Grades and Credit by Examination

A student may audit a course with the consent of the course instructor and the approval of their navigator in Student Advancement.  An auditor receives no credit for the course, but the course is included in the total credit-hours of enrollment for that semester.  At the beginning of the course, the student and instructor should reach agreement regarding the requirements for a successful audit.  If the student achieves a successful audit, the instructor records a grade of AD, which is entered on the student’s transcript.  If the student fails to meet the requirements established for a successful audit, the instructor will record a grade of NG, but the course and the grade are not posted on the transcript.

Registration in a course cannot be changed from audit to credit or the reverse after the end of the drop/add period.  However, a student may take for credit a course they audited in an earlier semester.

Students have the opportunity to repeat a course in order to improve their mastery of the course material. When a course is repeated, the student will earn credit for the course only once, but both the original grade and the grade for the repeated course will be included in the semester and cumulative grade point averages, each weighted by the credit-hours for the course.

The student’s transcript will show the comment “REPEATED: NO CREDIT AWARDED” directly below the original grade. Similarly, if a student repeats a course for which they have already received either test (AP, IB, etc.) or transfer credit, the original credit will be removed and the transcript will show the comment "REPEATED: NO CREDIT AWARDED;" credit will instead be awarded for the course taken at Case Western Reserve University. However, if the first attempt of the course resulted in a passing grade but the second attempt results in a failing grade, the student will continue to earn credit for the first attempt; both grades will be included in the semester and cumulative grade point averages.

The course repeat option may not be exercised after a degree has been awarded.

CAUTION: Students who are the recipients of any form of federal financial aid (grants, loans, work study, etc.) and repeat a course that previously earned a passing grade must enroll for a minimum of 12 credit-hours for which credit had not been earned previously.

Assignment of the Incomplete Grade:

The Incomplete grade (I) is assigned by and at the discretion of the instructor when a) there are extenuating circumstances, explained to the instructor before the assignment of the grade, which clearly justify an extension of time beyond the requirements established for and met by other students in the class, and b) the student has been passing the course and only a small segment of the course, such as a term paper, remains to be completed.

It is the student's responsibility to notify the instructor of the circumstances preventing completion of all assigned work. In the absence of notification or adequate justification, the instructor has the authority to assign the student a final grade that assumes a failing grade for the missing work. An Incomplete grade should not be assigned a) when a student has been absent for much of the semester and/or has done little of the work required for a course, or b) because a student is absent from a final examination, unless the dean of Undergraduate Studies has authorized the grade.

The amount of additional time allowed for the student to make up incomplete work should serve to accommodate the student while being fair to other students in the course. It should be proportional to the duration of a student's illness or absence and might be no more than a few days or weeks. At the extreme, it should not extend past the eleventh week of the session following the one in which the Incomplete grade was received. In certain cases (such as students on probation) the dean of undergraduate studies may establish an earlier date for completion of courses with Incomplete grades.

Changing the Incomplete Grade:

When the student has completed the required work, the instructor shall enter in the Student Information System a final evaluative grade to replace the Incomplete. When a student fails to submit the work required for removing the Incomplete by the date established, the instructor shall enter a final grade that assumes a failing performance for the missing work. In the absence of the assignment of a grade by the instructor, the Registrar will convert the I to F when the deadline for making up Incomplete grades from a previous semester has passed.

Mid-semester grades are assigned in undergraduate courses at the end of the eighth week of each semester. The purpose of mid-semester grades is advisory; the grades are not part of a student's official academic record or transcript. At mid-semester, an instructor may assign to undergraduates evaluative letter grades (A, B, C, D, or F) or grades to indicate satisfactory (S) or unsatisfactory (U). (S and U may not be assigned as final course grades in undergraduate courses). Students may view their mid-semester grades on the Student Information System. Students who have any low or unreported mid-semester grades should discuss their progress with their instructors and with their advisors.

Undergraduate students (degree candidates and non-degree students enrolled at the undergraduate level), other than students participating in the Pre-college Scholars program, may elect to take one course each fall and spring semester on a Pass/No Pass grading basis, provided they remain enrolled in at least three semester hours of courses for regular evaluative grades. However, all courses to be counted toward major, minor, or SAGES/General Education/Core requirements must be taken for regular evaluative grades. If a student opts for Pass/No Pass in a course, that course will not be counted toward any of these requirements. The Pass/No Pass option is not available during the summer session or to undergraduate degree candidates enrolled at the graduate or professional levels through the IGS Program or Senior Year in Professional Studies. Enrollment in courses that are graded on a Pass/No Pass basis (e.g., PHED 55A: Cardio-Fitness (First-Half) does not preclude a student's use of the Pass/No Pass option in another course taken the same term. [NOTE: Because of the unusual circumstances of the Spring 2020 semester, students will be allowed to opt for the Pass/No Pass option in more than one course, and there will be no requirement that any courses be completed for regular evaluative grades. In Addition, courses for which a student opts for Pass/No Pass grading in Spring 2020 will count toward major, minor and/or SAGES/general education/core requirements.]

Students may submit an on-line Pass/No Pass Option form at any time in the fall or Spring semester after the end of the drop/add period and before 11:59 p.m. on the day of the course withdrawal deadline for that semester (currently the last day of classes for first-year students and the 11th Friday of the semester for all other students, including new transfer students; for Spring 2020, all students will have until the last day of classes, Monday April 27, for course withdrawals and choosing the Pass/No Pass grading option). A Decision to us the Pass/No Pass option is irrevocable unless the student needs that course to complete requirements for a major or minor declared in a subsequent semester. In that event, the student may request that the Office of Undergraduate Studies reveal the grade on the transcript at the start of the student's final term at Case Western Reserve University. [NOTE: Because courses taken Pass/No Pass during Spring 2020 will automatically count toward requirements, the grades behind a Pass will not be revealed on the transcript later.]

Instructors are not notified of a student's use of this option.  Instructors submit evaluative grades for all students, and these are converted to Pass/No Pass in the Registrar's Office.  Courses elected on a Pass/No Pass basis and completed with a grade of D or higher will be entered with the grade P on the student’s transcript. Courses taken Pass/No Pass for which a grade of F is earned will have NP entered on the transcript. Students who earn a P grade will earn credit for the course, while those who earn NP will not.  Grades of P and NP are not included in computing the grade point average.

Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate Examinations

Students may earn degree credit on the basis of advanced examinations taken while in secondary school. Examinations eligible for credit and/or advanced placement include, but are not limited to College Board Advanced Placement Examinations and International Baccalaureate Higher Level Examinations. Determination of the criteria for granting credit and/or placement is made by the appropriate department. In assigning credit or granting advanced placement for credentials from outside the United States, the university is guided by the placement recommendations and grade equivalencies approved by the National Council on the Evaluation of Foreign Educational Credentials. For more information on AP and IB score equivalences, exemptions, and placements visit the Undergraduate Admission website

Proficiency Examinations

Departments within each academic unit offering undergraduate programs may choose to offer students the opportunity to earn course credit in specific courses by proficiency examination. To qualify for proficiency examination credit for a course, the student's examination performance must demonstrate knowledge and skills at a level no lower than that of an average student who successfully completes the course. Upon notification from the academic department, the Office of Undergraduate Studies will post credit for the course on the transcript. The grade will be recorded as PR, and will not be included in a student's grade point average.