Graduate Policies and Procedures
Grades and Grade Point Average
Grade points are computed by multiplying the points for each grade by the number of semester credit hours; for example, 4.000 (A) x 3 (semester credit hours) = 12 grade points. A student's grade point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the number of semester credit hours for which a grade other than I or P is received. All GPAs, term and cumulative, are rounded from the fourth to the third digit, and three decimal places are displayed in this catalog, Galaxy, unofficial and official transcripts.
The following grade scale is used in graduate coursework at the University:
|Grade||Description||Grade Points per Semester Hour|
* The grades of I and P do not produce grade points.
Grade of I: Incomplete
An incomplete grade of I may be assigned, at the discretion of the instructor, for work unavoidably missed at the semester's end. The student must obtain a Grade of Incomplete/Documentation Form in the office of the student's degree program. The instructor assigning an incomplete grade must furnish a description of work required to complete the course. An incomplete must be completed eight (8) weeks from the first day of the subsequent long semester. The completed form must be signed by both the student and the instructor, and the appropriate Associate Dean, Graduate Advisor, or Department/Program Head, and must be retained with the student's academic record. If the required work to complete the course and to remove the grade of I is not submitted by the specified deadline, the grade of I is changed automatically to an F. Extension beyond the specified limit can be made only with the permission of the Dean of Graduate Studies. A student may not re-enroll in a course in which an I has already been assigned.
The instructor alone will be responsible for determining whether the requirements for completion are met and for assigning the grade in the course. If the instructor who assigned the incomplete is no longer associated with the University when the work is completed, the head of the department or program may assign a committee of appropriate faculty to evaluate the material and/or obtain any other information that may be required to assign the grade in the course. Upon completion of the evaluation of the required work, the symbol I must be converted into a letter grade (A through F or P) by the instructor, head of the department or program, or Graduate Advisor as indicated above.
After a final grade has been recorded by the Office of the Registrar, faculty may change grades only to correct a clerical error or replace a grade of incomplete. A faculty-initiated change of a final grade requires the written approval of the instructor, the department or program head, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, and the School Dean. Such grade changes must be submitted by the end of the eighth week of the long semester after the grade was awarded. Any grade change initiated after this deadline requires the written approval of the instructor, the department or program head, the School Dean, and the Dean of Graduate Studies.
A student has the right to request a review of the grades received in any class.
The only grounds for considering a grade to be incorrect are either clerical error or that the grade is arbitrary or capricious. Examples of clerical error would include, but are not limited to, a mistake in adding component grades, a mistake in recording grades, or attributing a paper or examination to the wrong student. "Arbitrary or capricious" means that the grade cannot be considered reasonable given the material of the course, the overall performance of the class, and the individual performance of the student. The University assumes that coursework is best evaluated by the instructor in the immediate context of the course activity. Requests for reconsideration must show with clear and convincing evidence why this assumption should be set aside.
If a student believes he or she has been assigned a grade on the basis of a clerical error or that the grade is arbitrary or capricious, the student should first seek to discuss the grade with the instructor. If this does not lead to satisfactory understanding, the student may file a formal appeal following the procedures described for academic grievances in the Rules, Regulations, and Statutory Requirements Section C (see Academic Grievances, Appendix I).
Students must petition for a grade review by the end of the eighth week of the long semester after the grade was awarded. The request must be submitted in writing to the appropriate faculty member, who then has the remainder of that semester to take action.
The pass/fail option is intended to encourage a student to take courses in topics outside his/her major area where the student would be competing with a significant number of students who are majoring in these outside areas. Subject to the constraints stated below, a student may elect to take certain courses either by letter grade (A, B, C, F) or pass/fail grade (P/F). The pass/fail option should be exercised at the time of registration. In any courses in which letter grades are given to one or more students, any student wishing to take the course on a pass/fail basis must obtain the approval of the instructor and his/her graduate advisor on the Pass/Fail form. This completed form must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar no later than Census Day. No change of grade designation from grade to pass/fail or pass/fail to grade can be made after the Census Day designated in the online Comet Calendar and the Academic Calendar.
A student may not elect to take the following types of courses on a pass/fail basis:
- major core courses and their prerequisites required for the student's degree
- elective courses in the student's major area
- more than 20 percent of the semester credit hours earned at UT Dallas for any master's degree (excluding casebook, internship, practicum, independent study, research, reading, thesis or dissertation requirements)
Only pass/fail grades are given for independent study, research, and reading courses, and for thesis and dissertation.