Undergraduate Catalog

Grading Systems


The registrar compiles and maintains permanent academic records for all students. Grades are assigned by instructors as follows:

A Outstanding work that goes beyond analysis of course material to synthesize concepts in a valid and/or novel or creative way.

B Very good to excellent work that analyzes material explored in class and is a reasonable attempt to synthesize material.

C Adequate work that satisfies the assignment, a limited analysis of material explored in class.

D Passing work that is minimally adequate, raising serious concern about readiness to continue in the field.

F Failing work that is clearly inadequate, unworthy of credit.

DFD Deferred. A temporary designation used at the end of a semester for a designated course continuing for two semesters. When the full sequence is completed, the given grade applies to both semesters. If a student fails to register for or withdraws from the second semester course, the student will be awarded a credit or no-credit designation for the first semester course.

I Incomplete. An Incomplete grade may be assigned at the discretion of the instructor when circumstances beyond the control of the student prevent completion of the course. It is intended for use when a small number of assignments or the final exam is outstanding. An Incomplete grade for CORE 120 or CORE 121 must also be approved by the director of General Education. It is the responsibility of the individual faculty member—in consultation with the student and/or the Office of the Dean—to decide whether the student has a legitimate reason for not completing the work on time. The Office of the Dean provides guidance when an extensive number of classes have been missed or other questions arise. Note that students who would be required to attend additional class sections to complete the course should instead withdraw and enroll in the course in a future semester.

When an Incomplete grade is assigned, the completed coursework must be submitted to the instructor of record no later than the end of the fourth week of the following semester. (Instructors may set an earlier deadline.) Extensions may be requested by the faculty member if a further extenuating circumstance prevents the student from completing the work by the previously arranged due date. Extensions must be requested on the Incomplete Grade Extension form and must have the approval of the director of General Education in the case of CORE 120 or CORE 121. An Incomplete grade for a CORE course cannot be carried longer than six months from the end of the semester in which the course was taken. In no case will an Incomplete grade be carried longer than 12 calendar months from the last day of the semester in which the course was taken. An Incomplete grade may not be carried beyond a student’s graduation date. Upon expiration, an unresolved Incomplete grade will be changed to the listed default grade consistent with the grading option for the course. Incomplete grades from Lewis & Clark overseas programs that are not resolved within 12 calendar months will be changed to a failing grade.

CR/NC Credit/No Credit. Successful completion of course requirements at the level of C (2.000) or higher is signified on the transcript by Credit (CR). Students who fail to successfully complete the requirements at the level of C (2.000) receive a designation of No Credit (NC).

Most courses are offered for a letter grade. In certain cases, a student may request the CR/NC option by filing a special form with the registrar during the add/drop period at the beginning of the semester. Consent of the instructor is required for the CR/NC option in regularly graded courses. This option may not be changed after it is filed.* In courses designated CR/NC only, a student may not request a letter grade. CR/NC grades are not used for calculating the student’s GPA. Lewis & Clark does not limit the number of courses that may be taken on a CR/NC basis.

Note: Courses taken to fulfill General Education requirements (except physical education/activity courses) may not be taken with the CR/NC option.

W Withdrawal. A Withdrawal grade is recorded when a course is dropped after the second week of the semester. Withdrawal after the end of the 10th week is not permitted. W grades are also recorded in the case of a complete semester withdrawal at any time after the semester begins. W grades are not used for calculating the student’s GPA. 

Grade Point Average

Letter grades are converted to a numerical equivalent as follows:

A 4.0 points/semester credit
A- 3.7 points/semester credit
B+ 3.3 points/semester credit
B 3.0 points/semester credit
B- 2.7 points/semester credit
C+ 2.3 points/semester credit
C 2.0 points/semester credit
C- 1.7 points/semester credit
D+ 1.3 points/semester credit
D 1.0 points/semester credit
F, DFD, I, W, CR/NC no points

The grade point average (GPA) is calculated by dividing the total number of grade points by the number of semester credits carrying numerical equivalent grades. Excluded from the GPA calculation are all courses in which the designation DFD, I, W, or CR/NC was awarded. The GPA is based entirely on Lewis & Clark coursework.

Grade Reports

The Office of the Registrar processes grades during the two weeks following examinations. Students may access their grades online.

Academic Grievance Procedure

If a student alleges that a final grade in a course is an inaccurate reflection of the student’s performance, the student should first attempt to resolve the matter with the individual faculty member.

If unable to reach a resolution, the student and faculty member will request assistance from the department chair or program director. If this attempt at resolution is unsuccessful, either party may submit a formal written appeal to the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, whose decisions in matters of academic grievances are final.

No grade may be changed after one year from the date of issuance.

Repeated Courses

Certain courses may be taken more than once for credit toward the degree (see individual course descriptions). Otherwise, courses that are repeated may not be counted for credit toward the degree. For example, if a student repeats a particular course to improve the grade, Lewis & Clark counts the course credits only once toward graduation requirements. Both the original grade and the repeated grade are used in calculating the student’s grade point average and will appear on the transcript.

*The single exception to this rule is that a faculty member may assign a grade of F if a student is found guilty of a violation of Lewis & Clark’s Academic Integrity Policy.