Grading Policy, Grade Appeals & Honors
The grading policy of the university permits either letter grades A, B, C, D, F, with plus or minus designations, or CR/NC to represent credit/no-credit. You may request either letter graded or credit/no-credit grading, as available, unless the course has specifically been designated as graded or credit/no-credit. You may only change a grade mode through the Schedule Adjustment Period. There is no limitation regarding the number of courses that may be graded in either manner, however there may be a limit to the number of Credit/No Credit graded courses that can be applied to the degree. See the Graduation Requirements and Catalog Rights Policy for more detail [section 3.5.3]. You must earn an assessment equivalent to a letter grade of C- or better as an undergraduate student, or a B- or better as a graduate student to receive a designation of CR.
The following grade points are associated with each letter grade:
Administrative Grading Symbols
The following administrative grading symbols may be assigned for various categories of enrollment.
Enrollment as an auditor is subject to permission of the instructor and shall be permitted only after students otherwise eligible to enroll on a credit basis have had an opportunity to do so. As an auditor, you are subject to the same fee structure as credit students and regular class attendance is expected. Once enrolled as an auditor, a student may not change to credit status unless such a change is requested during the scheduled adjustment period. A student who is enrolled for credit may not change to audit after the schedule adjustment period has expired. The AU symbol does not indicate completion of the class.
I (Incomplete Authorized)
The I symbol indicates that a portion of your required coursework has not been completed and evaluated in the prescribed time period due to unforeseen, but fully justified reasons, and that earning credit remains possible. It is your responsibility to bring pertinent information to the attention of the instructor and to determine from the instructor the remaining course requirements which must be satisfied in order to remove an incomplete. The instructor assigns your final grade when the work agreed upon has been completed and evaluated.
An I must normally be made up within one calendar year immediately following the end of the term during which it was assigned. The limitation prevails whether or not you maintain continuous enrollment. The academic program responsible for the course maintains an official record of the written contract. If the instructor of record is no longer available, the academic program chair ensures that the instructor's obligations are fulfilled.
IC (Incomplete Charged)
The IC symbol is used if you received an authorized incomplete I and have not completed the required course work within the allowed time limit. The IC replaces the I and is counted as a failing grade for grade point average and progress point computation.
RD (Report Delayed)
The RD symbol may be used where a delay in the reporting of a grade is due to circumstances beyond your control as a student. Only the Registrar can assign this symbol, and, if assigned, it is replaced by a substantive grading symbol as soon as possible. An RD is not used in calculating grade point average or progress points.
RP (Report in Progress)
The RP symbol is used in connection with courses that extend beyond one academic term (e.g. Capstone, graduate thesis, or a long term upper-division project-based class). It indicates that work is in progress but that assignment of a final grade must await completion of additional work. Work is to be completed within one year except for graduate degree thesis work. If no final grade is reported by the instructor within the time limit established, the RP will be converted to F or NC on the academic transcript.
The symbol W indicates that you were permitted to withdraw from the course after the schedule adjustment period for the term with the approval of the instructor and appropriate campus officials. It carries no connotation of quality of your performance and is not used in calculating grade point average or progress points, however undergraduate students may withdraw from no more than 18 units at CSU Monterey Bay.
WU (Withdrawal Unauthorized)
The symbol WU indicates that you were enrolled, did not withdraw from the course, and failed to complete the course requirements. It is used when, in the opinion of the instructor, completed assignments or course activities or both were insufficient to make normal evaluations of academic performance possible. For purposes of grade point average and progress point computation, this symbol is equivalent to an F.
Change of Grade
A change of grade may be made only in the case of a clerical or other administrative grading error. An appeal for a change of grade must be initiated by you as the student and must be approved by the instructor. Students seeking to challenge final course grades based on other grounds shall follow the policy and procedures set out in the Grade Appeal Policy.
Only courses repeated at CSUMB may be used to adjust the GPA. Grades earned in courses taken at other institutions may not be used to replace grades in CSUMB courses.
The procedures do not apply to courses that are designated as 'repeatable.' Repeatable courses are explicitly designed to allow students to repeat a successfully completed courses for up to a certain number of units. Examples of repeatable courses include graduate thesis courses and special topics courses.
Students are urged to meet with their academic advisor before repeating a course for GPA adjustment.
These procedures apply to attempted completions of a course, which include any course in which a letter grade or a grade of WU, IC, or NC was assigned. For the purposes of course repeat for GPA adjustment, grades of AU, RD, RP, and W do not count as attempts to complete a course. Once a student has been awarded a degree, courses may not be repeated to raise the GPA.
Students may not repeat a course in which a grade of CR was assigned.
In any course or program where enrollment demand exceeds the resources to offer sufficient openings or sections to meet that demand, registration priority may be given to students taking the course for the first time.
Undergraduates may repeat an attempted course one time. An undergraduate student may petition to take a course a third time only with a course repeat petition. No course may be repeated more than two times (three total attempts). No course in which the grade assigned was the result of a finding of academic dishonesty may be repeated.
Students may only repeat a course in which a grade of C- or lower is assigned. No more than 16 units may be repeated during the entire undergraduate degree program.
When a course is repeated, only the HIGHEST grade will count in calculating the GPA. However, all grades will be recorded on the official transcript as a matter of accurate academic record keeping.
When one requirement is met by two or more co-requisite courses (i.e., a course and a lab) and a C- or lower is assigned in one of those courses, students may be required to repeat one or both courses to fulfill the requirement. Different degree programs interpret co-requisite course repeats differently; students should consult an advisor to determine their obligation.
Students may petition to repeat up to an additional 12 units (i.e., units in addition to the 16 for which grade forgiveness is permitted). In such instances, the repeat grade shall not replace the original grade, but rather, both grades shall be calculated into the student's overall grade-point average.
Graduate, Credential and Post-Baccalaureate Students
Graduate and credential-seeking students may only repeat for GPA adjustment a course in which a grade of B- or lower was assigned. When a course is repeated all grades count toward the GPA and grade forgiveness will not be granted. No more than two different, distinct courses may be repeated during a graduate degree program. Certain degree programs may have more stringent restrictions on course repeats. Students must follow the more stringent requirements.
Grades assigned by instructors are to be considered final. If you believe that the final grade issued is based on instructor or clerical error, prejudice, or capriciousness, you may file a written appeal and offer evidence to support the claim.
Prior to filing a formal grade appeal, you must first make every effort to resolve the issue informally with the instructor. Review the guidelines found in the Grade Appeal Policy, they will help you navigate the process. The deadline to initiate a formal University Review is 30 calendar days after the start of the subsequent semester.
Each semester the college deans recognize superior scholarship by including on their Dean's List those students who earn a 3.5 GPA or better in the preceding semester. To be eligible, undergraduate students must complete a minimum of 12 letter-graded units at CSUMB with no incomplete grades, no grade lower than a "C" and be in good academic standing.
Graduation with Academic Honors
The university recognizes superior academic performance at graduation and on students' diplomas and transcripts. You may earn baccalaureate academic honors based on your cumulative grade point average in all work including your final semester. To qualify for academic honors, you must complete a minimum of three semesters in residence at CSUMB and a minimum of two-thirds of earned credits must be based on letter grades. Second Bachelor's and Master's degree graduates are not eligible for academic honors.
- Summa Cum Laude: 3.90 to 4.00
- Magna Cum Laude: 3.75 to 3.89
- Cum Laude: 3.50 to 3.74
Distinction in the Major
Departments offering degree programs may confer Distinction in the Major honors to students meeting criteria developed by the department faculty and officially published and circulated by the department to students in the program.