Academic Catalog

Grading System

Grade Symbols

The grading system outlined below is in effect for all students at the University. Under this system, undergraduate course credit is granted only for earned grades of A, B+, B, C+, C, D+, D or S. Any of the following symbols (except NR) become a permanent part of students’ academic records when assigned.

A, B, C, D and F carry the traditional academic connotations of excellent, good, average, poor and failing performance, respectively.

S and U indicate, respectively, satisfactory (passing) and unsatisfactory (failing) performance in courses carried on a pass-fail basis, as indicated in the course description, or in courses for which the pass-fail option is elected under the conditions detailed in the section entitled Pass-Fail Option. The grades of S and U do not enter into the calculation of the GPA nor are they used in evaluation for probation or suspension.

FN (Failure-Non Attendance) and UN (Unsatisfactory-Non Attendance) grades are assigned to students who never attended or have stopped attending class but have not officially dropped or withdrawn. Faculty are required to provide a last date of attendance when assigning this grade. The grade and the last date of attendance are used in determining the recalculation of awarded funds for financial aid recipients. Reporting the last date of attendance is critical to avoid potential financial liability for the institution. FN and UN grades are displayed and calculated as F and U grades on the official transcript.

W is assigned for withdrawals after late registration through the last day to withdraw without penalty. W may be assigned, in exceptional cases, to indicate satisfactory performance in courses from which students withdraw after the last day to withdraw without penalty. The grade is used primarily in cases of withdrawal from the University or course withdrawal for medical reasons or other extenuating circumstances. See the catalog section on "Changes of Registration" for an explanation of the procedures necessary for the assignment of this grade. A grade of W is not used in the evaluation of probation or suspension conditions or GPA computation.

WF is assigned for withdrawal from a course after the last day to withdraw without penalty and is treated as F in the computation of GPA and in the evaluation of probation and suspension conditions.

"I," incomplete, is assigned at the discretion of the instructor when, in the faculty member’s judgment, a student is faced with a significant disruption in his or her ability to complete some portion of the assigned work in a course. The grade of “I” cannot be used to give students additional time to complete course assignments unless there is strong, clear evidence that stated conditions or events prevented the student from submitting course assignments when they were due. The faculty member must complete the Assignment of Incomplete Form as part of grade submission. By arrangement with the instructor and according to the conditions on the required form entered by the instructor, the student may have from one week up to 12 months from the date the “I” was given—in no case can this be longer than 12 months—to complete and submit the work. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure all arrangements for removal of the “Incomplete” have been made and that all work to rectify the “Incomplete” has been accomplished. If the instructor of record is no longer at USC Upstate, the student should, within the time specified on the incomplete grade form, transmit copies of all necessary materials to that instructor by certified return receipt mail. If the instructor fails to assign a grade within three months of the date of the request, if no forwarding address is available, the dean of the appropriate school or chair of the appropriate department/division shall appoint a faculty member to consider the request and assign a grade. When all required work has been completed and received, the instructor may initiate the appropriate “Make-up Grade for Incomplete” form and file it with the Records Office. If the student does not complete the necessary work by the agreed upon and stated deadline, the faculty member can submit a permanent grade change at that time. Automatically at the one year limit, the “I” will convert to an “F” or to a back-up grade if so designated by the instructor. The changing of an “I” to a letter grade requires notification and processing at various administrative levels. It may take several weeks before the letter grade and credits earned appear on the students’ transcript, and in some cases, may delay approval for graduation. The grade of “I” does not affect the computation of GPA until a permanent grade is assigned. Students who receive an "I" must not register for the same course nor can they later withdraw from the course.

AUD indicates the student was enrolled in a course on an audit basis.

NR, no record, is assigned by an instructor to indicate a registration or attendance problem. It is a temporary mark on the transcript and must be replaced by a grade. An NR is changed to a grade of F after one semester if no other grade can be obtained from the instructor by the appropriate dean. X on the transcript before a grade denotes an Honor Code violation.

Grade Point Average

The grade point average is computed on the basis of all semester hours attempted for credit within the University of South Carolina, except for hours carried on a pass-fail basis. The GPA is not affected by courses taken on a non-credit or audit basis.

The grade points earned in courses carried with a passing grade are computed by multiplying the number of semester hour credits assigned to the course by a factor determined by the grade. For courses in which the grade of A is earned, the factor is 4; for B+, 3.5; for B, 3; for C+, 2.5; for C, 2; for D+, 1.5 and for D, 1. The grade point average is determined by dividing the sum total of all grade points by the total number of hours attempted for credit (excepting hours carried on a pass-fail basis). No grade points are assigned to the symbols F, S, U, WF, W, I, AUD or NR.

Grade Reports

At the end of each semester, students may access final grades through Self Service Carolina on the USC Upstate website.

Course Grade Forgiveness

Effective with the Fall 2007-2008 academic year, it is the policy of the University of South Carolina that every currently enrolled, fully-admitted, degree-seeking undergraduate earning a D+, D, F or WF in a USC course may take up to two (2) undergraduate courses for a second time for the purpose of grade forgiveness. Both the first and second grades shall appear on the USC permanent record, but only the second grade will be used in computing the University of South Carolina overall grade point average. An explanatory notice will appear on the record. Once grade forgiveness is applied to a repeated course, the action may not be revoked.

Eligible students wishing to apply the course grade forgiveness policy to a course enrollment may do so at any time during their undergraduate enrollment, but no applications will be honored after the degree is awarded.  Grade forgiveness can only be applied once per course for a maximum of two courses (not to exceed 8 credits) on a student’s undergraduate academic record, without regard to the number of degrees sought.  Under the grade forgiveness policy, the forgiven and repeated class must both be taken at the same USC campus.  Courses transferred from other institutions are excluded from this policy.

This policy does not preclude students from repeating classes multiple times, in accordance with program requirements, but only the second attempt at the class may forgive the original grade of D+, D, F, or WF.

Only a regular letter grade can replace a forgiven grade.  Grades of W, I, S, U, or AUDIT may not replace previous grades. Grades carrying an honor code violation sanction of X are not eligible for grade forgiveness.  

Established requirements for repeating classes, admission to, or progression in, specific academic programs of the University take precedence over the grade forgiveness policy.  Program or progression grade point averages are not affected by this policy.  Refer to the guidelines for each program for specific requirements.

Courses intended to be repeated for additional credit, such as research or applied music, are not eligible for grade forgiveness. Semester honors (dean’s or president’s honor list), academic standing (scholastic deficiency, probation, suspension), or previous grade point totals will not change retroactively as a result of applying this policy.

Students who have been granted Academic Forgiveness to reset the grade point average after readmission are not eligible for course grade forgiveness. Please refer to the bulletin entry for Academic Forgiveness.

Academic Forgiveness

A former USC undergraduate student who meets all of the following conditions may apply for academic forgiveness:

  1. The student must have an overall GPA of less than 2.0 on all University of South Carolina course work.
  2. The student was not enrolled at any University of South Carolina campus for at least 48 months.
  3. The student must be readmitted to a degree program at the University of South Carolina and must complete at least 24 hours of approved graded course work prior to applying for academic forgiveness.
  4. After readmission to the University, the student must earn an overall GPA of at least 2.0 and meet the progression requirements of his or her degree program.
  5. The student has not previously been granted academic forgiveness.

A student who has met these conditions and desires academic forgiveness must submit a written request for academic forgiveness to the dean of the school in which the student is enrolled. After verification of the student’s eligibility, the dean shall inform the registrar that academic forgiveness has been granted to the student.

Once academic forgiveness has been granted, the following apply to the student’s academic record:

  1. All curriculum requirements will be in accordance with those in force at the time of or subsequent to the student’s readmission.
  2. The student may not receive academic honors upon graduation.
  3. The student’s grade point average is recalculated beginning with the semester in which the student was readmitted to the University.
  4. Courses in which the student received a passing grade prior to readmission and the granting of academic forgiveness may, at the discretion of the student’s school, be used for academic credit, but are not used in the calculation of the grade point average.
  5. The following statement shall appear on the academic record of any student granted academic forgiveness: “This student was granted academic forgiveness under the University of South Carolina Academic Forgiveness Program. No courses taken prior to (date of re-admission) are used in the calculation of the GPA, but those in which the student received a passing grade may be used to meet degree requirements.”
  6. The permanent academic record will remain an unmodified record of all work attempted at the University of South Carolina.
  7. An overall GPA of 2.0 is required on all work following academic forgiveness for purposes of graduation.