SBUBolivar, Missouri Est. 1878

Office of the Registrar

SBU Grading System


Credits are usually based on the number of times a class meets each week. Courses vary in credit from one to six hours; however, there is a predominance of three-hour classes. Each hour of credit presents the equivalent of one recitation period of 50 minutes per week or a laboratory period of 100 to 150 minutes each week for a semester.


A person who wishes to audit a couse must have permission from the instructor and enroll as an auditor at the same time and under the same procedures for credit. This will permit the student to attend class but does not allow the student to take tests or have assignments graded by the instructor. Persons who are not currently enrolled in the University must apply for admission in order to registrar as an auditor. Note: When a student audits a course, no hours are earned and the course is not calculated in the total number of hours and GPA.

Load Limit for Credit Hours

In any semester, a student is limited to the number of credit hours that can be taken according to his or her grade point average. This limit includes all college courses, correspondence or otherwise, being taken at SBU or elsewhere. The normal load for all students each semester is 16 or 17 credit hours, and the normal load for January, June or July is 4 credit hours, provided students have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0.

First semester freshman may be permitted to enroll in extra hours on the basis of high school standing, ACT scores and special permission from their advisor, the school dean and the Provost. Others students may be permitted to enroll in additional hours with or without special permission, depending upon their grade point average as stated below.

Additional Hours without Special Permission

Advisors will approve schedules with additional hours when the student's grade point average is one of the following:

Cumulative GPA Fall/Spring January/June/July
2.50-3.00 18 Hours 5 Hours
3.01-4.00 19 Hours 6 Hours

NOTE: More than 6 hours in a J-Term is not permitted. More than 20 hours in a fall or spring semester is not permitted.

Repeating Courses

Courses taken at SBU for which the grade is "F" or "D" may be repeated. If the course is repeated at another college or university, approval must be received from the appropriate SBU department chair of the course area. To insure that the course will transfer, it is recommended that the student get the department chair's approval prior to enrolling in the course. The course can be repeated only twice.

Exception to the number of times the course can be repeated may be granted only by the Provost. Courses taken for which the grade of "C" can be repeated only once. Courses taken for which the grade is "B" cannot be repeated.


A grade represents an evaluation of a student's academic performance in a course and is determined by examinations and other criteria. Course grades are defined as follows:

  • A=Excellent
  • B=Good
  • C=Satisfactory
  • D=Poor
  • F=Failure
  • P=Pass. These grades are used only in the pass/fail grading system and are not calulated in the GPA.
  • I=Incomplete. Students may complete courses with in a specified time, not to exceed one year.
  • IP=In -progress. An IP grade may be given for courses that usually require more than one semester to complete.
  • R=Repeat
  • RD=Repeat of a D grade
  • RF=Repeat of a F grade
  • V=Audit. Student did not register for college credit. Credits are not calculated in GPA and do not count toward graduation requirements.
  • W=Authorized withdrawal with passing grade.
  • NC=Non-credit. Used for correspondence grades only if student failed to make an authorized withdrawal.

Grade Points

Each semester hour of credit is valued in grade points as follows:

  • A=Four points
  • B=Three points
  • C=Two points
  • D=One point
  • F=No points
  • P=Are not assigned quality points and are not considered in computing students' grade point average.

In order to graduate, students must earn an average to two grade points (2.0 - "C" average) for each credit hour attempted.

NOTE: See the University catalog for information on: Incomplete grades, In-Progress grades, and Pass-Fail option.

Grade Appeal Policy

In a case where a student has a grievance regarding a final course grade, the student should first attempt to resolve the matter with the instructor. If the grade dispute is not resolved at this level, the student may initiate a formal written appeal at the department chair level with the following provisions and/or guidelines:
  1. The grade appeal must concern the final overall course letter grade only;i.e., A-F, or WF. The student may not appeal any one individual test or assignment grade.
  2. No one may substitute personal judgement for that of the instructor in regard to the quality of the student's work; therefore, evidence must be shown of any deviation from established procedure that adversely affects the student in the assignment of the letter grade for the course.
  3. The appeal must be initiated within one calendar year from the day the final grades were due for that term as specified in the catalog for that school year.
  4. Any grade appeal must be submitted in writing using the "Grade Appeal" form obtained from the registrar's office.
  5. The formal appeal begins when the student presents the "Grade Appeal" form to the instructor for his/her signature.

NOTE: See the University catalog for more information on the Grade Appeal policy.

Withdrawing From a Class

Students may, with the approval of their advisor, discontinue (drop) any class for which they are registered. To do so, students are to secure a drop form from the Office of the Registrar, secure the signature of their advisor and return the form to the Registrar. Discontinuing a course will affect students' records as follows. Students who officially withdraw from a course before the end of the eleventh week of a regular semester (or before the end of 60 percent of the class meetings of a shorter term), will receive a grade of "W" for the course. Students who withdraw after this deadline receive a "W" if passing the course at the time of withdrawal but receive an "F" if failing the course at the time of withdrawal.

Students who stop attending a class without officially withdrawing will receive a grade of "F" for that class. Students who unofficially withdraw from SBU will receive an "F" for each course that they are taking. Discontinued attendence of a class without securing a drop form does not constitute an official drop and will result in students being charged for the course and receiving a grade of "F". Incomplete ("I") is given only if circumstances beyond the student's control prevent completion of required course work during the semester. If the work is not satisfactorily completed within one year, the "I" is changed to "F."

Students who are dismissed for disciplinary reasons will receive a grade of "W" for all passing grades at the time of dismissal.

Withdrawing From School Policy

If a student withdraws from school after the eleventh week of classes, a "W" will be assigned in all courses where the student is passing the course as of the date of withdrawal; and an "F" will be assigned in all courses where the student is failing as of the date of withdrawal.