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Scholastic Standards

Full-time graduate students may take a maximum of 15 credits a semester. Students in the Teacher Education program with full-time employment may take a maximum of six credits in any semester. There is a protocol in place for those doing student teaching and taking six credits to be certified as full-time students; they must ensure that their academic department provides this information to the Office of the Registrar. Students who want to exceed these limits must receive the permission of both their academic department and the appropriate academic dean.


The following grades are used in the Graduate Division of Queens College:


To ensure uniformity of grading standards, the Committee on Graduate Scholastic Standards has approved the following table of equivalents:


The following special grades are also used. Please see the section below for procedures for dropping or withdrawing from courses.

W (Withdrawn Passing): Given when a student withdraws formally from the fourth week through 60% of the calendar days of the session, or after the 60% point in time with a passing grade in the coursework completed.

WF (Withdrawn Failing): Given when a student withdraws formally after 60% of the calendar days of the session, with a failing grade in the coursework completed. WF is equivalent to failure.

WU (Withdrawn Unofficially): Given when the student ceases to attend classes without formally withdrawing from the course. WU is equivalent to a failure.

WA (Administrative Withdrawal): Given when the student fails to comply with New York State Public Health Laws #2165 and #2167 (Immunization).

P is a passing grade that is valid only in those few courses that are designated as permitting this grade.

Z is a temporary grade assigned when an instructor does not submit a grade.

Withdrawal Procedures

In the Graduate Division, course withdrawals are allowable up to the official last day of classes. Withdrawal may have implications for federal financial aid. Students are advised to contact the Financial Aid Office prior to withdrawal. The procedure and outcome for a drop or withdrawal vary by the following four time periods.

Through the first three weeks: A course (or courses) must be dropped via CUNYfirst prior to classes and during the first three weeks of a regular semester. This may result in a refund of some portion of the tuition fee. The activity fee is not refundable unless the student has formally dropped from classes prior to the first official day of classes. The liability and refund rates and final day to drop a class or classes without a grade of W will be published for each session at

Week 4 through 60% of the session: Withdrawals from courses during the first 60% of the calendar days of the session require no special approval. During this period, students must use CUNYfirst to withdraw and will receive a grade of W. The deadline for this action will be published each session at www.qc.cuny. edu/registrar.

Sixty-one percent of the session through week 13: During this period, graduate students must complete a Request for Permission to Withdraw from a Course. This form may be obtained online or from the Registrar’s Office. It must be signed by the course instructor and by the student’s graduate advisor and must be filed in the Registrar’s Office. The instructor must indicate whether the student is passing or failing as of the date of withdrawal. An indication of failure results in the grade of WF, which has the same effect on the student’s grade-point average as an F.

Week 14 through the end of classes: Beginning with the fourteenth week of the semester, approval of the appropriate academic dean is required in addition to the above on the Permission form. This approval can be extended through the official last day of classes.

Incomplete Work

Incomplete (Inc.): This grade, which must be requested by the student prior to the end of the semester, is given by the instructor to indicate a student has made a satisfactory record in coursework but, for good and sufficient reason, is unable to complete the course. A graduate student receiving this grade must complete the work of the course by the end of the next two regular semesters. Requests for extensions of time may be addressed to the appropriate academic dean. If the work for the course is not completed, the grade remains on the transcript without penalty. Students preparing to complete a course in which the grade is Incomplete must not register for the course a second time.


Matriculated students are urged to consult with their graduate advisor before registering for courses. New matriculants and non-matriculated students are required to obtain permission from the graduate advisor each semester prior to registering for courses. Instructors have the right to dismiss from class any non-matriculated student who did not obtain permission to enroll.

Grade-Point Average (GPA)

The grade-point average is a numerical index of the student’s academic record at Queens College, and is computed in the following manner:

  1. Multiply the total number of credits earned at Queens College with each specific grade (A+ to C– and F) by the numerical values of these grades.

  2. Add the number of credits taken at Queens College. This sum includes credits for courses failed (WU, WF, or F) as well as courses passed with grades A+ to C–. Credits completed with a grade of P are not included in this sum. (See also the Important Note below.)

  3. Divide the result obtained in step 1 by the result obtained in step 2. This result becomes the grade-point average, which is calculated to three decimal places.

Important Note: Grades for courses transferred from other institutions are not included in the computation of the GPA; it is based only on grades received in Queens College courses. An exception to this is course(s) taken at other units of CUNY for which enrollment was by ePermit (see Transfer Credits and Permits in the Degree & Certificate Offerings section).

Grade-Replacement Policy

As of September 1, 2014, graduate students are entitled to the following grade-replacement policy, which is limited to graduate courses: With the exception of courses that have been designated as repeatable for credit, graduate students may repeat only four credits for grade replacement within any one graduate program and only for a course receiving a grade of F or WF. The last grade received replaces the previous grade in the cumulative GPA.


All students, regardless of when they attended Queens College, may request their official transcript through our transcript vendor, Credentials. For detailed information, and to place a transcript order, please visit the registrar’s website at


*Credit granted in computing the GPA, but not toward the degree

Students do not need to place transcript requests for unofficial transcripts as that data can be retrieved by self-service in CUNYfirst. Additionally, there is no need to place an order for offices or academic departments within Queens College, as they can access your record if necessary.

Online orders are generally processed within one to two business days after the order has been authorized and approved, and when all attachments have been received (if applicable). Students may indicate on their request if they wish to have their transcript held for current grades or a degree notation, or they can send the transcript as is by choosing the “Send Now” option.

Required Grade-Point Average, Probation, and Dismissal

All programs must be completed with a minimum GPA of at least B (3.0). A matriculated graduate student whose GPA falls below 3.0 during the course of the program will be placed on probation. The student will then have up to 12 graduate credits within which to raise the GPA to 3.0. If this standard is not met, the student will be dismissed. If, after full completion of all the requirements for a graduate program, a student has an overall GPA above 2.950, the student may appeal to his or her MA advisor to request that the overall GPA be “rounded up” for administrative purposes to a 3.0, and the student thereby be allowed to graduate. The MA advisor, in consultation with their program, may approve or decline the request. If the MA advisor declines the request, they must do so in writing and indicate what remedies the student must perform (take an additional course or retake an existing course). If the MA advisor approves the request, they must do so in writing to the Dean of Graduate Studies, detailing why the request should be granted. If the student’s overall GPA falls between 2.970 and 2.999, the Dean of Graduate Studies may approve the request. However, if the student’s overall GPA falls between 2.950 and 2.969, the request and the dean’s recommendation must be approved by the Graduate Scholastic Standards Committee (GSSC). The GSSC may approve the request or, if it does not, must detail what remedies the student must perform. Please note that if the appeal to round up the GPA is granted by either the GSSC or the Associate Provost, the overall GPA displayed on the student’s transcript and academic record will not be changed. The rounding will be used only to establish eligibility for graduation. It must be emphasized that any overall GPA below 2.950 may not use this appeal process because the rounding process would lower, not raise, the value.

A matriculated graduate student who is dismissed must remain out of the college for at least one semester. To return, the student must file a formal application for reentry and pay a nonrefundable reentry fee by the appropriate deadline (see the Admission, Retention & Graduation section). The student must also petition the appropriate academic dean for permission to reenter. Requests for reentry will be reviewed on an individual basis.

Permission to reenter following a suspension may be granted one time only.

Students who have completed the total credits required by their degree or certificate program may not take additional credits at another institution to raise their GPA. At the completion of the total credits allotted to a program, if a student does not have a 3.0 average and wishes to register for additional courses at Queens College to attempt to raise the GPA, permission to do so must be obtained from the appropriate academic dean.

Appeals of Grades

A student who believes he/she has received an inappropriate grade must take the following steps:

  1. Consult with the instructor.

  2. If no satisfactory resolution can be reached with the instructor, consult with the department chair and then, if necessary, the appropriate divisional academic dean. The chair or dean may convene a faculty committee to review the appeal.

  3. If there is still no satisfactory resolution, appeal to the Office of Graduate Studies for a further review. The appeal must be in writing, and must detail the reasons the grade is felt to be inappropriate.

  4. Appeals from the decisions of the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies may be directed in writing to the GSSC.

At the department level, a grade appeal may be based on the academic quality of the student’s work. The only basis for an appeal to the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies and the GSSC is that the student feels he/she has been treated in an arbitrary and capricious manner by the instructor. To make such an appeal, the student must be prepared to demonstrate that the grade was assigned punitively, unfairly, or on a basis other than impartial academic evaluation.

Once a grade has been posted on the record, it may not be changed without the written permission of the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies.


By registering in a course, the student assumes the obligation to fulfill the requirements set for that course by its instructor. Although absence in and of itself shall not affect a student’s grade, students are responsible for such activities as participation in class discussions, laboratory sessions, field trips, etc.; the preparation of papers and reports; and the taking of quizzes and examinations—any or all of which may constitute a component in the student’s final grade for the course. In addition to observing the regulation regarding withdrawal from a course, students are expected as a normal courtesy to inform the instructor of any prolonged absence or withdrawal.

Students who wish to withdraw officially from a course should refer to the section of this Bulletin dealing with withdrawal procedures (see first page of Scholastic Standards above).

Students who wish to request a grade of Incomplete (INC) should refer to the section on Incomplete Work on page 29.

Grade Change Guide

The following is a faculty guide to reasons that may or may not be acceptable for faculty submitting Report of Change of Grade forms. While the list below is not exhaustive, a form with a reason not included here or one that carries too much extraneous information will be sent back to your department. If you have a question about a scenario not listed here, please contact the Registrar’s office to find out what reason(s) might be appropriate.

These guidelines are very particular to protect the college when audited. Important note: This guide does not supersede or modify any existing academic policy at Queens College.

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Letter Grade (A+ through F) to Any Other Grade

An earned grade is, according to college policies, final and no additional work is to be evaluated. The only reason an instructor should ever change this grade is if an error was made. There are almost no exceptions to this rule.

The following could be valid: “Instructor error,” “Misevaluation of an exam,” “Miscalculation of student average,” “Error in grading several assignments,” or “Mix-up in my grading book.” Not acceptable: “Student completed extra paper” or “Student retook final exam.”

On Graduate INC Grades

A graduate student has until the last day of final exams after two regular semesters to finish an outstanding Inc. grade. Specifically, Fall incomplete grades should be resolved by the end of the following Fall, Spring by the end of the following Spring, and Summer by the end of the following Spring as well.

After that time, the grade will not change in any way, but the student may petition the appropriate academic dean to allow extra time.

For All Graduate Grades More than One Year Old

Grade changes must be approved by the appropriate academic dean for all grades more than one year old.

Changing to and from WU

A WU should always be assigned where a student was once present, but ceased to attend classes and complete necessary coursework. In almost all cases, this grade is more appropriate than F for students who cease attendance.

If the instructor made a mistake and did not assign WU appropriately, the grade change form should read “instructor error.” The reverse is also true and if the instructor made a mistake and assigned WU inappropriately, the grade change form should read “instructor error.” Reasons denoting various types of “extenuating circumstances” should be excluded.

Changing to and from WN

The WN grade is not available to instructors on their grade roster. It is assigned early in the semester by the Registrar to students who did not attend. If instructors simply need to remove a WN for a student who begins attendance during the term, they should file a Commencement of Attendance RevisionForm.

If an instructor made a mistake on the attendance roster (or did not submit one at all), they may have no other option than to assign a WU come grading time. In this case, the grade change form should read WU to WN with the reason of “Student never attended.” If a student assigned a WN did begin to attend, then the grade change should read WN to ?? where the reason is “student never attended the course.” The ?? could be any earned grade (A+ through F), an INC, or a WU.

Grade Appeals (see section on page 30)

In the event that a grade runs through the grade appeals process detailed in the college Bulletin, a letter from the decision-maker (chair or divisional dean) would preferably accompany the Change of Grade form. The reason could then be “Grade appeal approved” or something similar.