B. Grades

Letter Grades

The letter grades in Yale College are as follows:

AExcellentB+C+D+FFail
A–BGoodCSatisfactoryDPassing
B–C–D–

Credit/D/Fail Option

In order to encourage academic exploration and to promote diversity in students’ programs, the Yale College Faculty has provided that students may elect a certain number of courses on a Credit/D/Fail basis.

  1. Reporting of grades In all courses (except for a few professional school courses), instructors report letter grades for all students. If the student has chosen the Credit/D/Fail option in a course, the registrar converts grades of A, A–, B+, B, B–, C+, C, and C– into the notation CR, which is entered on the student’s transcript. Grades of D+, D, D–, and F are entered on the transcript as reported. A student may not be required to disclose to the instructor of a course whether the student has enrolled in the course for a letter grade or under the Credit/D/Fail option.
  2. EligibilityAll courses offered in Yale College during the fall and spring terms are available for election under the Credit/D/Fail option. Courses in Yale Summer Session may not be taken under the Credit/D/Fail option.
  3. Total number of coursesA student may offer as many as four course credits earned on the Credit/D/Fail basis toward the bachelor’s degree.
  4. Number of courses in a termAs many as two credits may be elected under the Credit/D/Fail option in a term; thus in an academic year a student may earn as many as four credits on the Credit/D/Fail option. In each term, a student must elect at least two courses, representing at least two course credits, for letter grades.
  5. Distributional requirementsA student may not apply any course credit earned on the Credit/D/Fail basis toward satisfaction of the distributional requirements for the junior year nor toward satisfaction of the distributional requirements for the bachelor’s degree.
  6. Requirements of the majorThe program description of each major specifies whether or not courses taken on the Credit/D/Fail basis count toward the requirements of that major.
  7. Credit/year course sequencesA credit/year course sequence may be taken under the Credit/D/Fail option for one term while the other term of the yearlong sequence is taken for a letter grade. For credit/year course sequences in which a student receives a separate letter grade for each of the two terms, each term will be governed by the enrollment option the student elected for that term. For credit/year course sequences in which a student receives the mark of SAT or NSAT for the first term and a letter grade for the second, the enrollment option that the student elects for the second term governs both terms of the course sequence; that is, students will receive either the mark of CR for both terms or a letter grade for both terms, depending on the option elected for the second term.
  8. Course schedulesStudents must indicate on their course schedules at the beginning of a term the use they wish to make during that term of the Credit/D/Fail option. As indicated above, in a given term a student may elect as many as (but no more than) two course credits on the Credit/D/Fail basis; and a student must elect at least two courses, representing at least two course credits, for letter grades. If a student indicates on the course schedule more than two course credits being taken on the Credit/D/Fail option, the registrar will record only the first two of them, in the order in which they are listed, as being taken on that basis, and the student will not be permitted to take the others on the Credit/D/Fail option.
  9. Late course schedulesBecause a decision to employ the Credit/D/Fail option in a course must be declared at the beginning of the term on the student’s course schedule, and because conversion from a letter grade to the Credit/D/Fail option is not possible for students who submit their schedules on time, a student who submits the schedule after the date on which it is due may not employ the Credit/D/Fail option in any course during that term. See “Enrollment in Courses” in section E. The only exception to this rule may be in the case of a student who for some valid and extraordinary reason cannot submit the course schedule on time and who has the permission of the residential college dean and the registrar to submit it late. If the college dean approves, such a student may employ the Credit/D/Fail option only by submitting to the college dean by the date on which the course schedule is due—as published in the Yale College Calendar with Pertinent Deadlines—a written statement specifying the course (or courses) that the student wishes to take on the Credit/D/Fail basis.
  10. Registration withheldIn order to employ the Credit/D/Fail option, students whose registration is being withheld by the Office of Student Financial Services or any other administrative office of the University must submit their schedules on time, before the deadline indicated on the student’s course schedule and listed in the Yale College Calendar with Pertinent Deadlines.
  11. Conversion to a letter gradeUntil the Friday three weeks before the end of each term, as published in the Yale College Calendar with Pertinent Deadlines, a student who has elected a course on the Credit/D/Fail basis may choose to receive a letter grade in that course by filing the appropriate form in the office of the residential college dean. After the deadline such conversion is not possible. If a student converts from the Credit/D/Fail option to a letter grade before the deadline, the option may not again be resumed even if the student desires to do so before the deadline.
  12. Conversion from a letter grade to Credit/D/FailA course once elected for a letter grade may not subsequently be converted to a course taken on the Credit/D/Fail basis.
  13. Courses selected after the deadlineA student who for any reason has been granted extraordinary permission by the Committee on Honors and Academic Standing to elect a new course after the deadline for submitting a course schedule may not employ the Credit/D/Fail option in that course. A change of level in courses in which the subject is taught in an ordered progression is not considered the election of a new course.
  14. Acceleration creditWork completed under the Credit/D/Fail option cannot yield acceleration credit.
  15. Prizes and honorsMarks of CR are included in the calculations for some prizes, for Distinction in the Major, and for election to Phi Beta Kappa as non-A grades, but marks of CR are not included in the calculation for General Honors. See under Honors in the Yale Curriculum section.
  16. Courses in the graduate and professional schoolsCourses in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and in the professional schools of the University are not available on the Yale College Credit/D/Fail option. Some courses in certain professional schools of the University are, however, graded on a Pass/Fail basis only, and grades for undergraduates in these courses are recorded as CR or F. Such credits are counted in the total earned on the Credit/D/Fail basis that a student is permitted to offer in a term as well as the total offered toward the requirements of a bachelor’s degree. Marks of CR in professional school courses are included in the calculations for Distinction in the Major as non-A grades. Marks of CR in professional school courses are not included in the calculation for General Honors. See “General Honors” and “Distinction in the Major” under Honors in the Yale Curriculum section.

Independent Study Courses

Independent study courses, other than senior essays or projects and other exempted courses as explained below, are graded on a Pass (“P”)/Fail (“F”) basis with the additional requirement that the instructor of record submit a substantive report that both describes the nature of the independent study and evaluates the student’s performance in it. These reports will be shared with the student and the director of undergraduate studies in the department or program in which the course is offered, and kept in the office of the student’s residential college dean.

Senior projects and courses deemed by a department or program to be a constituent of the senior requirement will continue to be evaluated with a letter grade. Additionally, the department or program offering a particular independent study course may deem that such a course should be exempted from pass/fail grading for a particular student because the course meets an important requirement in the major. In such a case, the director of undergraduate studies in the department or program that is offering the course may petition the Committee on Honors and Academic Standing to permit the student’s work in the course to be evaluated with a letter grade. Such a petition should be filed by the date on which the student’s schedule is due in the term in which the student is enrolling in the course and should provide sound academic reasons for the exception. In no case will such a petition be accepted later than the date of midterm in the term in which the course is being taken.

General Regulations Concerning Grades and Transcripts

  1. Record of coursesA transcript is the record of courses in which a student has enrolled during the student’s progress in completing the requirements of the bachelor’s degree. All grades, passing and failing, thus appear on the transcript and are counted in the calculation of grade point average (GPA). These include passing grades earned in the first term of a credit/year course sequence in which the second term is not completed, even though such grades do not count toward the 36-course-credit requirement for graduation. If a student remains in a course after the date of midterm, the student is considered to have been enrolled in that course; therefore, if a student withdraws from the course after midterm and before the first day of the reading period, the mark W (for Withdrew) appears on the transcript in association with the course. See paragraph 5 below.
  2. Equal value of coursesPassing grades contribute equally, to the extent to which they carry course credit, toward the 36-course-credit requirement for graduation. A grade of D in a course, for example, does not need to be balanced with a higher grade in some other course.
  3. Change of a gradeA grade, once submitted by the instructor of a course to the registrar, may not be changed except by vote of the Yale College Committee on Honors and Academic Standing on petition of the instructor, unless it is the result of a clerical error made in the instructor’s computation or in transcription of a grade.
  4. Withdrawal from courses before midtermIf a student has elected a course on the course schedule but formally withdraws from it before midterm, as published in the Yale College Calendar with Pertinent Deadlines, the student’s transcript will contain no indication of that course after the withdrawal has been recorded by the registrar. See section F, Withdrawal from Courses.
  5. Withdrawal from courses after midtermIf a student enrolled in a course formally withdraws from it after midterm but before the first day of the reading period, the student’s transcript will record the designation W (Withdrew) for the course. In credit/year course sequences in which a student receives the mark of SAT or NSAT for the first term and a letter grade for the second, a student who completes the first term but does not subsequently enroll in the second term, or who subsequently withdraws from the second term before midterm, will have the designation W (Withdrew) recorded for the first term of the sequence.
    The mark of W is a neutral designation indicating simply that the student has been enrolled in, but has withdrawn from, a course; while the course obviously carries no credit toward the degree, the W implies no evaluation of a student’s work and carries no implication whatsoever of failure. Withdrawal from a course after the last day of classes, as published in the Yale College Calendar with Pertinent Deadlines, is not possible. See section F, Withdrawal from Courses.
  6. Incomplete work and postponed final examinationsA student who has received permission for a mark of Temporary Incomplete in a course, or who has been authorized to take a makeup final examination in a course, is allowed the specified period of time to repair the deficiency in the course. If the deficiency is not repaired by a satisfactory performance within the stipulated time, then the designation TI (Authorized Temporary Incomplete) or ABX (Authorized Absence from Final Examination) is automatically converted by the registrar to the grade of F. See “Postponement of Final Examinations” and “Work Incomplete at the End of Term” in section H.
  7. Withdrawal from Yale CollegeWhether a student withdraws from Yale College for personal, medical, academic, or disciplinary reasons, the entry placed in each case on the student’s transcript is the word “Withdrew” together with the date of the withdrawal.
  8. Tracks and programs within majorsA transcript may show as a student’s major subject only a designation approved for that purpose by the Yale College Faculty; “tracks” or programs within majors may not appear on transcripts. The majors approved by the faculty are listed under Majors in Yale College.
  9. Distribution of grade reportsAt registration each year, a student is given the opportunity to declare whether his or her grades may be released to certain other parties. If the student gives permission for grades to be released to a guardian or to parents, after each term of that year the University Registrar’s Office will send a grade report to them. If a student gives permission for grades to be released to a secondary school or Alumni Schools Committee, grade reports will be furnished to them only upon specific request of the school or the committee. Upon written request of the student, the University Registrar’s Office will also send a copy of the grade report to any additional person or agency designated by the student.
  10. Early access to grade reportEarly access to recorded grades is available online to students in any Yale College course for which they have completed or actively declined to complete the online course evaluation form through the Yale University Student Information Systems.
  11. Transcript ordersTranscripts may be ordered either at Student Financial Services, 246 Church Street, or through the Web site of the University Registrar's Office. The charge is $7 per transcript. Each fall the registrar provides in each student’s registration packet, free of charge, an unofficial copy of the student’s academic record to date. This record may serve as a convenient aid in discussions with the student’s adviser of the student’s academic plans during the coming year.