2019-2020 Catalog

Grading System

City University of Seattle uses a decimal grading system for both undergraduate and graduate courses.

  • Undergraduate: Passing grades fall within a range from 4.0 (high) to 0.7 (low). Failing grades are 0.6 and below.
  • Graduate: Passing grades fall within a range, from 4.0 (high) to 2.0 (low). Failing grades are 1.9 and below.
  • Doctoral: Passing grades fall within a range, from 4.0 (high) to 2.5 (low). Failing grades are 2.4 and below.

Failing grades are recorded on the transcript. No credit is earned for these courses. Once a grade has been posted, it may be changed upward but not downward unless the original posting was due to a clerical or technological error.

The grading system also officially includes the following alphabetical grades and status indicators:

  • I – Incomplete (see description below)

  • K – Grade held temporarily pending disciplinary action, effective 2/1/2005 (formerly designated by T)
  • N – Temporary status indicator used by the ELP program until a final grade can be posted, for the first 5 week session in a term
  • P/NP – Pass and No Pass (see description below)
  • R – Temporary status indicated (used only in the doctoral program) until a final grade can be posted, for courses that may permissibly extend beyond one term.
  • UW – Unofficial Withdrawal (see description below)
  • V – Vanished (student discontinued course attendance without explanation. (Historical grade)
  • W – Withdrawal (see description below)
  • X – Audit (no credit is earned - see description below)
  • Y – Temporary status indicator used until a final grade can be posted, for courses that may permissibly extend beyond one term
  • Z – Course interrupted by U.S. military service assignment (historical grade as of 7/1/16)

Credits that carry the letter grades or status indicators of NP, UW, W, X, and decimal grades of lower than 0.7 (undergraduate), or lower than 2.0 (graduate) or lower than 2.5 (doctoral) are not counted toward the minimum credits required for graduation.


Percentage Decimal Grade
100.0 - 98.75 4.0
98.74 - 97.50 3.9
97.49 - 96.25 3.8
96.24 - 95.00 3.7
94.99 - 93.75 3.6
93.74 - 92.50 3.5
92.49 - 91.25 3.4
91.24 - 90.00 3.3
89.99 - 88.75 3.2
88.74 - 87.50 3.1
87.49 - 86.25 3.0
86.24 - 85.00 2.9
84.99 - 83.75 2.8
83.74 - 82.50 2.7
82.49 - 81.25 2.6
81.24 - 80.00 2.5 Minimum passing grade - Doctoral level
79.99 - 78.75 2.4 Failing grade Doctoral
78.74 - 77.50 2.3
77.49 - 76.25 2.2
76.24 - 75.00 2.1
74.99 - 73.75 2.0 Minimum passing grade - graduate level
73.74 - 72.50 1.9 Failing grade - graduate
72.49 - 71.25 1.8
71.24 - 70.00 1.7
69.99 - 68.75 1.6
68.74 - 67.50 1.5
67.49 - 66.25 1.4
66.24 - 65.00 1.3
64.99 - 63.75 1.2
63.74 - 62.50 1.1
62.49 - 61.25 1.0
61.24 - 60.00 0.9
59.99 - 58.75 0.8
58.74 - 57.50 0.7 Minimum passing grade - undergraduate level
57.49 - 56.25 0.6 Failing grade - undergraduate level
56.24 - 55.00 0.5
54.99 - 53.75 0.4
53.74 - 52.50 0.3
52.49 - 51.25 0.2
51.24 - 50.00 0.1
49.99 - 0.00 0.0


* Grade scales are unique to each university. 

** If your funder requires submission of a letter grade equivalent, contact your advisor to request this information.

I (Incomplete) and Granting of Extension

An instructor may assign an I grade for an incomplete grade if a student is making satisfactory progress and has documented extenuating circumstances that necessitate additional time to complete the course. Satisfactory progress is defined as the student having completed at least 50 percent of course requirements, or having approval of the dean or designee. One extension of 30 days from the course end date may be granted, with dean approval.

Default Grade for an I Grade

The default grade for an “I” grade is 0.0. If the Registrar’s Office has received no grade change by the end of the extension, 0.0 becomes the grade for the course. At the instructor’s discretion, a 0.0 default grade may be changed.

Denial of an I Grade

The request for an I grade will be denied if:

  • The student has not made satisfactory progress by the time the grade is due.
  • The request for the I was not documented in writing prior to the deadline for grade submission.
  • The student is unable to demonstrate extenuating circumstances. In that case, the grade will be based on the amount of coursework completed. The student may also petition the Registrar for withdrawal from the course, if a final grade has not yet been assigned.

Restrictions of an I Grade

Once an I grade has been assigned, a UW (Unofficial Withdrawal) may not be posted. If no further grade change is submitted, the I will default to a 0.0.

N Grade

A temporary status indicator posted on the transcript at the end of Session A in the English Language Program denoting satisfactory progress. The temporary grade is posted and remains in effect until a final grade for a full language level is posted at the end of Session B.

P/NP Option (Pass/No Pass)

Undergraduate students may elect to enroll in three (3) courses, for a total of 15 credits, under the P/NP option. The P/NP option must be declared at the time of registration and may not be requested after the term has begun.

To receive a P at the undergraduate level a student must have achieved at least 2.0 in the course. Otherwise, an NP is received. Neither P nor NP affects the GPA, but the credits earned with a P count toward total credit requirements for the program.

The P/NP option is not available in graduate programs. For graduate courses that are intentionally designated as P/NP, the student must have achieved at least a 3.0 in the course to earn a P.

R Grade (Doctoral Course Continuation)

A temporary status indicator posted on the transcript at the end of a quarter. The grade is posted and remains in effect until a final grade is submitted. This grade may only be used by the doctoral program for dissertation related coursework.

UW (Unofficial Withdrawal)

A UW is assigned to a course by the Registrar when a student has ceased attending class without notifying any representative of the university (e.g., the instructor, the advisor or the office of the Registrar) of his or her intention to withdraw and has attended no more than 30 percent of the course. The status of UW is not included in the calculation of the grade point average, but it remains on the student’s transcript permanently.

In any program, a student without a cumulative GPA (such as a new student) who receives UW’s for all courses in a term is placed on probation. If the pattern is repeated for a second consecutive term, the student is again placed on probation. A third consecutive term of UW’s results in a suspension, which blocks the individual from further enrollment.

Additionally, if a student receives a UW in any course in three consecutive terms, even though other courses were completed during those terms, the student is placed on probation after the third term, regardless of cumulative GPA.

V (Vanished)

The status of Vanished was previously given when students discontinued attendance in a course without explanation and received neither a grade nor a refund. This is a historical grade and is no longer in use for current students.  (This is a historical grade, and is no longer issued).

W (Withdrawal)

W is assigned when a student officially withdraws from a course. A student may withdraw for any reason without academic penalty, provided written or electronic notice is received by that individual’s student advisor or the Office of the Registrar prior to the 80 percent completion point of the course.

When a request for withdrawal is received by the Office of the Registrar, it is carefully reviewed for compliance with federal financial aid regulations before a W is assigned for the course.

X (Audit)

The option of auditing undergraduate and graduate courses is available to degree candidates and others who want to acquire knowledge or skills but do not want to undertake written assignments and examinations. Students must check the Audit category when they register. Auditors receive a notation of X for the course, which has no credit value. The regular tuition fee plus any applicable registration or other fee is charged. Alumni of City University of Seattle may audit courses in their degree programs for a lower fee.

Please see the section on auditing fees in the Finance Policy portion of the catalog for details on auditing fees.

Y (Temporary Status Indicator for Courses that Require Extra Time to Complete)

Certain courses are designed to extend beyond one term, or in rare instances are permitted to do so. In such cases a Y is posted for each term in which the course is ongoing. A Y grade may stay in effect for up to three additional terms after the initial enrollment term, as determined when the Y grade is submitted. The Y defaults to 0.0 or NP, however, if the final grade is not posted.

A student may not subsequently withdraw (grade of W) from a course that has a Y grade posted. Y grades are assigned when students demonstrate successful progress in the course, and are requesting additional time to complete the coursework. If the student is unable to complete the coursework of a Y graded course, the instructor will assign the earned grade based on coursework completed. The Y grade holds no GPA value, and once converted, can only convert into a numerical grade (0.00-4.0) or P/NP.

Z (U.S. Military Service Deployment) - historical grade as of 7/1/16

Previously used for special accommodation related to U.S. or Canadian military service students who are deployed after starting a course. For current policy, please see the Academic Policies section on “Course Withdrawing or Adding: Military Deployment”. (This is a historical grade and is no longer in use since 7/1/16).

Final Course Grade of 0.0

Whenever the instructor of record (IOR) issues a grade of 0.0 to a student for poor academic performance, it must be supported by a notation of the last date of contact with the student. For courses taught in any format, a grade of 0.0 is also assigned by the IOR when a student stops attending class without notifying any university representative of the intention to drop the course. If the student has attended more than 30 percent of the course (three weeks in a 10-week course) before vanishing, the 0.0 grade is posted. However, if the student has attended 30 percent or less of the course before vanishing, a UW is assigned by the Registrar.

Once a student misses two (2) consecutive classes without explanation, the school attempts to reach the student to determine if s/he intends to drop the course.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

The GPA is computed at the end of each term, for both the individual term and cumulatively, for all CityU courses completed by that point. It is based solely on decimally graded courses taken at CityU. (Thus grades of P and NP are not calculated into the GPA.) The GPA is determined by dividing the sum of quality points earned by the total number of CityU credits attempted. In the case of a repeated course, only the most recent grade earned is used when a student’s cumulative (overall) GPA is calculated.

Forgiveness for Grades from a Previous Program

Upon request, the Readmissions Committee will review a student's previous academic record to consider a re-computation of the cumulative GPA.  For example, a student who returns after a significant absence and changes academic programs may find that previously taken, low-graded courses are no longer applicable to the new academic program.  In this circumstance, while the courses from the former academic program would remain on the transcript, both the grades and credits earned would be suppressed from the cumulative GPA.