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Grading System

Authoritative information regarding grades and grade point averages is published in the Catalog.

Catalog: Rules & Regulations V

GradeDescriptionQuality Points per Credit Hour
SSatisfactory completion of a course taken as Pass/Fail or of a course in which no other letter grade may be assigned.0
UUnsatisfactory completion of a course taken as Pass/Fail or of a course in which no other letter grade may be assigned.0
VAudit (No academic achievement is implied.)0
NRNot Reported - Assigned when an instructor fails to submit grades by the published deadline through no fault of the student.0

Effective September 17, 1973

Grade Point Average Calculation

A student who passes a course receives both the designated number of credit hours and a number of quality points, calculated by multiplying the course credit hours and the numerical equivalent of the letter grade received (A = 4, B = 3, C = 2, D = 1). Thus, a student taking a three-hour credit course and earning a grade of C receives six quality points. To determine the undergraduate academic average, the total number of quality points earned by the student for all courses scheduled as an undergraduate is divided by the total number of credit hours scheduled; for the graduate academic average, only those courses scheduled by the student while enrolled in the graduate division are considered. If a student takes the same course more than once, the latter grade does not replace the earlier one; rather, the academic average includes both grades with the exception of grades changed via the grade substitution policy. Courses taken pass/fail or audit are not included in the calculation of the student's grade point average. Grade point averages are truncated after two decimal places.

Catalog: Grades/Average


CourseCredit HoursBasisGradeQuality Points
MATH 15014L/GB12 (4 hours X 3)
ENGL 11013L/GA12 (3 hours X 4)
FREN 10013P/FS0 (pass/fail course is not included in GPA)
PSYC 1001L/GA4 (1 hour X 4)
 28 Total Quality Points

In this case the GPA calculation is 3.5. 
28 quality points divided by 8 credit hours. 
(11 hours - 3 hours P/F).

Authoritative information about grades and grade point averages is published in the Catalog.

Catalog: Rules & Regulations V

Regarding transfer credit and GPA calculation

Georgia Tech accepts transfer credit. Only the course credits that are acceptable transfer. Transfer credit/grades are not used in calculating the Georgia Tech GPA. Regardless of programs or transfer agreements with other institutions, grades are not transferred and do not apply toward the Georgia Tech GPA.

Transfer Credit Information

Incomplete Grades

According to the Rules & Regulations V3, a student may be assigned a grade of "I" under the following circumstance:

Assigned when a student was doing satisfactory work, but for nonacademic reasons beyond their control and deemed acceptable by the instructor, was unable to meet the full requirements of the course. If the student's performance was so poor as to preclude their passing, the instructor shall assign the grade of F". "Last Date of Participation" should be entered for any student assigned a final grade of "F" or "I".

Acceptable reasons for assigning an "I" would include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Personal illness of the student
  • Family emergency (death in family, serious illness in family, birth of child, etc.)
  • Computer failure/software problem/lack of data supplied by outside source
  • Travel required by job that could not be rescheduled

The student should be able to provide documentation to the instructor for any non-academic reason.

Other factors that should be considered and general guidance:

  • The emphasis is on the fact that the reason is not academic in nature and that the student was doing satisfactory work.
  • Students should not be instructed to sign up for the course again in order to make up an "I" grade and should only lack a small portion of course work. If the student is missing so much work that a passing grade could not have been assigned, a grade of "F" should be assigned.
  • The rule of thumb for this is that approximately 70% of the term should have passed for an Incomplete request to be appropriate.
  • The instructor may also consider the type of assignments that were missed such as group presentations, group projects, laboratories, or other examples where it would be difficult to recreate the work or conditions for the work to be completed.
  • An incomplete should not be granted in order for a student to redo a test, quiz, or exam in order to improve their grade.
  • Discussions about a possible Incomplete grade for a student should not occur until late enough in the term when it can be determined that the student is passing and that they have successfully completed enough of the class to have a reasonable chance of making it up by the deadline.
  • When completing a grade correction form to remove the "I" grade, the instructor is required to identify the nonacademic reason that the "I" was given, not what the student was required to do to make up the work.
  • Once a final grade is assigned to a course, it cannot be converted to an I (Incomplete) grade. An I grade must be assigned as part of the final grading process.
    • If a grade other than an incomplete is assigned during the final grading process, and special circumstances affected the student's matriculation at the end of the semester, the instructor may, at their discretion, allow the student to complete the missing assignment(s) within a reasonable period of time. When the instructor has evaluated the completed assignments, a change of grade can be submitted in the normal manner.
  • Students who receive a grade of "I" (Incomplete) should consult the Student Rules & Regulations VII regarding the length of time allowed to make up the Incomplete. An extension of the time needed to make up the missing assignments is possible, but should be done only under extenuating circumstances beyond the student's control. This is at the instructor's discretion.
    • The reasonable time frame of an extension for making up an Incomplete grade is dictated by the professor, based on whatever assignments are missing. The student must comply with it or be assigned the grade they have earned.
    • When the extension of the due date is approved, an exact date must be provided to the Registrar's Office such as “12-1-2022.” This date is entered into an extension field in Banner which is what avoids the conversion of the Incomplete to a grade of F if not completed by the due date.
    • Acceptable reasons for allowing an extension of the deadline for making up an Incomplete grade include:
      • The instructor is not available during the semester in which the make-up assignments are due.
      • The student is participating in a co-op or internship and is not actively enrolled in coursework for that semester and is therefore unable to focus on the Incomplete grade.
      • The instructor, for whatever reason, cannot continue working with the student on the Incomplete grade make-up and the School must assign a different instructor to work with the student.
      • The student continues to experience the illness or extenuating circumstances that warranted the Incomplete grade initially. If this continues beyond a calendar year, as a rule of thumb, a discussion with the student's academic advisor around a petition to the faculty to withdraw from the course might be advisable or even necessary.
  • An important thing to keep in mind is that at the end of every semester the Registrar's Office runs the “I to F” process. After an incomplete has been converted to an “F” grade it will not be changed back to an incomplete. At the instructor's discretion, a student may be allowed to complete the work and be assigned a revised grade through the normal change of grade process.

Grade Substitution

This policy is known as “freshman forgiveness” or “academic forgiveness” at some institutions. No assumptions based on experiences at other institutions should be made about the grade substitution policy at Georgia Tech. Students requesting grade substitutions must follow all steps outlined in Rules & Regulations V in the Catalog.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Grade Substitution Policy

Grade Substitution Policy

1. How does this policy differ from the old one?

The policy that was effective Summer 2005 through Spring 2019 was a freshman grade substitution policy that applied only to students admitted as freshmen. It allowed them to repeat within their first four terms up to two courses in which they had earned grades of D or F in their freshman year and have only the most current grade included in their GPA. The full policy is in the 2018-2019 Catalog. What is different about the new policy is that grade substitution is now open to all students.

2. When does the new policy take effect?

It takes effect starting with the Summer 2019 term under the 2019-2020 Catalog.

3. Is the policy retroactive?

No, the policy is not retroactive. The D or F grade to be retaken must have been earned in a course taken during or after the Summer 2019 session. The new policy does not apply to courses taken prior to Summer 2019.

4. Does this mean that a student who used grade substitution under the old policy may now take two more courses and apply the new policy?

No, if a student has already used grade substitutions under the previous policy, they will count towards the maximum number under the new policy. The new policy allows all students to use grade substitution for up to two classes. So if a student already used two grade substitutions under the old policy, the student cannot request further grade substitutions.

5. What if a student used only one grade substitution under the old policy?

The student would still have one grade substitution available under the new policy.

6. Do the rules change for a freshman who started in Tech in the 2018-2019 academic year? Can they still retake the course anytime in their first four academic terms, or does the one calendar year limit from the new policy apply?

The policy is not retroactive. The new rules apply to courses taken in Summer 2019 or in future terms. Students admitted as freshmen in Summer or Fall 2018 will follow the old policy and must retake the courses in which they earned grades of D or F in their first four terms. However, students admitted Summer or Fall 2018 might wish to consider whether it is in their best interest to apply for grade substitution under the old policy for courses taken in the first two terms, or “save” their two options for any courses that they will take in Summer 2019 or later.

7. Are exceptions to the grade substitution policy possible?

The grade substitution policy (including, but not limited to, course eligibility, number of courses, time limits, and deadlines) is not subject to exceptions.

8. Can the grade substitution policy be petitioned to the Undergraduate Institute Curriculum Committee?

The grade substitution policy may not be petitioned to the Undergraduate Institute Curriculum Committee.

Grade Changes

The Registrar's Office is responsible for processing all grade changes. In order for a student to receive a grade change, a "Grade Correction" form must be completed and signed by the faculty member who taught the course. The form must then be signed by the head of the academic department. The form is then submitted to the Registrar's Office for processing. If an academic department has made an error in completing the form, it will be returned to the department by the Registrar's Office for correction and re-submission.

Grade changes are processed once a week during the term with the exception of the week during which final grades are assigned. Academic standing is reviewed after each grade change and any necessary changes are made.

Students who receive a grade of "I" (Incomplete) should consult the Student Rules & Regulations VII regarding the length of time allowed to make up the Incomplete.

A grade of "NR" (Not Reported by the faculty member) is to be removed as soon as the faculty member can submit final grades and is only assigned in the case of an extreme emergency.

With the exception of grades changed via the grade substitution policy, only the final grade earned in a course for a given term is shown on an official transcript; no intermediate changes are displayed. Grade changes made in the computer system are immediately reflected on the Georgia Tech WEB Student Access System.

Catalog: Grades/Average

Catalog: Deficiencies

Incomplete Grade Information

Academic Standing

Authoritative information regarding students' academic standing is published in the Catalog.

Catalog: Student Rules and Regulation VI

Academic standing is based on both the term grade point average and the overall average of the student. The minimum term and overall grade point averages for a student to be designated as having Good standing is explained below.

Minimum GPA for each class to be designated with Good standing. Effective Fall Term, 2001.

Class StandingRequired GPA
Freshman or JEPHS1.70
Senior or Special Undergraduate2.00
Masters or Special Graduate2.70

Students on an academic readmission agreement may have additional requirements in order to designated with Good standing. Academic standings in effect at Georgia Tech are described below.

Academic Standing

Academic StandingDescription
GoodStudent is not on academic warning or probation; is maintaining satisfactory academic progress.
WarningStudent’s most recent academic performance has been unsatisfactory or the overall average is below the minimum requirement. Academic warning is a subcategory of good academic standing, differing only in the maximum allowable schedule load.
ProbationStudent’s most recent academic performance has been extremely unsatisfactory or the term average has continued to be unsatisfactory or the overall academic average has continued to be below the minimum requirement.
ReviewStudent who normally would be dropped from the rolls due to academic deficiencies but appears from the record not to have completed the term. Student cannot be enrolled on Review status and should contact their major school for further information.
Drop/DismissalStudent has been dropped from the rolls due to academic deficiencies. Student may apply for readmission after an absence of one term unless this is second Drop/Dismissal. Students on Drop should seek advisement from their major school regarding future re-admission.

Maximum Hours for Undergraduate Students

The maximum number of credit hours for which an undergraduate student may register in a Fall or Spring semester, based on her/his academic standing, is explained below.

Good21 credit hours
Warning16 credit hours
Probation14 credit hours

The maximum number of credit hours for which an undergraduate student may register in a normal summer term, based on their academic standing, is explained below.

Good16 credit hours
Warning14 credit hours
Probation12 credit hours

Requests for schedule overloads must be recommended by the student's major school and approved by the Institute Undergraduate Curriculum Committee through the petition process.

Petition to the Faculty

Semester System

Georgia Tech changed from the quarter to the semester system in August of 1999. There are three terms offered each calendar year: Fall, Spring, and an abbreviated Summer Term.

Course credit hours are represented by a numbering system where the first digit represents lecture hours, the second represents lab hours, and the third is credit hours. (Example: a 3-0-3 course is 3 hours of lecture, zero lab hours, 3 hours credit.)

Fall and Spring Terms

  • Each lecture class is equal to 50 minutes per day.
  • 750 minutes of lecture class time equals 1 semester hour of credit.
  • In general, 3 hours of supervised lab is equal to 1 semester credit hour.
  • Each semester is 15 weeks of class.

Summer Term

In addition to the Fall and Spring Terms, Georgia Tech offers an abbreviated Summer Term. The summer class periods are adjusted to accommodate the 750 minutes of class time required to equal 1 semester credit hour.

Important note about Summer terms

A minimum of 12 hours is required to be considered a full-time student for all terms, including Summer terms.

Tuition Classification

Quarter to Semester Hours Conversion

The conversion is 2/3.

For example, a 5-hours quarter course equals 3.33 hours in semester credit.

Progress Reports

Authoritative information regarding grades and grade point averages is published under Rules & Regulations V in the Catalog.

Catalog: Rules & Regulations V: Grades/Average

Rules & Regulations V explains the requirements for midterm progress reports:

Progress report grades are submitted to the Office of the Registrar for all classes numbered 1000 and 2000 in the Fall Semester and Spring Semester. These grades are used for advising students, not for calculating any grade-point average (GPA) at Georgia Tech. Progress report grades are "S" or "U." A grade of "U" indicates that, based on the work completed to that point in the academic term, the student's standing is in the "D" or lower range. Progress report grades must be submitted once 40 percent of the academic term has passed, as specified by the official Academic Calendar. The due date for reporting will be noon on Monday and the grades will be available to students that afternoon.