Grade Changes

Student who matriculated after Spring 2011 follow this grading policy.

The policy described below applies only to students who began into their current degree program in Spring 2011 or earlier.

A student may attempt to improve a grade only to meet a graduation standard. Such standards would include the need to achieve a minimum grade in a core course (B–), a minimum grade in a required departmental course (B), or an overall GPA of 3.0. A student who is on academic probation because of failure to attain a 3.0 GPA may attempt to improve a grade. All faculty in core courses and departmental courses with minimum grade requirements will give students who fail to attain the minimum grade at least one opportunity to improve the grade. The methods for changing the grade are to be determined by the faculty in conformance with this policy.

In core courses and in courses in which the departments require a minimal grade, the revised grade cannot be higher than the minimum required grade; that is B– and B respectively. For grades that adversely affect attaining the minimum GPA requirement, the revised grade cannot be higher than B+. These limits may be exceeded only in extraordinary circumstances such as sickness or death in a family that led to the original unsatisfactory grade. Any exceptions to these limits must be approved by the department chair, and documentation of this process and decision must be sent to the SPH Registrar. These grade limits do not apply, however, when a student sits through the entire course and fulfills all the course requirements a second time. In such cases, the student will receive whatever grade is earned in the second course.

In regard to the additional work:

  • The student should be required to demonstrate the knowledge and skills required for the class in general. The additional work should be as rigorous as that originally required for the class.
  • A student may sit in the course again and complete all its requirements.
  • The additional work should be the same format as that used for the evaluation of the other students in the course. For example, a student may rewrite a paper (when a paper is required in the course) or retake exams (when exams are required in the course).

The faculty’s grade change policy must be specific and clearly stated in the course syllabus, so that all students are aware of the mechanisms that will be used in the event there is a need to improve a grade.

Grades should be changed within one year of receipt of the unsatisfactory grade. If the student is required to sit in the course again, this should be done the next time the course is offered. A student should be made aware of this time frame at the time the additional work is assigned and told that after this point in time, no grade change will be allowed. These time limits may be extended in compelling circumstances. A time extension must be requested in writing by the student and must be approved by the faculty member and the department chair, who will then send this documentation to the Registrar to be placed in the student’s file.

No student will be permitted to improve grades in more than two courses, except in very unusual circumstances. Students who wish to claim the existence of such exceptional circumstances can do so by petitioning the Associate Dean for Education, whose decision shall be final. Failure to receive the minimum required grade in a third course will result in dismissal from SPH.