All students


Policy Number: 100412

Current Policy

Category: Academic » Grading



Grading Policies

In this section, we explain grades and grade point averages. We also describe our standards for academic integrity.

In our grading system, you can receive the following grades:

  • A — excellent
  • B — above average
  • C — average
  • D — below average
  • F — fail
  • P — credit*
  • I — incomplete
  • W — withdraw
  • AU — audit
  • A — superior
  • B — satisfactory
  • C — lowest grade acceptable for graduate credit
    (See the Grade Point Average Requirements section.)
  • D — not acceptable for graduate credit
  • F — fail
  • P — pass*
  • I — incomplete
  • W — withdraw
  • AU — audit
  • IP — thesis, dissertation, final project, fieldwork, or internship

*Please note that some courses have mandatory pass-fail grading. However, most graduate courses are graded on a letter-grade basis, and you may not elect a pass-fail option in graduate courses that are graded on a letter-grade basis.

In the following pages, we describe the P-F, I, AU, and IP grades in more detail.

Undergraduate Grading

To provide you early feedback and allow you to work with faculty and academic support staff to improve your academic performance, Northern Arizona University provides mid-term grades in certain undergraduate courses during fall and spring terms. You can find your mid-term grades for 100- and 200-level courses on the LOUIE system ( (Be aware that each instructor must evaluate your academic performance and convey to you a clear understanding of your progress before the deadline for withdrawing from sixteen-week courses, which is usually the end of the ninth week of the term, whether or not mid-term grades are provided in that course. See the Registrar's website for exact dates.)

Then, at the end of each term, your instructor does a final evaluation of your work and submits a letter grade to indicate how well you have met the course objectives. You can find your final grades on the LOUIE system. (Please be aware that we also make your grades available to your advisor and Northern Arizona University's Dean of Students as well as to the Arizona high school and/or community college you previously attended, if applicable.)

Note that grades for courses ending in an "x" are not used to compute your grade point average or to fulfill graduation requirements.

Graduate Grading

At the end of each term, our instructors do a final evaluation of your work and turn in a letter grade to the Registrar's Office to indicate how well you have met the course objectives. (Each faculty member must also evaluate you before the middle of the term and give you a clear understanding of your progress in the course at that time.)

Pass-Fail / "A"-Pass-Fail Policies

Pass-Fail Policy

Some undergraduate courses offered by Northern Arizona University have mandatory pass-fail grading.

  • You receive a Pass ("P") grade if you earn the letter-grade equivalent of an "A," "B," "C," or "D;"
  • You receive a Failing ("F") grade if you earn the letter grade equivalent of an "F."

Credits earned (Passed) in a course taken on a Pass-Fail basis are not used in calculating your grade point average; however, such credits do count toward meeting the units required for graduation. A grade of "F" (Failed) will be used in calculating your GPA. These units are included in the attempted credit units for GPA calculation. See Grading Policies.

Generally, credits earned on a Pass-Fail basis do not count toward major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.

Graduate Students

Pass-Fail grading is not available for any graduate course that is normally graded with a letter grade, including a co-convened course.

However, with permission from your advisor and the Graduate College, graduate students may elect Pass-Fail grading:

  • for an undergraduate course that you don't take for credit, such as a course taken to satisfy a deficiency in your preparation for a graduate plan; or
  • for an undergraduate course taken for personal enrichment if you are a non-degree graduate student with the permission of the course instructor and the Graduate College.

"A"–Pass-Fail Policy (for Undergraduate Only)

The "A"–Pass-Fail option may make it easier for you to take undergraduate courses outside your major field, register for National Student Exchange, or complete a study abroad, because it does not affect your overall grade point average, except when you earn a grade of "A" or "F." In other words, if you enroll in a letter grade course for the "A"–Pass-Fail option, you receive an "A" when you earn that grade; grades "B," "C," and "D" appear on your transcript as a "P"; and you receive an "F" when you earn that grade.

You may use this option if you have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 or have a 3.0 for 12 or more units from the preceding term. To use this option, you must make a request through the Registrar's Office and get your advisor's approval.

You can use up to 24 units of "A"–Pass-Fail course work for your baccalaureate degree, including no more than two courses in a single field.

You may not use the "A"–Pass-Fail option for:

  • professional courses in teacher education,
  • courses in your major or minor field,
  • liberal studies courses,
  • repeated courses, or
  • honors courses.

Furthermore, required courses that utilize the pass-fail grading option are not counted towards this 24-unit option.

You may change from the "A"–Pass-Fail option to regular grading or vice versa during the first five weeks of a regular term, the first two weeks of a five-week session, and a proportionate time period for a course of other duration. If you enroll in a course under the "A"–Pass-Fail option and receive a grade of "P," you may not request a change to a letter grade.

Students can appeal or petition for exception

Graduate students may petition for an exception to any academic, non-grade-related, graduate regulation for which no specific appeal or petition process exists. Petitions should be submitted, in writing, to the Associate Dean of the Graduate College. When applicable, the student’s advisor and department chair may endorse the petition letter. In some specific instances, utilizing the Graduate Academic Appeal Policy is more appropriate.

Students should contact the Associate Dean of the Graduate College for clarification on which process to initiate.

Special Circumstances

Petitioning After the Deadline

A class may be changed to "A"-Pass/Fail after the deadline, using the "Petition to Change to "A"-Pass/Fail after the Deadline" form, and before a final grade is issued, providing the student’s advisor, instructor, department chair, and the dean approve this petition. The Department Chair must be from the Department where the class is offered and the Dean from the School/College where the class is offered. Once all approvals are secured, this form must be returned to the Registrar’s Office.


If an undergraduate student wishes to petition for “A”-Pass/Fail grading option, he/she must:

  • Fill out the Request for "A"-Pass/Fail form found on the Registrar’s website
  • Get his/her advisor approval and signature on the form
  • Turn request into the Registrar’s Office for processing


Graduate students who wish to elect Pass-Fail grading for an undergraduate course that will not be taken for credit (such as a course taken to satisfy a deficiency in preparation for a graduate plan), must obtain approval from:

  • his/her advisor; and
  • the Graduate College

Non-degree graduate students who wish to take an undergraduate course for personal enrichment  must obtain permission from:

  • the course instructor; and
  • the Graduate College