USFSM is interested in each student making reasonable progress towards his/her educational goals and will aid each student through guidance and advising. To make students aware of their academic progress, the University has enacted a system of grading and policies of Academic Probation and Academic Dismissal that indicates whether or not a student is showing sufficient progress toward meeting degree requirements. Notations of Grades, Academic Probation, and Academic Dismissal are posted to the student’s academic record.

When a student is academically dismissed from the University and is ineligible to re-enroll, it may be in his/her best interest to re-evaluate educational goals with a college academic advisor. If poor academic performance has resulted from extenuating circumstances, or significant time has elapsed and the student has gained adequate maturity and motivation, a petition to the Academic Regulations Committee can be submitted for permission to re-enroll. See “Academic Regulations Committee” for information on petitioning.

Grade Forgiveness Policy

USFSM’s grade forgiveness policy permits an undergraduate to repeat a course and have the repeated grade computed in his/her GPA in place of the original grade, providing the repeat grade is posted as “D-” or higher (exception – see Honors at Graduation) and is higher than the first grade. Normally, grade forgiveness may only be applied to a specific course that a student chooses to repeat. No course taken on the S/U grade basis may have the grade forgiveness applied. Under unusual circumstances, a different but similar course may be used if the substitute course has been previously approved by the college dean and is on file in the Office of the Registrar.

The grade forgiveness policy cannot apply to any course in which the grade of “FF” has been recorded.

Any undergraduate or non-degree-seeking student who wishes to implement grade forgiveness must:

  1. Complete a “Grade Forgiveness Request Form” (available on the Office of the Registrar’s website) for each course to be repeated. It is recommended that the student meet with his/her academic advisor to determine if a grade forgiveness is appropriate.
  2. Adhere to the following conditions:
    1. A limitation of applying grade forgiveness to three USF System courses with no more than one repeat per course.
    2. With prior approval of the college dean, a course different from a course on the approved list may be substituted in the following cases:
        1.  The substitute course is a change in prefix, number, hours, or title, but not a  substantive change in content from the original course.
        2.  The substitute course replaces a course no longer offered by the institution.
    3. The repeated course must be taken under the standard grading system (A – F) and the latest grade must be posted as “D-” or higher (grades of S/U are not permitted) and be higher than the first grade.
    4. All grades remain on the transcript. The original course grade will be annotated with “E” to indicate that the course has subsequently been repeated and the original grade is not computed in the GPA.
    5. Individual colleges may have further restrictions; therefore, the student should consult with his/her college.
    6. This policy is applicable to undergraduate and non-degree-seeking students only, and applies to 1000-to-5000-level courses. Once students have been awarded a bachelor’s degree from USFSM, they may not repeat a course and be forgiven the original grade, taken prior to graduation.
    7. The policy applies only to courses taken originally at USF System and repeated at USF System.

Grading System

Effective Fall semester 2000, a plus/minus grading system was implemented with the corresponding quality points. The use of the plus/minus grading system is at the discretion of the individual faculty member.

A student’s measure of academic achievement is recorded on the academic record based on the following grading system:

Plus/minus Grades

A+ 4.00
A Excellent Performance 4.00
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B Good Performance 3.00
B- 2.67
C+ 2.33
C Average Performance 2.00
C- 1.67
D+ 1.33
D Poor Performance 1.00
D- 0.67
F 0.00

Other Grades

E Course repeated, not included in GPA
CF Cancelled financially, course was cancelled due to financial reasons
CMU Cancelled, missing grade that has turned to a “U”
FF Failure/academic dishonesty
I Incomplete
IA Incomplete, grade points not applicable
IB Incomplete, grade points not applicable
IC Incomplete, grade points not applicable
ID Incomplete, grade points not applicable
IF Incomplete grade changed to Failure
IU Incomplete grade changed to Unsatisfactory
M Missing grade/No grade submitted by instructor, grade points not applicable
N Audit, grade points not applicable
R Repeated Course
S Satisfactory, grade points not applicable
U Unsatisfactory, grade points not applicable
W Withdrawal from course without penalty
WC Withdrawal for extenuating circumstances
Z Indicates continuing registration

Grade Point Average

USFSM grade-point average (GPA) is computed by dividing the total number of quality points (see grading system section) by the total hours attempted at institutions in the USF System. The total quality points are figured by multiplying the number of credits assigned to each course by the quality point value of the grade given. Credit hours for courses with grades of “I”, “IU”, “M”, “N”, “S”, “U”, “W”, “Z”, and grades that are preceded by an “E” are subtracted from the total hours attempted before the GPA is calculated.

Credit hours for repeated USF System coursework will be awarded only once per course unless the course is a university-approved repeatable course. “D” and “F” grades, however, for repeated USF System coursework will be counted in the computation of the student’s GPA as many times as those grades for that course are recorded. If a student originally earns a “C” or higher in a course that may not be repeated for additional credit and earns a “C” or higher on a subsequent enrollment, the new grade is not computed in the USF System GPA unless the forgiveness policy is being applied.

“I” Grade Policy

An “I” grade indicates incomplete coursework and may be awarded to graduate and undergraduate students. (Undergraduate rules apply to non-degree-seeking students.) It may be awarded to an undergraduate student only when a small portion of the student’s work is incomplete and only when the student is otherwise earning a passing grade. Until removed, the “I” is not computed in the GPA for either undergraduate or graduate students.

The time limit for removing the “I” is to be set by the instructor of the course. For undergraduate students, this time limit may not exceed two academic semesters, whether or not the student is in residence, and/or graduation, whichever comes first. “I” grades not removed by the end of the time limit will be changed to “IF” or “IU,” whichever is appropriate. If an instructor is willing, he or she may accept work from a student after an “I” grade has changed to an IF or IU grade, and assign the student a final grade in the course, unless the student has graduated.

Whether or not the student is in residence, any change to “IF” grades will be calculated in the cumulative GPA and, if applicable; the student will be placed on appropriate probation or academically dismissed. Students are not required to re-register for courses in which they are only completing previous course requirements to change an “I” grade. However, if a student wants to audit a course for review in order to complete course requirements, full fees must be paid.

“M” Grade Policy

An “M” grade is automatically assigned as a default grade when the instructor does not submit a grade for a student. (Undergraduate rules also apply to non-degree-seeking students.) Unless a change of grade is submitted, the “M” grade will remain on the transcript and will not be computed in the student’s GPA.

S/U Grade System

Course with No-Option

Certain courses have been designated as S/U courses. The “S” and “U” grades are used to indicate the student’s final grade. These S/U only courses are identified with (S/U only) after the course definition in this catalog. No grading system option is available to students or faculty in these courses.

Courses with Option

The following restrictions may apply to any undergraduate course taken on an S/U basis by a student:

  1. Required courses in the major may not be taken on an S/U basis.
  2. Specifically designated required courses in the distribution requirements of the student’s college may not be taken on an S/U basis.
  3. Courses to satisfy the Writing (Communication) and Mathematics (Computation) Requirements, formerly known as Gordon Rule, may not be taken on an S/U basis.
  4. Courses to satisfy General Education may not be taken on an S/U basis.
  5. Courses to satisfy USF’s B.A. foreign language requirement may not be taken on an S/U basis.
  6. All elective courses for the major and all elective courses in the distribution requirements and all other free elective courses may be taken on an S/U basis except where:
    1. The certifying college restricts the number of courses that may be taken on an S/U basis in any one or all of the above areas or restricts the total number of S/U courses that can be accepted for all of the above areas.
    2. The certifying college specifies that certain courses may not be taken on an S/U basis.
    3. The instructor of a course refuses to allow the course to be taken on an S/U basis.

Mechanism for Assigning S/U Grades

The method by which a student receives an “S” or “U” grade in an option course will consist of the following:

  1. A written agreement signed by both instructor and student shall be filed with the USFSM Office of Records and Registration as may be designated by the college. The college shall set the deadline (no later than the last day of classes for the term) for the student to decide if he/she wishes to take the course on an S/U basis.
  2. The instructor shall assign final letter grades “A”, “B”, “C”, “D”, “F”, or “I”, but will transmit to the Registrar “S” or “U” consistent with the following:
    1. Letter grade, “A”, “B”, “C”, or “C-“ shall be equivalent to a letter grade of “S.”
    2. Letter grades “D” or “F” shall be equivalent to a letter grade of “U.”
    3. “S” and “U” grades are not computed in the student’s GPA.