Grades and Course Credits

University Policy

Questrom School of Business Policy


The following variation from the University’s grading symbols has been approved by the Questrom School of Business.

Incomplete Grades

An incomplete grade (I) is used only when the student must miss the final exam or final assignment due to a family or medical emergency. The student must confer with the instructor prior to the submission of grades and establish acceptable reasons for the incomplete work. The instructor must submit an online Incomplete Grade Report to the Undergraduate Program office regarding the reason for the “I” grade, the nature of the work to be completed, and the deadline for completion (if different from the default deadline). If the work to be completed is not received by the instructor by the last day of instruction in the following semester, then the “I” grade is permanently changed to an “F” grade. All “I” grades in Questrom courses must be resolved before graduation.

Appealing Grades

A student who believes his/her work has not been evaluated fairly in a Questrom course should first consult the faculty member of the course in question. If the student still believes he/she has not been given fair consideration, subsequent appeals can be made (in turn) to the course coordinator (if the course is coordinated), the department chair, and the Associate Dean of Student Experience and Services.

The exception to the policy stated above is cases of alleged discrimination. The problem-solving process that is applicable in any kind of discrimination claim (e.g., race, sex, disability, national origin) follows a different process, as described on the Dean of Students’ website. Discrimination charges or complaints may be filed directly with the Provost or the Dean of Students.

For non-Questrom courses, the student should inquire at that school’s academic advising or student services office about the proper method of disputing a grade. If a student is unclear as to where to go, he/she is welcome to consult the Questrom Undergraduate Program office for direction.

Pass (P) Grades

The P grade is not approved for any courses applied to the BSBA degree other than QST ES 110 (formerly SM 108), ES 210, ES 215 (formerly SM 209), ES 310, and SM 333, SM 208, SM 308, SM 395, and SM 408, which are graded on a Pass/Fail basis.

Repeated courses can receive credit toward degree requirements only once. The grade received for a repeated course does not replace the grade for the original course; both grades are computed in the student’s cumulative grade point average.

“D” Grades

No more than 16 credits completed with the grade of “D” may be counted toward a Boston University degree. Per the Policy on Repeated Courses for Undergraduate Students, all “D” grades, for repeated courses as well as those taken just once, are factored into a student’s GPI and GPA. In the event of more than 16 credits of “D” work, the academic advisor, after consultation with the student, determines which of the courses with “D” grades may be applied to the degree.

Cumulative Grade Point Average

A student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA) is based only on grades earned while the student is enrolled at Boston University. In the case of an intra-University transfer student, the cumulative average includes grades earned in all Boston University academic courses.


Most credit courses at the Questrom School of Business are graded on a letter scale according to the following criteria:



Honor Points per Credit

Superior Performance A 4.0
A– 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0
B– 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0
Lowest Grade Acceptable for Credit C– 1.7
Failing Grade F 0.0

Master of Science in Management Studies (MSMS) Grading: Given the unique program design, student grading categories are Honors, Pass, and Fail. The strong peer-to-peer and challenge-focused learning process requires the full engagement of students and faculty in the learning process, so a Pass/Fail approach is both necessary and appropriate.

Incomplete: “I”

A grade of “I” indicates that course requirements, such as a final exam or written coursework, have not been completed by the end of the semester. An “I” grade is given at the instructor’s discretion. The student must arrange with the instructor to complete the remaining requirements no later than the end of the following semester by completing an Incomplete contract with the instructor. When the work is completed, the instructor will determine the final grade. Note that cohorted students who receive an “I” in a core class (excluding Executive Skills classes and PL 700) cannot continue to be cohorted the following semester, unless the “I” is resolved before the start of the next semester.

If work is not completed and a final grade is not submitted within one full academic semester of when the “I” was issued, the “I” will be converted into an “F” grade. In extenuating circumstances, a student may petition for an extension of the time limit to complete the work. The instructor who gave the “I” grade must endorse the written petition, which must then be submitted to the Graduate Programs office. Students with incomplete grades in core classes, excluding Executive Skills courses and PL 700, are not eligible to be inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma, the national business honor society.

An “I” grade has no honor points; therefore, it is not calculated into the cumulative GPA (CGPA). When the professor reassigns the grade once the student completes the work, or when the Graduate Programs office Senior Systems Administrator (Registrar) converts the “I” to an “F” following the procedures outlined above, the grade for the course is then included in the calculation of the GPA. Students may not graduate with an “I” grade on their transcript for courses counting toward their degree requirements.

Course Withdrawal: “W”

A grade of “W” in a course indicates that the course was dropped after the semester deadline to drop a class without a “W.” A student who withdraws from a course forfeits the right to complete the course in that semester and to receive a grade. Note that cohorted students who receive a “W” in a core class (excluding Executive Skills classes and PL 700) cannot continue to be cohorted the following semester.

Students are charged full tuition for “W” grades.

Course Failure: “F”

A grade of “F” indicates failure to pass the course. A student who earns a grade of “F” in a core course (including Executive Skills classes) must repeat that course with a passing grade. A student who earns a grade of “F” in an elective course must subsequently repeat that course or take another elective and earn a passing grade. When a course is repeated, both the “F” and the subsequent grade remain on the student’s permanent record, and both grades are included in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average (CGPA). Note that cohorted students who receive an “F” in a core class, excluding Executive Skills classes, cannot be cohorted the following semester.

Retaking Courses

Graduate students cannot retake a Questrom course that has been successfully completed in order to improve their grade performance and/or CGPA. Graduate students also cannot audit a class first and then retake it for credit. Courses in which a grade of “F” or “W” have been received can be retaken, because “F” and “W” grades cannot be used to satisfy MBA or MSIS degree requirements. MBA and dual degree students can also retake non-Questrom graduate electives at Boston University in which they have received a grade below “B–” because only non-Questrom electives with grades of B– or higher can be used to satisfy MBA or dual degree requirements.

Grading Guidelines

The Questrom School of Business has the following school-wide voluntary grading guidelines for MBA core courses:

  • No more than 40% of the grades in a given MBA required course should be in the A or A– range.
  • Grades in the C+, C, or C– range are legitimate passing grades, and they should be used in the case of very low performing students.

The Questrom School of Business has the following school-wide voluntary grading guideline for MBA electives:

  • No more than 50% of the grades in a given MBA elective course should be in the A or A– range.
Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA)

All graded graduate-level courses taken at the Boston University Questrom School of Business to fulfill the MBA or MSIS/MSDrequirements are included in the computation of the CGPA. Grades are computed on a 4.00 scale. Please note: ES 700, ES 701, ES 707, ES 724, and PL 700 (PEMBA sections only) are Pass/Fail courses. The grade of Pass does not count toward the GPA, but the grade of “F” does count in the GPA. Coursework taken outside the Boston University Questrom School of Business will not be calculated into the student’s CGPA. If a student drops from the MS or MSDi portion of the dual degree program, all MSIS/MSDi courses taken would count toward the student’s MBA CGPA.

Calculating CGPA for single and dual degree MBA students (excluding MS·MBA/MSDi·MBA)

Dual degree students (excluding MS·MBA/MBA + MSDi) will have cumulative grade point averages calculated separately for each degree. MS·MBA/MBA + MSDi students will have one combined CGPA, which includes all Questrom coursework. In order to calculate CGPA, divide the number of grade points earned in Questrom courses by the number of Questrom credits attempted (do not include “W” or “P” grades). The grades and credits of all repeated courses are calculated in the GPA. The following grade symbols are not given honor points, and work recorded with any of these symbols is not used in the calculation of grade point averages: AU, P, W and MG. “I” grades are not computed until all required work is completed and an appropriate letter grade assigned.

(Honor points for grade) x (credits in course) = Honor Points in Course

(Total honor points from all Questrom courses) ÷ (total Questrom credits attempted) = Cumulative GPA

Grade Verification

Federal law prohibits staff members from giving grades over the phone. Students may receive their grades in one of the following ways:

• Students may obtain an unofficial or official copy of their grades/transcript by logging on to the Boston University Student Link (click on Academics, then on Transcript Preview and Ordering);

• At any time, a student may request a grade mailer in person at the Office of the University Registrar.