Grades/Grading

The Plus/Minus Grading System (4.00 scale, term system), implemented in fall 1998, applies to all undergraduate students and cannot be applied retroactively to grades earned or recorded, including incomplete (I) grades or contested grades, before fall 1998.

Grade Grade Points Per Unit
A 4.00
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B 3.00
B- 2.67
C+ 2.33
C 2.00
D+ 1.33
D 1.00
F 0.00
FX 0.00

Effective Minimester 2006, Towson University suspended use of the C- grade.

Grade Point Averages

The Grade Point Average (GPA) is computed as follows: First, multiply the units for each course taken in a term by the grade points (values above) assigned to the grade earned. Second, total the units and grade points for the term. Third, divide the total number of grade points by the total number of units to find the GPA for the term. The GPA calculator allows you to determine how your current term will affect your overall GPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average - CGPA). You use it before grades are posted in order to predict your CGPA.

The grades of S and U (satisfactory and unsatisfactory) are used for developmental courses and selected courses such as internships, student teaching, etc. The grade of S denotes that work of 2.00 level or higher has been completed and that students have attained a level of competence sufficient to advance to the next course. A grade of U is given to students whose work is below 2.00 level quality. S and U grades are not calculated in a student's GPA.

The grade of PS (Pass) is assigned to a course selected on the Pass grading option when students earn a C grade or higher. Students who elect the Pass grading option and earn a grade of D+ or below will have that grade recorded on their permanent record and used in calculation of the GPA. Students may use the Pass grading option for Core courses that require a C or higher unless the course is also required for their major/minor. A maximum of 13 units of PS grades may be taken toward the degree.

The grade of PE is assigned to those courses passed under the Credit for Prior Experience/Learning option. PE grades are recorded on a student's permanent record, but are not calculated in a students' GPAs.

The grade of FX is calculated in students' GPAs. A grade of FX is given to students who never attend class or who stop attending during the term without officially withdrawing. (If students have officially withdrawn, a grade of W will appear on the final grade roster.) A grade of FX is given to students who stop attending before they have completed more than half of the course work. Students who attend most classes but miss the final examination without a legitimate excuse, will receive a zero or F grade for the final examination and have that value or grade calculated with other grades earned during the term to determine the final grade.

The grade of W is administrative, non-punitive and is not calculated in students' GPAs. A grade of W is given to students who officially withdraw from a course by the published withdrawal deadline each term. It is also given to students who obtain authorization from the Academic Standards Committee to withdraw from a course or courses after the deadline. Such withdrawals must be based on documented medical difficulties or verifiable circumstances beyond the student's control. See the withdrawal policy for more information.

The grade of I is given to students by their instructors when documented circumstances prevent students from completing a course within the term. The I grade should be given only in cases where a student has completed most of the course work and have a reasonable expectation of successfully completing the remaining work required. For more information on the Incomplete grade, see the section immediately following.

International students: Please be aware that FX and W grades do not contribute toward the Full Course of Study requirement of your F-1 status.

Grade Changes After the Term

Incomplete Grades

Incomplete grades are given at the discretion of the instructor and may be granted toward the end of the term and only for documented circumstances beyond the control of the student. If an incomplete is requested before the withdrawal deadline, the student should be advised to withdraw from the course. The instructor will set an appropriate time limit to complete the outstanding coursework no later than 180 days. An incomplete should not be assigned if a student never attends a course, or if the majority of coursework has not been completed. The grade of I automatically becomes a grade of F 180 days from the end of the term following the granting of an I unless changed to another letter grade. 

The grade of I may be extended by the instructor for a period not to exceed an additional regular term if the conditions for granting the original Incomplete still exist. To grant this extension, the Change of Grade/Incomplete Form must be filed by the instructor. An extended Incomplete grade that is not resolved by the end of the next full term of study, excluding Summer and Minimester sessions, is converted to an F grade and is calculated in a student's GPA.

Graduating seniors must resolve any outstanding Incomplete grades within 180 days following graduation. Specific dates for each graduating class are included in the correspondence from the Graduation Office. Students will not be graduated until the Incomplete is resolved.

Requests for Grade Changes

Requests for late grade changes, excluding I grades and repeated courses, must be submitted by the instructor within one year. After one year, requests for grade changes will be reviewed by the Registrar's office and students may be required to petition and provide documentation to the Academic Standards Committee. 

Disagreements Related to Grading

Grade Appeals for a Particular Piece of Work – Students who feel an earned grade for a particular piece of work is unjust must address their disagreement first with the course instructor who is primarily responsible for assigning grades. When the student has a dispute with the determination made by the course instructor, the student may appeal to the department chair and then the dean of the academic college. The decision of the academic dean is final. Students who wish to initiate the appeal process must do so by the end of the following fall or spring term.

Grade Appeal for Grades as Outlined on the Course Syllabus – Students who feel an earned grade was inconsistent with the terms set forth by the instructor at the beginning of the term, normally outlined in the course syllabus, must address their disagreement first with the course instructor who is primarily responsible for assigning the grades. When students have a dispute with the determination made by the course instructor, they may appeal to the department chair, the dean of the academic college, then the Academic Standards Committee via the Registrar's Office. The decision of the Academic Standards Committee is final. Students who wish to initiate the appeal process must do so by the end of the following fall or spring term.

Unsuccessful Term/Academic Clemency

The following guidelines determine approval of the declaration of an Unsuccessful Term:

  • Five full academic years must have elapsed since the term in question and graduation has not occurred.
  • Students must have completed at least 24 units of 2.00-level work at TU since the term in question.
  • Only one Unsuccessful Term can be granted in a student’s academic career.

Students wishing to request an unsuccessful term on their academic record must submit an appeal to the Academic Standards Committee.