Original Date: 6/2/1989 * Last Revision Effective: 1/10/2018
Policy Contact: Vice President, Instruction
Bellevue College utilizes a consistent, published letter grading system to reflect a student’s achievement. For students who do not wish to take a course for a letter grade, an optional pass/fail grading system is available, as is the option to audit a course.
The student is responsible for initiating the removal of an incomplete grade or for correcting a grade he or she believes to be incorrect.
Students have the right to repeat a course as described in this policy.
Letter A-F Grades
“A” grades indicate “outstanding” achievement
A = 4.0 points per credit hour
A- = 3.7 points per credit hour
The “A” student:
- demonstrates consistent mastery of learning outcomes for the course;
- demonstrates ability to interpret, integrate, and apply learning outcomes beyond the context of the course through application of critical and creative thinking skills;
- completes work assignments that consistently exceed requirements and that interpret and apply objectives in new, unique, or creative ways;
- demonstrates consistent leadership in class-participation activities.
“B” grades indicate “high” achievement
B+ = 3.3 points per credit hour
B = 3.0 points per credit hour
B- = 2.7 points per credit hour
The “B” student:
- demonstrates a high level of competence in learning outcomes for the course;
- demonstrates ability to interpret, integrate, and apply learning outcomes within the context of the course through application of critical and creative thinking skills;
- completes work assignments that consistently meet most requirements;
- contributes regularly to class-participation activities.
“C” grades indicate “adequate” achievement
C+ = 2.3 points per credit hour
C = 2.0 points per credit hour
C- = 1.7 points per credit hour
The “C” student:
- demonstrates an adequate level of competence in learning outcomes for the course;
- demonstrates competent ability to interpret, integrate, and apply learning outcomes within the context of the course;
- completes work assignments that satisfy minimum requirements for the course;
- satisfies minimum requirements for class-participation activities.
“D” grades indicate “poor” achievement
D+ = 1.3 points per credit hour
D = 1.0 point per credit hour
The “D” student:
- demonstrates minimum competence in some learning outcomes for the course;
- completes work assignments that usually meet minimum requirements;
- contributes inconsistently or infrequently to class-participation activities.
“F” grades indicate “inadequate” achievement
F = 0 points per credit hour
The “F” student:
- cannot demonstrate competence in many or fundamental outcomes for the course;
- submits work assignments that frequently do not meet minimum requirements, or does not complete the assigned work;
- does not satisfy minimum requirements for attendance or contribution to class activities.
Students should be aware that the instructor determines whether the class will be evaluated using the “F” grade.
Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (“S/U”) Grades
Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (“S/U”) is a grade granted for specific courses as determined by the college. Students may not choose this grading option. An “S” grade indicates a letter grade of at least a “C.” A grade of “U” indicates a letter grade of less than a “C.” No points are calculated into the GPA for either grade.
“S” grades indicate “satisfactory” achievement
- an “S” grade indicates a letter grade of “C” or better;
- students earn credit, but no points are calculated into the GPA;
- the use of the “S” grade is determined by the college;
- students may not choose the “S” grade as an option.
“U” grades indicate “unsatisfactory” achievement
- a “U” grade indicates a letter grade lower than a “C”;
- no points are calculated into the GPA;
- the use of the “U” grade is determined by the college.
Credit/Non-credit = CR/NC
Credit/non-credit (“CR/NC”) grades are granted for specific courses as determined by the college. Students may not choose this grading option. No points are calculated into the grade-point average.
Pass/Fail = P/F
No points are calculated for a “P” grade, which is issued in two separate instances: for those courses institutionally recognized as using the “P” grade and for courses graded using “A” through “F” in which a student elects to be evaluated “pass/fail.” In the latter instance, all “P” grades must be supported with traditional letter grades, and when the student fails to receive a grade of “A” through “D,” a grade of “F” will be assigned and calculated in the grade-point average.
Courses which a student elects to take “pass/fail” may not be used to satisfy distribution requirements in the arts and sciences or science degrees. A student must declare intention for a “P/F” grade within the first ten (10) days of the quarter by filing the request in the student service center.
Pass/Fail Grading System
Students may ask to be graded on a “pass/fail” basis in a course by filing a request form at the registration office by the tenth instructional day of the quarter (for fall, winter, and spring; summer quarter has an alternate schedule). “Pass/fail” may also be determined at the time the student enrolls for the course.
- A “pass/fail” option cannot be used for a course for which a student has already received a letter grade.
- Instructors are required to transmit a traditional letter grade for transcript support for each student who elects the “pass/fail” option, except in those courses which have been approved by the institution for “pass/fail” grading; e.g., physical education activity, clinical nursing courses, etc. The records office will retain the letter grade for later release to authorized agencies who may request it, but will print “pass” or “fail” on the student grade report and permanent record.
- No more than fifteen (15) credits may be taken “pass/fail” in satisfying requirements for an Associate Degree. Courses requiring a “P” grade are not included in the fifteen (15) credits.
- A grade of “P” earned in a course taken “pass/fail” will not be factored into the student’s grade-point average, but a grade of “F” will be calculated as “0” points for GPA purposes.
Official Withdrawal = W
Official withdrawals are accepted and recorded on one schedule for fall, winter, and spring quarters, and on a different schedule for summer quarter.
During fall, winter, and spring quarters withdrawals are recorded as follows:
- Through the tenth day of the quarter, the dropped course does not become part of the transcript.
- After the tenth school day and through the end of the seventh week of the quarter, the “W” grade will become part of the student’s transcript record, regardless of grade status at the time.
- No official withdrawal will be permitted after the start of the eighth week of the quarter.
During summer quarter withdrawals are recorded as follows:
- Through the sixth day of the quarter, the dropped course does not become a part of the transcript record.
- After the sixth day and through the end of the fifth week of the quarter, the “W” grade will become part of the student’s transcript record, regardless of grade status at this time.
- No official withdrawal will be permitted after the start of the sixth week of a summer quarter.
Hardship Withdrawal = HW
“HW” indicates a withdrawal request made because of extenuating circumstances after the official withdrawal period is over. The student must contact the instructor to request this withdrawal option, or the faculty member may initiate the contact. No points are calculated into the grade-point average.
Course in Progress = Y
This symbol indicates a course which, by authorization of the vice president of instruction, officially continues beyond the terminal date of the present quarter. Normally, the course is completed and graded on or before the termination of the subsequent quarter.
Incomplete = I
No points are calculated for this grade. An “I” grade indicates that the student has not completed specific prescribed requirements for a course, usually for unforeseen reasons beyond the student’s control. The student is responsible for requesting the assignment of an “I” grade and for demonstrating why the “I” is appropriate. Granting the request and assigning the “I” grade is the prerogative of the instructor. If a student has performed at a passing level during the quarter but for some reason is unable to complete the course requirements, he/she may be assigned an “I” grade at the course instructor’s discretion. The nature of the deficiency must be such that removal of an “I” grade is not contingent on subsequent enrollment in the same course by the student.
An “I” will be posted to the transcript when submitted by the instructor with a contractual form which specifically indicates the work the student must complete to make up the deficiency and the date by which the deficiency must be resolved. Both the instructor and the student must sign the contract. The work for the course must be completed before the end of the next quarter (by the end of the following fall term if the “I” is given in the spring term), and an extension can be granted only with the instructor’s approval. If the student fails to complete the designated assignment(s), an “F” grade will be posted.
Removal of an incomplete grade
After the student completes the course requirements, resolving the deficiencies outlined on the contractual form within the negotiated time limit, the instructor is then responsible for returning the change of grade form to the records office for processing.
Audit = “N”
Not counted for credit or grade-point average. A student must declare an intention to audit a course within the first ten (10) days of a quarter by filing the request in the registration office.
Auditing a course
An optional audit grade is available to all students and is governed by the following provisions and stipulations:
- Students may ask to audit a course by filing a request form at the registration office by the tenth instructional day of the quarter (for Fall, Winter, and Spring; Summer Quarter has an alternate schedule). The intent to audit may also be determined at the time the student enrolls for the course.
- Any person may enroll in a credit course as an auditor upon payment of the required enrollment fees.
- Auditors in a course are required to participate in all activities and meet all minimum standards expected of other students in the course, except that they will be excused from the final examination. Instructors are not required to transmit a traditional letter grade for an auditor.
- Audited courses do not satisfy the requirements for an Associate of Arts degree or a certificate.
- A grade of “N” earned in an audited course will not be factored into the student’s grade-point average.
Correcting a Grade
If a student wishes to contest the accuracy of a grade, it is important to consult with the instructor involved immediately.
Instructors receive audit sheets of all grades they have in all classes during the first ten (10) days of the next regular quarter. Errors may be noted on this audit sheet, and corrected, with minimal problem to the student. After the tenth day of the following quarter, the student has one (1) year in which to correct a grading error. If the instructor is no longer employed at this college, or is away from the campus for an extended time, students wishing to correct a grading error should talk with the division dean of that faculty member. After one year, grades are not changed except for extraordinary reasons.
Repeating a Course
Students may repeat a course taken at Bellevue College in order to improve their skills or the course grade. All course repeats must comply with the Procedures for Repeating a Course.
- The course-repeat policy only applies to courses that are taken at Bellevue College.
- A course may be repeated only twice (that is, taken a total of three times) unless otherwise specified in the college catalog.
- Credit for any course is earned only once (except courses designed to be taken multiple times, as noted in the Bellevue College Catalog).
- Only the highest grade awarded will be used in computing the Bellevue College GPA.
- Each grade received will remain on the student’s transcript; the Registrar will place an “R” next to other grade(s) received for that course.
- Courses must be repeated for a letter grade unless the course is only offered only as “satisfactory/unsatisfactory,” “credit/non-credit,” or “pass/fail.”
- The course repeat process DOES NOT apply to grade symbols: I, NC, W, HW, Y or Z.
- The Bellevue College repeat policy may or may not be recognized by other institutions, at their sole discretion.
- To repeat a course, students must re-register and pay all necessary tuition and fees.
Revisions 12/31/1999; 3/22/2005; 5/21/2009; 9/11/2012; 2/5/2014; 1/10/2018
Board of Trustees
Last Updated November 15, 2018