The Grading System

A student’s grades are determined by daily preparation, participation in class discussion, the quality of written and laboratory work, and the results of quizzes and examinations.

The grade of A represents exceptional achievement and is awarded for original insight, sound reasoning and the ability to evaluate the scope of the materials studied. The grade of B is granted for superior work and reflects interpretive skill on the part of the student and a clear understanding of the meaning and interrelatedness of the course materials. A grade of C is given for average work and indicates thorough familiarity with the basic facts and concepts considered in the course, even though underlying principles may not have been grasped. Although D is labeled a passing grade, it reflects a lack of fundamental knowledge of the subject. The grade of F is assigned for failing work. There is no one numerical scale associated with these letter grades. Faculty assign grades based on requirements in their course syllabus.

Plus (+) and minus (-) suffixes to letter grades may be assigned and will be shown on the student’s permanent transcript. Plus (+) and minus (-) suffixes may not be used when assigning the grade of F, and the plus (+) suffix may not be used when assigning the grade of A.

Only grades of C- or better may be counted toward the major.

The possible grades for credit/no-credit graded classes are CR and NC, respectively. A grade of CR signifies that the student achieved at the C- level or better and is given only to students that are taking a class for credit/no-credit. A grade of NC signifies that the student achieved below the C- level or better and is given only to students that are taking a class for credit/no credit.

A WN (Withdrawn, Never Attended) grade is given by an instructor when a student registered for a class but failed to attend a single class. For full-term courses: If by the deadline for reporting interim grades, a student has yet to attend one class, the instructor will award this student, at this time, a final grade of WN. For half-semester and summer courses: If, by the deadline for reporting final grades for this course, a student has never attended a class, the instructor will award this student a final grade of WN. A WN grade does not affect the student’s grade-point average but, because it represents a withdrawal from the course, may adversely affect the student’s subsequent financial aid eligibility. No tuition refunds will be granted for such administrative withdrawals other than those allowable under policies published in the College Catalog.

Provisional grades are preceded by an X (i.e., XB, XC, XD and XF). A provisional grade is a temporary grade which an instructor may choose to give whenever, through unavoidable circumstances, the student is unable to complete the work in a course by the end of the semester. The student must receive instructor’s approval to qualify for the extension. Unavoidable circumstances are defined as verifiable cases of extended personal illness, death or serious illness in the family, significant accident or other grave circumstances beyond a student’s control. A student must request approval for a provisional grade from her/his instructor as soon as possible and, for unavoidable circumstances that occur before the Friday before the last week of classes, no later than this date. In addition, beginning students (those with fewer than 32 Guilford credits) and students on academic probation must also obtain the approval of an associate academic dean. This approval must be obtained following instructor approval but before the instructor submits the grade to the Registrar’s Office. To facilitate this process, the instructor submits an electronic Provisional Grade Request Form.

Instructors must calculate provisional grades under the assumption that the student will complete no additional work (i.e., by awarding zeros on all outstanding assignments). Provisional grades may only be replaced with an equal or better mark upon the student’s completion of the remaining work. The provisional grade becomes the final grade if the coursework has not been finished by the deadline set by the instructor. Instructors may not set a deadline that is later than interim of the next regular semester without first obtaining approval from an associate academic dean. No student with an outstanding provisional grade can graduate. Graduating seniors who require a provisional grade must therefore notify the registrar’s office of their revised expected graduation date.

Provisional grades may only consist of one of the following: XB, XC, XD and XF. Plus (+) and minus (-) suffixes may not be used. Instructors should assign an “I” (Incomplete) grade when a credit/no-credit graded course is incomplete. Provisional grades affect a student’s grade point average as if the “X” was not there.

A WP (Withdrawn Passing) has no effect on the cumulative grade-point average, but a WF (Withdrawn Failing) is figured into the cumulative grade-point average as a zero.

A grade of WP, which does not affect a student’s grade point average, shall be used only to indicate withdrawal while passing when a student who is passing the course (D- or above) (a) voluntarily withdraws from a course, (b) is administratively withdrawn from a course for poor attendance (see Attendance Policy), or (c) is administratively withdrawn completely from the College.  A grade of WF, which affects a student’s grade-point average as if it were an F and is calculated into the grade-point average as a zero, may be used to indicate withdrawal while failing when a student who is failing the course (a) voluntarily withdraws from a course, (b) is administratively withdrawn from a course for poor attendance (see Attendance Policy), or (c) is administratively withdrawn completely from the College. 
Once a final exam period has begun, no requests for WF or WP will be accepted. For classes in the 3-week session or a summer session, or other sessions with no official final exam period, all requests for a WF or WP must be received by the Registrar's Office no later than the final regular class meeting day of the session.
The grade of WN, which does not affect a student’s grade-point average, is given when a student registers for a course but neither attends nor withdraws (see Attendance Policy).  

Occasionally, RD (Report Delayed) is recorded to indicate that the Registrar’s Office did not receive a grade from the instructor. The grade for auditing is AU (Audit).

Once academic standing has been processed for the semester, final grades cannot be changed unless a faculty member discovers a computation or clerical error and an associate academic dean grants approval for such a change or an official grade appeal results in an approved change (See Grade Appeal Procedure section).


Interim and final grades are viewed online using BannerWeb. At the end of each semester, including the end of the summer term, final grades are posted to the permanent transcript. Because transcripts are sealed and may not be changed for any reason after a student graduates, graduating seniors have only until 5 p.m. two days before the graduation date to appeal final regular, intensive, second-half semester course grades and have them corrected.

Permanent transcripts are unabridged records of all academic work attempted by students at Guilford. Confidentiality of student records is maintained according to guidelines published by the Office of Academic and Student Affairs.

Numerical values assigned to grades:

Grade Numerical Value
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

Grade Points (Quality Points)

One grade point is assigned for each credit of D work, two for C, three for B, and four for A; zero points are assigned for grades of F, XF, and WF. Plus (+) and minus (-) suffixes add and subtract .3, respectively, to the numerical value of the grade affected. A student must have a cumulative C (2.00) average to graduate.

Cumulative grade-point averages are determined by dividing the accumulated grade points by the total credits attempted, minus credits attempted in courses marked AU, W, WN, WP, CR (Credit), NC (No Credit) or RD and transfer credits. Each time a course is taken or repeated, the attempted credits and grade points are entered into the statistics used to compute the grade-point average.

Grade-point averages are computed at the end of each term and include all work done at Guilford plus work completed during fall and spring semesters at consortium institutions. Summer work completed at Guilford is included in the computation of a student’s grade-point average; summer work taken at other institutions is not included.

Grade Replacement Policy

A student may repeat a course for grade replacement except for:

  • Courses that can be repeated for additional credit (e.g., practicum and physical education courses);
  • Courses in which s/he has been found responsible for violating the Academic Honor Code; and
  • Courses taken after their degree has been granted.

When a student repeats a course, it counts only once for credit toward her/his degree. The grade from each course will be placed on the student’s academic transcript, but only the most recent grade will be considered in the calculation of the student’s cumulative grade point average. If a student repeats a course for which s/he originally obtained a passing grade and earns a grade of F, both the original grade and the repeated course grade of F will be calculated in the student’s grade point average. Academic probation is not recalculated for each semester prior to any grade replacement. The registrar determines which courses may be repeated for grade replacement.

Credit/No Credit Option

To encourage students to broaden their course selections after the first year, the College offers students the opportunity to elect one course each semester (a maximum of 8 credits a calendar year) on a credit/no credit basis.

Students electing credit/no credit grading by the last day to add classes who meet all the normal requirements of the course at the C- level or above are awarded credit for the course with a grade of CR (Credit). Unsatisfactory progress is indicated with a mark of NC (No Credit). Neither grade affects the student’s grade-point average.

To elect credit/no credit grading for a regularly graded course, the student secures the instructor permission by obtaining the instructor’s signature on a completed drop/add form, then submitting the form to the Registrar’s Office by the last day to add the course. Students who decide to adopt credit/no credit grading may not reverse the option.

Unless otherwise specified in the major, the credit/no credit option may not be used for any required course (including the major, minor and general education requirements). Veteran’s benefits are not available for courses taken on a credit/no credit basis. Veteran’s benefits are not available for courses taken on a credit/no credit basis.

A few Guilford courses, as indicated in the catalog, are graded exclusively credit/no credit.

Grade Appeal Procedure

Grade appeals may not be made simply because a student wants a better grade or because of a disagreement over a subjective evaluation of submitted work. In addition, once posted, grades may not be lowered.

Grounds for Grade Appeals

  • Clerical error by the instructor (e.g., misplacing an assignment that had been submitted properly by the student, mistyping a grade in a spreadsheet, or “clicking” on the wrong grade in BannerWeb); and
  • Computational error by the instructor (e.g., combining individual grades incorrectly); and
  • Deviation from the grading scheme provided in the syllabus so significant as to affect a student’s grade (e.g., assigning a different weight to an assignment than stated in the syllabus so as to change the final grade).

The following procedures are followed by the Provost’s Office in cases of student appeals of final course grades. In all cases, the appeal of a final grade must first be made to the instructor within 10 business days after the official due date for final grades at the close of any given grading period. In the event that the instructor is unavailable, the student must contact the department chair or an associate academic dean within the 10-business-day period.

Note: Because transcripts are sealed and may not be changed for any reason after a student graduates, graduating seniors have only until 5 p.m. two days before the graduation date to appeal final regular, intensive or second-half semester course grades and have them corrected.

  1. Either the student or the professor may contact the Conflict Resolution Resource Center to request assistance in their communication, or each may invite one individual from within the Guilford community to attend the discussion. If the student and/or the professor is uncomfortable with meeting face-to-face, even with the assistance of others, it is possible to have this discussion in writing.
  2. If the student remains unsatisfied, she or he must then discuss the situation with the chairperson of the academic department involved, unless the faculty member is the chairperson. The student shall bring all relevant materials and information to this meeting, including papers, tests, syllabi, etc. The student must contact the department chair within five business days of having finished discussing the matter with the faculty member.
  3. If still unresolved, the case may be appealed to the Provost’s Office, where an associate academic dean will continue to try to achieve an appropriate resolution. The student must contact an associate academic dean within five business days of having discussed the matter with the department chair and present to the assistant dean for student academic affairs a complete, written account of the facts and an argument that explains the justification for a grade change.
  4. If the student wishes to appeal the decision made by an associate academic dean, he or she must submit this appeal in writing to the provost within five business days of the date of an associate academic dean’s decision. This appeal must include a discussion of the grounds upon which an associate academic dean’s decision should be reviewed; such grounds could include the discovery of additional information or a procedural irregularity so substantial as to have compromised the student’s right to a fair hearing. The provost will review the matter and make a determination whether or not the appeal warrants calling together a special hearing board. If the provost decides there are no grounds on which to proceed further with the appeal, the decision of an associate academic dean will be considered final. If the provost decides otherwise, a special hearing board will be constituted.
  5. At the discretion of the provost, a special hearing board will be instituted, composed of Guilford faculty and professional staff. The student and the instructor will each be asked to submit a list of requested faculty the provost might appoint to such a committee. Utilizing each list, the provost will appoint a group, drawing one individual from the student list, one from that of the faculty member and nominating a third. Both the student and the faculty member will have the opportunity to reject up to three proposed members of the projected hearing board, until a group of three individuals satisfactory to the provost, the faculty member and the student have been chosen and have agreed to serve.
  6. The hearing board may meet with the student, the faculty member and anyone else appropriate and examine all relevant documentation. It will then make a final recommendation to the provost.
  7. After receiving the recommendation of the hearing board, the provost will make the final decision regarding the student’s grade.