Grades

Explanation of Credit, Grading System, and Symbols

Hours Attempted

The number of hours attempted is the total number of semester credit hours for which a student has enrolled and received grades of  "A+," "A," “A-,” "B+," "B," "B-," "C+," "C," "C-," "D+," "D," "D-," "F," "W," or "CR" except as provided for repeated courses.

Hours Earned

The hours earned by a student are the number of semester credit hours in which grades of “A+,” “A,” “A-,” “B+,” “B,” “B-,” “C+,” “C,” “C-,” “D+,” “D,” “D-,” or “CR” have been received. Refer to the sections “Undergraduate Credit Limitation” and “Three-Attempt Rule” in this chapter, for information about the financial consequences of receiving “W” and “F” grades.

Grade Point Average

The UTSA grade point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the number of grade points earned at UTSA by the number of for-credit semester credit hours attempted at UTSA. Credits and grades for work completed at other institutions, credits earned by examination, or hours in which grades of “CR” were earned are not included in the UTSA grade point average.

GPA calculations on transcripts generated after February 1, 2000, do not round up but truncate to the second decimal place (example: 3.816 truncates to 3.81 with no rounding). Before that time, grade point averages were rounded up to 1 one-hundredth of a point.

Credit courses taken through the UT Online Consortium (UTOC) count as transfer credit and apply to a UTSA degree as determined by the student’s academic advisor. At the undergraduate level, UTSA does not participate in UTOC as a host school.

Grade Points and Symbols

The following table explains UTSA grade symbols.

Grade Symbol Grade Points Meaning of Grade Symbol
A+ 4.00 Outstanding and Noteworthy
A 4.00 Outstanding
A- 3.67 Excellent
B+ 3.33 Well Above Average
B 3.00 Above Average
B- 2.67 Slightly Above Average
C+ 2.33 Average
C 2.00 Slightly Below Average
C- 1.67 Below Average
D+ 1.33 Well Below Average but Passing (see credit/no-credit grading policy)
D 1.00 Well Below Average but Passing (see credit/no-credit grading policy)
D- 0.67 Well Below Average but Passing (see credit/no-credit grading policy)
F 0 Failure
CR 0 Credit. Indicates successful credit by examination or credit received under the credit/no-credit requirement or option.
NC 0 No Credit. Indicates unsuccessful credit by examination or no credit received under the credit/no-credit requirement or option.
W 0 Withdrawal. Indicates that the student dropped the course or withdrew from the University.
IN 0 Incomplete. Assigned at the discretion of the instructor; see below.
NR 0 No Report. Assigned only by the Registrar when unusual circumstances do not allow a student’s grade to be entered by the deadline for processing grades. It is replaced with the official grade as soon as possible.
EX 0 Expelled

Incomplete

The grade “IN” is given by an instructor to indicate that some part of the work of a student in a course has, for good reason, not been completed, while the remainder of the student’s work in the course was satisfactorily completed. The Incomplete allows a student to complete the course without repeating it. In order to remove a grade of incomplete in a class, a student cannot re-take the course; the original class where the “IN” grade was received must be completed with a grade. A grade of Incomplete may not be assigned when a definite grade can be given for the work done. The student must have been in attendance at least three-fourths of the semester to receive a grade of “IN.”

Whenever a grade of Incomplete is assigned, the instructor is required to submit requirements for removal of the Incomplete. During the regular grading period this is done electronically. After the grade submission deadline, a Requirements for Removal of Incomplete form must be submitted with a Change of Grade form to the Dean’s office. The Dean’s office will then submit the forms to the Office of the Registrar.

In undergraduate courses, incomplete work must be made up no later than the end of the final examination period one year from the semester the Incomplete was received and before the student’s graduation. If the work is not completed within this time, the “IN” is automatically changed to a grade of “F” or “NC.”

Under no circumstances will grades be changed after one calendar year.

Repeating Courses

The policy for repeating courses, as stated below, only applies to courses completed and repeated at UTSA.

Courses That May Be Repeated Not Considered a Duplicate Course

Certain courses in the catalog state in their course description that they “may be repeated for credit.” These are the only courses where repeating is not a duplication. All semester credit hours and grade points from each of these courses taken are included in the student’s record, in the number of hours earned at UTSA, and the student’s grade point average calculation.

Courses That May Be Repeated to Improve a Grade

Students may only repeat a course for credit in which they received a grade of “D+,” “D,” “D-,” or “F.” Credit can be counted for only one of these courses. Receipt of a higher grade in a repeated course in a subsequent semester does not alter the student's academic standing in the semester when the original grade was earned. Students may repeat any course in which they received a grade of “NC” in order to improve their grade; however, this does not alter the student’s overall grade point average.

If a student repeats a course in which he or she received a grade of “D+,” “D,” “D-,” or “F” and receives a higher grade, the semester credit hours from the original grade of “D+,” “D,” “D-,” or “F” are excluded from the student’s grade point average. Only the semester credit hours from the higher grade are used in calculating the grade point average. If the student earns the same grade or a lower grade, then the repeated course grade is not used in computing the grade point average. The repeated course is marked as excluded on the student’s official record. All grades remain on the student’s official academic record. This course repeat policy became effective Fall 2009.

Limitations on Repeating Courses to Improve a Grade

An undergraduate student may repeat an individual course only once in an attempt to improve a grade, and may repeat at most four courses in attempts to improve grades. For a course in which a student has received two grades of "D+,” “D,” “D-,” or “F,” all grades earned in any subsequent enrollments in the course will be included in the computation of the student’s grade point average. For a student who already has four total attempts at repeating courses to improve grades, all grades earned in any subsequent enrollments in which the student already has received grades of “D+,” “D,” “D-,” or “F” will be used in the computation of the grade point average.

Courses That May Not Be Repeated to Improve a Grade

If a student repeats a course in which a grade of “A+,” “A,” “A-,” “B+,” “B,” “B-,” “C+,” “C,” “C-,” or “CR” was earned, and the course description does not indicate that the course “may be repeated for credit,” then the repeated course is marked as a duplication and the grade and semester credit hours for the repeated course are not used in the calculation of the student’s grade point average or the number of hours earned at UTSA.

Credit by Examination

A student at UTSA may, through satisfactory performance on a College Level Examination Program (CLEP), Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) examinations, show knowledge of the content of an undergraduate course and be awarded credit by examination for that course. Credit by examination may be used to satisfy Core Curriculum and specific degree requirements unless specified otherwise. CLEP, AP, IB, and DANTES examinations do not exist for all curriculum courses. Students who are interested in finding out more about these tests may visit the Office of Testing Services website.

Courses for which students may receive credit by making a passing score on the appropriate CLEP test are marked on the class schedule in ASAP.

Credit earned by examination may not be used to satisfy minimum UTSA residence requirements (except for credits earned by challenging UTSA courses or earned by the UTSA Competency Examination policy; see the sections on challenging courses and the competency examination policy). Credit by examination is not included in the calculation of the student’s UTSA grade point average. The symbol “CR” (Credit) is awarded for all credit earned by examination. Unsuccessful attempts to earn credit by examination do not become part of the student’s official academic record.

Credit by examination cannot duplicate or repeat credit already earned for college or university courses. Students are permitted to receive credit by examination (including CLEP credit) for courses in which they have received grades of “F,” “NC” or “W” (and have no other grade for those courses) since these grades do not represent hours earned. Students may not receive credit for a course for which credit by examination has already been awarded. It is not necessary to be a UTSA student to take credit by examination; however, credit is not awarded unless the individual is a current or former UTSA student, including a newly admitted and registered UTSA student. Except for Advanced Placement (AP) credit for entering freshmen beginning fall 2016, credit for a given exam is awarded based on the date tested, not undergraduate catalog term. If the score requirements change prior to a student’s test date, the new changes are effective for the student’s results. For entering freshmen beginning fall 2016, Section 51.968 of the Texas Education Code stipulates that “in establishing the minimum required score on an Advanced Placement examination for granting course credit for a particular lower-division course..., an institution of higher education may not require a score of more than three unless the institution's chief academic officer determines, based on evidence, that a higher score on the examination is necessary to indicate a student is sufficiently prepared to be successful in a related, more advanced course for which the lower-division course is a prerequisite.” This provision applies to all entering freshmen beginning fall 2016 regardless of when the Advanced Placement examination was taken. For students who have earned credits at UTSA, credit by examination is awarded by logging into the ASAP student account to verify acceptance of each credit, with the exception of POL 1013 Introduction to American Politics, for which Advanced Placement (AP) credit or CLEP credit can be earned only after the student has completed POL 1133 Texas Politics and Society. Other exceptions for certain course credits can be found in the footnotes below the UTSA credit table on the Office of Testing Services website.

Information on credit by examination at UTSA is available on the Office of Testing Services website. It describes the various tests that may be accepted for credit at the University, the types of tests available, when and where they are given, their costs, procedures for having test scores submitted for consideration for credit, the amount of credit that may be earned, and how to obtain additional information on each test.

Posting Credit Earned By Examination to Transcripts

UTSA posts credit by examination to a student’s transcript only when the student expressly requests to have those credits posted. Students should log into ASAP, select Student Services and click on the link Student Records. From Student Records select Accept AP/CLEP Credit.

UTSA Competency Examinations

Students enrolled at UTSA may attempt to demonstrate competency in certain UTSA undergraduate courses by taking UTSA competency examinations developed by UTSA for those courses.  A student successfully completing a UTSA competency examination in a course will receive a grade of “CR” (credit) on his or her official academic record.  Unsuccessful attempts to complete competency examinations do not become part of the student’s official academic record.  

Credits earned by successfully completing a UTSA competency examination apply to degree requirements as though the courses had been completed in the normal manner, except that since a grade of “CR” is awarded, such courses are not included in the UTSA grade point average. These credits are also counted toward the minimum UTSA residence requirements.

For the list of UTSA courses for which UTSA competency examinations are available, contact the Office of Testing Services or visit its website: http://utsa.edu/testing.

Challenging a UTSA Course

Students enrolled at UTSA may “challenge,” or request an examination in any UTSA undergraduate course for which they have not already received credit. Not all courses, however, consist of materials in which comprehension can be evaluated by means of examination. The option of whether or not to grant the request rests with the instructor of the course and may be further limited by policies set by the college in which the course is offered.

Credits earned by challenging UTSA undergraduate courses by examination apply to degree requirements as though the courses had been completed in the normal manner, except that since a grade of “CR” is awarded, such courses are not included in the UTSA grade point average. These credits are also counted toward the minimum UTSA residence requirements. Students may challenge the same UTSA course only once.

To challenge a UTSA undergraduate course, the student must enroll in the course and request the challenge examination from the instructor. A Challenge Examination Request form must be filed with the Office of the Registrar, and the test must be administered within the first three weeks of a Fall or Spring Semester or the first week of a five- or 10-week Summer Term.

If the student’s performance on the examination is at the grade level of “C-” or higher, a grade of “CR” is submitted at the end of the semester by the instructor for the course. Unsuccessful attempts to earn credit by challenge examination do not become part of the student’s official academic record.

Students who fail the challenge examination must either drop the course or complete the course on a regular basis following the evaluation of the examination for the course challenged. Students who complete coursework on a credit-by-examination basis are graded on a credit/no-credit basis. Therefore, if a student elects to complete the course, the instructor must notify the Office of the Registrar in writing to remove the credit/no-credit grading option by the Automatic “W” Date.

Students admitted under the Provisional Admission Program may request to challenge courses by examination in those disciplines to which their enrollment is restricted. However, credit earned by examination does not fulfill the minimum of 18 college-level semester credit hours that must be successfully completed under the Provisional Admission Program.

Credit/No-Credit Option

Mandatory Credit/No-Credit Courses

Some degree programs will require certain courses to be graded on a mandatory credit/no-credit basis. Such requirements are noted in UTSA Undergraduate Catalog course descriptions. Programs offering mandatory credit/no-credit courses will allow a number of such courses to apply to the major, minor, support work, or free electives, as specified by each program in its UTSA Undergraduate Catalog degree requirements.

Optional Credit/No-Credit Grading

Undergraduate students are also allowed the option of credit/no-credit grading in courses that are otherwise subject to regular grading. This option is provided to encourage undergraduate students to expand their knowledge of fields outside their major areas of interest. The following guidelines apply:

  • A maximum of 24 semester credit hours may be attempted on an optional credit/no-credit basis.
  • Credit/no-credit courses appear on the permanent record as a grade of “CR” if the student’s grade is an “A+,” “A,” “A-,” “B+,” “B,” “B-,” “C+,” “C,” “C-,” “D+,” “D,” or “D-” or as a grade of “NC” if the student’s grade is “F.” Neither grade will affect the student’s grade point average at UTSA. The credit/no-credit grade cannot be changed to a regular grade once the credit has been awarded.
  • Students who choose to take the course on an optional credit/no-credit basis must submit a Credit/No-Credit Option Request form at the One Stop Enrollment Center prior to the end of the eighth week of the Fall and Spring Semesters. Information on deadlines for Summer Terms or for Fall and Spring Semesters can be found in the Academic Calendar and in the online registration calendar for each semester. After the deadline, students will not be allowed to add the credit/no-credit option or remove the option and take the course on a regular basis.
  • Only free electives may be taken on an optional credit/no-credit basis. Courses to be applied to the Core Curriculum or to major, minor, or support work must be taken on a regular or mandatory credit/no-credit basis as specified in Undergraduate Catalog degree requirements.
  • Transfer students who transfer to UTSA for their last 30 semester credit hours may not count optional credit/no-credit courses toward their 30-hour minimum UTSA residency requirement.
  • The Office of the Registrar requires students to affirm by signature that they understand the credit/no-credit policies and agree to abide by them.
  • The student’s academic advisor must approve the Credit/No-Credit Option Request form.
  • Courses taken for credit/no-credit may not count toward the 45 hours required for University Latin Honors.
  • A course taken for credit/no-credit may not replace a letter grade.
  • The credit/no-credit option is not available if the student has previously received a letter grade.

Note: Some graduate schools place students who have taken courses on a credit/no-credit basis at a disadvantage in computing grade point averages for admission; however, graduate admission committees in some disciplines may look favorably on learning accomplished in credit/no-credit courses.

Administrative Procedures

Reporting of Grades by Faculty

Final grades are reported by course instructors every semester and are due 48 hours after the final examination. Final grades cannot be withheld nor can reporting of them be deferred.

Early grade reports are required for all undergraduates. Faculty members are required to report midterm grades seven weeks into the semester during the Fall and Spring Semesters. All undergraduates receiving midterm grade reports of “D+,” “D,” “D-,” or “F” are required to communicate with their assigned academic advisor to develop a plan to improve their grades. Additional early alerts regarding students’ academic performance and other related student success issues are generated electronically throughout the semester through the Early Alert and Retention Network (EARN).

Grade Reports

The Office of the Registrar compiles final grades after the close of each semester and each summer term. Grades are available in ASAP. Students who are removed from, placed on, or continued on academic warning or academic probation, and students who are dismissed from UTSA, will receive notification from the Office of the Registrar.

Transcripts may be withheld from any student who owes tuition and fees to the University. Grades and transcripts may be withheld from any freshman who has not completed the AlcoholEdu program.

Change of Grades

Grade changes from “IN” (Incomplete) to a letter grade must be made no later than the end of the final examination period, one year from the semester the Incomplete was received, and before the student’s graduation. An undergraduate student cannot graduate with an “IN” on his or her record. If the student wishes to graduate and if the course is not needed for a degree requirement, the “IN” will have to convert to an “F” regardless of whether a year has passed or not. The instructor must submit either an online Change of Grade or a paper Change of Grade Form to the office of the Dean. The college will file the paper form with the Office of the Registrar. Courses with an “IN” grade that have not been changed by the deadline will automatically be converted to a grade of “F.”

All other grade changes must be initiated by the instructor. All requests for a change of grade should include a statement explaining the requested change. It is the policy to change a grade (other than Incomplete) only in the case of error. Additional work performed by a student may not be used to raise a grade that has been reported to the Office of the Registrar. A request for a change of grade using the paper form requires the approval of the Chair of the department in which the course is offered and the Dean of the college. The college will file the form with the Office of the Registrar before the Registrar will make the change in the student’s record. Online change of grades are subject to review by the Chair of the department and the Dean of the college.

Under no circumstances will grades be changed after one calendar year.

Academic Grade and Grievance Procedure

In resolving any student grievance regarding grades, evaluations or other academically-related concern or incident regarding a faculty member, the student must first make a serious effort to resolve the matter with the faculty member with whom the grievance originated. It is University policy that individual faculty members retain primary responsibility for assigning grades and evaluations. The faculty member’s judgment regarding grades and evaluations is final unless compelling evidence shows discrimination, differential treatment, factual mistake, or violation of a relevant University policy. In resolving a student grievance regarding other academically-related issues involving a faculty member, the student must follow the same process as used when grieving a grade or evaluation. If the matter is not resolved, the student may file a formal grievance, in writing, with the Department Chair (Academic and Grade Grievance Form). The student must file the grievance with the Department Chair within 90 calendar days from the end of the semester in which the grade was assigned or the other concern or incident occurred. 

The Department Chair will communicate his or her decision to the student and forward a copy to the Dean of the College. The student may appeal the decision to the Dean of the College and then, if an undergraduate student, to the Dean of University College, and if a graduate student, to the Dean of the Graduate School. Appeals to the next higher level must be submitted on the Student Academic and Grade Grievance Form and submitted within thirty (30) calendar days of the decision of the previous administrative level. The decisions of the Deans of University College and the Graduate School are final. The administrator handling the appeal at each level will notify individuals involved, including those who have already ruled on the appeal, once a decision has been rendered.

Under no circumstances will grades be changed after one calendar year.

Class Participation Policy

Students are expected to regularly attend and participate in all meetings of courses for which they are registered. The instructor is responsible for communicating the participation requirements for each course to students. With the exception of UTSA policies on class absences related to observance of religious holy days, active military service, or attendance at an official University-sanctioned student activity, the instructor determines classroom participation requirements and policies on making up work missed during an absence.

Students may be excused from attending classes or other required activities, including examinations, to attend an official University-sanctioned student activity (as defined in the Handbook of Operating Procedures) or for the observance of a religious holy day, including travel for that purpose. A religious holy day is a day observed by a religion whose places of worship are exempt from property taxation under § 11.20, Tax Code. A student whose absence is excused for attending an official University-sanctioned student activity or for religious holy day reasons may not be penalized for the absence and shall be allowed by the instructor to take an examination or complete an assignment from which the student is excused within a reasonable time after the absence.

Students may be excused from attending classes or engaging in other required activities, including examinations, in order for the student to participate in active military service to which the student is called, including travel associated with the service. (For distance learning, self-paced, correspondence, and other asynchronous courses, class attendance means active participation in the class.) A student whose absence is excused under the Texas Education Code, § 51.9111, may not be penalized for the absence and shall be allowed by the instructor to complete an assignment or take an examination from which the student is excused within a reasonable time after the absence. The excused absence is permitted only if the student will not miss more than twenty-five percent of the total number of class meetings or the contact hour equivalent (not including the final examination period) for the specific course or courses in which the student is enrolled at the beginning of the period of active military service (19 Texas Administrative Code, § 4.9).

If a student has to miss class excessively due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances, it is his or her responsibility to notify the instructor as soon as possible. A student who enrolls in a course and does not attend is considered absent from class until they officially drop the course. A student who does not attend class and fails to drop the course by the specified deadline listed in the online registration calendar will receive a grade of “F.”