Skip To Content

Athabasca University


Undergraduate Grading Policy


Department Policy Number

Effective Date

June 1, 2009

Purpose

This policy provides comprehensive undergraduate grading information.

Definitions

Awards, Minimum GPA:

The minimum GPA to be considered for Athabasca University is 3.50 (truncated to two decimal points).

Extra to Degree:

Successfully completed course that do not fit within a student's AU program.

Failing Grades:

Failing grades are any grades less than the minimum passing grade. Failing grades are all grades below D except where specified otherwise in the detailed course description.

Grade Point:

A grade point is a number between 0 and 4.00 that is assigned to a grade (alpha or percentage) and then used to calculate a grade point average (GPA). The grade point value is reflected on the Official Student Record.

Grade Point Average (GPA):

The grade Point average is a weighted average calculated as follows:

  • Sum of (grade point x credit hours)/(sum of credit hours)

Graduation with Distinction and Great Distinction:

The minimum GPA for Graduation with Distinction is a program GPA of 3.60 (truncated to two decimal points) and included GPAs up to 3.84 (truncated to two decimal points). The minimum GPA for Graduation with Great Distinction is a program GPA of 3.85 (truncated to two decimal points).

Honours List:

The minimum GPA for inclusion on the Honours list is 3.60((truncated to two decimal points). Refer to the Undergraduate Honours List Policy (Undergraduate Honours List Policy (143) ).

Minimum Passing Grade:

The minimum passing grade is D except where specified otherwise in the detailed course descriptions.

Official Student Record:

An official document issued by AU that confirms courses completed and the grades achieved in those courses. Also called the transcript.

Program Grade Point Average (GPA):

The grade point average calculated from the grades of the courses completed toward a specific program. The program GPA is used for program graduation requirements, awards, honours list, graduation with distinction and great distinction.

Transcript Grade Point Average (GPA):

The cumulative grade point average of all Athabasca University completed courses.

Policy

Undergraduate Course Grading

1.

The University will convert to the Alpha/4.0 undergraduate grading scale effective January 1, 2003. Undergraduate courses with start dates of January 1, 2003 (term 200301) or later will use the new scale.

Approved Common Provincial Grading Scale

Description

Alpha Grade

4 Point Scale

Excellent

A+

4.0

Excellent

A

4.0

Excellent

A-

3.7

Excellent

B+

3.3

Good

B

3.0

Good

B-

2.7

Good

C+

2.3

Satisfactory

C

2.0

Satisfactory

C-

1.7

Poor

D+

1.3

Minimal Pass

D

1.0

Failure

F

0

Additional Athabasca University Grades

Grade

Definition

Descriptor

AD

Audit

Grade, not in GPA

AS

Advanced Standing

Grade used with graduate courses

CH

Challenge For Credit

Course instructional grade

IP

In progress

Grade, not in GPA

N

Non credit course

Additonal course information

NCC

Not for credit complete

Grade, not in GPA

NCI

Not for credit incomplete

Grade, not in GPA

P

Pass in pass/fail grade mode

Grade, not in GPA

R

Repeated course

Addtional course information

TR

Transfer Credit

No grade reported

U

Fail in pass/fail grade mode effective Jan 2003

Grade, not in GPA

W

Withdrawal (in good standing)

Grade, not in GPA

WF

Withdrawal fail (without academic penalty)

Grade, not in GPA

2.

Students registered in courses with start dates before January 1, 2003 were graded according to the former percentage grade scale that was in effect at the time.

Percentage Range

Alpha Grade Assigned

90-100

A+

85-89

A

80-84

A-

76-79

B+

73-75

B

70-72

B-

67-69

C+

64-66

C

60-63

C-

55-59

D+

50-54

D

0-49

F

3.

For undergraduate courses with start dates of January 1, 2003 (term 200301) or later, the Office of the Registrar will retain only the alpha grade in the official Student Record, the AU Student Information system (SIS).

4.

Student transcripts will display the alpha grades (and corresponding grade points) for all courses starting January 1, 2003 or later.

5.

Courses which are graded on a pass/fail basis will not have corresponding grade points assigned and will not be used in GPA Calculations.

Grade Point Average (GPA) Calculations

6.

 

All student GPA's will be defined by and calculated using the 4.0 grading scale. Percentage grades in academic history (assigned under the previous grading system) that form part of a student's GPA calculation will be converted to the 4.0 scale before the GPA calculation, according to the following conversion scale.

Note: The following table will only be used for individual course conversion when a transcript is produced. It will only be used for courses completed with a percentage grade. It should not be used to compare averages or GPAs.

Percentage

Grade Point

100

4.00

99

4.00

98

4.00

97

4.00

96

4.00

95

4.00

94

4.00

93

4.00

92

4.00

91

4.00

90

4.00

89

4.00

88

4.00

87

4.00

86

4.00

85

4.00

84

3.94

83

3.88

82

3.82

81

3.76

80

3.70

79

3.60

78

3.50

77

3.40

76

3.30

75

3.20

74

3.10

73

3.00

72

2.90

71

2.80

70

2.70

69

2.60

68

2.50

67

2.40

66

2.30

65

2.20

64

2.10

63

2.00

62

1.90

61

1.80

60

1.70

59

1.63

58

1.56

57

1.49

56

1.42

55

1.35

54

1.28

53

1.21

52

1.14

51

1.07

50

1.00

49

0.98

48

0.96

47

0.94

46

0.92

45

0.90

44

0.88

43

0.86

42

0.84

41

0.82

40

0.80

39

0.78

38

0.76

37

0.74

36

0.72

35

0.70

34

0.68

33

0.66

32

0.64

31

0.62

30

0.60

29

0.58

28

0.56

27

0.54

26

0.52

25

0.50

24

0.48

23

0.46

22

0.44

21

0.42

20

0.40

19

0.38

18

0.36

17

0.34

16

0.32

15

0.30

14

0.28

13

0.26

12

0.24

11

0.22

10

0.20

9

0.18

8

0.16

7

0.14

6

0.12

5

0.10

4

0.08

3

0.06

2

0.04

1

0.02

0

0.00

7.

All exceptions to minimum passing grade and failing grade definitions must be specified in detailed course information. (If a 60% is considered a minimum passing grade under the old system, then that minimum passing grade will become C- in the new system. In this case, no grades of D+ or D will be assigned to these course registrations.)

8.

Academic Council must approve any exceptions to the undergraduate grading system including the standards for passing grades and failing grades. Any such exceptions must be implemented by providing adequate time for student advisement.

Program GPA and Graduation with Distinction or Great Distinction

9.

All students who graduate with an undergraduate degree and have successfully completed a minimum of 24 credits at Athabasca University are automatically considered for this recognition.

10.

All completed AU course taken as part of the undergraduate degree program in which the student is registered will be used in the program GPA calculation including unsuccessful course attempts.

11.

For courses that are repeated the highest grade achieved will be used in the program GPA calculation.

12.

Courses Excluded from the GPA Calculation:

  • Transfer courses (courses for which transfer credit has been awarded)
  • Courses using a pass/fail grading scheme
  • Courses with a grade of W (Withdrawal) or WF (Withdrawal Failure), both without academic penalty
  • Courses considered extra to degree
  • Credits awarded for Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)
  • Non credit courses and courses with no grade

Regulation

N/A

Approved By

Athabasca University Academic Council, Motion 172-8; September 25, 2002.

Amended Date/Motion No.

Athabasca University Academic Council, Motion 214-7; December 17, 2008

Related References, Policies and Procedures

The Universities Coordinating Council Common Grading System Committee, June 2001 Update Report.

Athabasca University Grading Policy: Minimum Passing Grades, Recording of Failures, and Withdrawals, original 17 October 1988, revised 20 November 1990.

Undergraduate Honours List Policy (143)

Applicable Legislation/Regulation

N/A

Responsible Position/Department

Office of the Registrar

Keywords

  • Awards
  • Distinction
  • Failing grades
  • Grade point average (GPA
  • Grade point value
  • Grading policy
  • Great Distinction
  • Honours List
  • Minimum passing grade
  • Program grade point average

Office of the University Secretariat, September 21, 2009

Updated May 06 2014 by Advancement Web Services

AU, CANADA'S OPEN UNIVERSITY, is an internationally recognized leader in online and distance learning.