Credit and Grades Policy

Responsible office
Responsible party
Last revision
June 2023
Approved by
Faculty (via vote)
Approval date
July 2014
Effective date
July 2014
Last review
July 2019
Additional references


All financial and administrative policies involving community members across campus, including volunteers are within the scope of this policy. If there is a variance between departmental expectations and the common approach described through college policy, the college will look to the campus community, including volunteers to support the spirit and the objectives of college policy. Unless specifically mentioned in a college policy, the college’s Board of Trustees are governed by their Bylaws.


The unit represents the academic work of a single block of three-and-one-half weeks. There are eight blocks in the academic year, and under normal circumstances a student can earn eight units of credit per year and 32 units in four years. Each unit is equal to four semester hours or six quarter hours. Adjunct courses provide .25-unit credit each, and extended-format courses provide up to .5 units per semester. The January half-block allows students to earn .5 units of credit.

Any first-year student who enrolls for fewer than eight blocks, and any other student who enrolls for fewer than seven blocks, must have the prior approval of the registrar’s office within the first two weeks of the semester of reduced enrollment.

The College provides a two-track system for all students. In a given course, students may choose from the following grading systems:

G Track (Letter Grades): A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-,D+, D, NC (No Credit), WF (Administrative Fail)

P Track (S/CR/NC): S(A to C-), CR(D+ or D), NC(No Credit), WF(Administrative Fail)

For purposes of computing the grade point average, the following schedule will be used

Letter Grade



























P Track passing grades are not calculated in the GPA; however, a grade of NC under either grade track option is calculated in the GPA.

D grades (CR, D+, and D) under both G and P Track options do not provide credit for All College Requirements (Critical Perspectives, college level language, writing proficiency, departmental major, minor, or prerequisites).  CR, D+ and D grades will count towards fulfillment of the 32 Unit Requirement only.

There are no restrictions placed on the number of courses a student may choose under each option. However, students are expected to choose the option by which they wish to be graded at the time they register for courses. No change in the grading option is permitted after the next to last day of the block without extenuating circumstances. Students who do not choose a grading track for a course are automatically assigned to the G track by the registrar’s office. A student may, with permission of the course professor, audit (Z Track) a course. No credit toward graduation will be awarded, but the audit, if completed successfully, will be recorded on the student’s transcript.

The college believes its grading system options offer a desirable versatility because they provide a commonly understood set of grades for consideration beyond the campus while preserving a simpler option for students who wish to be free of certain kinds of grading pressures. This “optional system” (P Track) encourages students to take courses they might otherwise avoid out of fear of poor grades, and in general makes students much less “grade conscious.” On the other hand, the college avoids the risk that some of its students could be disadvantaged by the grading policy in the competition for jobs or graduate and professional school admissions.

In the interest of a more uniform grading policy that accords with our commitment to high academic standards, the college endorses the following revised statement of the meaning of grades at Colorado College:

A – Excellent work that reflects superior understanding and insight, creativity, or skill.

B – Good work that reflects a high level of understanding and insight, creativity, or skill.

C – Adequate work that indicates readiness to continue study in the field.

D – Marginal work, only minimally adequate, raising serious question about readiness -to continue in the field.

S – Work that falls in the range of A to C–.

CR – Work equivalent to a D+ or D.

NC – Failing work, clearly inadequate, and unworthy of credit.

WF - A grade of WF indicates that a student failed to withdraw officially from the course after the drop deadline, or abandonment of academic responsibilities.

No Credit Grades

If a student does not complete the work of a course and has no satisfactory excuse, the instructor must determine the student’s grade, which may be a No Credit. Unlike an Incomplete, failing grades* cannot be made up and thereby changed to a passing grade simply by turning in a missing paper or taking a missed examination.

*Grades of “NC” and “WF” are failing marks and will be calculated into the student's GPA.

Grade Changes

At the end of each course, faculty submit final grades to the registrar. The judgment made by the faculty member when a grade is submitted to the registrar must be viewed as conclusive. Therefore, a request for a change in a final grade will ordinarily not be approved.

There are, however, rare instances in which fairness might justify a final grade change. This might be the case, for example, when there is demonstrable evidence of a mathematical error in the calculation of a grade, or where there has been an egregious error in grading by the instructor, such as the failure to read and take into account an entire exam or paper or a significant portion of one. Normally, grade appeals should be resolved between the student and faculty involved. A mere change of mind will not justify a change of a final grade.

The registrar’s office will allow grade changes in these rare cases. However, grades are to be considered final and will not be subject to change for any reason after a 12-month period from the end of the course. Also, grade changes are not permitted after the award of a degree. The 12-month period does not apply to graduating students.

Incomplete Grade

If a student is unable, for a satisfactory reason, to complete the work in a given course, they may petition the instructor for a grade of “Incomplete” for that course. Incomplete grades must be made up by the final day of the third block following the block in which the course was taken, unless the instructor sets a shorter time limit for completion of the prescribed work. If an incomplete is not made up within the prescribed time, the registrar’s office will automatically convert it to a grade of No Credit. In no case can an incomplete grade extend longer than one year after the block in which the course was taken.

Excused Grade

After the second Tuesday of the course, students who want to drop a course must petition for a grade of Excused with a registrar. Normally, a grade of Excused will not be approved unless the student is passing and there are extenuating circumstances, such as illness or injury, that have affected the student’s progress in the course. The student must state a specific reason for requesting an Excused grade, and the instructor’s recommendation must be recorded. The registrar’s office will make the final decision.

Retaking Courses

Students may repeat a course in which they did not receive a passing grade. Such repetition may be required if a student received a “D+” or lower grade in a course in the major field, or a prerequisite requirement. Students may retake a course in which they received a passing grade. However, credit will be awarded only once, and both grades will be calculated into the appropriate GPAs.





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