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System of Grading


Letter Grades

The University uses the following system of grading: "A"-exceptional; "B"-above average; "C"-average; "D"-below average; "F"-failure; "FN"-failure no-show; "I"-incomplete; "W"-withdrawal.

The grade of "P" is used on the permanent records of undergraduate students to indicate satisfactory completion of non-traditional courses, undergraduate departmental comprehensive examinations, writing proficiency tests, and computer literacy examinations, or to indicate that students have successfully earned credit. "AU" will be given for auditing a course; however, no credit will be given.

Credit for any course in which a student has received a grade of "F" can be obtained only by repeating the course and earning a passing grade.

Quality Point System

Quality point allotments are four points per semester credit hour for an " A," three points for a "B," two points for a "C," one point for a "D," and 0 points for an "F" or "FN."


Students may repeat a course that he/she has failed or for which a higher grade is desired by completing a Repeat/Delete Form in the Office of the Registrar by the 14th class day. Students may repeat the same course a maximum of three (3) times, and the grade that will be calculated in the student's grade point average will be the higher or highest grade earned. Students may not fail a course at Southern and execute the Repeat/Delete Form for a course taken at another institution. The effective date for this policy is Maymester 2006.

Repeating Courses

When a student repeats a course for credit, the last grade earned is the official grade. Both grades will appear on the transcript.

Developmental Education Courses

A student enrolled in developmental education courses shall be eligible to earn grades of "A," "B," "C," "D," and "F." However, students who earn grades of "D" or "F" in developmental education courses shall be required to repeat these courses. The hours and quality points earned in developmental education courses shall be included in the computation of the semester grade point average. However, the hours and quality points related to such courses shall not be applicable toward meeting requirements for a degree by an institution within the Southern University System.

Definition of Grade Point Average (GPA)
Semester Average

The semester grade point average is the total number of quality points earned divided by the total number of semester credit hours carried by the student. The grades of "A," "B," "C," "D," "F," and "FN" are included in the computation of the semester grade point average. Grades of "AU," "P," "I," and "W" are not included in the computation of the semester grade point average.

Cumulative Average

Results using two methods to calculate cumulative GPA's are recorded on transcripts. Method I: Cumulative GPA is total quality points divided by total hours pursued. Hours pursued equal the total number of hours attempted. Method I is used to determine eligibility for holding student offices and graduation honors. Method II: Cumulative GPA is total quality points divided by total hours pursued, except for repeated courses. This method is used to determine financial aid and graduation eligibility. When a course is repeated at Southern University or at another college or university, hours pursued, hours earned, and quality points of previous attempt(s) are excluded in the calculation of cumulative averages. Grades of "A," "B," "C," "D," "F," and "FN" are included in the computation of cumulative averages; grades of "AU," "P," "I," and "W" are excluded. All courses pursued and grades earned at Southern University or transferred to Southern University shall become and remain a part of the permanent record.

Assignment of Grades

It is the right and responsibility of the instructor to determine and assign grades for each student in a course except those students who withdraw before the final date for withdrawing with a "W." Individual instructors are expected to assign grades equitably and consistently, in accordance with standards established by the faculties of the various colleges and schools. There is no "University curve" or other table of numerical equivalents of letter grades to which a faculty member must adhere.

In extraordinary circumstances that make it impossible for instructors to fulfill the responsibility of determining course grades, the administrative officer having immediate jurisdiction (usually the department chairperson) shall assign the grades.

At the beginning of each semester, faculty members are required to provide students with course syllabi outlining the general components and approximate value from which the final grade will be determined. An instructor should be able to explain a student's standing in the course. Upon completion of the course, the student may request a review of examinations, an explanation of the final grade, and the method by which it was determined. This review is to include an accounting for any unreturned work. Faculty members are responsible for returning to students on a timely basis the work (examinations, term papers, assignments, etc.) completed throughout the semester. Unreturned student work (final examinations, term papers, class projects, etc.) must be kept for at least one regular semester following the completion of the course.

Grading must be based on work that is assigned and evaluated equitably and fairly, with no special consideration given to individual students unless justified by disability or excused absences. Individual students shall not, for example, be allowed to take on "extra credit" projects, spend extra hours in laboratories, or present themselves for reexamination or special examination unless the same options are available to the entire class on the same terms.

Grades must not be used as coercive or punitive measures reflective of a student's behavior, attitude, personal philosophy, or other personal characteristics except as those qualities relate directly to the student's level of mastery of the materials of the course.

Incomplete Grades

Work which is of passing quality but because of extenuating circumstances is not complete, may be graded "I"-Incomplete. Students must initiate an incomplete grade request and must secure appropriate approval of the excuse by the instructor, department head and dean of the college in which the course is taken. If an excuse is not received prior to issuing a final grade, the instructor is to consider the delinquent work to be of failing quality and an "I" grade should not be given. Incomplete grades are removed only by completion of the course work, not by repeating the course. A grade of "I" becomes a grade of "F" if not removed by the end of the first six weeks of the following semester, if the student is in residence; or within one year, if the student is not in residence. The grade of "I" shall not be calculated in the cumulative grade-point average for retention purposes. Graduating seniors are not permitted to receive "I" grades. The Office of the Registrar will distribute official incomplete grade sheets at the end of the first six week of each regular academic semester.

Change of Grades

Grades that have been submitted to the Office of the Registrar can be changed only by submitting the official Change of Grade Form certifying that an error was made in recording the grade. Materials submitted after the official completion of a course by means of the final examination or otherwise may not be used as a means of continuing the course and thus changing a previously submitted grade.

The instructor must submit the proper "Change of Grade" form and file the form with the Registrar's Office.

Any such change of grade must be initiated by the instructor on the required form available in the Office of the Registrar. Such petitions require the approval of the department head and the dean of the instructor's college before the Registrar will make changes on the student's record. Any grade change must be received in the Office of the Registrar no later than 60 calendar days immediately following the beginning of classes in the semester succeeding the one in which the grade was given or omitted. For a summer term, the changes are due in the Office of the Registrar no later than 60 calendar days immediately following the beginning of classes in the succeeding Fall semester. If a student is not enrolled in the succeeding semester, then the grade change is due 60 calendar days following the beginning of classes in the next regular semester

Honor Roll

Any student completing 12 or more hours and who earns a minimum 3.0 GPA in any semester on all hours pursued shall be placed on the academic honor roll for that semester.



Business Contact Information

The Office of the Registrar is located on the 1st Floor of T.H. Harris Hall, P.O. Box 9454, Southern University and A&M College, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70813. Phone: (225) 771-5050; Fax: (225) 771-5064