Grading System, Grading Policies, and Final Exams - Undergraduate

University grading system 

Scholastic standing is determined by the grade point system. Grade points are used to determine an official scholastic average for each student. A semester grade point average is calculated by dividing the grade points earned by the number of credits attempted that semester. The cumulative average is the total number of grade points earned divided by the total number of credits attempted. GPAs are not rounded; they are truncated at two digits and a zero is added as the third digit for all students.

UWL grade point averages are determined only by grades in UWL courses. Probationary status and grade point deficiencies of students already matriculated at UWL may not be improved by enrolling in courses at other institutions.

Grading scale

Effective January 1994, the university adopted a seven-step grading scale with point values assigned as follows:

A 4.00 grade points/credit
AB 3.50 grade points/credit
B 3.00 grade points/credit
BC 2.50 grade points/credit
C 2.00 grade points/credit
D 1.00 grade points/credit
F 0.00 counted as credits attempted

Additional university grades and grade points used but not part of the grading scale:

I incomplete / 0 (not counted as credits attempted)
IP in progress / 0 (not counted as credits attempted)
W, WP withdraw passing / 0 (not counted as credits attempted)
WF withdraw failing / 0 (counted as credits attempted, averaged into GPA)
EP1 emergency withdrawal / passing / 0 (not counted as credits attempted)
EF1 emergency withdrawal / failing / 0 (not counted as credits attempted)
AS audit satisfactory / 0 (not counted as credits attempted)
AU audit unsatisfactory / 0 (not counted as credits attempted)
S2 satisfactory / 0 (counted as credits attempted)
U unsatisfactory / 0 (not counted as credits attempted)
P2 pass / 0 (counted as credits earned)
F fail / 0 (counted as credits attempted; averaged into GPA)
F01 - F14 not active / 0 (counted as credits attempted; averaged into GPA). Student did not withdraw from the course officially, but failed to participate in course activities through the end of the period. There is insufficient evidence to make possible a meaningful evaluation of academic performance. The appropriate grade from the F01 to F14 range will appear as an "F" on the student record.
NR no report / 0 (not averaged into GPA; the "NR" grade is posted for all missing grades
PR3 in progress for dissertation, thesis, seminar paper, culminating projects / 0 (not counted as credits attempted)

The faculty Committee on Academic Policies and Standards has established EP and EF as grades that are to be utilized only for the emergency medical withdrawal of students and military call-ups. These grades will be recorded on the permanent academic record to indicate level of performance at the time of withdrawal; however, such grades will not be averaged into the student grade point average.


A grade of "P" or "S" awarded at the undergraduate level is equivalent to a grade of "C"  or better.


The "PR" grade is only used at the graduate level.

University pass/fail policy

  1. Credits taken on a P/F basis will not be averaged into a grade point average if "P" is filed by the instructor. The credits will count as credits earned. An "F" will be averaged in and will be counted as credits attempted.
  2. Specific courses are approved for pass/fail grading. Students do not have the option to request a graded course be taken as P/F.
  3. A maximum of 21 credits of P/F course work can be used toward an undergraduate degree.
  4. UWL does not accept graduate transfer credit from other institutions in which a grade of "pass" was earned.

Students should realize that P/F graded courses might not be accepted in transfer to other institutions of higher learning. Professional schools are especially reluctant to accept P/F graded course work.

Some employers, principals, and/or superintendents may be unable to acknowledge credits or reward employees, especially graduate students working on advanced degrees, when course work has been taken under the P/F grading system.

Final exams policy

A finals week exists to allow students time to read, review, write, integrate, synthesize, and collaborate to maximize the student learning outcomes of courses. Instructors are encouraged to use finals week for significant papers, assignments, exams (cumulative or not; take-home or in class), etc. in order to allow students the maximum time to distribute their workload and attend to quality. For the sake of student learning, the last week of classes should not be used as a proxy for finals week.

A final examination will be given in each course within a special examination period except for one-credit courses, which will have exams scheduled at the last regular meeting of the class. The examination periods, dates, and times are found in the Office of Records and Registration's Final Exam Schedule. Final exams for online courses will be administered by the published end date of the course. The nature and relative importance assigned to the final examination is determined by the instructor in charge of each course.

Any changes to the final examination policy above, including the published schedule, must be approved by the department chair and the dean of the school or college and will only be granted under extraordinary circumstances. Instructors may send requests to change an examination time via email to the chair of their department. If the department chair approved of the request, the chair will then forward the request to the dean.

No student will be required to take more than three final exams on the same day. If a night class is not involved, instructors of the fourth and subsequent exams on that day will be obliged to reschedule that student's exam if the Office of Record and Registration certifies that such an overload exists. If a night class is involved, the night class and the student's first two exams of the day will remain as scheduled and the other instructors will be obliged to reschedule their exams for that student.

Study Day: No final examination shall be given to any student on Study Day. Study Day is a day to prepare for the final examination period. No student activities of any sort with the exception of optional review sessions for final examinations shall be scheduled on Study Day. This includes make-up classes or tests, committee meetings involving students, and athletic practices or events.

University incomplete (I) grade policy

An incomplete (I) is a temporary grading symbol (not a final course grade) that may be reported for a student who carried a subject through the last date that one may withdraw from a course and then, because of illness or other unusual and substantiated cause beyond the student’s control, was unable to take the final examination or complete a limited amount of remaining course work.

In no case may an incomplete be recorded by an instructor for a student who, through personal fault, has failed either to complete the requirements of the course on time or failed to report for the final examination as scheduled.

Before an incomplete is reported, there should be, in the judgment of the instructor, a reasonable probability that the student can complete the course successfully without attending class sessions again.

An incomplete (I) will be removed when the student submits all work due. An incomplete must be removed and a final grade recorded in the Office of Records and Registration no later than one calendar year (12 months) following the term in which the Incomplete was incurred, whether or not the student is enrolled. If the student has graduated, an incomplete will be changed according to this policy; however, the graduation GPA will not change.

In order to remove an incomplete, the student must make arrangements with the instructor for the satisfactory completion of the work remaining to be done in the course. This work was indicated on the "Incomplete Grade Request" that was submitted by the student and the instructor when the "I" was originally requested.

When the work has been completed, the instructor submits a final grade, which must also be approved by the department chair and the student’s dean. If the deadline for completion is not met, a grade of "F" will be recorded automatically at the time stated above. If the instructor indicated a grade other than "F" on the information sheet that was filed, that grade will be used instead of "F."

Note: A student should never register again for any course to remove a previously recorded incomplete unless the "I" grade has been converted to "F." This conversion of the "I" must be done prior to re-enrollment. For undergraduates, the highest grade earned in repetition will be accepted in the GPA. For graduates, the most recent grade earned will be calculated in the GPA. See the undergraduate and graduate course repeat policies for more information.

Change of final grade policy

An instructor may request to change a final grade for an undergraduate course three semesters immediately following the close of the semester in which the grade is first recorded, excluding summer. The instructor and department chair authorize the change through the change of grade process. Approval from the dean of the college/school associated with the student's primary major is required as well as processing by the Office of Records and Registration. 

A change of grade after three semesters may be made only upon approval of the faculty Committee on Academic Policies and Standards (CAPS). Requests must be made in writing and must be supported in writing by the instructor and the department chair. These documents are forwarded to the student’s academic dean for presentation to the faculty committee.

Final grades are not changed after the degree has been recorded.

Appeal of final grade policy

All departments have established policies and procedures which enable students to appeal final grades. These policies and procedures outline the progression of a formal appeal and specify who, if anyone, is empowered to change a final grade. All appeals for a final grade change must be initiated in writing through the department in question during the semester immediately following the semester in which the grade was earned. A copy of each department’s policies and procedures are filed in the office of the appropriate dean.

Report of final grades policy

Official grades are submitted at the end of each term and are available to students through the WINGS Student Center. Academic action is taken at the end of each semester. Grades are not mailed; they are available electronically via the WINGS Student Center.

Students with unsatisfactory grades are expected to seek counseling and help with their studies. Available resources include the instructor(s), advisor, and department tutors. Student services staff, particularly Counseling and Testing Center personnel, will provide assistance on a confidential basis. First years, especially, are encouraged to seek help at the earliest sign of academic difficulty. The university assumes that students will communicate regularly with interested parties (e.g. parents) with respect to academic status and progress.

Deans' Lists

To be eligible for inclusion on any honors list compiled and published by a dean’s office at the end of each semester, students must have earned not less than a 3.50 semester grade point average and have carried a minimum of 12 semester undergraduate degree credits.