The letter grades in Yale College are:
The opportunity to elect courses on a Credit/D/Fail basis has been provided by the Yale College Faculty in order to encourage academic exploration and to promote diversity in students’ programs.
- 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.
- Eligibility All courses, other than independent study courses, that are offered in Yale College during the fall and spring terms are available for election under the Credit/D/Fail option. (See “Independent Study Courses,” below, for information on the grading of such courses.)
- Total number of course credits A student has up to six opportunities to convert a course credit to the Credit/D/Fail option, with two of these opportunities expiring if unused during their first two terms of enrollment.
- Number of courses and course credits in a term As many as two course 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 course 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 or the mark of Pass, in any combination.
For students enrolled in the Eli Whitney Students program, who are permitted to enroll in as few as three course credits in a calendar year and thus sometimes enroll in only one course credit in a term, different limits apply. An Eli Whitney student enrolled in four or more course credits in a term may elect up to two course credits that term under the Credit/D/Fail option; an Eli Whitney student enrolled in three or 3.5 course credits in a term may elect up to 1.5 course credits that term under the Credit/D/Fail option; and an Eli Whitney student enrolled in two or 2.5 course credits in a term may elect up to one course credit that term under the Credit/D/Fail option. An Eli Whitney student who is enrolled in fewer than two course credits in a term may elect no course credits that term under the Credit/D/Fail option. An Eli Whitney student who is enrolled in two or more but fewer than four course credits in a term may elect no more than one course credit that term under the Credit/D/Fail option. An Eli Whitney student who is enrolled in four or more course credits in a term is bound by the limits given in the paragraph immediately above.
- Distributional requirements A student may not apply any course credit earned on the Credit/D/Fail basis toward satisfaction of the distributional requirements for the junior year, or toward satisfaction of the distributional requirements for the bachelor’s degree.
- Requirements of the major The program description of each major specifies whether or not courses taken on the Credit/D/Fail basis count toward the requirements of that major.
- Credit/year course sequences A 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.
- Course schedules Students enroll in all courses without selecting any for the Credit/D/Fail option. They may subsequently select that option in any Yale College course—other than those independent study courses graded on a Pass/Fail basis—by the last day of classes, as published in the Yale College Calendar with Pertinent Deadlines. After the last day of classes, election of the Credit/D/Fail option is not permitted. 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 must elect at least two courses, representing at least two course credits, for letter grades or the mark of Pass, in any combination.
- Conversion back to a letter grade Once a student converts a course to the Credit/D/Fail mode, this change cannot be reversed.
- Acceleration credit Work completed under the Credit/D/Fail option cannot yield acceleration credit.
- Prizes and honors Marks of CR are included as non-A grades in the calculations for some prizes, for Distinction in the Major, and for election to Phi Beta Kappa, but marks of CR are not included in the calculation for General Honors. See Honors in The Undergraduate Curriculum.
- Courses in the graduate and professional schools Courses 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 Undergraduate Curriculum.
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 (DUS) 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 are 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 DUS in the department or program that will be applying the course toward its major requirements 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
- Record of courses A 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. 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 of W (Withdrew) appears on the transcript in association with the course. See paragraph 4 below.
- Equal value of courses Passing 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.
- Change of a grade A 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.
- Deadlines for withdrawal from courses If a student has elected a full-term 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. If a student has elected a half-term course on the course schedule but formally withdraws from it by the relevant deadline 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.
If a student enrolled in a full-term 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 the second term is completed, will have the designation W (Withdrew) recorded for the first term of the sequence.
If a student enrolled in a half-term course formally withdraws from it after the deadline for the course to be removed from the transcript, but by the last date a withdrawal is permitted from the course, the student's transcript will record the neutral designation W (Withdrew) for the course. See the Yale College Calendar with Pertinent Deadlines for both dates in each term.
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.
- Incomplete work and postponed final examinations A 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 section H, Completion of Course Work, “Postponement of Final Examinations” and “Work Incomplete at the End of Term.”
- Withdrawal from Yale College Whether a student withdraws from Yale College for personal, medical, academic, or financial reasons, the entry placed in each case on the student’s transcript is the word “Withdrew” together with the date of the withdrawal. When a student is withdrawn for disciplinary reasons, the entry placed on the student’s transcript is the word “Suspended” together with the date of the suspension.
- Majors, concentrations, and certificates A transcript may show as a student’s major subject only a designation approved for that purpose by the Yale College Faculty. Major designations are listed under Majors in Yale College. Additionally, transcripts show clearly defined concentrations or tracks of majors. Certificates are also listed on transcripts after degrees have been conferred. Certificates are listed under Certificates in Yale College.
- Access to grades 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 Student Information System (SIS). Students have the opportunity to grant online access to their grades to certain other parties through the Proxy Management menu in the Student Information System.