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Grades and Grading Options

A complete list of grading and transcript policies is available in the University Policy Library.

Grading options

You may choose one of two grading options for some of your courses: A-F or S-N. All courses in your major must be taken for a letter grade (A-F) unless the only option available is S-N (e.g. directed research).

S-N grades

S: Pass/satisfactory: given for grades equivalent to or better than “C-”: you receive credit for the course.

N: Fail/not satisfactory: given for grades equivalent to or below “D+”: you are NOT granted credit.

  • S-N grades are not factored into your GPA.
  • Liberal education courses may be taken S-N; however, courses that are pre-requisites for graduate or professional school should be taken A-F.
  • See the UMN Credit and Grade Point Requirements policy for additional limits on the use of S/N grades. 

Grade point average (GPA)

You build your University of Minnesota GPA from your first term though graduation. Grades from transfer coursework are not included in your U of MN GPA. Each grade you earn is worth a certain number of grade points (except S or N grades). To calculate GPA, grade points are always divided by credit.

A: 4 grade points (A- = 3.67)

B: 3 grade points (B+ = 3.33; B- = 2.67)

C: 2 grade points (C+ = 2.33; C- = 1.67)

D: 1 grade point (D+ = 1.33)

F: 0 grade points

See the GPA calculator for an explanation on how to manually calculate your GPA.

Incomplete grades

An “I” is a temporary grade to indicate that the work for the course has not been completed. You may request an “I” from your instructor if you have successfully completed a substantial portion of the work for the class, but are unable to finish the coursework due to extenuating circumstances. The University of Minnesota requires completion of a contract between the instructor and student prior to assigning an incomplete. If your instructor agrees to grant you an “I” grade, you and your instructor must agree, in writing, to the outstanding requirements and the time and manner in which you will complete them (see contract in link below). Incompletes that have not been changed to a letter grade by the day grades are due for the subsequent regular (fall or spring) term will be automatically changed to an F or N, consistent with your grading basis for the course. Students who receive an “I” should NOT also enroll for the class again at a later date. 

Information about the incomplete policy and electronic incomplete contract