Course instructors are responsible for setting the requirements for courses and evaluating students' work. The grading symbols approved by the Faculty, appear below:
A+ Rare performance. Reserved for highly exceptional, rare achievement.
A Excellent. Outstanding achievement.
A- Excellent work but not quite outstanding.
B+ Very good. Solid achievement expected of most graduate students.
B Good. Acceptable achievement.
B- Acceptable achievement but below what is generally expected of graduate students.
C+ Fair achievement, above minimally acceptable level.
C Fair achievement but only minimally acceptable.
C- Very low performance. The records of students receiving such grades are subject to review. This review may result in the denial of permission to register for further study at Teachers College. No more than 3 points of C- may be credited toward any degree, certificate or diploma. Students completing requirements for more than one degree or diploma may count 3 points of C- toward only one such award. Students who accumulate 8 points or more with grades of C- or lower may not continue study at the College and will not receive a degree or diploma.
F Failure. The records of students receiving such grades are subject to review. This review may result in the denial of permission to register for further study at Teachers College. Students who accumulate 8 points or more with grades of C- or lower may not continue study at the College and will not receive a degree or diploma. Students usually may not repeat a failed course unless it is required. When the course is required, the students may re-register and obtain a satisfactory grade. The previous F grade remains on the transcript.
P Passed. The “P” grade indicates passing performance in certain courses that only provide for dichotomous evaluation. Alternatively, by arrangement with the instructor as outlined in the Grading Options section below, students can request pass/fail grading in courses that normally lead to letter grades. Once an instructor submits a final pass/fail grade for a course, the transcripts of students in that course will not carry any other type of grade. The College does not issue supplementary statements on student performance in the course.
DP Doctoral pass credit. The grade of DP may be assigned only to certified doctoral candidates who have successfully completed all requirements prescribed by the instructor. Students may receive DP credit only for courses taken in the semesters after they are certified. DP credit may not apply toward M.A. or M.S. degree requirements. A maximum of 6 points of DP credit may apply toward Ed.M. degree requirements. See section below on Grading Options for further information.
WD Withdrawn. The WD grade indicates course withdrawal after the close of the change-of-program period during the term.
WU Unofficially withdrawn -- failure. The WU grade indicates that a student attended a course at least once but stopped attending that course without officially withdrawing.
WN Never attended. A non-punitive grade assigned by faculty at the end of the change-of-program period to indicate non-attendance. This will be equivalent to a course dropped during the change-of-program period for the purposes of Financial Aid Cost of Attendance and student time status. This course and grade will remain on a student’s transcript.
YC Year Course. The symbol “YC’’ is assigned for the first half of a year course (courses that appear with a “z’’ suffix on the transcript). At the end of the second half of the course, the final grade, denoting the instructor’s evaluation, will appear on the transcript.
R Attendance Credit. R grades indicate that students attended a course. Instructors who agree to grant R credit may stipulate requirements in addition to regular attendance. Courses taken through the Interuniversity Doctoral Consortium may not be taken for an R grade. No R credit may apply toward M.A. or M.S. degrees. A maximum of 6 R credits may apply toward Ed.M. programs but not to satisfy the three-course out-of-program requirement. Finally, a maximum of 9 R credits may apply toward doctoral programs but not toward minimum distribution requirements. See section below on Grading Options for further information.
T Transfer credit awarded. The T grade is applied to transfer courses that meet minimum eligibility requirements for transfer work and that a faculty advisor has approved for credit.
The above grades are final and may not be changed.
IN Incomplete. The grade of Incomplete is to be assigned only when the course attendance requirement has been met but, for reasons satisfactory to the instructor, the granting of a final grade has been postponed because certain course assignments are outstanding. If the outstanding assignments are completed within one calendar year from the date of the close of term in which the grade of Incomplete was received and a final grade submitted, the final grade will be recorded on the permanent transcript, replacing the grade of Incomplete, with a transcript notation indicating the date that the grade of Incomplete was replaced by a final grade. If the outstanding work is not completed within one calendar year from the date of the close of term in which the grade of Incomplete was received, the grade will convert to a grade of F on the transcript. As with any grades earned by a student, these become a part of the student's record and are evaluated for the purposes of determining potential academic probation and/or dismissal. In such instances, if the course is a required course or part of an approved program of study, students will be required to re-enroll in the course including payment of all tuition and fee charges for the new registration and satisfactorily complete all course requirements. If the required course is not offered in subsequent terms, the student should speak with the faculty advisor or program coordinator about their options for fulfilling the degree requirement. Doctoral students with six or more credits with grades of Incomplete included on their program of study (currently the Program Plan) will not be allowed to sit for the certification exam.
Teachers College categorizes grade options as evaluative (letter-graded on an A+ through F scale), pass/fail (P/F), doctoral pass (DP), or attendance (R). Within the academic term of the course, students may request grade options that differ from the standard grade options that their course instructors use, but instructors have discretion to approve or deny such requests. Students may obtain applications for alternative grading options from the Office of the Registrar. Once an alternative grade application has received approval from the course instructor and Registrar, students may not request a subsequent change of grade option. Deadlines and specific procedures for completing the applications appear below:
Pass/Fail and Evaluative Letter Grades
Students in courses that normally award pass/fail grades may request letter grades, and students in letter-graded courses may request a pass/fail option. If the instructor approves the request, the student must submit the completed application for alternative grading to the Registrar before the third class session.
Certified doctoral candidates may request a doctoral pass (DP) grade option. If the instructor approves the request, the candidate must submit the completed application to the Registrar before two-thirds of the class sessions have met.
Students desiring attendance (R) credit must request the R option from the course instructor. If the instructor approves the request, the student must submit the completed application to the Registrar before two-thirds of the class sessions have met. Mathematics majors in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology must have their applications cosigned by the program coordinator.
Changes in Grades
All grades other than Incomplete are final once submitted to the Office of the Registrar. Once final grades have been given, instructors may not change them unless errors occurred in the original transmission of grades. A student who believes that an instructor has made a grading error should follow the procedures outlined in the Grade Correction policy: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/policylibrary/Grade Correction
Courses at Schools Other than Teachers College
Different schools and affiliates of Columbia University, as well as members of the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium, may have different policies, procedures, and deadlines on course grading and incomplete grades. Teachers College students who cross-register at other schools should note that their course work at the host school may be subject to the policies and procedures of that school and not those of Teachers College. Grades of "D" earned at these other institutions will not count toward a Teachers College degree or certificate.
Last updated: September 2021