Records and Grading
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WWU transcripts include only Western courses. For coursework from other universities, you must order transcripts from that institution.
Grades and Grade Averages
Final grades are not mailed to students. Grades may be accessed via Web4U. Your student number and PIN are required to access the system. After logging into Web4U, select Student, and then Student Records. Grades may be viewed by selecting the Final Grade or Academic History option. If a printed copy is necessary, please print a copy of the academic history. Grades are not considered final until the Thursday following finals week. Prior to this time, grades may display, but the final GPA and academic standing may not be reflected. Grade changes will continue to be processed as they are received.
The Grading System is as follows:
A = Excellent
B = Good
C = Fair
D = Poor
F = Failure
K = Incomplete
NP = Not Passing (failure)
NX = Fairhaven missing grade (Also used in non-credit courses such as Math 099, Music 099, and Ling 099). See NX grades.
P = Passing
S = Satisfactory
SW = School withdrawal
U = Unsatisfactory (failure)
W = Course withdrawal
X = Missing Grade
XM = Course withdrawal during second week of quarter. Mark appears on unofficial transcript/academic history, but not on official transcript.
Z = Unofficial withdrawal
Grade averages are calculated using the grade point values below:
Grades of K, NP, NX, P, S, SW, U, X, XM and W are not included in gpa calculations. Students are advised that excessive use of the “Pass/No pass” grading system or consistent patterns of incomplete (K) grades may negatively influence admission to some graduate schools or some employment opportunities. Careful attention must be given to program planning and registration.
Grades of NX
Grades of NX do not appear on the official transcript but will appear on the academic history.
Grades of S and U
Grades of S and U are used in certain courses which have been deemed to be inappropriate for other grading systems. In such instances, all sections of the course will be graded S/U. Refer to the course description in the WWU University Catalog-Grades and Grade Reporting.
Grades of SW
Grades of SW represents school withdrawal; mark appears on each course when school withdrawal occurs on first day of the quarter or later.
Grades of W
Grades of W (withdrawal) may result only from student initiative and may not be assigned by an instructor. A grade of W is assigned after the 2nd week of the quarter.
Grades of X
(see missing grades)
Grades of XM
Course withdrawals that occur from the beginning of the sixth day of the quarter to the end of the second week (prior to 5 p.m. on Friday of the second week) will result in no entry on the permanent record (official transcript), but a mark of XM will appear with the withdrawn course on the unofficial record (academic history).
Grades of Z
Grades of Z may be assigned, in lieu of F, for failure due to nonattendance. It affects the grade point average in the same manner as an F.
Grades Yielding Credit
Credit is granted for courses completed with grades of D- or higher on the A-F grading system and for grades of P and S. Grades of D+, D and D-, however, represent a level of work that is unacceptable in a student’s major or minor, supporting courses for majors and minors, ENG 101, and the courses that satisfy a student’s writing proficiency requirement. Professional education courses, the educational psychology courses required for teacher education programs and courses required for state teaching endorsements must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or better.
The Incomplete (K) Grade
The grade of K (incomplete) may be assigned under all grading systems. It may be assigned only upon request of the student and agreement of the course instructor. Normally it is given only to a student who has been in attendance and has been doing passing work until the final two weeks of the quarter when extenuating circumstances beyond his or her control make it impossible to complete course requirements on schedule. (Extenuating circumstances do not include mere lateness in completing work, the desire of a student to do extra work to raise a poor grade, etc.)
To receive a K grade, a student must print an incomplete (K) grade contract and meet with the course instructor to negotiate a formal written agreement specifying the work done and the remaining work to complete the course and earn a grade. One copy is kept by the student and one by the faculty member.
Normally, the student completes the work agreed upon during the next quarter and a final grade is submitted by the instructor. After one year, however, if a final grade has not been submitted, the K automatically reverts to a failing grade (Z), and the student may establish credit only by registering again for the course. (Grades of K earned in thesis courses numbered 690 do not lapse to failure.) Once a final grade has been submitted, the student’s record will show the K grade as well as the final grade. In no case will a final grade replacing a K affect the student’s academic standing in the quarter in which the final grade is assigned.
Removing a K grade (and replacing it with a final grade) will not affect the student’s grade point average for the quarter in which the K was assigned, nor will it affect the quarterly grade average in the quarter in which the final grade is recorded. However, it will affect the cumulative grade point average as soon as the final grade is recorded.
A student who receives an incomplete in a required course the final quarter before graduating must complete the course within two weeks of the end of that quarter in order to graduate at that time. If the course is completed after two weeks, the prospective graduate is subject to resubmitting the degree application, payment of another degree application fee, and registration in another course to satisfy the final-quarter-in-residence rule.
Pass / No Pass Grading
Students may choose the Pass/No Pass grading option in certain elective courses. The minimum level of performance required to receive a grade of P varies from course to course and is determined by each instructor or department. Students should not assume that performance equal to a grade of D or higher will result in a passing mark. Often performance at the level of C or higher is required. Regulations pertaining to Pass/No Pass grading are as follows:
- Courses graded Pass/No Pass may not be applied to the major and minor, supporting courses, professional education requirements, upper-division writing proficiency requirement and General University Requirements
- Graduate courses taken for the graduate degree cannot be taken Pass/No Pass
- Courses graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory cannot be taken Pass/No Pass
- To designate a course as Pass/No Pass students must submit a request at the Registrar’s Office after registering for the course; they may change this designation by submitting the change to the Registrar’s Office at any time through the fourth week of a quarter; for extension program courses, pass/no pass grading designation may be elected up to the end of the fourth week for regular quarter-long courses, or prior to the second class meeting for shorter courses
- Prerequisites, work required and credit allowed may be affected by election of the Pass/No Pass option
- In computing grade averages, neither the P nor NP grade in Pass/No Pass courses is counted
- Should a student change his or her major or minor, the academic departments involved are the sole judges of the acceptability of any Pass/No Pass courses already completed in the newly chosen major or minor
- Once a student has earned NP grades in courses totaling 10 credits, he or she may no longer register for courses under the Pass/No Pass option
NOTE: Excessive use of the Pass/No Pass grading system may negatively influence admission to some graduate or professional schools.
Once a grade has been filed with the Registrar, it is regarded as final. Instructors need to contact the Registrar's Office to initiate a grade change. Except for the conversion of incomplete (K) marks, grade changes are accepted only under the following circumstances:
- It is discovered that the grade resulted from clerical error in transcription or recording. Requests for change to correct these errors may be made only by the course instructor and only during the quarter immediately following original issuance of the grade.
- The Registrar may be instructed to change a grade as a result of the academic grievance procedure.
- The Registrar may be instructed to change a grade if it is determined that the grade resulted from academic dishonesty.
A missing grade is recorded as an "X" on the grade report or transcript. To find out why a grade has not been recorded, contact the instructor.
A former Western undergraduate student who returns to the University after an absence of five years or more may be given permission to start a new cumulative grade average. To be eligible, the student must be returning to Western as an undergraduate and cannot have taken any Western courses (including extension, correspondence, and cyber) during the five-year absence. The absence begins from the last day of the quarter of previous enrollment.
The Fresh Start application deadline is the end of the first week of the quarter in which the student returns. The application should be submitted to the Registrar’s Office. Students who have been dropped for low scholarship, even if absent for five years or more, must pursue reinstatement. See the Reinstatement information in the University Catalog for more information.
Undergraduates who might be considering applying for the master’s degree at WWU should contact the Graduate School office for information about the implications of having been given an undergraduate Fresh Start.
Post-baccalaureate students and students in graduate programs are not eligible for Fresh Start. An undergraduate student can be granted only one Fresh Start.
Repeating a Course
A few courses are approved to be repeated for credit. Such approval is included with the course description in the Repeating a Course in the University Catalog If a course not designated as repeatable for credit is re-taken, the following will apply:
- Credit will be awarded only once for a repeated course.
- All grades earned for a given course will be considered in calculation of the student's cumulative grade average and all grades remain on record; a failing grade assigned subsequent to earning a passing grade in a repeated course will nullify the credit earned initially with the passing grade.
- Students wishing to repeat a class in which they already received a P, S, C-, or better grade, may not register for the class until Phase III of registration. Students, in this circumstance, who register for a repeated course prior to Phase III may be required to drop the course by the academic department or Registrar's Office. The repeat registration for English composition prior to Phase III requires the written permission of the chair of the respective department.
Please note that Western’s registration system will not prevent a student from registering for a course in which the student has already received credit therefore students are responsible for ensuring they do not repeat courses unintentionally.
Also note that departments may require Graduate students to repeat a course in order to attain an acceptable level of competence. The rules above apply to any repeated course. Graduate students should review the Scholarship Standards under the Graduate School section of the catalog.
Scholarship Standards: Good Academic Standing
A student is in good academic standing if he or she has a cumulative grade point average that is not below 2.00
Scholarship Standards: High Scholarship - Graduation Honors
Graduation cum laude or magna cum laude is possible from those divisions of Western Washington University which employ the A-F grading system: College of Business and Economics, College of Fine and Performing Arts, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Huxley College of the Environment, College of Science and Engineering, and Woodring College of Education. Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, which employs a different grading system, may develop alternate ways to honor outstanding graduates, subject to approval of the Academic Coordinating Commission.
The Graduate School does not confer graduation honors on graduate students although some graduate programs recognize meritorious graduate students.
To be eligible for cum laude or magna cum laude status upon graduation, the student must have earned at least 65 graded credits (under the A-F grading system) while in junior or senior standing. Only students who earn a first bachelor’s degree are eligible for graduation honors.
Within each division which awards cum laude or magna cum laude status upon graduation, the determining factor in granting such distinction shall be based on the honors grade average. The honors grade average is computed using only the grades earned at Western Washington University after the quarter in which the student attains junior standing, but excluding grades in courses subsequently repeated and excluding all grades earned prior to approval of a “fresh start” grading average.
Magna cum laude shall be awarded to each student whose honors grade average places him or her at the 97th percentile or higher among graduating seniors during the previous academic year. Cum laude shall be awarded to each student whose honors grade average places him or her from the 92nd through 96th percentiles among graduating seniors during the previous academic year.
To receive honors recognition at Western’s commencement exercises, it is necessary for a student to have qualified for honors by the end of the quarter prior to graduation.
Scholarship Standards: High Scholarship - Quarterly President's List
Each undergraduate student whose quarterly grade average places him or her at the 90th percentile or higher among students of the same class (freshman, sophomore, et cetera) shall be placed on the President’s List. The term “honor roll” shall be affixed to the student’s permanent academic record for that quarter. To be eligible for the quarterly President’s List, a student must be enrolled officially in a division of Western Washington University which employs the A-F grading system and must complete at least 14 credits that quarter on the A-F grading system.
Scholarship Standards: Low Scholarship
The University has set the standards described below to ensure that students who are earning poor grades will examine their objectives carefully before continuing enrollment. In some cases, students will be dropped from the University. The standards are designed to ensure that a student will examine their objectives and seek assistance before grades deteriorate to the point that continued enrollment or admission to another college or university becomes impossible. In all cases involving poor scholarship, students are encouraged to consult with the Academic Advising Center, their instructors, or major advisor.
The low scholarship categories below apply to all divisions of Western Washington University except Fairhaven. (See the Fairhaven College section for that division’s scholarship standards.) Students dropped from one college division may not transfer to another college division without reinstatement by the Scholastic Standing Committee. These standards apply to students enrolled in self-supporting courses.
Academic Warning. A warning is issued to a first-quarter freshman or a first-quarter transfer student (who has not previously attended Western) whose grade average is below 2.00 and to any continuing student whose quarterly grade average is below 2.00 but whose cumulative grade average is 2.00 or higher.
Academic Probation. Any student except a first-quarter freshman or first-quarter transfer student (who has not previously attended Western) whose cumulative grade average falls below a 2.00 is placed on academic probation. A student who begins the quarter on probation must earn at least a quarterly grade average of 2.00 to avoid academic dismissal (see below).
Continuing Probation. A student who begins a quarter on probation and, during that quarter, earns a grade average of 2.00 or higher without raising his or her cumulative grade average to at least 2.00 is placed on continuing probation. The student must then improve his or her cumulative grade average to at least 2.00 or attain at least a 2.30 quarterly average during the next quarter of enrollment.
Students on probation or continuing probation who repeatedly withdraw or register for Pass/No Pass or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory courses may have their registration privileges revoked.
Academic dismissal. A student will be dropped from the University if he or she:
- begins a quarter on probation and earns a quarterly grade average below 2.00 and fails to raise his or her cumulative grade average to at least 2.00 or
- begins a quarter on continuing probation and earns a quarterly grade average below 2.30 and fails to raise his or her cumulative grade average to at least a 2.00.
Under unusual circumstances involving consistent patterns of course withdrawal or course repeats, a student whose cumulative grade average is 2.00 or higher may be dismissed from the University. The provost may authorize dismissal in these unusual cases after reviewing records presented by the registrar.
A student who has been dismissed for low scholarship may not petition for immediate reinstatement and may not enroll in Western courses except through Summer Session and the Independent Learning Office. Course work through these programs does not guarantee future reinstatement as a degree candidate.
Removal from probation occurs at the end of a quarter during which a student has improved his or her cumulative grade average to 2.00 or higher.
Students who have been dismissed for low scholarship and want to return to Western should contact the Academic Advising Center in Old Main 380 and schedule an appointment to meet with an advisor. Students who succeed in gaining reinstatement have earned strong grades in coursework taken since dismissal, established strong study skills, overcome personal challenges that previously interfered with their studies and have clearly defined, realistic academic goals.
Students who have been dismissed for low scholarship can seek reinstatement (but not for the quarter immediately following the quarter of dismissal). For the petitioning process and additional information, go to Academic Advising website. The Scholastic Standing Committee has the responsibility of determining reinstatement.
Student Records Policy / Notification of Rights
The WWU Student Records Policy and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) afford students the following rights with respect to their education records. For a complete copy of the Student Records Policy see Appendix E in the WWU University Catalog.
- The right to review and copy education records. Requests by a student for access to an education record should be made to the head of the unit holding the record.
- Students have the right to challenge the content of, release of, or denial of access to their education records.
- Only directory information (name, local telephone number, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received) may be released to third parties, unless written permission is given by the student. Students may request that directory information remain confidential. FERPA has defined certain exceptions to this which are detailed in the Student Records Policy.
- Students have the right to file a complaint with the US Department of Education concerning alleged failures by WWU to comply with the requirements of FERPA. Following is the name and address of the office which administers FERPA:
Family Policy Compliance Office
US Department of Education
600 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605