Grading System

The University uses an A through F grading system. The letter grades with point value (in parentheses) are: A+ (4.0), A (4.0), A– (3.67), B+ (3.33), B (3.0), B– (2.67), C+ (2.33), C (2.0), C– (1.67), D+ (1.33), D (1.0), D– (0.67), and F (0). Grades without point value are: W (dropped/withdrew), I (incomplete), P (pass/C or better), and N (no pass). The grade of IP (in progress) and XP (no progress) are used exclusively for thesis and dissertation hours (course number 899 and 999, respectively) and have no point value.

Graduate students taking undergraduate classes for deficiencies generally have a grade requirement set by the department. However, if no specific standard has been set, graduate students are required to meet the same standard set for undergraduate students. If the class is taken Pass/No pass, the equivalent of a C or better is required to receive a grade of P.

Scholastic Grade Requirements

The following minimum grades are required to earn credit in graduate-level courses:

Course List
  Courses in the major department or area applied toward a degree All other courses applied toward a degree or a graduate certificate
800-level with 400 or lower counterpart B C or P
900-level and 800-level without 400 or lower counterpart C or P C or P

The comprehensive exam for the minor may be waived if all grades in the minor are at least a B or P. Courses taken to fulfill requirements for a graduate certificate and later applied toward a graduate degree must meet the minimum grade requirements for the degree, which may be higher. Grades below the minimum requirement cannot be applied toward a degree or graduate certificate. Students failing to receive a minimum acceptable grade may not continue their program of studies without permission of their supervisory committee or the departmental graduate committee.

Incomplete (“I”) Grade

The I grade should be used only when a student is unable to complete a course due to illness, military service, hardship, or death in the immediate family. Incompletes will be given only if the student has substantially completed the major requirements of the course. (SOURCE: University Registrar Policy; updated October 6, 2016)

The I grade is assigned at the discretion of the instructor in consultation with the student. The instructor determines the requirements for completing the course and requisite date for removal of the incomplete. These requirements should be in writing to prevent miscommunication. The student should not re-register for an incomplete course when attempting to complete course requirements. Re-registration will incur new tuition charges. If the instructor leaves the University prior to the date set for the completion of a course, the Department Chair or Graduate Committee Chair will assume the role of the instructor.

Incomplete graduate courses listed on the Memorandum of Courses or Program of Studies must become graded prior to graduation. When requirements are satisfied, the instructor replaces the I with a grade indicating completion. If an incomplete course is not listed on the Memorandum of Courses or Program of Studies and not used toward degree requirements, it may remain incomplete. In such cases, the I grade will remain on the student’s transcript, but will not affect the GPA. Undergraduate courses receiving an I grade will changed to an F after one calendar year.

The I grade should not be used for thesis and dissertation hours or for courses that span multiple semesters in which students are making adequate progress.

In Progress (“IP”) and No Progress (“XP”) Grades

The IP and XP grades shall be used exclusively for thesis and dissertation hours (course number 899 and 999, respectively) prior to the student’s final semester.

The IP grade indicates satisfactory work in progress or effort as determined by the student’s advisor and/or supervisory committee. The IP grade will stand until the final examination, at which time a grade of P or a letter grade for all thesis and dissertation hours is submitted to the Office of the University Registrar.

The XP grade indicates lack of satisfactory progress as determined by the student’s advisor and/or supervisory committee. Consecutive XP grades may result in the graduate committee taking action to inform the student and Graduate Studies regarding continuation of the student’s graduate study. No direct academic action will be imposed for earning one or more XP grades. However, departments may use a series of XP grades as a basis for recommending termination of the student from a graduate program. Departments and programs should establish these criteria and document them fully in their graduate student handbooks.

SOURCE: UNL Graduate Council (October 9, 2014)

Grade Appeals

Appeal of grades in graduate-level courses shall be made through the graduate student grade appeal procedures for the campus through which the grade was awarded.

  • Students who believe their evaluation in a course has been prejudiced or capricious must first attempt to resolve the matter with the Course Instructor within 30 days of the posting of the grade report by the Office of the University Registrar.
  • If unsuccessful, the student may then file a written appeal to the Graduate Committee Chair for consideration by the Graduate Committee responsible for the administration of the course. This appeal must be filed within 60 days of the posting of the grade report by the Office of the University Registrar. If the department does not have a graduate program, the standing grade appeal committee of the department would consider the appeal. A written determination of the appeal shall be presented to the student and instructor.
  • If the matter is unduly delayed or not resolved, the student may present the original appeal documentation to the Dean for Graduate Studies who shall request a review by a subcommittee of the Graduate Council. A final appeal may be made to the full Graduate Council, if it agrees to hear the case. Since awarding grades in courses occurs at the individual campus level, the decision of the Graduate Council shall be final and is not subject to further appeal beyond the campus.
  • If the instructor’s grade is overturned, the instructor of record has the right of appeal, in writing, at the same successive levels of review.

SOURCE: UNL Graduate Council (March 9, 1993; revised August 16, 2018)