Grading System

Two-semester courses constitute two course attempts and will appear as such on the student academic record. These courses are indivisible and the same grade will apply for each attempt. A refined grading system was approved by Senate on May 21, 1991 effective Spring 1992 as follows:

Grading System

Letter Grade Percentage
A+ 90-100
A 85-89
A- 80-84
B+ 77-79
B 73-76
B- 70-72
C+ 67-69
C 63-66
C- 60-62
D+ 57-59
D 53-56
D- 50-52
F 0-49

Courses taken on exchange are graded using the Outstanding /Pass /Fail alternate grading system (refer to Exchange Programs, Chapter V--International Study). In addition, selected University of Guelph courses, approved by the Board of Undergraduate Studies, will use this alternate grading system.

Alternate Grading System

Alternate Grading System

Grade Definition
OP Outstanding (Pass)
P Pass
F Fail

Other Grade Notations

Other Grade Notations

Grade Definition
AUD Audit
CRD Credit
CR/NCR Credit/No Credit
DEF Deferred Assessment
INC Incomplete
INP In Progress
MNR Mark Not Received
WF Withdrawn with Failure
XXF Supplemental Assessment Failed (XX denotes the original failing grade)
XXP Supplemental Assessment Passed (XX denotes the original failing grade)

Grading Procedures

Feedback to students on work completed or in progress is an integral part of teaching and learning in that it allows students to measure their understanding of material and their progress on learning objectives. Feedback often goes beyond grading-an indication of the standard achieved-to include comments on the particular strengths and weaknesses of a student's performance. While the nature and frequency of such feedback will vary with the course, the University of Guelph is committed to providing students with appropriate and timely feedback on their work. Instructors must provide meaningful and constructive feedback, at minimum 20% of the final course grade, prior to the 40th class day. For courses which are of shorter duration, 20% of the final grade must be provided two-thirds of the way through the course. This may include but is not exclusive to returning papers, assignments, in-class or laboratory quizzes, laboratory reports, or mid-term examinations prior to the 40th class day. In research and independent study courses, instructors may provide students with a realistic idea of their performance through assessment of a research plan, literature review, annotated bibliography, oral presentation, or other portions of the final product. Any exceptions to the grading procedure resolutions which are not specifically outlined in the resolutions themselves require the approval of the Chair of the Department.

Resolution 1

That the assignment of grades at the University of Guelph be based on clearly defined standards, which are to be published in the Undergraduate Calendar for the benefit of faculty and students and that the definitions for each of the numerical grade range (letter grades) be as follows:

80 - 100 (A) Excellent. An outstanding performance in which the student demonstrates a superior grasp of the subject matter, and an ability to go beyond the given material in a critical and constructive manner. The student demonstrates a high degree of creative and/or logical thinking, a superior ability to organize, to analyze, and to integrate ideas, and a thorough familiarity with the appropriate literature and techniques.

70 - 79 (B) Good. A more than adequate performance in which the student demonstrates a thorough grasp of the subject matter, and an ability to organize and examine the material in a critical and constructive manner. The student demonstrates a good understanding of the relevant issues and a familiarity with the appropriate literature and techniques.

60 - 69 (C) Acceptable. An adequate performance in which the student demonstrates a generally adequate grasp of the subject matter and a moderate ability to examine the material in a critical and constructive manner. The student displays an adequate understanding of the relevant issues, and a general familiarity with the appropriate literature and techniques.

50 - 59 (D) Minimally Acceptable. A barely adequate performance in which the student demonstrates a familiarity with the subject matter, but whose attempts to examine the material in a critical and constructive manner are only partially successful. The student displays some understanding of the relevant issues, and some familiarity with the appropriate literature and techniques.

0 - 49 (F) Fail. An inadequate performance.

Resolution 2

That instructors must use evaluation criteria which measure quality of performance and not merely activity. Unannounced evaluations or surprise assessments may not be used for course assessment purposes or to determine course grades.

Resolution 3

That instructors are not to use predetermined, arbitrary distributions in the assignment of grades in individual courses.

Resolution 4

The deletion of Resolution 4 was approved by Senate on June 5, 2023.

Resolution 5

That the methods and/or timing of evaluation as indicated on the course outline should not be changed after the first class meeting except when they meet the conditions outlined in the course outline regulation (see VIII. Undergraduate Degree Regulations and Procedures: Course Outlines).

Resolution 6

That all term tests, assignments, laboratory reports, etc., should be returned to, or discussed with students, without undue delay and in any case before the last day of the examination period. If the material is necessary for the preparation of the final examination, it must be returned or discussed as soon as possible and in any case no later than three days before the examination.

Resolution 7

It is recognized that multiple sections of the same course may differ in terms of texts and other academic resource materials, teaching methods and formats, and evaluation procedures used. However, the department is responsible for ensuring that the different sections are achieving common learning objectives with a common set of academic standards and expectations. The department chair is responsible for ensuring the consistency of final grade distribution across sections over time. Where a course has more than one section writing a final examination, the examination date and time will be the same for all sections.

Department also refers to schools and to colleges (where multiple section courses are offered by, or coordinated by the Office of a College Dean).

Resolution 8

That each department must keep under continual review its grading procedures and matters that relate to academic standards to make sure the University's policies are being applied.

Resolution 9

The Board of Undergraduate Studies has by formal resolution undertaken to do as follows:

  • to specify clearly the administrative responsibility of chairs with respect to the methods of evaluation, the setting of examinations and the determining of grades in courses in their departments.
  • to review the effects of the pass by course system on the academic standards of the University.
  • to request each program to review its overall academic standards and, in particular, its requirements for graduation.
  • to examine whether the prerequisites at the secondary school level required for admission to the University of Guelph are adequate.
  • from time to time, to review and monitor the academic standards across the University to ensure that there is consistency and that the regulations of the University are being adhered to.

Resolution 10

In determining grades for written assignments the instructor should take into consideration the student's ability to use correctly and effectively the language appropriate to the assignment.

Resolution 11

Prior to one-week before the commencement of classes, the chair will review the course outline indicating the manner in which the instructor intends to conduct a course and to determine final grades. If the chair disagrees with the instructor's intention or subsequently with the implementation of the stated intentions, the chair will discuss their concerns with the instructor. If agreement cannot be reached, the matter will be referred to an appropriate department committee which will advise the chair in reaching a decision. The advice may include a recommendation on examination procedures.

Submission of Final Grades

General Information

Enrolment Services, Office of Registrarial Services, distributes the "Grades Due Report" forms to the departments one week prior to the examinations period for the semester. The "Grades Due Report" specifies the deadline date for submission of grades to Enrolment Services, Office of Registrarial Services.

Instructor's Responsibilities

The instructor (department) is to retain all final examination papers and term assessments not returned to students for a period of one semester. The "Grades Due Report" form distributed by Enrolment Services, Office of Registrarial Services, will carry the due date for grades for each course section. The due dates are established in accordance with the regulations of the Senate.

Grades must be submitted to Enrolment Services by the deadline stated on the "Grades Due Report". The early submission of grades will assist in their processing. Grades that are not received prior to the release of student grades are reported as "MNR" (mark not received).

Class lists are updated regularly on the Class List Web-site for departmental download. Lists downloaded from the Class List Web-site list all officially registered students in a class. The department must explain any changes to the list, e.g., in the case of:

  1. A student whose name is not on the list, but who has been attending class.
  2. A student whose name appears on the list, but for whom the instructor has no record.

Instructors must not grant an extension of time to any student beyond the final date for submission of grades for that course. Instructors must report students who do not satisfy course requirements by assigning a grade of "INC" and noting incomplete work on an Incomplete Coursework Form.

Incomplete Coursework Form

Instructors should only submit grades for students who have completed their final work for a course. If a student does not complete a final examination or final assignment, the instructor must enter "INC" (incomplete) on the "Grade Report" form and complete an Incomplete Coursework Form for the student. The Incomplete Coursework Form is available from the chair of the department. Departments must submit the Incomplete Coursework Form(s) along with the "Grade Report" form to Enrolment Services, Office of Registrarial Services. The Academic Review Sub-Committee will contact the faculty and/or department chairs at the time of meetings if this procedure is not followed. The Incomplete Coursework Form assists the members of the Academic Review Sub-Committee in making their decision. The instructor must complete all sections of the form for each student reported.

Student's Responsibilities

Students must have all final assignments completed and submitted to instructors by the deadline dates indicated in the course outline. Instructors cannot grant extensions beyond the deadline for submission of grades. Students who are unable to satisfy the submission deadlines established by the instructor and who wish special consideration for medical, psychological or compassionate reasons should request academic consideration.

Department Chair's Responsibilities

The chair of the department signs student grades in the designated area on the "Grade Report" form. The department chair's signature indicates that they believe the grades for that course adhere to the academic regulations of Senate.

If the chair has reason to believe that the academic regulations of Senate have not been adhered to, they will consult with the faculty member and, if necessary, the college dean. If the chair, after such consultation, still believes that the academic regulations of Senate have not been adhered to, they must submit the grades without approval through the college dean to the Provost and Vice-President (Academic). The grades must be accompanied by a complete report. The Provost and Vice-President (Academic) will act to ensure that the academic regulations of Senate are adhered to.

The department chair should be available for consultation during the meetings of the Academic Review Sub-Committees.

The Board of Undergraduate Studies strongly encourages each chair, at their discretion, conduct a periodic review of the methods of assessment, class averages, distribution of grades and failure rates in courses offered by that department to ensure that grade abuse does not occur (refer to Final Grades).

Program Counsellor's Responsibilities

The program counsellor reviews the list of "INC" (incomplete) courses, matching medical documentation, requests for academic consideration, and counselling files (refer to Deferred Assessments). The program counsellor in conjunction with the Academic Review Sub-Committee assigns deferred assessments where appropriate and forwards decisions to Enrolment Services, Office of Registrarial Services.

Registrar's Responsibilities

Enrolment Services records the examination results; notifies students of their grades via WebAdvisor; notifies program counsellors of incomplete grades; and records deferred assessment decisions.

Release of Final Grades

University grades are official on the day that they are issued to students. It is the responsibility of the Office of Registrarial Services to release the grades to the student and to record the grades on the student's official University transcript.

All grades are available through WebAdvisor. Students who require an official copy of their grade report can request an official transcript upon payment of the transcript fee.

Grades for students who have been advised by Student Financial Services, Office of Registrarial Services, that they are on academic sanction will not be released by Enrolment Services until notification/authorization is received indicating that the account has been cleared to the satisfaction of Student Financial Services. To receive grades, students must clear their sanction by the last day of classes.

Summer Session grades are released approximately two weeks after the conclusion of examinations. The grades and the continuation of study status are considered to be unofficial until the end of the Summer Semester.