University policy requires faculty to provide students with feedback about their academic performance. Although such feedback does not always take the form of a letter grade, grades do provide a clear indication of class progress. Students are encouraged to discuss their progress in courses with their instructors, especially at midterm, before the withdrawal deadline.
VCU Grading System
- VCU course work is measured both in terms of quantity (semester hours of credit) and quality (grades). Grades are assigned according to a letter system. Each letter is assigned a grade-point value. The scale used is known as a four-point grading system since 4.0 is the highest grade-point assigned. The number of grade-points earned is computed by multiplying the grade-point value for the letter grade times the number of semester credits for the course. For example, a student who receives an A (four grade points) in a three-credit course earns 12 grade points.
- See VCU Grading System for more information on grades.
Pass/Fail Policy for Undergraduate Students
- The pass/fail grade policy allows undergraduate students to choose not to have a grade assigned in a limited number of courses for which they receive VCU credit. This available choice allows students to explore elective and general education courses outside their major without the pressure associated with maintaining a particular GPA. It also facilitates timely degree completion and may reduce the need to repeat a course in order to maintain academic standing. It is the goal of the pass/fail policy to support equitable and accessible academic experiences for its undergraduate students.
- Undergraduate students may request that a course they are enrolled in be taken under the pass/fail grade option. Undergraduate students can apply no more than 15 credit hours of PP/PS grades taken under the pass/fail grade option over the entirety of their degree program. These restrictions do not apply to courses that are only offered as P/F.
- To utilize this option, VCUarts Qatar students should submit the VCUarts Qatar form. Do NOT submit the VCU-Richmond-equivalent of this form. VCU-Richmond forms submitted by VCUarts Qatar students are invalidated.
- Students may not use the pass/fail grade option in the following cases:
- To satisfy a prerequisite that requires a minimum grade of B
- For courses that count toward the requirements of the student’s major, minor, or certificate program. (For BFA-students, this includes courses within the Art Foundation Program.)
- Under the pass/fail grade option, students would have grades reported as either:
- PP: Grade of pass (equivalent to letter grade of A, B or C) is awarded for certain courses to denote satisfactory completion of requirements equivalent to the letter grades of A-C. The grade of PP is not included in the calculation of GPA. The grade of PP will satisfy course requirements of a minimum grade of C to advance to another course.
- PS: Grade of pass (equivalent to letter grade of D) is awarded for certain courses to denote satisfactory completion of requirements equivalent to the letter grade of D. The grade of PS is not included in the calculation of GPA. The grade of PS will not satisfy course requirements of a minimum grade of C to advance to another course and students may have to retake the course if they change their major and a minimum letter grade of C was required.
- F: Grade of fail (equivalent to letter grade of F) is considered not passing and is included in the calculation of the GPA.
- Students should consult with an adviser to understand the implications of their decision. Departments require that all courses satisfying major requirements be completed with a traditional letter grade; and in these instances, students who change their majors may need to repeat a course for which they have previously earned a grade of PP or PS.
- Instructors of record will not be aware of the student choice. Each faculty member will evaluate student performance in the course consistent with expectations outlined in the course syllabus. If a student has opted for the pass/fail grade option, the assigned grade will be converted to the appropriate pass/fail designation pursuant to the letter grade earned. For example, the instructor would enter a letter grade (A, B, C, D, F) as usual. If the student has chosen the Pass/Fail grade option, then grades A, B or C become a PP; a grade of D becomes a PS; and a grade of F becomes a F.
- Students may select the pass/fail grade option for eligible courses no later than the last day to withdraw from a course. All decisions by students are final and irrevocable.
- Students have a right to appeal course grades they consider to have been arbitrarily or capriciously assigned or assigned without regard for the criteria, requirements and procedures of the course stated in the syllabus or guidelines for assignments. Students who want to appeal the course grade should follow the guidelines provided under the Grade Review Procedures.
- Students may not appeal their decision to choose the pass/fail grade option. If students desire to appeal any other matter related to pass/fail outside the grade assigned, students should follow the guidelines provided under Academic Regulations Appeals Committee (ARAC) at VCUarts Qatar. For more information on ARAC, see the VCUarts Qatar Intranet or the Department of Enrollment and Registration Services.
Grade Point Average (GPA)
- The GPA is computed by dividing the number of grade points earned at VCU by the number of credit hours attempted at VCU. The grades of accepted transfer courses are not included in the computation of the VCU GPA. However, transfer grades are included in the computation of laudatory graduation honors for undergraduate students.
- VCU has three program levels: undergraduate, graduate and professional. Each program level has a cumulative GPA. For students who enroll in multiple programs at the same degree level, the GPA for the multiple programs will be merged. For example, a student who graduates from an undergraduate program at VCU and pursues a second undergraduate program at VCU will have one continuous GPA.
Change of Grade
- A final grade may be corrected by the faculty member with proper submission of the Change of Grade Authorization Form (for undergraduates) or Special Action Form (for graduate students) to the chair of the department in which the course was taught.
- Once the chair approves the request, the signed form is submitted to the Department of Enrollment and Registration Services at VCUarts Qatar.
- A change of grade that affects the student’s academic eligibility to enroll must be made prior to the end of the add/drop period in the semester or Summer session in which the student plans to continue attendance.
- Any change of grade must be completed prior to graduation.
- Students can access their midterm and final grades in eServices, provided they have no “Holds” on their VCU-record.
- Grades submitted by faculty/instructors generally roll over to the student’s transcript after the Grading Portal has opened and per the following schedule:
- Grades submitted by the faculty/instructor Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays will generally be viewable to students by 8:00am the following morning (Doha time).
- Grades submitted by the faculty/instructor on Saturdays or Sundays will generally be viewable by 8:00am on the Tuesday after (Doha time).