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About Grades

Final grades are released to students electronically by the Office of the Registrar at the conclusion of each semester. Copies of a student’s transcript are made available to the student’s faculty advisor (to assist with advising) and the Dean of Studies Office. Any other request to see a student’s grades must be accompanied by written permission of the student.

Pre-matriculation work completed at another institution (including AP credit) and accepted for application towards the Vassar degree is recorded only as units of credit; that is, the grades do not transfer for calculation in the Vassar grade point average. All post-matriculation transfer credit will be listed on the Vassar transcript along with the grades earned at the home institution. However, in all cases, only Vassar work will be computed into the Vassar cumulative grade point average.

There are two types of nongraded Vassar work: a) courses which the faculty has designated as ungraded (grades are Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory, or, for independent work, Distinction); and b) courses that are normally graded but which the student elects to take under the non-recorded option. For an explanation of the non-recorded option (NRO), please see “General Academic Regulations and Information” in the Degrees and Courses of Study section of the catalogue. The schedule of classes indicates which courses may be taken NRO. The total number of NRO units may not exceed 4. For transfer students, this limit is reduced by 1 unit for each year of advanced standing awarded to the student. The total number of ungraded units may not exceed 5. For transfer students, this limit is reduced by 1 unit for each year of advanced standing awarded to the student. This ungraded limit does not apply to any units taken in excess of the 32-unit minimum required for graduation.

The non-recorded option has been approved by the faculty to permit students to elect courses that may be outside their primary fields of interest without penalty of a low grade. Since first-year students are in the process of defining their principal fields of interest or expertise, faculty advisors often recommend that students not take courses NRO during their first year. All NRO elections must be approved by the faculty advisor and filed with the registrar by the end of the first six weeks of classes (in the fall, October 18, the same date as the drop deadline).

Although official grade reports are issued only at the completion of each semester, instructors are encouraged to notify the Dean of Studies Office of any students who are performing below satisfactory (“C”) level at any point during the semester. Class deans and advisors may request a conference with these students to discuss their academic progress.

At the end of each semester, the Committee on Student Records reviews the performance of all students with an unsatisfactory record, including any student with one F, two Ds, or a term or cumulative grade point average below 2.0. (Students cannot graduate with a cumulative or major GPA below 2.0.) These students are placed on academic probation, and the committee may recommend or require a leave of absence or withdrawal from the college. First-year students who at the end of the year have a grade point average of 1.5 or below usually may not return the following year. A student remains in good academic standing (and is eligible to apply for financial aid) as long as he or she is matriculated at Vassar and is considered by the committee to be making satisfactory progress towards the degree.

The principal causes of unsatisfactory performance at Vassar are irregular class attendance and the late submission of written work. Although there is no college-wide attendance policy, individual instructors and departments have instituted attendance policies, and these policies can directly affect a student’s grade.