Grading System

Find complete descriptions of the grading system and grade marks used for undergraduate and graduate level courses at Portland State.

Instructors are required to publish the grading rubric or basis for evaluation in their course syllabus.

Watch the Grading System Tutorial

View detailed Online Grading Instructions

Portland State University Grading Scale


Letter Grade Grade Point Value Undergraduate Graduate
A 4.00 Excellent Excellent
A- 3.67    
B+ 3.33    
B 3.00 Good Satisfactory
B- 2.67    
C+ 2.33    
C 2.00 Satisfactory Below Standard
C- 1.67    
D+ 1.33    
D 1.00 Inferior Failure
D- 0.67   Failure
F 0.00 Failure Failure

Other Grade Marks Used

Grade Undergraduate Graduate
I Incomplete Incomplete
IP In-Progress In-Progress
W Withdrawal Withdrawal
P Pass (C- or better) Satisfactory Completion (B- or better)
NP No Pass/No Credit No Credit (Unsatisfactory)
AU Audit Audit
X No Basis for Grade No Basis for Grade
M Missing Grade Missing Grade

Grading Options

Courses are offered under one of the following grading options:

A-F or P/NP Option

Some courses are offered under both differentiated and undifferentiated grading options. The default grading option is A-F but students may choose the P/NP option instead.

Students may choose the P/NP option, if available, during the pre-term registration period and first seven weeks of a term.


Students may not choose P/NP if they are:

  • repeating a course for which they received a differentiated grade. See Repeat Policy for more information.
  • prohibited from doing so by academic major or degree requirements. Undergraduates are limited to 45 Pass credits. No more than 20 of those Pass credits can be earned within the final 45 degree credits. The P/NP grading option is limited at the graduate level.

A-F (Differentiated) Only

Regular letter grades of A, B, C, D, and F are used to indicate academic performance in a course. A-F grades are included when calculating G.P.A.

P/NP (Undifferentiated) Only

Pass Grades (P) 

The grade of P is used to indicate successful completion of a course. In the majority of instances, a pass grade is equated to a C- or better for undergraduate courses and a B- or better for graduate courses, although some departments may differ. A grade of P carries credit but is not included when calculating G.P.A.

No-Pass Grades (NP) 

The grade of NP is used to indicate unsatisfactory performance in a course. A grade of NP results in no credit earned and is not included when calculating G.P.A.

Other Grade Mark Descriptions

Incomplete Grade (I)

Students do not have a right to receive/demand an Incomplete grade.  The option of assigning an Incomplete grade is at the discretion of the instructor when the following criteria are met.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Required satisfactory course completion/participation. The quality of the work is satisfactory, but some essential work remains. In addition, the student must have successfully completed most of the course work at the time the student requests the Incomplete, with a minimum grade up to that point of a C- for undergraduate, or B- for a graduate level course.
  2. Reasonable justification for request. Reasons for assigning the Incomplete must be acceptable by the instructor. A student does not have the right to demand an Incomplete. The circumstances should be unforeseen or be beyond the control of the student. The instructor is entitled to request appropriate medical or other documentation to validate the student’s request.
  3. Incomplete grade is not a substitute for a poor grade. The Incomplete grade is not meant to create the opportunity for special or additional work for a student to raise a poor grade, or for the opportunity to take the course over by sitting in on the course in a later term without registering or paying for it.
  4. Written agreement. A written or electronic agreement will be endorsed by both the instructor and student. The document will specify a) the remaining work to be completed, b) the highest grade which may be awarded upon submission of remaining items, and c) the date which the missing work is due. The latter may not exceed one year from the end of the term for enrollment for the given course.  A template “Incomplete Contract” is available on Registrar’s website.
  5. Resolving the Incomplete. Instructors may not encourage students to “sit in” an entire future course in order to resolve the Incomplete grade. If the student needs to retake the entire course, they should be given the grade presently earned, and must formally register for the future class they will be attending. If the missed portion of the course is no longer available, instructors may offer an alternative assignment. Grading weight of the alternative assignment should not exceed the original assignment. Students are fully responsible for monitoring all due dates.

Other Rules:

  1. GPA Calculation: Incomplete grades are not included when calculating GPA.
  2. Deadline for Completion: The deadline for completion of an Incomplete is one calendar year. The instructor may set a shorter deadline, which is binding. Any request for a longer deadline must be requested via petition to the Scholastic Standards Committee or Graduate Council.
  3. Failure to make up an Incomplete by the end of one year:
    1. Undergraduate Incomplete Grades: The mark of “I” will automatically change to a grade of “F” or “NP”, depending on the grading option chosen by the student upon registration. If the Incomplete converts to an F, the F grade is included in calculating GPA.
    2. Graduate Incomplete Grades:  The Incomplete will become part of the permanent record for a graduate course.
  4. Graduating Undergraduate Students: Incompletes awarded in undergraduate courses taken in Fall 2006 or later will automatically change to a grade of “F” or “NP” before conferral of the degree. The faculty of record may submit a grade change no later than 30 days after the degree is awarded. Grades of “F” or “NP” will remain on the academic record after this period and cannot be removed.

Guidelines and Contract for Assigning an Incomplete Form (pdf)

In-Progress Grade (IP)

The grade of IP is issued only in the special circumstance of a course registered for in one term is to be completed by registering for the companion course in a subsequent term. Upon successful completion of the final course, the instructor changes the IP grade to the appropriate grade. IP grades are not included when calculating G.P.A.

Withdrawal Grade (W)

A grade of W is issued when a student formally withdraws from a course. The withdrawal must be initiated by the student in accordance with the procedures and deadline dates published in the Schedule of Classes. W grades carry no credit and are not included when calculating G.P.A.

Audit Grade (AU)

A grade of AU is issued when a student's attendance in an audited course is deemed adequate. AU grades carry no credit and are not included when calculating G.P.A.

To register for an Audit grade option, the student must first register for the course during the registration period, then submit a Special Registration Form with Instructor's signature to the change the grading option to Audit. Registered courses may be changed to audit through the 7th week of the term.

Audit courses are not included in total credits for financial aid or enrollment verification purposes. Regular tuition and fees apply to courses taken for audit. Courses taken for audit do not fulfill requirements for a degree.

No Basis for Grade (X)

A grade of X is issued when the instructor feels there is no basis for a grade, such as non-attendance. X grades carry no credit and are not included when calculating G.P.A.

Missing Grade (M)

A grade of M is issued when no grade has been reported to the Office of the Registrar. M grades carry no credit and are not included when calculating G.P.A.

New Grading Policy for X and M Grades

The PSU Faculty Senate approved the following definition and rules regarding assignment of X grades and M Grades, effective fall 2011.

  • The X grade definition: Non-attendance and No Basis for Grade. The X grade is used when there is little or no attendance and no work/performance upon which to base an academic evaluation.
  • New Rule for X grades: X grades cannot be changed after initial submission and other grades cannot be changed to an X.
  • New Rule for M grades: M (missing) grades will change to a grade of X, one term after the initial term. Once converted to an X, cannot be changed.