Skip to main content

Grade Definitions and Grading Policy

Students are to be graded in courses according to the traditional system of letter grades (A, B, C, D and F) or may opt to take some courses for Pass/No Credit (P/NC). For the latter option, see Pass/No Credit Policy for Undergraduate Courses.

Student Credit Points Earned

Students who receive credit for a class by the end of the semester (or term) will have a grade ranging from A to D or P on their transcript and the A-D grades will be entered into the calculation of the grade point average.

No Student Credit Points Earned

Students who will not receive credit points may have an F or an NC or an INC, or a grade beginning with “W”. See explanation after chart.

Retention Standards 

CUNY mandates uniform student retention standards for all CUNY colleges. Decisions about whether or not students may continue in a CUNY college are made on the basis of a student’s grade point average (GPA). To determine GPA, course grades are assigned quality points (which count toward the GPA), as shown in the following table:  



Quality Points (GPA Index)


97.5 – 100%



92.5 – 97.4%



90.0 – 92.4%



87.5 – 89.9%



82.5 – 87.4%



80.0 – 82.4%



77.5 – 79.9%



70.0 – 77.4%



60.0 - 69.9%



0 – 59.9%



Withdrew Unofficially.  Student participated at least once in an academically related activity. See explanation after chart


Pass (equivalent to A, B, C, D)


No credit granted (equivalent to F)


Term’s work incomplete. This may include absence from final examination. See explanation after chart.


When entering the final course grade, the instructor shall enter the underlying letter grade the student would have received had the student not chosen the P/NC option. The Registrar will convert the underlying letter grade to a P/NC grade unless the student’s request for P/NC is in violation of college-wide, departmental, or program-specific restrictions on the use of the P/NC grade option.

Grades and Designations Assigned by College Administration




F from incomplete; an administrative grade used when INC reverts to F; this occurs if grade is not made up by the end of the following semester.




Auditor - No Credit (Undergraduate students only)




A placeholder grade submitted by the Office of Student Conduct when a student is alleged to have committed a violation of the Policy on Academic Integrity and the student denies the allegation. The PEN grade is a placeholder during the pending resolution of the allegation and will be changed by the instructor following such resolution.




Official withdrawal. Student initiated. See explanation after chart.




Administrative withdrawal. Proof of immunization not provided.




Withdraw Drop (Dropped after Financial Aid Certification date during the second or third week of classes. Indicates that student has attended at least one class session.




Year’s course of study - must complete entire year of study. Students cannot graduate with a Y grade on record. See the instructor for department chair for a change of grade.




No grade submitted by instructor (an administrative grade which cannot be assigned by the instructor). Students cannot graduate with a Z grade on record. See the instructor or department chair for a change of grade.

Discontinued Grades and Designations (may appear on old transcripts)



(preceding a letter grade): unauthorized course was repeated (discontinued spring 2013)



(preceding a letter grade): authorized course was repeated (discontinued)



Absent from the final exam, discontinued fall 1988 #F, #FIN, #WU failing grade course repeated (discontinued spring 2013)


Credit Earned (equivalent to A,B,C) (discontinued after Winter session 2021)



Never attended. (equivalent to F grade; fall 2008 through summer 2009 ONLY)



Unofficial withdrawal (Student never attended) discontinued spring 2013)



A ‘grade’ of W is initiated by the student by “dropping” a course on CUNYfirst before the “W” deadline for withdrawal from courses. The deadline is announced every semester. The W does not affect the grade point average calculation and does not carry academic penalties. Withdrawing from a class may have serious implications for a student’s financial aid eligibility.


Withdrew Unofficially.  Student participated at least once in an academically related activity.  A grade of “WU is to be assigned to students who participated in an academically related activity at least once, completely stopped attending at any time before the culminating academic experience of the course, i.e. final exam, final paper, etc. and did not officially withdraw.

·      A WU grade should never be given in place of an “F” grade.

·      The “F” grade is an earned grade based on poor performance and the student not  meeting the learning objectives/outcomes of the course throughout the entire academic/term  session. If the student has participated in an academically related activity at least once or if there is documented evidence of the student’s participation in a course, and they have ceased participating in the course, at the end of the term, the unofficial withdrawal grade reported must be a “WU”. When a student does not officially withdraw from a course and fails to complete the course requirements, the instructor assigns the “WU” grade on the final grade roster.


An F is given by the instructor for failing work by a student who has persisted in attending the class up to and including the final examination, even if the student’s efforts were intermittent and/or earn 0 points on the grading scale. Unless the course syllabus explicitly states otherwise, participation in the final examination is required by the College.


No credit granted (see Pass/No Credit Policy)


An INC grade is the result of student-instructor cooperation. It is given by the instructor. The student must confer with the instructor before the grades for the semester are submitted. The INC is given only if the instructor accepts a student’s excuse for non-fulfillment of some course requirements as valid and if the instructor believes the student has a reasonable chance of passing the course. For details, see Incomplete Work in a Course.

NOTE: A grade of INC will be automatically changed to FIN one semester after the INC was given, unless the instructor has assigned and recorded a different grade before then.

GENERAL NOTE: If a student feels that a grade has been assigned in error, the student may appeal the grading decision. All grade appeals should begin with a conversation with the course instructor, preferably within the first 3 weeks of the semester following the one when the grade was given. For details, see Grade Appeals.