Approved by:

The President


Issued             -- August 2006

Revised           -- February 18, 2011


Last Reviewed -- July 29, 2019

Related Policies:

Commencement and Honors; Appeal of Failing Grades; Student Academic Dishonesty; Grades and Academic Standing: Graduate

Additional References:

Responsible Official:

Provost tel. (202) 319-5244


I. Introduction


Reports of grades in courses are made available on the Web by the registrar at the end of each term:

II. Grading System


























Lowest Passing





I 1





Administrative Failure


The foregoing grading scale only applies to undergraduate-level courses. When undergraduates take graduate-level courses (those numbered 500 and above), they are graded according to the graduate grading scale, which does not provide for C+, C-, and D grades. See the policy regarding Grades and Academic Standing: Graduate for details.

I 1 Reverts to an F if not removed by mid-semester of succeeding term, whether or not student continues in residence.

A grade of F* should be awarded to students who did not officially withdraw from the course, but who failed to attend and participate in course activities through the end of the period. It is used when, in the opinion of the instructor, completed assignments or course activities or both were insufficient to make normal evaluation of academic performance possible. This allows the University to differentiate between an F grade awarded to students who complete the course but fail to achieve course objectives, and those students that receive an F grade because they have stopped attending or never attended a class The official definition of F* to be used on transcripts and wherever else published would be "Administrative Failure," awarded to a student who did not officially withdraw from the course, but who failed to participate in course activities through the end of the period.

III. Pass/Fail


Free electives may be reported on a pass/fail basis upon written application to the academic dean, prior to the announced date. Once approved, this status cannot be changed back. Neither such grade will affect the student's cumulative average but a fail will earn no degree credit. The pass/fail option is not available to students in the schools of engineering and architecture and planning.

IV. Grade Point Average


The quality points for a course are computed by multiplying the points for the grade equivalent by the number of credits for that course. To compute the grade point average, divide the total number of quality points earned by the total number of credits attempted (pass/fail credits not included). The grade point average is computed only for courses registered through The Catholic University of America.

When a course with a grade of D or F or F* is repeated, the following rules shall apply:

  1. The course must be identical in listing and cannot be taken at another institution;
  2. The second time the course cannot be taken for pass/fail;
  3. Both courses and grades will be recorded in the student's file and transcript;
  4. For calculation of the grade point average and for fulfillment of curriculum requirements, the credit and the grade of the repeated course will apply and the credit and grade of the original course will no longer count.

V. Dean's List


A dean's list is published for each semester to recognize those students who in a degree program have achieved at least a 3.5 grade point average in a full-time course load for that semester. Individual schools may set additional criteria for their dean's list.

VI. Good Academic Standing


A student is in good academic standing and is deemed to be making satisfactory progress for the purpose of participation in extracurricular activities if he/she is not on academic probation. (In order for students to be eligible to receive Federal Title IV and Catholic University financial aid, they must satisfy additional academic progress requirements. Please visit the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress for a summary of these requirements.)

In order to ascertain whether an undergraduate student's academic advancement in those qualities of scholarship considered necessary for a liberal education is satisfactory, the student's records may be reviewed periodically by appropriate University officials in accordance with the University's policy on student records. Serious shortcomings in academic progress may indicate the necessity for the student to withdraw from the University or be dismissed.

VII. Academic Probation and Academic Warning


Except as indicated in 2 and 3 below, a student who has less than a 2.0 cumulative University grade point average is on academic probation until the University cumulative average is 2.0 or above. A student on academic probation may be required by the academic dean to take a reduced course load during the time of probation. Students on academic probation may not participate in extra-curricular or intercollegiate activities. Individual schools may impose specific academic program restrictions or conditions on students who are on academic probation.

A freshman student whose first full-time semester University grade point average is below 2.0 will be on academic warning for one semester rather than on academic probation. A student on academic warning may be required by the academic dean to take a reduced course load during the time of academic warning. Individual schools may impose specific restrictions or conditions on academic programs for students who are on academic warning.

A student whose cumulative University grade point average falls below 2.0 following a specific circumstance beyond the student's control may petition the Provost to be placed on academic warning rather than academic probation for the following semester. Such requests must be in writing and received by the Provost no later than the end of the enrollment period for the semester. The Provost will consult with the student's academic dean while considering the request.

The status of academic warning may not be extended or repeated in consecutive semesters.

VIII. Dismissal


An undergraduate student is no longer in good academic standing, and therefore subject to dismissal by the dean of a school, who:

  1. Receives a failing grade (F, F*) in three or more credit-bearing courses undertaken in a semester. (Reversion of an incomplete grade (I) to an F shall be included in the total number of failures for the semester in which the I was given, with possible dismissal effective at the close of the current semester.) or
  2. At the end of any academic year has a cumulative average of less than 1.5; or
  3. Fails to satisfy any additional requirements that may be imposed by individual schools; or
  4. Fails to gain acceptance into a program of concentration or specialized studies following a fourth semester of full-time college work; special exception may be made for students who change concentrations in their sophomore year.

The University reserves the right to review the record of a student at any time for the purpose of determining whether a student meets the standards necessary for graduation. If, in the opinion of the University, this review reveals serious shortcomings, the student may be dismissed.

Academic dismissal is made by the dean of a school. Please consult the individual school for additional regulations.

IX. Incomplete Grades


The provisional grade of I (incomplete) may be given only to a student who has not completed the requirements of a course for legitimate reasons, provided the work thus far completed in the course is of passing quality. The grade of I may not be given to one who has simply failed to meet the academic requirements of the course on time. Grades of I must be submitted to the respective dean for approval and entry in Cardinal Station.

Incomplete grades must be removed before the midsemester of the succeeding term whether or not the student continues in residence. If the incomplete is not removed by the midsemester, the incomplete will be recorded as a grade of F (failure).

Under extraordinary circumstances, but before the date of the midsemester following the reported incomplete, a student may petition the instructor of the course and the academic dean of the school in which the student is enrolled for an extension of the period normally allowed for removal of the incomplete.

X. Change of Grade


A grade assigned for work in a course is not subject to change except (a) in the case of a specific error, which may be corrected upon the request of the teacher of the course, in writing, to the dean not later than one month after the beginning of the succeeding semester, or (b) in the case of a successful challenge to a failing grade (F) after action in accordance with the established University procedures outlined in the Appeal of Failing Grades Policy. A successfully challenged grade of F is changed to pass (P), and credit is given for the work in question; no other grade may be assigned. All changes in transcript information must be requested and approved by the end of the semester following registration and grading of a particular course.

XI. Academic Integrity


All coursework is subject to the Student Academic Dishonesty Policy. Students are expected to read and comply with the standards on academic integrity set forth in the above referenced policy.