Academic Regulation 10: System of Grading and Transcript Notations

10.1 – Evaluative Grades

Normally, students receive letter grades for performance in courses offered by the Faculty of Arts and Science.  The evaluative grades for all courses offered by the Faculty of Arts and Science are:

A+ Exceptional
A Outstanding
A- Excellent
B+ Very Good
B Good
B- Reasonably Good
C+ Acceptable
C Minimally Acceptable (Honours)
C- Minimally Acceptable (General)
D+ Unsatisfactory Pass
D Unsatisfactory Pass
D- Unsatisfactory Pass
F Failure - No Course Credit

10.1.1-Long Descriptors

The long descriptors provide a more detailed guide to what each letter grade signifies:

A+ Indicates exceptional performance that exceeds the highest standards. The course content has been mastered, the ability to apply the material in new ways has been demonstrated, and an understanding of the wider context is evident, all to an exceptional degree.
Consistent performance at this level leads to placement on the Dean's Honour List with Distinction (see Academic Regulation 12).
A Indicates outstanding performance that meets the highest standards. The course content has been mastered, the ability to apply the material in new ways has been demonstrated, and an understanding of the wider context is evident.
A- Indicates excellent performance that meets very high standards. Mastery of the course material and ability to apply the material in new ways have been demonstrated.
Consistent performance at this level leads to placement on the Dean's Honour List (see Academic Regulation 12).
B+ Indicates very good performance that meets high standards. The course content has been mastered, with a comprehensive understanding of concepts and techniques.
B Indicates good comprehension of the course material. The expectations set for the course have been met.
B- Indicates reasonably good comprehension of the course material. Most expectations set for the course have been met.
C+ Indicates an acceptable comprehension of the course material, meeting and in some cases exceeding basic standards.
C Indicates a generally acceptable comprehension of the course material, meeting basic standards.
Consistent performance at this level is acceptable for an Honours Degree (see Academic Regulation 16).
C- Indicates a minimally acceptable comprehension of the course material while falling short of basic standards in some areas.
Consistent performance at this level is acceptable for a General Degree, but not for an Honours degree (see Academic Regulation 16).
D+ Comprehension of the course material was unsatisfactory, but sufficient for credit to be granted.
Consistent performance at this level will lead to placement on Academic Probation and, potentially, further sanctions (see Academic Regulation 13).
D Comprehension of the course material was unsatisfactory, but sufficient for credit to be granted.
Consistent performance at this level will lead to placement on Academic Probation and, potentially, further sanctions (see Academic Regulation 13).
D- Comprehension of the course material was unsatisfactory; barely sufficient for credit to be granted.
Consistent performance at this level will lead to an automatic requirement to withdraw (see Academic Regulation 13).
F Indicates that the minimum standards have not been met. Credit has not been granted.
Consistent performance at this level will lead to an automatic requirement to withdraw (see Academic Regulation 13).

10.2 – Non-Evaluative Grades

10.2.1 – Aegrotat Standing

Aegrotat estimated standing in a course is reserved for situations in which a student, who has completed and passed at least 60 per cent of the work for a course, but because of illness or other extenuating circumstances beyond his or her control, is unable to complete all the work of the course (see Academic Regulation 6). Aegrotat grades will be included in the student’s grade point average (GPA) and can be used as credit earned towards a degree program.

A student seeking aegrotat standing in a class must have the written support of the instructor and must submit a formal appeal to the Office of the Associate Dean (Studies) (see Appeal of Academic Decisions, Section 3). If the request is granted, this estimated letter grade will appear on the student’s transcript together with a note reading “Aegrotat: Estimated Grade.” 

Students may be granted aegrotat and/or credit standing for a maximum of 36.0 units during their entire program.

10.2.2 – Credit Standing (CR)

Credit standing (CR) in a course is reserved for situations in which a student, who has completed all of the work of the course, including the final examination, and achieved a passing grade in the course, but because of illness or other extenuating circumstances beyond his or her control, earned a substantially lower grade than might have been expected, normally a grade of C or lower (see Academic Regulation 6). A course with credit standing will not be included in the student’s GPA but can be used as credit earned towards a degree program. Students who wish to use a course in which they have credit standing as a prerequisite for registering in a further class may need to appeal to the instructor of the class if the prerequisite requirement includes a minimum grade. The instructor has the authority to waive this prerequisite at their discretion. Use of a course with credit standing for admission to a Plan shall be at the discretion of the department.

A student seeking credit standing in a course must have the written support of the instructor and must submit a formal appeal to the Office of the Associate Dean (Studies) (see Appeal of Academic Decisions, section 3). If the request is granted, the designation CR will appear on the student’s transcript in place of a letter grade. 

Students may be granted aegrotat and/or credit standing for a maximum of 36.0 units during their entire program.

               10.2.3 – Grade Deferred (GD)

Grade Deferred standing (GD) is a temporary designation reserved for circumstances in which

(i)                a student has submitted all the work in a course, but the final grade is not available (e.g. late assignments not yet marked); or

(ii)              a suspected departure from academic integrity is under investigation or under appeal and a final grade for the course cannot yet be determined.

The instructor shall indicate to the Associate Dean (Studies) the special circumstances under which the GD is being assigned, and in the case of (i) above, shall provide a timeline for submission of the final grade.

A grade of GD will not be included in the determination of a student’s GPA, and any course with a GD designation may not be counted for credit towards a degree program. 

NOTE:  GD differs from the notation IN, which indicates that a student has not submitted all the work assigned and the instructor has agreed to accept the outstanding work. 

                10.2.4 – Incomplete (IN)

Incomplete standing (IN) is a temporary designation reserved for a course in which a student who, because of extenuating circumstances beyond his or her control, has not completed all term work for a course or requests permission to defer the writing of a final examination.

A student seeking incomplete standing may be requested to provide, at the instructor’s discretion, a medical certificate or other documentation that demonstrates extenuating circumstances, and must arrange with the instructor to complete a "Permission for an Incomplete Mark" form available from the Arts and Science website. The "Permission for an Incomplete Mark" form indicates the current letter grade for the course based on the work completed, the specific work yet to be finished and a date by which the outstanding work will be submitted. The date for the work to be completed should be reached by mutual agreement between the instructor and student. Incomplete work can be submitted no later than the end of the subsequent term.

In cases where a student will receive a failing grade if all outstanding work is not completed or the exam is not written, an IN grade will be submitted by the instructor. A grade of IN will not be included in the determination of a student’s GPA, and any course with an IN designation may not be counted for credit towards a degree program. If the outstanding work is not submitted by the end of the subsequent term, the IN grade will lapse to an F (Failure) and will be included in the student's GPA.

In cases where a student will pass the course even if the outstanding work is not completed or the exam is not written, the actual earned letter grade will be assigned. The letter grade shall be included in the student’s GPA and may be counted for credit towards a degree program. If the outstanding work is not submitted by the end of the subsequent term, the original letter grade shall stand. 

Any extensions beyond either the date of the first agreement or the end of the subsequent term must be based on further extenuating circumstances and will require an appeal to the Office of the Associate Dean (Studies) with support from the instructor (see Appeal of Academic Decisions, Section 3).

               10.2.5 – Pass in a Pass/Fail Course (P)

A Pass standing (P) is reserved for a course in which a student successfully completes all the requirements in a course designated as pass/fail. A course that has been designated Pass standing will not be included in the student’s GPA but can be counted for credit towards a degree program.

               10.2.6 – Transfer Credit (TR)

A transfer credit (TR) designation is reserved for a course in which a student undertakes study at another accredited post-secondary institution (see Academic Regulation 14). A transcript note will accompany this entry, indicating the University or other academic institution from which the credit was earned, and the degree program to which the transferred course is being credited.  For purposes of internal evaluation of course prerequisites and admission to second year only, the TR designation shall be deemed equivalent to a grade of C. In the case of transfer credit for International Baccalaureate (IB), Advanced Placement (AP), CEGEP, or A-Level (GCE) courses, grades of A or B may also be deemed equivalent depending on student performance.  Under no circumstances shall the grade provided by another post-secondary institution be placed on the Queen’s transcript.

Students who wish to use a course in which they have a TR designation as a prerequisite for registering in a further class may need to appeal to the instructor of the class if the prerequisite requirement includes a grade higher than C. The instructor has the authority to waive this prerequisite at their discretion.

Transfer Credit designations will not be included in the student’s GPA but may be counted for credit towards a degree program.

               10.2.7 – Audit (AU)

The Audit (AU) designation is reserved for courses in which a student officially attends a class as a registered auditor but in which the student does not undertake any work to be marked by the instructor.

Audit designations will not be included in the student’s GPA and may not be counted for credit towards a degree program (see Academic Regulation 5).

10.2.8 – Dropped (DR)

Any course dropped by a student before the date specified in the Faculty’s published academic calendar dates for dropping a course without academic penalty shall be expunged from the transcript. Students wishing to drop a course after the published date, (s)he must appeal to the Associate Dean (Studies). If the appeal is granted, a DR designation shall be placed on the transcript. If the appeal is denied, the final grade earned shall remain on the transcript. A student may not appeal to remove a DR grade from the transcript.

Dropped designations will not be included in the student’s GPA and will not count for credit towards a degree program.

See also Academic Regulation 4 for details on transcript designations when dropping multi-term courses.

10.2.9 – Not Graded (NG)

The Not Graded (NG) designation indicates the completion of the first half of a multi-term course. A student will receive an NG designation at the end of the first term in which the class was in progress.  At the end of the second term in which the course is offered a letter grade or other appropriate designation shall be entered. 

Not Graded designations will not be included in the student’s GPA and will not be counted for credit towards a degree program.  No course with an NG designation may subsequently be counted as partial or full credit towards completion of another course at Queen’s University, or as transfer credit.

10.3 – Courses in Progress (no designation)
Transcripts shall note all courses in progress during the academic term in which they are offered.  Such courses in progress shall have no designations attached to them.

10.4 – Grade Point Average (GPA)

               10.4.1 Letter Grade/Grade Point Table

All letter grades shall have grade points associated with them, according to the following table:

The grade point average (GPA) shall be calculated by multiplying the grade points earned in a course by the unit value of that course, then dividing by the total number of units attempted during the period of time over which the GPA is being determined.  Grade point averages may be determined over three periods for evaluative purposes:

Letter Grade Grade Points
A+ 4.3
A 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D 1.0
D- 0.7
F 0.0

10.4.2 –Cumulative GPA

The cumulative GPA shall be determined using all courses attempted and for which grade points are assigned over the course of a student’s Career (Undergraduate or Distance Studies, see Academic Regulation 2.1).  Thus, students who change Career will have two cumulative GPA's on their academic record. The cumulative GPA used for all assessment purposes shall be the one associated with the student's current Career of registration.

In the case of students who transfer into the Faculty of Arts and Science from another Faculty or School at Queen’s, Dual Degree students (including those in Concurrent Education programs) and Second Degree students, all courses attempted while registered in an Undergraduate Career in other Faculties/Schools and/or taken towards other degree programs shall continue to be included in the Undergraduate Career cumulative GPA used for evaluative purposes in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Unless otherwise indicated in the academic regulations, when reference is made to a GPA, a cumulative GPA is indicated.

10.4.3 – Term GPA

The Term GPA shall be determined using all courses attempted and for which grade points are assigned during a particular academic term.

10.4.4 – Academic Year GPA

The Academic Year GPA shall be determined using all courses attempted and for which grade points are assigned during a particular academic year starting on 1 September and ending on the subsequent 31 August.

                  10.4.5 – Retaking Courses

If an exact course is repeated, the highest mark achieved shall be used in the determination of the GPA. To determine which grade takes precedence when one of the course attempts results in a TR, the TR shall be considered equivalent to a grade of C.  If a TR takes precedence it will not be used in the GPA calculation.

 10.4.6 – Students who began a course of study before 1 May 2011

Numeric (percentage) grades have been assigned to classes that were offered up to and including the Winter Term of 2011. These numeric grades will continue to appear on the transcript for students who began a course of study before 1 May 2011. However, cumulative percentage averages will not be used for any academic purpose from May 2011 onwards.  GPA values will instead be calculated based on the grade points assigned to these numeric grades.  For conversion purposes, numeric grades shall be associated with grade points according to the following table:

Numeric Equivalent
(prior to 1 May 2011)
Grade Points
90 - 100% 4.3
85 - 89% 4.0
80 - 84% 3.7
77 - 79% 3.3
73 - 76% 3.0
70 - 72% 2.7
67 - 69% 2.3
63 - 66% 2.0
60 - 62% 1.7
57 - 59% 1.3
53 - 56% 1.0
50 - 52% 0.7
0 - 49% 0.0

10.5 – Change of Grade
The deadline for submission of a change of final grade by an instructor can be no later than the end of the term following that in which the class was offered. If the change of grade is not submitted within that timeline, the existing grade in the course shall stand. Any extensions beyond the end of the subsequent term must be based on extenuating circumstances and will require an appeal from the student to the Associate Dean (Studies) with support from the instructor (see Appeal of Academic Decisions, Section 3).