|Letter Grade||Numerical Equivalent||Explanation|
|D||1.000||Undergraduate only/Poor achievement|
|CR||Credit (School of Law only)|
|HH||High Honor (School of Law only)|
|H||Honor (School of Law only)|
|P||Pass (School of Law only)|
|NG||Grade not reported by faculty|
|S||Satisfactory (pass/fail basis; counts toward total degree requirements)|
|U||Unsatisfactory (pass/fail basis)|
|X||Incomplete (pass/fail basis)|
|L||Audit (no credit given)|
An I, IP, or X grade shows that the student has not completed the course requirements.
The IP grade is intended for courses that extend over several terms. The time restrictions on the incomplete grade do not apply to the IP grade. While the IP grade is left unchanged, it is not included in computing the grade-point average. If the IP grade is never changed, the course does not count toward graduation requirements.
The following notations may also appear on the student's transcript:
|E||Course excluded from GPA|
|I||Course included in GPA|
Northeastern University Course Numbering
|0001–0999||Orientation and basic|
|No degree credit|
|1000–1999||Introductory level (first year)|
|Survey, foundation, and introductory courses, normally with no prerequisites and designed primarily for students with no prior background|
|2000–2999||Intermediate level (sophomore/junior year)|
|Normally designed for sophomores and above but in some cases open to freshman majors in the department|
|3000–3999||Upper-intermediate level (junior year)|
|Designed primarily as courses for juniors; prerequisites are normally required, and these courses are prerequisites for advanced courses|
|4000–4999||Advanced level (senior year)|
|Designed primarily for juniors and seniors; also includes specialized courses such as research, capstone, and thesis|
|Courses primarily for graduate students and qualified undergraduate students with permission|
|Generally for master’s and clinical doctorate only|
|Master’s- and doctoral-level courses; includes master’s thesis|
|Includes comprehensive exam preparation|
|9000–9999||Doctoral research and dissertation|
The period for clearing an incomplete grade or for changing a grade other than an incomplete or failure (F or U) is restricted to one calendar year from the date it is first recorded on the student’s permanent record. An incomplete grade may be reported by the instructor when a student has failed to complete a major component of a required course, such as homework, a quiz or final examination, a term paper, or a laboratory project. Students may make up an incomplete grade by satisfying the requirements of the instructor or, if the instructor is absent, the chair of the department. Be aware that instructors’ policies on the granting of incomplete grades may vary and that the final decision on an incomplete grade is up to the instructor.
To request an incomplete grade, the student must obtain and complete in consultation with the instructor an Incomplete-Grade Contract on which the precise agreement for clearing an incomplete grade is specified and which is signed by the student and the instructor. Copies of the form are kept by the student, the instructor, and the Office of the Dean of the college in which the course is offered. Any exception to this policy on change of grades must be recommended by the Academic Standing Committee (ASC) of the college in which the course was offered and must be forwarded in writing by the ASC to the registrar for implementation. (Finishing the agreed-upon coursework must be completed within one calendar year from the end of the term in which the course was offered.)
University policy states that any grade outstanding for 12 or more months cannot be changed. Any exception to this policy on change of grades must be recommended by the ASC of the college in which the course was offered and must be forwarded in writing by the dean to the Office of the Registrar for implementation.
When the appropriate course is available, students may retake a nonrepeatable course to earn a better grade. In all cases, the most recent grade earned in a course is the one used in calculating the overall GPA followed by the retake notation I, indicating the course grade is included in the overall GPA; however, previous grades remain on the transcript followed by the retake notation of E, signifying that that course grade has been excluded. Consult your academic advisor before retaking a course. Students are required to pay normal tuition for all retaken coursework.
When the course description for the student’s registration term indicates that the course may be repeated up to a certain number of course completions, each completion of the course (up to the limit stated in the course description) will appear on the student’s transcript, and the grade for each such completion will be used in the calculation of the student’s overall grade-point average.
In some cases, it may not be possible to retake a course if a student wishes to do so. In unusual circumstances, students may petition to substitute one course for another they have already taken, as long as the subject matter of both courses is substantially alike. With the approval of the student’s academic advisor and the agreement of the department that offered the first course taken, a grade received in the new course will be labeled “Substitute” on the transcript and will be treated in the grade-point-average calculation as a “retake” grade, as described above. The original grade will remain on the student’s Northeastern transcript. Students should consult with their academic advisor before enrolling in any proposed substitute course. Students are required to pay normal tuition charges for all substitute coursework.
An academic deficiency occurs when a student fails to complete a course with a satisfactory grade. The deficiency may occur because the student has failed the course or because the student has passed the course but with a grade that does not meet the minimum required by the student’s program.
Students who have academic deficiencies may be required to clear them before progressing within the curriculum, especially if a given course is a prerequisite for future coursework. Deficiencies may affect the student’s expected year of graduation.
With the approval of the appropriate program faculty and/or academic advisor, students can clear deficiencies in the following ways:
- Retake the same course at one of Northeastern’s colleges, which will result in a “retake” grade (see “Retaking Courses” policy above).
- Substitute a comparable course at one of Northeastern’s colleges, which will result in a “retake” grade (see “Substituting Courses” policy above).
- Under special circumstances, if the course is not currently offered at Northeastern, a student may be advised to take a preapproved course at another institution outside Northeastern. The original grade will remain on the student’s Northeastern transcript and will still be used in the calculation of the GPA.
Appeal of Final Grades
Under certain circumstances, students have the right to appeal final grades given by either academic faculty or cooperative education coordinators. Criteria and procedures for such appeals are available as follows:
- For undergraduate day students: the Undergraduate Student Handbook (available at this site)
- For College of Professional Studies undergraduate students: the Student Academic Appeals Procedures page within the CPS Undergraduate section of this catalog
- For graduate students: the Academic Appeals Policies and Procedures page within the graduate section of this catalog.
Numerical equivalents for scholastic averages are weighted according to the number of hours the course carries. For example, suppose a student receives a grade of B in a course carrying 4 semester hours and a grade of A in a course carrying 1 semester hour. The weightings for these example courses are as follows:
|Grade||Numerical Equivalent||Semester Hours||Weight|
The GPA for both courses would then be the total weight (16) divided by the total semester hours (5), or 3.200. Grades of I, IP, S, U, and X are not included in the calculation of the GPA. See Grade Table for a complete list of grades and numerical equivalents.
Grades are available to students approximately three days after the end of each term via the Student Hub. A missing grade means that none was received from the instructor. Grades received late from faculty are processed as they are received.
Currently enrolled students may obtain unofficial transcripts from the Student Hub and may also order official transcripts through the Student Hub. For further information on transcript requests, visit the transcript requests webpage.
Note: Full-time status may be defined differently for federal loan purposes.
A graduate student is considered a full-time student if enrolled in a minimum of 8 semester/quarter hours of credit for the semester with the following considerations:
- Students who hold stipended graduate assistantships will be considered full-time if enrolled for a minimum of 6 semester hours of credit.
- Students for whom English is a second language, at the discretion of their departments, will be considered full-time if they are enrolled in a minimum of 8 semester hours or three courses, whichever is less.
- Students holding Dean’s scholarships, Diversity fellowships, Double Husky awards, or being supported by Graduate Student Scholarships will be considered full-time if they are enrolled in a minimum of 8 semester hours.
- Students enrolled in Dissertation or Continuation are considered full-time.
- International students enrolled in graduate programs at Northeastern University must consult with the Office of Global Services on all matters regarding the maintenance of full-time status.
Overload Conditions for Graduate Assistants
Graduate assistants are expected to devote full-time effort to their studies and the duties of their award.
They are not permitted to hold any other job during the term of their assistantship; however, they may be offered limited extra work on campus. Graduate assistants who are not on F-1 or J-1 visas can be offered overload work that does not exceed an average of 6 hours a week or 90 hours a semester, for a total of 270 hours a year (or three semesters). As part of this work, graduate assistants may be hired to teach one 3-semester-hour course as an overload during the year (180 hours). The hours worked during the weeks between semesters are included in this total.
The Office of Global Services issues and verifies on-campus work authorization to eligible students in nonimmigrant visa classifications. Due to federal regulations, international graduate assistants cannot be offered overload work. All international students must acquire the appropriate work authorization from the OGS prior to engaging each and every time in any form of employment.
Not attending class does not constitute withdrawal. Students receiving a grade of W or NE in any course are responsible for the costs associated with that course. Students must drop courses using processes described below.
In Fall and Spring Semesters
- Through the third week of the semester, students may withdraw without any grade being posted to the transcript. Courses may be dropped via the Student Hub.
- Between the fourth week and the last day of classes, course withdrawals are indicated by a W on the student’s record. Courses may be dropped via the Student Hub. No financial adjustment is made for courses receiving a W grade.
- After the last day of classes, no withdrawals are accepted for any reason. A letter grade for the course will be posted on the transcript.
- Dropping below full-time enrollment may affect financial aid, health insurance eligibility, and the maintenance of proper nonimmigrant visa status.
In Summer Half Semesters
- Through the second week of the half semester, students may withdraw without any grade being posted to the transcript. Courses may be dropped via the Student Hub.
- Between the third week and the last day of classes, course withdrawals are indicated by a W on the student’s record. Courses may be dropped via the Student Hub. No financial adjustment is made for courses receiving a W grade.
- After the last day of classes, no withdrawals are accepted for any reason. A letter grade for the course will be posted on the transcript.
- Dropping below full-time enrollment may affect financial aid.
The individual schools and colleges determine whether a course will be graded on a pass/fail basis.
Full-time graduate students may, with permission, audit one class per term with no additional charge. Students are permitted to petition from the end of the course-add period to the end of the third week of classes. Permission is based on the availability of a seat in the class and is at the discretion of the instructor and college.
Students must obtain advisor approval and meet the prerequisites and any other required approvals for the class. Instructor permission as well as approval by the associate dean of the college offering the course is required. The coursework required is at the discretion of the instructor. Once a student opts to audit a course, the audit status of the course cannot be changed. A signed Petition to Audit must be presented to the Office of the Registrar during the designated audit-add period. Excluded courses are co-op, labs, language courses, any off-campus course, any online course, and any course required for the major or degree. Audits carry no academic credit.
Minimum Cumulative GPA
Grades submitted to satisfy, in whole or in part, the requirements for any graduate degree or certificate of advanced study must yield a cumulative GPA of 3.000 or higher. This requirement may be supplemented by additional restrictions established by the graduate program or the college’s graduate office such as, but not limited to, the maximum number of individual courses with grades below 3.000 that may be obtained without being required to withdraw or a minimum GPA in each semester.
Students falling below 3.000 are placed on academic probation. If the student remains on academic probation for two semesters, they may be terminated from the graduate program.
Not more than two courses or 6 semester hours of credit, whichever is greater, may be repeated to satisfy the requirements for the degree. The last grade earned in each of these repeated courses is counted in the calculation of the cumulative GPA.
Any incomplete grades must be made up within one calendar year from the semester in which the student took the class that resulted in the incomplete course grade.
More information regarding course grading and academic disputes may be found at “Academic Appeals” under “Appeals Policies and Procedures.”
Maintenance of Student Records
The Office of the Registrar is responsible for ensuring appropriate maintenance and safekeeping of student records. The transcript, which is stored electronically and maintained indefinitely, is the holistic record of student attendance and degree progress. In the event that the university discontinues operations, the archive of student records would be maintained by:
Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
Northeastern reserves the right to cancel any course if minimum enrollments, appropriate faculty, or academic facilities do not meet standards.