Loyola University Maryland

Office of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies

Grades FAQs

What is Loyola's grading system?

A student's performance in a course will be reported by the instructor in accordance with the following grading system:

  • A : Excellent Denotes outstanding achievement and an unusual degree of intellectual initiative. This is the highest grade awarded.
  • B : Good Denotes work which surpasses the objectives for the course. It is a mark of distinction.
  • C : Satisfactory Denotes work which achieves the objectives for the course. It is the lowest grade given for an acceptable performance.
  • D : Unsatisfactory Denotes work of inferior quality compared to the objectives for the course. It is the lowest passing grade and a mark of inadequate performance.
  • F : Failure Denotes inadequate work below the minimal standards of competence required to pass the course. A course with this grade does not satisfy prerequisite or degree requirements.
  • P : Pass-Fail "P" or "Pass" denotes satisfactory work, equivalent to a "C" (2.000) or better for a course taken on a pass/fail basis. Course credits with a "P" grade are added to the student's credit total, but the grade is not included in calculating the QPA.
    The "F" or "Fail" grade is counted as a 0 (zero) in calculating the student's QPA. Usually, a course taken on a pass/fail basis will not count toward the requirements for a degree.
  • S : Satisfactory Denotes satisfactory work, equivalent to a "C" (2.000) or better for a course taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. This grade means that the course credits will be added to a student's credit total, but this grade has no effect on the student's QPA.
  • W : Withdrawal Denotes withdrawal from the course on or before the deadline for this change of status. This grade means that the course has no effect on the student's credit total or QPA.
  • NG : No Grade Denotes a zero-credit course.
  • NR : Not Received Denotes that the grade has not yet been submitted by the instructor.
  • GL : Grade Later Denotes the first semester grade for a two-semester course when the final grade is given at the end of the second semester.
  • L : Audit Denotes that the student is auditing the course. To receive this grade on the transcript, the student must satisfy the attendance and other course requirements set by the instructor for an official audit.
  • AW : Audit Withdrawal Denotes a lack of attendance and completion of other course requirements for a student registered as an auditor.
  • I : Incomplete Denotes a temporary grade given to a student who is passing a course, but for reasons beyond the student's control (illness, injury, or other nonacademic circumstances), is unable to complete the required coursework during the semester.

"Plus" ("+") or "minus" ("-") suffixes are used to define more sharply the academic achievement of a student within these performance categories.

What does "QPA" stand for?

The Quality Point Average (QPA) is an average of the student's grades that gives proportionate weight to individual courses on the basis of the credit value assigned to them. Most courses have a three-credit value. A few courses have one-, two-, or four-credit values.

QPA Rating Per Letter Grade 

  • A = 4.000
  • A- = 3.670
  • B+ = 3.330
  • B = 3.000
  • B- = 2.670
  • C+ = 2.330
  • C = 2.000
  • C- = 1.670
  • D+ = 1.330
  • D = 1.000
  • F = 0.000

What grades do I need to be on the Dean's List?

At the end of each semester, recognition on the Dean's List for distinguished academic achievement is awarded to students who achieve a minimum QPA of at least 3.500 for the term, provided that during the term, they have successfully completed courses totaling a minimum of 15 credits applicable to the degree (excludes courses taken pass/fail and courses assigned a grade of "W"). If the recommended course load for a student during a particular term falls below the required 15 credits, the student should add an elective to her/his schedule in order to meet the requirement for Dean's List consideration. These same requirements also apply to students who are participating in the Loyola study abroad programs, affiliations, and exchange programs in which the grades are transferred to Loyola University Maryland.

Loyola students who are studying in Beijing, Cork, Leuven, or Newcastle must achieve a minimum cumulative QPA of 3.500 for the year, provided that during the year, they have successfully completed courses totaling a minimum of 30 credits applicable to a degree (excludes courses taken pass/fail and courses assigned a grade of "W").

Loyola students at year-long programs, exchanges, or affiliations abroad must obtain a minimum cumulative QPA of 3.500 for the year and must complete at least 30 credits applicable to a degree. Students at semester-long programs, exchanges, or affiliations abroad must earn at least a 3.500 cumulative QPA and complete 15 or more credits applicable to a degree.

How do my grades affect my academic scholarship or financial aid?

Students awarded the Presidential, Claver, and Knott Scholarships must maintain the scholarship retention requirements specified in the original scholarship award letter.

For more information about how a student's grades can affect her/his scholarships and financial aid, please visit the Terms and Conditions of Awards on the Financial Aid website.

What services are available if I am having difficulty in class?

If a student is having difficulty in class, s/he can find help at the Study, which is run by the Academic Advising and Support Center and is located on the third floor of Jenkins Hall. The Study offers tutoring sessions, workshops, and other comprehensive learning assistance for students.

For more information, please visit the Study's website.

Do I automatically fail a course if I'm not able to complete all of the course work?

At the discretion of the course instructor, a temporary grade of I (incomplete) may be given to a student who is passing a course but, for reasons beyond the student's control (illness, injury, or other nonacademic circumstances), is unable to complete the required coursework during the semester. A grade of I should not be issued to allow the student additional time to complete academic requirements of the course (except as noted above), repeat the course, complete extra credit work, or because of excessive absenteeism or the student's unexcused absence from the final exam. A grade of I may be assigned to a graduating senior only with the written approval of the academic dean of the University and only if the incomplete Form is submitted no later than the final day grades are due to the Records office. In all other cases, the Records office will assign a grade of NR.

Arrangements for the incomplete must be made prior to the final exam, or if the course has no final exam, prior to the last class meeting. The responsibility for completing all of the coursework within the agreed-upon time rests with the student. The completion dates for incomplete courses are:

  • Fall Semester: Feb. 1
  • Spring Semester: July 1
  • Summer Sessions: Oct. 1

If an extension to the above deadlines is necessary, the signature of the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences or the dean of the Sellinger School of Business and Management is required. The incomplete grade may remain on the record no longer than the time period agreed to by the instructor and the student and may not exceed one semester. If the incomplete is not satisfactorily resolved within the agreed-upon time period, the Records office will assign the student an F as the final grade. Students may not graduate with an incomplete in any course on their record.

What policies govern academic probation or dismissal?

In order to be in good standing at Loyola University Maryland, first-year students are required to have a cumulative QPA of at least 1.800 at the end of their first year of study. By the end of the first semester of their sophomore year and each semester thereafter, students must maintain a cumulative QPA of at least 2.000.

Academic Probation

Students whose QPA is at least 1.400 but below 1.800 at the end of the first semester of their first year will be placed on academic probation. These students will be required to review their performance with a probation board composed of faculty members from the Academic Standards Committee. The students must also meet with a staff member from the Academic Advising & Support Center and must also meet other requirements of probation during their second semester. Students with a QPA of at least 1.800 but below 2.00 after the first semester of their sophomore year will be placed on academic probation.

Students already on probation whose QPA does not reach the level required for good academic standing, but whose semester average is such that continued work at this level would assure graduation will receive an automatic extension of their probation.

Academic Dismissal

Students who meet the following criteria will be dismissed from Loyola University Maryland:

  • Students with a cumulative QPA below 1.400 at the end of their first semester.
  • Students with a cumulative QPA below 1.800 at the end of their first year.
  • Students with a cumulative QPA below 2.000 after the fourth semester or any semester thereafter.

What is the process for a grade appeal?

For any grade review or grade appeal related in whole or in part to an alleged violation of the academic integrity policy, follow the appeal policy under Appeal of Academic Sanctions. For all other appeals of final course grades or changes of grade, follow the processes outlined below. If a dismissal involves a grade appeal, then both the grade appeal and the dismissal appeal must be filed no later than 30 days after the close of the semester.

Grade Review

Any student who has reason to question the accuracy of a final course grade should request in writing a grade review with the instructor, stating the grounds upon which the review is being sought. The student must request a review of the grade no later than 10 business days after the beginning of the subsequent fall semester for summer courses or spring semester for fall courses, and no later than 10 business days after final grades are due for spring semester courses. The instructor reports to the student and department chair (or program director), in writing, the result of the grade review (whether the grade is changed or not), ordinarily no later than 10 business days after the receipt of the student's request. The report must include an explanation of the reasoning behind the result. (If the instructor is the department chair or program director, the report is submitted to the appropriate Dean. The appropriate Dean is the Dean of the school of the University in which the course of the contested grade is housed.)

If a grade change is made by the instructor, the instructor submits a Change of Grade Form stating the reason for the grade change, along with a copy of the student's written request, to the department chair or program director for approval. (In the case where the department chair is also the instructor, the instructor will submit the materials to the appropriate Dean who will appoint a senior member of the department to review the grade.)

In reviewing a grade change, if the chair or program director (or senior member) is satisfied that established procedures were followed and that the grade was not changed in an arbitrary or capricious manner or for inappropriate reasons, the chair or program director (or senior member) communicates this to the faculty member and the student in writing and submits the Change of Grade Form to the Records Office. If, however, the chair or program director (or senior member) is not satisfied that established procedures were followed, or believes the grade was changed in an arbitrary or capricious manner or for other inappropriate reasons, the chair or program director (or senior member) communicates this in writing to the faculty member and the student and no change of grade occurs. If either the student or instructor is not satisfied with the outcome of the department chair's or program director's grade review, a grade appeal may be filed.

Grade Appeal

A grade appeal may not be filed until a grade review has been completed. No grades may be appealed after a student graduates.

If the instructor or chair or program director (or senior member) does not change a grade, and the student is not satisfied with the grade review, the student may file a grade appeal. This grade appeal must include an explanation of why the student thinks the result of the grade review is in error. The grade appeal must be submitted in writing to the department chair no later than 10 business days after the instructor submits the written grade review to the student and department chair. (In the case where the department chair or program director is also the instructor, a senior member of the department or program chosen by the appropriate dean will review the grade appeal.) No grades may be appealed after a student graduates.

In considering a grade appeal, the department chair or program director (or senior department member) should ensure that established procedures were followed and that the grade was not determined in an arbitrary or capricious manner or for inappropriate reasons. The chair or program director (or senior member) should confer with the student and instructor, individually. Other parties, including parents, spouses, or attorneys are not permitted to attend the grade appeal conference. The chair or program director (or senior member) should report the result of this review, in writing, to the instructor, the student, and the appropriate dean, ordinarily no later than 10 business days after receiving the appeal. This report must include an explanation for the reasoning behind the decision. If the chair or program director (or senior member) determines that established procedures were not followed or that a grade was given in an arbitrary or capricious manner or based on inappropriate reasons, the chair or program director (or senior member) fills out a Change of Grade Form and submits it to the Records Office.

If either the student and/or instructor is not satisfied with the outcome of the department chair's or program director's (or senior department member's) review of a grade appeal, the student and/or the instructor may appeal to the appropriate dean by submitting all pertinent documents for further review. The grade appeal must be submitted by the student and/or instructor in writing to the dean no later than 10 business days after the student and/or instructor receives the written grade review from the department chair. The dean or his or her designee will review the record and confer with the chair or program director (or senior member) and the student and instructor. Other parties, including parents, spouses, and attorneys, are not permitted to attend this conference.

The dean reports the outcome of the grade appeal review to the instructor, student, chair or program director, and Records Office, normally no later than 20 business days after the receipt of the grade appeal. The dean's review of all grade changes and grade appeals is final.

If a dismissal involves a grade appeal, then both the appeal of the dismissal and the grade appeal must be filed no later than 30 days after the close of the semester. Students are allowed to remain enrolled in current (e.g. accelerated courses or 1-2 credit courses) courses while appealing grades that will result in dismissal; however, they will not be allowed to enroll for subsequent semesters until the appeal is resolved. If a student's registration for a subsequent semester was processed prior to filing an academic dismissal appeal, the registration will be cancelled, financial aid awards designated for that semester will be cancelled, and tuition paid for that semester will be refunded. Students dismissed from an academic program may not reapply to the same program.

A W cannot be the result of a grade appeal. A W on an academic transcript indicates that a student has successfully withdrawn from a course(s), following the approved course withdrawal process (described below), including published deadlines.

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