Grades & Assessments

Faculty members must provide a series of graded assignments or assessments throughout the semester. In undergraduate classes, faculty members normally must assign enough graded work so that they can give a meaningful mid-term grade. If faculty members do not feel that a mid-term grade is appropriate for their course, they should consult with their department chair, providing a brief explanation of their decision. All courses that contain a significant number of freshmen must include a meaningful midterm grade. Faculty members are expected to give students timely feedback on all graded assignments, so that students can know how they performed and how they may improve in the future.  All mid-term and final grades are to be posted on the University's NOVASIS system within the time limits specified by the Registrar.  Please refer to sections on FINAL EXAMINATIONS and SYLLABI in this Faculty Handbook.

Grading System

The grade report at the end of the semester is part of the student's permanent record. Any inaccuracy on this record must be reported to the Registrar according to the following deadlines; otherwise, the record will stand as it is.

  • Spring Semester grade errors: Last Friday in June
  • Summer Semester grade errors: Last Friday in August
  • Fall Semester grade errors: Last Friday in January

Faculty members are responsible for maintaining the integrity of the evaluation and grading system.  Presented below in the Undergraduate Grading System; the Graduate Grading System may be found in each college's Graduate Catalog:




is the highest academic grade possible; an honor grade which is not automatically given to a student who ranks highest in the course, but is reserved for accomplishment that is truly distinctive and demonstrably outstanding. It represents a superior mastery of course material and is a grade that demands a very high degree of understanding as well as originality or creativity as appropriate to the nature of the course. The grade indicates that the student works independently with unusual effectiveness and often takes the initiative in seeking new knowledge outside the formal confines of the course.




is a grade that denotes achievement considerably above acceptable standards. Good mastery of course material is evident and student performance demonstrates a high degree of originality, creativity, or both. The grade indicates that the student works well independently and often demonstrates initiative . Analysis, synthesis, and critical expression, oral or written, are considerably above average.




indicates a satisfactory degree of attainment and is the acceptable standard for graduation from college. It is the grade that may be expected of a student of average ability who gives to the work a reasonable amount of time and effort. This grade implies familiarity with the content of the course and acceptable mastery of course material; it implies that the student displays some evidence of originality and/or creativity, works independently at an acceptable level and completes all requirements in the course.



denotes a limited understanding of the subject matter, meeting only the minimum requirement for passing the course. It signifies work which in quality and/or quantity falls below the average acceptable standard for passing the course. Performance is deficient in analysis, synthesis, and critical expression; there is little evidence of originality, creativity, or both.
F indicates inadequate or unsatisfactory attainment, serious deficiency in understanding of course material, and/or failure to complete requirements of the course.
N Incomplete: course work not completed.
S Satisfactory: Assigned in Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory courses (work must be equivalent to C or better).
SP Satisfactory Progress.
T Transfer grade.
WX Approved withdrawal without penalty.
W Approved withdrawal with penalty.
U Unsatisfactory: Assigned in Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory courses.
AU Audit.
Y Unofficial withdrawal from course (or for freshmen, failure for excessive absences).
NG (Or Blank); no grade reported.


All grades are permanent, except N and NG, which are temporary grades used to indicate that the student's work in a course has not been completed. An N or NG grade must be removed and a grade substituted by the instructor according to the following schedule:

  • For the Fall Semester: Students must submit all work to the instructor by the last Friday in January; grade changes must be submitted to the Registrar's Office by the second Friday in February.
  • For the Spring Semester: Students must submit all work to the instructor by the last Friday in June; grade changes must be submitted to the Registrar's Office by the second Friday in July.
  • Students should check the academic calendar for actual dates. If a change is not reported, the N or NG grade automatically becomes an NF.
  • Without the approval of the instructor, the department chair, and the dean, no grade higher than C may replace the N.

The grade WX indicates an authorized withdrawal with the grade not considered in the calculation of the quality-point average. The grade W also indicates an authorized withdrawal, but the grade is calculated as an F in determining the quality-point average. Authorization for WX and W may be given only by the student's dean. The grade Y is given when a student unofficially withdraws from a course. It is reflected in the average as an F.

Required courses carrying a final grade of F must be repeated unless the student transfers to another college of the University where the course for which an F grade was received is not a requirement for the degree. The reasons for student deficiencies are reported by the faculty member at mid-semester and at the end of the semester to the dean of the student's college.

When a student who has failed in a course presents evidence of subsequently passing a like course in another institution, the University reserves the right to withhold credit for the course until the student shall have passed a qualifying examination given by the Faculty from which a degree is sought.

Students should recognize that failure in one course or more will usually make it impossible for them to graduate with the class in which they matriculated.


Office of the Provost

Tolentine Hall, Room 103
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085
Phone: 610.519.4525
Fax: 610.519.6200

Meet Our Staff

Strategic Plan
Strategic Planning Process