S, the student must perform at a level that would warrant a grade of C– or better.

h. Satisfactory completion of a course is entered on the student’s permanent transcript as an S, but does not enter into the computation of the grade point average. Unsatisfactory completion of a course is entered on the student’s transcript as a U, but does not enter into the computation of the GPA. No course credit is awarded for a grade of U

i. Seniors, during their final semester, should not take a course using the S/U option unless they will have a total of 32 course credits without the S/U course.

10. Other Academic Rules and Regulations Other academic rules and regulations may be found in the section on “Academic Regulations” in the Colgate University Catalogue or in other sections of the Catalogue.

 Handbook Table of Contents