Skip to main content
Skip to navigation

Grading & Credit Policies for Graduate Students

Grading policy update fall 2011

Graduate students’ grades in all courses counting toward an advanced degree may be reported as:  A +/-, B +/-, and C +/-.  Faculty members are not required to use a plus/minus grading scale; that decision should be based on the faculty member’s evaluation of student performance and/or polices of their academic program.  Grade point averages are calculated as:  A+ (4.0), A (4.0), A- (3.7), B+ (3.3), B (3.0), B- (2.7), C+ (2.3), C (2.0), and C- (1.7).  The Graduate School considers grades of C+, C and C- as passing grades; however, grades in the C range may not be acceptable for specific programmatic requirements and may result in the student being unable to maintain a 3.0 cumulative average.

No D grade may be awarded to a graduate student, and a grade of F means the work has not satisfied the minimum requirements of the course.  W denotes withdrawn passing and does not affect a student’s grade point average.

S/U grading

Graduate students may be graded satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) in graduate-level courses only when those courses are designated as “graded on S/U basis only” in the Schedule of Courses (available through myZou). Grades of S/U do not count in the calculation of a student's GPA, as per university regulations.


An incomplete grade (I) may be recorded when the student's work is incomplete but otherwise worthy of credit, or when the instructor is unable to assign a grade at the end of the semester. The student must finish this work (Problems and Research courses exempted) within the next calendar year of residence.

If the work is not completed after one calendar year, the request to change an I grade will require an accompanying letter of justification from the instructor. Although grades of I do not automatically convert to an F if not completed, academic programs or the instructor may establish conditions or regulations pertaining to I grades that are more stringent.

Unreported grades: NR

When grades are not reported by the instructor, they are recorded as Not Reported (NR). The NR designation will remain on the student's transcript until a letter grade is submitted. If a letter grade is not submitted, the NR can remain on the student's record indefinitely and will not revert to an F.

Grade changes by faculty

Faculty members may change grades within the policies set by the faculty. Grade Change Forms, available from the faculty member's academic unit, must be completed, signed and submitted to the Office of the University Registrar - Records Dept., 126 Jesse Hall.

Graduate-level credit

No graduate credit is given for courses numbered below 7000. Graduate students taking 7000-level courses that are cross-leveled with 4000-level courses will be given additional course requirements in order to warrant graduate credit received for those courses. Courses at 8000/9000 level are primarily for graduate credit. 8090/9090 Research (8990/9990 Research for Engineering students) is reserved for master's and doctoral degree students working on a thesis or dissertation.

Grade point average

A graduate student's grade point average is based on the student's entire graduate record at MU. To remain in good standing, a graduate student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.

GPA and probation

At the end of each semester, graduate students with a cumulative GPA below 3.0 are placed on probation. If at the end of the following semester the cumulative GPA is 3.0 or better, the probationary status is removed. A student on probation failing to raise the cumulative GPA to 3.0 may, on the recommendation of the department or area program, be allowed a second probationary semester.

A student is subject to dismissal upon failure to raise the cumulative GPA to 3.0 by the end of the second probationary semester, or at any time a semester/term or cumulative GPA falls below 2.0. Note: Summer session is not counted as a semester.

GPA & graduation

To graduate, a student must have an overall GPA of 3.0 in all graduate courses taken at MU and not just those courses listed on a plan of study.