Computing Grade Point Average/Quality Points
The number of quality points awarded for a course is determined by multiplying the number of semester hours for that course by the quality point value of the grade received. The cumulative GPA is calculated by dividing the total number of quality points by the number of semester hours attempted.
To be eligible for a degree, a candidate must have a minimum number of quality points equal to three times the number of semester hours attempted in addition to meeting other prescribed requirements. The following notations have no effect on the GPA: AW, CC, I, NR, P, S, U.
Course Credit (Semester Hours)
Course credit is based on units designated as semester hours. One semester hour, or one base contact hour, equals a minimum of 750 minutes; this equation translates to a minimum of 15, 50-minute class hours per semester. Time required for class preparation is not a consideration in the calculation of course credit. A three semester hour course will require six to nine hours of work outside of class each week. Courses involving laboratory work give one semester hour of credit for each two, three or four hours of scheduled work in the laboratory during a week, depending on the course. Internships require a minimum of 2,250 minutes for each hour of credit.
Students may enroll in no more than 15 credits per semester for fall and spring semesters without department approval. The maximum load for a two-week Winterim or Maymester term is 3 semester hours, excluding short-term study abroad courses.
No course may count toward both the master’s degree and the bachelor’s degree.
Master of Arts in Teaching GPA Requirements
Students in the MAT program must complete the degree with a GPA of 3.0. No more than two grades of “C” will count toward degree requirements, and no grade lower than “C” will count toward the degree. All grade records remain on the master’s transcript and count toward the GPA. A student who has received two grades of “C” will be placed on probation and required to meet with an advisor on a regular basis. A student who receives a third grade of “C” will be dismissed from the program.
Master of Professional Accountancy GPA Requirements
Students in the MPAcc program must complete the degree with a GPA of 3.0. No more than two grades of “C-,” “C,” or “C+” will count toward degree requirements, and no grade lower than a “C-” will count toward the degree. All grade records remain on the master’s transcript and count toward the GPA. A student who receives three grades of less than a “B-” will be suspended from the program for one academic semester. Upon return from suspension, subsequent grades below a “B-” will result in program dismissal.
Academic Suspension and Dismissal Appeal Process for the MPAcc Program
Student are notified of suspension or dismissal in writing after end of term grades are reviewed. In cases of suspension, appeal deadlines will be provided in the notification. Late or incomplete appeals will not be processed. Appeals can be sent to the department chair or graduate program coordinator. If an appeal is not received within two semesters after the dismissal, the student will need to reapply to the University. Students are not allowed to enroll in courses until a decision is made.
The Graduate Committee reviews all appeals. They may grant, deny, or conditionally grant an appeal. Conditions may include but are not limited to course, grade, and advising requirements. Students failing to meet the committee’s conditions will be dismissed from the program.
The department will notify students in writing of the appeal decision and any imposed criteria or limitations. The student must agree to any imposed criteria or limitations in writing before enrolling in any courses. Any student who has not been enrolled for three consecutive semesters, including summer, must reapply to the University. All appeal decisions are final.
Master of Social Work GPA Requirements
MSW students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 in any academic term. Any student falling below a 3.0 in any given term will be placed on academic probation and be required to develop a plan for raising the GPA above 3.0. Students who fail to raise their GPA over 3.0 after 15 units will be dismissed from the program. No grade lower than a “B-” counts toward degree completion. Students receiving a “C+” or below will be required to repeat the course. Students must be aware that the sequential coursework policy will often require students to take time off to repeat the course work. Students who do not successfully complete a social work course with a “B-” or better after the second attempt will be dismissed from the program.
Grades and Notations
Faculty must assign a grade or notation for each student enrolled in a particular course. Faculty may, at their discretion, use the plus/minus system but are not required to do so. Faculty are required to notify students of the grading system used for an individual course via the course syllabus.
Certain grades and notations may impact a student’s financial aid or other benefits. Students who request a grade or notation that impacts their financial aid or benefits are encouraged to speak with a counselor in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships or the benefits provider prior to submitting the request.
|Alphabetical grades and status symbols are as follows:
||4.00 quality points per semester hour attempted
||4.00 quality points per semester hour attempted
||3.67 quality points per semester hour attempted
||3.33 quality points per semester hour attempted
||3.00 quality points per semester hour attempted
||2.67 quality points per semester hour attempted
||2.33 quality points per semester hour attempted
||2.00 quality points per semester hour attempted
||1.67 quality points per semester hour attempted
||1.33 quality points per semester hour attempted
||1.00 quality point per semester hour attempted
||0.67 quality point per semester hour attempted
||0 quality points per semester hour attempted
||Continuing Correspondence Course
||Satisfactory - Education
||Unsatisfactory - Education
AW - Administrative Withdrawal
The Administrative Withdrawal (AW) notation is assigned when a student, or representative, requests to be withdrawn from a course due to unforeseen or extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control. When the “AW” notation is assigned, no academic credit is awarded. The course remains on the student’s academic record with an “AW” notation and counts toward the student’s attempted hours. The course is not calculated in the student’s GPA.
Students may request an administrative withdrawal from the Office of the Registrar after the withdrawal deadline posted in the Academic Calendar . Deadlines differ proportionally for courses offered during part of a semester, including late-start and weekend courses. Students should refer to the Part-of-term dates published by the Office of the Registrar to review drop deadlines for individual courses.
Although requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, examples include the death of an immediate family member, serious illness or medical emergency, or other life-altering event. The student must provide supporting documentation to substantiate the request.
CC - Continuing Correspondence Course
The Continuing Correspondence Course (CC) notation is assigned when a student does not complete a correspondence course within a given semester. No academic credit is awarded. The course counts toward the student’s attempted hours, does not count toward earned hours, and is not calculated in the GPA or quality points. If the course is not completed within the course’s designated timeframe, the “CC” notation will convert to a grade of “F.”
I - Incomplete
The Incomplete notation may be assigned when a student is achieving satisfactory progress in a course and is not able to complete all class assignments due to extenuating circumstances, such as documented illness, military leave, disability, internships that fall outside traditional semester timeframes, or circumstances beyond their control. If a student has completed, at a minimum, a majority of course work and/or course contact hours, a student may request an Incomplete after the Withdrawal Deadline posted in the Academic Calendar . Deadlines differ proportionally for courses offered during a part of the semester, including late-start and weekend courses. Students should refer to the Part of Term dates published by the Office of the Registrar to review withdrawal deadlines for individual courses. Departments may have additional standards and/or criteria. Students should consult with their faculty member and department to determine additional requirements.
The incomplete notation is composed of an “I” (noted on the students transcript) as well as the student’s default grade (A, A-, B+, B, etc.), the grade the student has earned when they leave the class out of the total points of the class (the grade the student will earn if no additional work is submitted). Incomplete work must be completed within the subsequent long semester (fall or spring) or earlier, at the discretion of the faculty member. In the event of extended extenuating circumstances, the completion date for incomplete work may be extended for an additional long semester, at the discretion of the faculty member. If the incomplete work is not completed, the “I” notation will convert to the default grade submitted by the faculty member.
Determination of eligibility does not guarantee that an incomplete will be granted. Students who meet the qualifications may request an incomplete from the faculty member who is teaching the course. The decision to grant an incomplete is up to the faculty member or at the Department Chair’s discretion, if the faculty member is not available. The decision to grant an incomplete as an accommodation based on a student’s disability shall be made by the faculty member or the Department Chair, if the faculty member is not available, in consultation with the Director of the Access Center.
If an incomplete is granted, the student and faculty member must fill out and sign an Incomplete Agreement Form to clarify what outstanding work the student should complete within the designated timeframe. Departments may have additional standards and/or criteria. Students should consult with their faculty member and department to determine additional requirements.
Students may not graduate with an “I” on their MSU Denver academic record if:
- The course in which the “I” was assigned is required for graduation, or
- The default grade assigned for that course would result in an overall GPA less than 2.00.
NR - Not Reported
The Not Reported (NR) notation indicates that no grade was reported by the faculty by the deadline to submit grades. Student must see faculty for an explanation or assignment of grade. Courses taken through interinstitutional registration are normally assigned the “NR” notation until grades are received and posted to the academic record. Students who receive an “NR” notation on their final grade report may be severely impacted. Financial aid, enrollment status, veterans’ status and probation/suspension depend on students receiving all of their grades. The course counts toward the student’s attempted hours, does not count toward earned hours, and is not calculated in the GPA or quality points.
P - Pass
The Pass (P) notation is assigned when a student successfully completes a course for which the Pass/Fail Option has been requested. Course credit counts toward the student’s attempted and earned hours but is not calculated in the GPA or quality points.
S/U - Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory
The Satisfactory (S) notation is equivalent to a grade of “C” or higher. Course credit counts toward the student’s attempted and earned hours but is not calculated in the GPA or quality points. The Unsatisfactory (U) notation is equivalent to a grade of “F.” Course credit counts toward the student’s attempted hours, does not count toward earned hours, and is calculated in the GPA or quality points.
These notations are limited to internships, practica, field experience courses, and workshops.
SE/UE - Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory - Education
The Satisfactory Education (SE) notation is equivalent to a grade of “B” or higher. Course credit counts toward the student’s attempted and earned hours but is not calculated in the GPA or quality points.
The Unsatisfactory Education (UE) notation is equivalent to a grade of “F.” Course credit counts toward the student’s attempted hours, does not count toward earned hours, and is calculated in the GPA and quality points.
W - Withdrawal
The Withdrawal (W) notation is assigned when a student officially withdraws from a course via the Student Hub after the drop deadline (census date) and before the withdrawal deadline posted in the Academic Calendar . Deadlines differ proportionally for courses offered during part of a semester, including late-start and weekend courses. Students should refer to the Student Detail Schedule via the Student Hub to review drop and withdrawal deadlines for individual courses. When a student withdraws from a course, no academic credit is awarded. The course remains on the student’s academic record with a “W” notation and counts toward the student’s attempted hours. The course is not calculated in the student’s GPA or quality points. After the withdrawal deadline, students may not withdraw from a course and will be assigned the grade earned based on the course syllabus.
If students have reason to question the validity of a grade received in a course, they must make their request for a change before the end of the fourth week of the semester following the completion of the course (the following fall semester if the course was completed in the spring semester). It is the responsibility of the student to initiate a grade appeal within the time limit, and to follow the procedures for grade appeals specified below. All decisions of the Grade Review Committee are final.
Student Grade Appeals
The university supports open communication as the best means to resolve concerns about grades. If a student believes that the grade they received for a course does not reflect the quality of their work, the first step is to meet with the instructor for the course on an informal basis. The following will be the only acceptable grounds for formal grade appeals:
- The course grade was assigned on a basis other than performance in the course.
- The instructor used standards that were different from those allowed for other students in the same class, or different from those allowed in departmental/college/school policies if specific departmental/college/school grading policies exist.
- A substantial and unannounced departure from the instructor’s previously articulated standards was used in assigning the grade.
- A permanent “F” has been assigned and the student wishes to appeal.
Only grade appeals based on one or more of the above criteria will be considered. Outside the regular grade change procedure, only the chair of the Grade Review Committee, with proper written authorization from that committee, may initiate the grade exception process.
Exceptions to the Grade Appeal Policy and Procedure
The Grade Appeal Procedure shall constitute the sole internal administrative remedy for a change in grade, except when a grade dispute involves an Office of Equal Opportunity discrimination complaint. If a grade dispute arises from an issue that is covered under the university’s Equal Opportunity policies, which address discrimination on the basis of race, color, disability, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or status, such as Vietnam-era disabled veteran, the student should contact the Office of Equal Opportunity. The Office of Equal Opportunity process for resolution takes precedence over the university’s grade appeal process.
Grade Appeal Procedure
The Grade Appeal Procedure shall have both an informal and a formal resolution process. The student must attempt informal resolution prior to filing a formal grade appeal.
Informal Resolution Process
The informal resolution process must take place before the last day of the fourth week of the semester following the assignment of the grade. The student must meet with the instructor prior to meeting with the chair or proceeding to the formal appeal process.
If the instructor is not available to meet with the student or does not respond to the student’s request to meet and/or the student is not satisfied with the result of the informal meeting with the instructor, the student must meet with the chair of the department to attempt to resolve the grade concern prior to filing a formal grade appeal.
During the informal resolution process, the student may meet with the dean or the dean’s designee to clarify the grade appeal policy and process. The student may also access Student Conflict Resolution Services for assistance in the process. Students are encouraged to use the informal resolution process to clarify any miscommunications with the instructor or confusion about course expectations.
Formal Resolution Process
Step 1: File Petition with the Dean
After meeting with the instructor and the chair and failing to resolve the grade concerns, the student may initiate a formal resolution process. The student must file a Petition for Grade Appeal with the dean of the instructor’s school by the last day of the fifth week of the semester following the course for which the grade was assigned. Deans may designate an associate or assistant dean to act in their places for the purposes of the Grade Appeal Procedure.
Timeline: A Petition for Grade Appeal for a grade assigned in fall term shall be filed in the spring term. A Petition for Grade Appeal for a grade assigned in spring or summer term shall be filed in the following fall term. If the dean determines that it is academically necessary for the grade appeal to be processed during a summer term, they will facilitate the process by developing an appropriate timeline and submitting a copy of the timeline to the chair and the executive vice president of academic affairs. With the exception of the deadline set for filing the Petition for Grade Appeal, the timelines for the process may be extended by written agreement of the student and dean or by the Office of Academic Affairs if good cause is shown.
Process: It is the student’s responsibility to obtain and file the Petition for Grade Appeal form and to follow the procedural rules for the appeal process. The student is advised to keep a copy of all documents submitted. The Petition for Grade Appeal form is available through each academic dean’s office and the Office of the Registrar. A separate Petition for Grade Appeal must be filed for each course in which a grade is disputed. Access to all documents submitted is restricted to those involved in the grade appeal process or otherwise having a need to know.
The student must provide the dean with a completed Petition for Grade Appeal and all material that relates to the disputed grade at the time that the formal Petition for Grade Appeal is submitted. The petition must include:
- A statement addressing how the appeal meets one or more of the four criteria necessary for a formal grade appeal.
- A description of what occurred during the informal resolution process.
- Copies of all graded materials from the course that are in the student’s possession.
- Any relevant documents the student would like to be reviewed as part of the appeal process.
- A copy of the course syllabus/class policies (if the student has a copy).
The dean will forward a copy of the Petition for Grade Appeal to the chair of the department to notify the chair that a formal procedure has been initiated. The chair will be responsible for passing materials regarding the grade appeal on to the instructor. Within 15 working days of receiving the formal appeal, the dean will assess whether one or more of the criteria have been met in the Petition for Grade Appeal. The dean may contact the student, instructor or chair to ask questions and/or request further information or documents in the process of assessing whether the appeal meets the criteria. The dean may request that the instructor provide a written response to the student’s Petition for Grade Appeal and may request any additional documentation necessary to assess the Petition for Grade Appeal at this point in the process. Additional documentation may include graded materials in the instructor’s possession. If any of the material provided by the instructor is confidential, e.g., examinations that may be used in subsequent terms, such materials shall be made available for review but shall not be made part of the Petition for Grade Appeal. The instructor has five working days to provide the response and materials requested by the dean to the dean and chair. A copy of the written response will be provided for the student. In their decision, the dean may:
- Deny the appeal and send a letter or email to inform the student, the instructor and the chair of the instructor’s department within five working days.
- Decide that one or more of the criteria may have been met, and continue the formal appeal process. If the dean has not already requested a written response to the Petition for Grade Appeal from the instructor, the dean will make that request. The instructor has five working days to provide the written response and any additional materials requested to the student, chair, and dean. The dean will contact the student, instructor and chair within 15 working days of receiving the Petition for Grade Appeal to convene a meeting of all parties. The purpose of the meeting is to seek resolution of the appeal. Minutes shall be taken at the meeting.
If the appeal is resolved through the process of the meeting, the formal appeal process will end. The dean will write a report summarizing the resolution.
If the appeal is not resolved at the meeting, the dean shall send a copy of the minutes from the meeting, with a written recommendation, to the student, the instructor and the chair within five working days after the conclusion of the meeting.
The dean will send a copy of all materials relating to the Petition for Grade Appeal to the Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs or their designee for record-keeping purposes within five working days after the conclusion of the meeting or after sending a letter stating the appeal does not meet the criteria.
Step 2: File the Petition with the Grade Review Committee
If the appeal is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction at the dean’s level and the student wants the formal process to continue, the student must send a written request to the Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs or their designee within five working days of receiving either a letter stating that the appeal does not meet the criteria or the recommendation based on the meeting from the dean. The Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs or designee will inform the dean, chair and instructor that the Grade Review Committee (GRC) will review the appeal.
The members of the GRC shall review all documents submitted by the dean and meet to discuss whether to hear the appeal or not within 20 working days. The GRC will not conduct a re-evaluation of the student’s work and will not change the grade of an individual assignment. The GRC will hold a hearing for the Petition for Grade Appeal only if the appeal meets one of the four criteria necessary for a formal appeal.
The GRC may decide that they will not hear the appeal because no criterion has been met, or the petition is substantially incomplete. The GRC shall send written notification of their decision not to hear the appeal within five working days to the student, instructor, chair and dean, and the formal appeal process is over.
If the appeal is heard, the GRC shall notify the student, instructor, chair and dean, and will request their presence at the hearing meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to have all parties to the grade dispute provide answers and clarifications that members of the GRC may need in order to make a sound decision on the case.
The decision of the GRC shall be in the form of a motion, duly made and seconded, and adopted by a majority of the GRC members present and voting, assuming a quorum is met. In its decision, the GRC may:
- Deny the appeal on its merits, with the effect that the disputed grade will remain on the student’s academic record.
- Grant the appeal and change the final grade to a grade or grade equivalent that is determined appropriate by the GRC.
The GRC will inform the student, instructor, chair and dean of its decision in writing within five working days of the hearing.
The decision of the GRC is final and cannot be appealed.
If the GRC finds in favor of the student’s appeal, then the chair of the GRC acquires the authority to initiate the grade exception process. The chair of the GRC has five working days to notify the instructor of the decision and to initiate the grade exception process.
The Petition for Grade Appeal and all attachments will be kept in the Office of the Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs for a minimum period of three years.
Grade Review Committee Membership and Policies
- The GRC shall consist of eight members as follows:
- Two members shall be elected by and from faculty from the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.
- One member shall be elected by and from faculty from the College of Professional Studies.
- One member shall be elected by and from the faculty from the College of Business.
- One member shall be elected by and from the faculty from the School of Education.
- Two student members shall be appointed by the Student Government Assembly.
- One non-voting ex-officio member from the Office of Academic Affairs shall be appointed by the Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs. Responsibilities of this member shall include staff assistance and record keeping.
- The term of membership on the GRC shall be two years, with terms staggered, except that the term of the student members shall be one year. Terms shall begin on the first day of classes of the fall semester.
- Members may serve successive terms.
- Elections of faculty from each school or college shall occur in the spring, and members shall take office on the first day of classes of the fall semester.
- The representative from the Office of Academic Affairs shall convene the first meeting of the GRC in the fall, at which time the members shall elect a chair.
- A meeting of the GRC to consider and vote on a Petition for Grade Appeal must have a quorum of voting members.
- The GRC shall prepare a written summary of the committee’s decisions, the rationale for its decisions and the vote tally on the appeal. The summary shall be added to all existing documentation of the appeal.
- All documentation in a grade appeal shall be maintained in the Office of the Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs for a three-year period.
- The Chair of the GRC shall provide a yearly report of appeal activities, including recommendations for amending the Student Grade Appeal Policy, to the Office of Academic Affairs by the last day in June. Copies will be sent to all academic deans.
- Informal Resolution means informal discussions that lead to the resolution of a grade dispute the student may have with the instructor, the chair of a department and/or the dean of a school.
- Grade appeal procedure means the formal resolution procedure.
- The time limits refer to weeks, not days of weeks.
- The end of day means 5 p.m. on the designated day (i.e., end of a working day).
- The last day of the week means the Friday of a calendar week.
- Week ordinarily means Monday-Friday. If, for example, classes are not in session on a Monday, the designated week still ends on Friday.
- Working day means any day classes or examinations are scheduled, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
- Assigned grade means a letter grade (e.g., A, B, C, D or F), grade equivalent (e.g. S/U), or the temporary grade of I (Incomplete).
Grade changes must be submitted within the first seven weeks of the semester following the completion of the class. Spring semester grades can be through the seventh week of the following fall semester. All grades can be changed online using the Faculty and Staff Hub portal.
The faculty member may change an Incomplete (I) notation at any time within three consecutive semesters (including summer semester) after the end of the semester in which the class was attempted. At the end of the third consecutive semester (one calendar year), if the incomplete grade remains on the academic record, it will become an “F”.
Grades may NOT be changed on the basis of revised standards of evaluation, new examinations, or additional work undertaken or completed after grades are submitted to the Office of the Registrar. Grades may only be changed on the basis of an error in evaluation, computation, or transcription.
Students who have not been in attendance for three consecutive semesters, including summer, must reapply to the University. Students requesting readmission must be in good academic standing and must submit their application for readmission to the master’s program in which they have been enrolled.
The University residency requirement for master’s programs is the total number of semester hours required for the program minus 9.
Time Limit on Completion of Degree
Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Social Work, and 4+1 MPAcc students must complete the master’s degree within six calendar years from the term they initially enroll. 3+2 MPAcc students must complete both degree requirements within 7 calendar years of being accepted to the MPAcc program. Students should check the program website and/or specific program section of the catalog to determine specific degree requirements.