4.55 – Grade Reports

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Scope: NMSU System

Source: ARP Chapter 4 | Curriculum and Course Management

Responsible Executive: Provost & Chief Academic Officer

Responsible Administrator:

Last Updated: 05/08/2018



Revision History:

09/26/23 Amendment approved by President

05/08/2018 Amendment approved by Chancellor
2017 Recompilation, formerly Rule 6.70
10/21/2015 former Policy 4.55 replicated by Board of Regents as initial Rule 4.55
05/08/2015 Amendment to Policy 6.70 approved by Board of Regents
10/22/2007 Amendment  to Policy 6.70 approved by Board of Regents


Each course, department or instructor establishes the system for assessing student performance in achieving course learning objectives and provides this information through the course syllabus.  Individual instructors may elect whether to use fractional grading (pluses and minuses) in assigning letter grades. For some courses, instructors are required to report Early Performance grades (See Part 5 below), and at the conclusion of all courses, instructors are required to report a final grade reflecting the instructor’s assessment of each student’s performance.

The NMSU grading system is expressed in letters which carry numeric value used in calculating the cumulative grade-point average, as shown in this table:

University Grading System
Letter Grade Grade Points per Unit of Credit
A+ 4.0
A 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0
C- 2.0
D+, D, D- 1.0
F 0
Grades that are not calculated into Grade Point Averages
W- Withdrawal 0
N- Grade not submitted 0
CR- Credit authorized, but not letter grade 0
IP- In progress 0
RR- Progress in undergraduate course 0
S- Satisfactory work1 0
U- Unsatisfactory work 0
I- Incomplete work 0
AU- Audit 0

1S grades are grades that are satisfactory to the professor and are normally equivalent to the letter grade of C- or higher.



  1. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U): Each academic college may designate courses in which the grading will be on a basis of S or U for all students enrolled in the courses. Credits in designated S/U courses are not included in the limitations on the number of S/U credits a student may take, and are not subject to the student eligibility requirements described below. S/U grading allows the student to attempt to earn course credit without having a course grade included in their grade point average calculations.  Under S/U grading, the instructor assigns an S grade for satisfactory achievement of the course learning objectives (normally equivalent to the letter grade of C- or higher) and/or progress in research and a U grade for unsatisfactory performance in the class and/or progress in research.
    1. Undergraduate Students: The S/U option must be elected as part of the course registration and may not be added once the course registration period closes. Other than honors courses and courses officially designed as S/U, the following limitations apply to courses in which the S/U option is elected.
      1. No more than 7 credits per semester or 4 credits per summer session.
      2. Not to exceed a total of 21 credits towards a degree.
      3. Not a required course for the student’s major.
    2. Graduate Students: With an approval from their advisor and department head, graduate students in good academic standing may elect the S/U option, at the time of registration, for courses taken outside the major department, subject to the regulations stated below:
      1. No more than a total of 6 credits of elected S/U courses are permitted in the master’s degree.
      2. Doctoral candidates may take an additional 6 credits under the S/U option after application to candidacy.
  2. RR Grade: The letter grade of RR is assigned only in undergraduate developmental courses (CCDE, CCDL, CCDM & CCDR) and indicates that the student has made substantial progress toward completing the requirements of the course. It carries neither penalty nor credit, so a student must re-enroll and successfully complete the course in order to earn credit. The grade of RR may be received only once in any given course, and is a permanent notation on the student’s transcript.
  3. W Grade: The letter grade of W (Withdrawal) is assigned only in courses when the student withdraws or is administratively dis-enrolled from the course after the last day to drop the course.  The W grade is permanent.
  4. I Grade: The letter grade of I (Incomplete) is assigned for passable work that could not be completed due to circumstances beyond the student’s control that develop after the last day to withdraw from the course. In no case is an I grade to be used to avoid the assigning of D, F, U or RR grades for marginal or failing work. Examples of appropriate circumstances include documented illness, documented death or crisis in the student’s immediate family, unexpected military deployment and similar circumstances. Other job-related circumstances are generally not appropriate grounds for assigning an I grade. Under no circumstances should the instructor retain any medical records or indicate the specifics of any medical condition in the academic records. The refusal to grant an I grade may be appealed in the same manner as any other final grade. To assign an I grade, the instructor must complete the “I Grade Information Form” and have the form delivered to the Associate Dean of the college under which the course is taught. The instructor must indicate on the form whether the student will be given the option to complete the remaining coursework and have the I grade changed to the earned letter grade.  If so, the instructor should indicate the steps necessary to complete the remaining coursework. The I grade form should either be signed by the student in person, or the Associate Dean must send a copy of the document to the student’s official NMSU email address, as recorded in the University Student Records Office, with a notation on the form that the student was not available for signature. The I grade will be permanent in instances where (1) the instructor did not provide an option to complete the coursework, (2) the instructor left NMSU prior to completion of the coursework and grade change, or (3) the student failed to complete the coursework by the relevant deadline, and the instructor did not indicate that the I grade would be changed to the earned grade upon failure to complete.  In such instances, the student will be required to re-enroll in the course to receive credit (in which case the permanent I grade and the subsequent earned letter grade will both appear on the transcript).The student is entitled to have the I grade removed from the transcript only if, within 12 months or any earlier deadline established by the instructor on the “I Grade Information Form” and prior to graduation, the student completes the remaining coursework, as specified on the Form, in a manner satisfactory to the instructor. If the student fails to complete the coursework, the instructor may change the I grade to any appropriate grade (including D, F or U) only if the instructor stated that this would occur on the “I Grade Information Form.” The instructor should assign whatever grade was earned for the entire course. To change the I grade, the instructor must complete a “Change of Grade Form,” obtain the signature of the Associate Dean for the course, and submit the form to the University Student Records Office.
  5. Grading in Research – In grading both master’s and doctoral research, thesis and dissertation work in progress, the instructor reports for each enrollment period the grade S (satisfactory) or U (unsatisfactory) rather than a traditional letter grade. These assigned grades are permanent notations on the student’s transcript. Only those credits graded S (satisfactory) accumulate toward the minimum number of research credits required. U indicates that the student has stopped work or is doing work of unacceptable quality. After the final examination, and/or when the thesis/dissertation is submitted to the electronic dissertation submission system, the instructor will report the final S or U grade for the research. The report of an S (satisfactory) grade means that the degree will be certified.  A U (unsatisfactory) grade means that the student is doing work of unacceptable quality. If a student accumulates a total of two U (unsatisfactory) grades in courses numbered either 598, 599, 600, 699 or 700, the student will be placed on Academic Probation I. If three U (unsatisfactory) grades are reported for these courses, the student will be dismissed from the Graduate School.



Grade point average (GPA) calculations are based solely on courses taken at NMSU or under an approved National Student Exchange. The hours for any course for which no traditional letter grade is given will be included in the total number of earned hours, but is not computed in the grade-point average.  Traditional letter grades are those which are used in the grade point average determination, traditional grades are A+ through F grades. In computing the overall grade-point-average, the total credits for the traditional letter grades that have been assigned is divided into the total number of grade points earned.



  1. Undergraduate Students: Undergraduate degrees require a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher for degree completion. Although D+, D, or D- can be considered passing, some departments have higher grade requirements for the courses within their program and/or their program as a whole. Students should check with their departments regarding specific course grading requirements for their particular degree program.
  2. Graduate Students:
    1. Graduate degrees require a cumulative graduate G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher for degree completion.  Although B- and C grades (including C+ and C-) earned at NMSU may be counted toward the requirements for a graduate degree in some programs, this grade does not reflect acceptable graduate-level performance and may cause the cumulative G.P.A. to fall below the 3.0 required for graduate students.  Some departments have higher grading requirements for courses in their programs.
    2. Courses in which a student earns a D or F grade do not ever satisfy graduate degree requirements; however, these grades will be calculated in determining the students’ cumulative grade-point average. To obtain academic credit, students must retake courses in which a grade of D or F was earned.



  1. Six-Week Early Performance Reporting
    1. All instructors of courses numbered 100-299 will submit grades for work completed as of the sixth Friday following the date classes begin, for the regular 16-week fall and spring semesters. This requirement does not apply to summer terms nor mini-semesters. Instructors must submit the six-week early performance grades by 5:00 p.m. on the Tuesday following the sixth Friday.
    2. In courses numbered 300 or higher, the posting of Six-Week Early Performance Grades is optional.
    3. Early Performance grades will only be used for student retention efforts, to facilitate opportunities for students to address performance issues.
  2. Academic Progress Reports Upon Student Request: Prior to the last day to withdraw from a course, upon request by the student, instructors will provide information to students about their progress in the course.



The deadline for submission of final grades will be 5 p.m. on the second working day after the last day of classes at the end of the semester or as assigned by the official academic calendar, whichever is later. Final grades are recorded on the student’s transcript.



  1. Protection of Personally Identifying Information: Protected personally identifying information, such as names, social security numbers and/or Banner I.D. numbers, in whole or in part, shall not be used for the purpose of publicly posting student grades, unless specific written permission (signed and dated) has been obtained from the student prior to grades being posted.
  2. Posting of Grades: It is permissible to publicly post student grades without consent only if it is done in a manner that is not personally identifiable – e.g., the faculty member assigns a unique identifier to each student for this purpose, and the identifier is kept confidential and known only to the student and the faculty member.



Individual assignments and exams that are not returned to students should be retained by the instructor or department through the end of the subsequent regular semester.  The records used to compute individual final grades should be retained for two years after the completion of a course. If a final grade is appealed, these records must be kept for at least two years after the completion of the appeal. Departments, colleges or the library may require that records be kept for longer periods.



  1. Effect of Change in Grade: The effect of a change of grade on a student’s academic standing (scholastic warning, probation or suspension) depends on the date the transaction is officially recorded on the student’s academic record. If the transaction is recorded before the student begins another semester, the grade change (such as replacing the I grade with an earned grade) is included in the grade-point average calculation in order to establish the student’s academic standing. If the transaction is recorded after the student begins another semester, for the purpose of calculating academic standing, the new grade is included with any other grades earned for the semester in which the grade change is processed.
  2. Repeating Courses for Change in Grade: Single courses may be attempted for a total of three times. Students who do not pass a course within three attempts must obtain permission from their Academic Associate Dean to enroll in the course.  Academic colleges and departments may enforce additional restrictions regarding the number of times a course can be repeated. For purposes of a change in grade, attempts will not include “W” (Withdrawal) grades. Courses that have variable credits and/or have a published maximum repeat allowable for student enrollment are excluded from this policy.
    1. Undergraduate: Undergraduate students may repeat courses, for a change in grade, when the original grade earned was a D or F. Once a grade of C- or better is earned, the course will then be substituted in the calculation of the grade-point-average and students will no longer be able to repeat that course for change of grade purposes. Student transcripts will continue to show the grade awarded for each course attempt, but only the higher grade will be included in the GPA calculations.
      If the student’s original grade was a D and the student repeats the course, but receives an F, the second grade will not be substituted for the original.  Repeat options apply only to courses that were completed prior to the time a student was awarded a degree.
    2. Graduate: Graduate students may repeat courses to achieve a higher grade, but the grade assigned for each attempt will remain on the transcript and will be counted in the grade point average calculation.