Grades are officially recorded by letters, evaluated as follows:
|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|
Clearing an Incomplete or Changing Other Grades
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.
Clearing an Academic Deficiency
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.