Portland-State-University 2021-2022 Bulletin

Grading System for Undergraduates

The undergraduate grading system applies only to undergraduate courses.

The undergraduate grading system gives students the choice of taking certain courses designated by departments for either differentiated (A, B, C, D, F) or undifferentiated (pass or no pass) grades.

The following grading scale is employed at the undergraduate level:

A = 4.00 B- = 2.67 D+ = 1.33
A- = 3.67 C+ = 2.33 D = 1.00
B+ = 3.33 C = 2.00 D- = 0.67
B = 3.00 C- = 1.67 F = 0.00


Evaluation of a student’s performance is determined by the following grades:







NP—No pass

The following marks are also used:


IP—In Progress 



X—Non-attendance and No basis for grade

M—Missing grade/No grade received

Pass/No Pass Grading Options

The online Class Schedule identifies courses as offered under the differentiated or undifferentiated option. Students electing the undifferentiated grade option when it is offered are graded pass or no pass. In the majority of instances, a pass grade is equated to a C- grade or better, although some departments may differ. (NOTE: At the graduate course level the equivalent of a B- grade or better is required to earn a grade of P).  Pass/No Pass grades are not used in computing a student’s GPA. A maximum of 45 credits graded P may be applied toward Portland State’s baccalaureate degree. Students elect grade options for specific courses during the registration period. Grading options may not be changed after the seventh week of the term. The undifferentiated grade option may not be used to repeat a course previously taken for differentiated grade or for major requirements in some departments.

Incomplete Grades

Students do not have a right to receive/demand an Incomplete grade.  The option of assigning an Incomplete grade is at the discretion of the instructor when the following criteria are met.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Required satisfactory course completion/participation. The quality of the work is satisfactory, but some essential work remains. In addition, the student must have successfully completed most of the course work at the time the student requests the Incomplete, with a minimum grade up to that point of a C- for undergraduate, or B- for a graduate level course.
  2. Reasonable justification for request. Reasons for assigning the Incomplete must be acceptable by the instructor. A student does not have the right to demand an Incomplete. The circumstances should be unforeseen or be beyond the control of the student. The instructor is entitled to request appropriate medical or other documentation to validate the student’s request.
  3. Incomplete grade is not a substitute for a poor grade. The Incomplete grade is not meant to create the opportunity for special or additional work for a student to raise a poor grade, or for the opportunity to take the course over by sitting in on the course in a later term without registering or paying for it.
  4. Written agreement. A written or electronic agreement will be endorsed by both the instructor and student. The document will specify a) the remaining work to be completed, b) the highest grade which may be awarded upon submission of remaining items, and c) the date which the missing work is due. The latter may not exceed one year from the end of the term for enrollment for the given course.  A template “Incomplete Contract” is available at www.pdx.edu/registration/grading-system.
  5. Resolving the Incomplete. Instructors may not encourage students to “sit in” an entire future course in order to resolve the Incomplete grade. If the student needs to retake the entire course, they should be given the grade presently earned, and must formally register for the future class they will be attending. If the missed portion of the course is no longer available, instructors may offer an alternative assignment. Grading weight of the alternative assignment should not exceed the original assignment. Students are fully responsible for monitoring all due dates.

Other Rules:

  1. GPA Calculation: Incomplete grades are not included when calculating GPA.
  2. Deadline for Completion: The deadline for completion of an Incomplete is one calendar year. The instructor may set a shorter deadline, which is binding. Any request for a longer deadline must be requested via petition to the Scholastic Standards Committee or Graduate Council.
  3. Failure to make up an Incomplete by the end of one year:
    1. Undergraduate Incomplete Grades: The mark of “I” will automatically change to a grade of “F” or “NP”, depending on the grading option chosen by the student upon registration. If the Incomplete converts to an F, the F grade is included in calculating GPA.
    2. Graduate Incomplete Grades:  The Incomplete will become part of the permanent record for a graduate course.
  4. Graduating Undergraduate Students: Incompletes awarded in undergraduate courses taken in Fall 2006 or later will automatically change to a grade of “F” or “NP” before conferral of the degree. The faculty of record may submit a grade change no later than 30 days after the degree is awarded. Grades of “F” or “NP” will remain on the academic record after this period and cannot be removed.

Drops and withdrawals

The student must initiate drop/withdrawals from a course. It is the student’s responsibility to withdraw properly by the deadline dates published online at www.pdx.edu/registration/calendar. To avoid having to pay special course deposit fees, students should refer to departmental policies.

A student may drop with no record of the course on the transcript up to the end of the second week of the term. As a courtesy, students are advised to notify the instructor concerned of the intended drop.

A student may withdraw for any reason before the end of the seventh week. A student withdrawing in the third through the seventh week will have a “W” recorded on the transcript.

A student cannot withdraw after the seventh week without approval of the Deadline Appeals Committee. A “W” is recorded if the petition is allowed.

Deadline dates for drops and withdrawals are found in the academic calendar published online at www.pdx.edu/registration/calendar.  

X Grade: Non-attendance and No Basis for Grade

The X grade is used when there is little or no attendance and no work/performance upon which to base an academic evaluation. X grades cannot be changed after initial submission and other grades cannot be changed to X except in cases of bona fide grading error as documented by instructor, requiring department chair approval. X grades carry no credit and are not included when calculating GPA.

M Grade: Missing Grade

M grades are automatically assigned by the system when grades have not been submitted to the Office of Registrar by the grading deadline. M grades will change to a grade of X, one term after the initial term. Once converted to an X, grade cannot be changed except in cases of bona fide grading error as documented by instructor, requiring department chair approval. M grades carry no credit and are not included when calculating GPA.

Non-Completion of Course

A student who has participated in a course but who has failed to complete essential work or attend examinations, and who has not communicated with the instructor, will be assigned a D, F, NP, or whatever grade the work has earned. Students who have not attended, nor participated in a course may receive an X grade.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

The Office of the Registrar computes current and cumulative GPAs on student grade reports and transcripts, according to the following scale: A = 4, B = 3, C = 2, D = 1, F = 0. A plus grade increases the points by 0.33, a minus decreases it by 0.33 (e.g., B- = 2.67). Cumulative grade point averages include all credits and points earned at PSU. The GPA calculation is truncated at two decimal points (i.e. rounding up is not used). Separate GPAs are calculated for undergraduate courses and for graduate courses. Further details on academic standing can be found at www.pdx.edu/registration/academic-standing.

GPA Repeat Policy

This policy only applies to undergraduate duplicate courses. Credit and GPA are retained on the first A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, and all grades in subsequent attempts count in GPA. The first PSU grade of D or F may be forgiven if repeated at PSU for a differentiated grade (not P/NP). In this case, credit is retained on the last grade received. Both grades are retained on the transcript. If repeated more than once, each subsequent grade will be retained on the transcript and counted in the GPA. Credit for Prior Learning and Credit by Exam are not eligible for use in the Repeat Policy.