Grades and Credit

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Course Credits

Ordinarily, students enroll for 4.00 units/32 semester hours per year. Many courses are worth 0.50 unit/4 semester hours, however labs, intensive language courses, and music lessons and ensembles vary. Please pay close attention to the credit listed in the catalog and the schedule of courses. Courses offered at Kenyon are offered only for the credit as stated in this catalog and may not be undertaken for greater or lesser credit. Note: 0.50 unit of credit is considered to be the equivalent of a 4 semester-hour course at other colleges and universities.

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Course Grades

A student may take courses for a letter grade, on a Pass/D/Fail basis, or as an auditor unless otherwise indicated in the course description.


Instructors are required to report grades for students enrolled for credit. A chart at the end of this chapter shows the grades and their value. Grades range from A through F. Plus and minus may be attached to any grade except F.

A student may be expelled from a course. In this event, X is recorded on the permanent record. Students receiving an F, WD (previously WP), WI, WL, W, or X receive no credit for the course. See table below for quality points for each grade.

When a student enrolls in a course taught by a close relative, spouse, or domestic partner, the instructor must follow procedures as outlined in the Faculty Handbook (section 1.1.17 Conduct of Courses).

Pass/D/Fail (P/D/F)

To encourage students to experiment with disciplines and courses they might not otherwise try, the College provides the opportunity to enroll in courses outside the declared major on a P/D/F basis with the permission of the advisor and the instructor. A maximum of 3.00/24 of the 16.00 units/128 semester hours required for graduation may be earned on a P/D/F and CR/NC basis. Within any given semester a student may take no more than one course on the P/D/F basis, unless the student is taking 2.50/20 or more units/semester hours of credit, in which case a second course may be taken on this basis. Once students have declared a major, they may not take courses on a pass/D/fail basis in the department of their major or in any course required for the major.

Work completed in a course taken on a pass/D/fail basis will receive the following grades and credit: All coursework receiving a C- or above will have a P recorded on the student's transcript. The credit thus earned counts toward graduation in every respect and is subject to the same restrictions as credit earned with a letter grade. However, the grade is not calculated in the student's grade point average. If the work of the course is D+, D, D-, or F, that grade is recorded on the student's transcript. The credit thus earned (for a grade of D+, D, or D-) counts toward graduation in every respect and is subject to the same restrictions as any letter-grade credit, and does affect that student's grade point average.

The deadline for enrolling in both semester and year courses on a P/D/F basis, or for changing to a letter-grade basis, is the end of the eighth week of the course. Students must have the signatures of the instructor and their advisor before they may enroll in a course on a P/D/F basis. Students are specifically required to maintain a consistent grading option over both halves of a year course. Students may not change a course grade mode to P/D/F if an academic infractions case is pending for the course.

Credit/No Credit (CR/NC)

Courses are designated as CR/NC when letter grades are not an appropriate system for evaluating student performance. For example, courses that stress process, activities, and/or participation may be designated CR/NC. Also, courses in which the entire class produces a group project may be designated CR/NC. Courses with the above characteristics are not required to be listed as CR/NC. Whether to designate a course CR/NC is at the discretion of instructors, departments, and programs with the review and approval of the Curricular Policy Committee.

The CR/NC grade mode must apply to every student enrolled for credit in a course−individual students may not receive a letter grade in a course where other students receive the CR/NC designator, nor may individual students receive the CR/NC designator in courses where the other students receive a letter grade.

Instructors of CR/NC courses should set forth the criteria required to receive credit at the start of the semester and in the syllabus. They should give regular feedback to students about whether they are meeting those criteria, and submit progress reports when students are not making satisfactory progress.

CR/NC courses may count towards major, minor, or concentration requirements if so designated by an academic department or program. However, CR/NC courses may not be used to fulfill the diversification requirement. A maximum of 3.0 units/24 semester hours earned in CR/NC and P/D/F courses may be applied to the 16 unit/128 semester hour graduation requirement. CR/NC courses do not influence a student's grade point average. Aside from the above differences, deadlines and course enrollment procedures for CR/NC courses are ordinarily the same as other courses. Courses using this grade mode will not be converted to a standard grade.


Any fully enrolled student may, with the prior approval of the instructor, enroll as an auditor in one or more courses in addition to his or her normal load. With the exception of certain production and performance courses, such enrollment must be completed within the first seven days of classes. The student should first obtain from the instructor a clear understanding of the audit requirements for that course. The designation AU normally will mean that the student has attended at least the lectures, laboratories, or studio meetings regularly, or accomplished other activities designated by the instructor, at a level equivalent to regular attendance. An instructor has the right to require more than this minimum before granting AU designation.

Although an auditor receives no academic credit for that work, if the instructor certifies that the student has met the audit requirements of the course, the course will be entered on the student's permanent record with the notation AU in place of a grade. If the instructor does not so certify, no record of the audit enrollment is entered. Courses taken on an audit basis, however, cannot be used to satisfy curricular rules or requirements.

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An incomplete ("I") is a postponement of the deadline for completion of a course. The faculty intends that only in cases of extreme hardship shall an incomplete be given, and only before the scheduled ending of a semester. Ordinarily, only the dean for academic advising and support is empowered to grant incompletes. The dean may grant incompletes in the following instances:

  1. When a student has fallen seriously behind in his or her work as a result of prolonged illness or other incapacity, or because of a personal or family crisis that necessitated a substantial interruption of academic work, or
  2. When an illness or similar incapacity beyond the student's control occurs in the final days of a course, making final examinations or similar work impossible to complete in the required time.

Except in severe cases when the dean may act on student's behalf, the student must request an incomplete of the dean. Before making the request, the student should discuss the possibility and appropriateness of the incomplete with the course instructor. Without faculty support, the request will not be granted. That said, faculty support does not guarantee that the incomplete will be granted. In the absence of the dean, the associate provosts are empowered to act.

Incompletes are appropriate only in cases where no additional contact with the instructor is required. In cases where further instruction is necessary to complete the class, petitioning for a WI is a more appropriate option. Similarly, the faculty intends that incomplete be used to complete a small number of outstanding assignments. In situations where the student has more than roughly a quarter of the coursework outstanding, an incomplete is not an appropriate option.

Once the student has completed the work for the course, the course instructor will have 14 days to submit the final grade, at which point the "I" notation is replaced with the appropriate grade.

Only the dean for academic advising and support may grant extensions-- and will only do so given extenuating circumstances. Unless an extension is granted prior to the date specified by the dean, if work is not completed by that date, the course instructor will be expected to submit a final grade without the final work.

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A student may repeat a course with the advisor's and instructor's approvals. If the student repeats a course that was previously failed, the new grade and credit become part of the permanent record and may apply toward graduation requirements. However, the F is not removed from the student's record, and both grades are calculated into the cumulative average.

If a student repeats a course for which credit and a passing grade were received previously, the new grade becomes part of the permanent record; however, no credit or quality points are received for the repeated course. Thus the new grade does not affect the student's cumulative average nor with the credit be added. The student must notify the Office of the Registrar, and the instructor must approve, in the case where a student is repeating a course for which credit was previously earned. There are a limited number of courses that have been approved by the Curricular Policy Committee to be repeated for credit when the course content is not repeated. Please read the course descriptions for details.

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Grade reports for courses become available to students through Personal Access Pages within a few days after the grade entry due date if the student has completed the online evaluation for all courses in which the student was enrolled during the most recently completed semester. The registrar will announce grade report availability at the end of each semester when such reports can be accessed. Students who failed to complete the online evaluations for all courses in the term most recently concluded will not have access through the Personal Access Pages to the grade report for any of those courses for two weeks after grades have been made available by the Office of the Registrar or until the first day of classes of the following semester, whichever comes first.

Students without Web access at home are urged to visit the registrar's office in November or December, or May, to address an envelope for grade reporting purposes.

In addition, the College may, when so requested, send copies of correspondence regarding the academic standing of such students to parents. (See Student Records).

Year-long course grades

At the end of the first semester, tentative grades in year courses are reported. Tentative grades in year courses are not a part of the permanent record. However, students requesting transcripts during the second semester should remember that these tentative grades are official and do appear on the transcript until replaced by final grades. (Students who withdraw from the College in midyear should see also "Procedures for Withdrawing from the College," especially the section "Grades and Credit.")

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Semester and cumulative grade point averages are computed by multiplying the quality points of each grade by the number of units of credit, summing, and dividing the total quality points by the total credits attempted, truncating to two decimal places. The chart at the end of this section lists each grade and the quality points it carries.

The cumulative grade point average 

Only grades earned with Kenyon faculty are included in the Kenyon grade point average (GPA). Grades earned in summer school, at other colleges by transfer students, and so on, do not affect students' Kenyon GPAs, nor are such grades recorded on the Kenyon permanent record. Grades earned through a Kenyon-approved off-campus study program are recorded but are not figured into the Kenyon GPA. (See Transfer Credit)

Only the fourteen grades A+ through F and X are computed and affect GPAs. WP, WL, and WI, while recorded on the permanent record, do not affect a student's GPA. "Pass" does not affect the Kenyon GPA though credit is earned.

Tentative grades in year long courses have a temporary effect on the Kenyon GPA (until they are replaced by the final grades).

Calculating Your GPA

  1. List your courses, credits, and grades.
  2. For each grade and credit find the quality points in the chart below.
  3. List the quality points for each course.
  4. Total the column of credits; total the column of quality points.
  5. Divide total quality points by total credits attempted.
  6. Truncate answer to the hundredths.

Chart of Quality Points

Grade Definition 1.00 unit/ 8 semester hour 0.75 units/ 6 semester hour 0.50 units/ 4 semester hour 0.25 units/ 2 semester hour 0.13 units/ 1 semester hour
A+ Excellent 4.00 3.00 2.00 1.00 0.50
A -- 4.00 3.00 2.00 1.00 0.50
A- -- 3.67 2.75 1.83 0.91 0.47
B+ -- 3.33 2.49 1.67 0.83 0.41
B Good 3.00 2.25 1.50 0.75 0.37
B- -- 2.67 1.99 1.33 0.66 0.34
C+ -- 2.33 1.74 1.16 0.58 0.29
C Adequate 2.00 1.50 1.00 0.50 0.25
C- -- 1.67 1.25 0.83 0.41 0.21
D+ -- 1.33 0.99 0.66 0.33 0.16
D Poor 1.00 0.75 0.50 0.25 0.12
D- -- 0.67 0.49 0.33 0.16 0.08
F,X Failing 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00

Related Resources: GPA Calculator

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If, after an instructor reports a final grade, an error in calculation or reporting is discovered,  the instructor may ask an associate provost for permission to change the grade. Such changes must be requested before February 15 (for fall semester grades) or July 15 (for spring semester grades). Later changes can be made only through petition to the Committee on Academic Standards.

A student who believes his or her grade in a course has been improperly or inappropriately assigned may, if a written appeal to the instructor is ineffective, carry that appeal to the chair of the instructor's department and, if the problem is not then resolved, to the associate provosts, who will present it to the Committee on Academic Standards (CAS). Situations in which CAS will approve such an appeal include but are not limited to those in which the grade: has been inaccurately calculated, was determined on the basis of rules that violate college policy; was the product of requirements not made known to the student; and/or is proven to be egregiously out of line with the course's own stated grading standards. In these and other instances of improper or inappropriate grading, CAS will ask the instructor to assign a new grade in consultation with the chair of the committee.

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Students who earn an average of 3.55 or higher for the semester are placed on the Merit List. Students with grades during the semester of X, F, NG, or WL will not be considered for the Merit List.

At the end of each academic year, class ranks are calculated on the basis of students' cumulative GPA. At the end of the senior year, a final class rank is calculated; records of this rank are kept on file in the Office of the Registrar.

Policy on Grades for Spring 2020 due to COVID-19

On April 1, 2020, Provost Joseph Klesner announced changes to the grading policy, which will be in effect for the spring 2020 semester.

Dear Students:

I write to follow up on my message to you of Saturday, March 28, regarding grading policies for this semester. At the Faculty Meeting held yesterday, March 30, the faculty decided to change the grading policy to the following:

1. All courses without a Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) grade mode will shift to Pass/Fail (P/F) with hidden grades for Spring 2020. Letter grades will be submitted at the end of the semester by each instructor. Students will receive the grades, but P or F will be recorded on the transcript unless the student requests that the P be replaced with the letter grade received. All coursework receiving a D- or above will have a P recorded on the student's transcript. If the work of the course is an F, that grade will be recorded on the student's transcript. These grades will remain on record with the Office of the Registrar. Students have the ability to request the change of P to a letter grade through the Registrar’s Office at any time after the end of this semester. Once the grade is revealed, it remains a part of the permanent record. If a student chooses a letter grade for a class, the numerical value of that grade will be calculated into the GPA as usual.

2. For courses in which a letter grade is not an appropriate system for evaluating student performance, faculty may choose to change their courses to Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) by petition to the Curricular Policy Committee. This decision changes our pass/fail policy from opt-in (choose by May 1) to opt-out (after the fact you may choose to have a letter grade recorded on your transcript and as part of your grade point average). Your instructors (except those in CR/NC courses) will report a letter grade to the Registrar. The Registrar will let you know what the letter grades would have been in your courses. You will then have an opportunity to tell the Registrar which of those grades you would like to have recorded on your transcript as letter grades. Those that you do not ask to have recorded as letter grades will remain P or F (or CR or NC in the case of CR/NC courses).

This policy allows you to change a P to a letter grade at any time in the future. For purposes of calculating your grade point average, class rank, collegiate honors (cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude), and eligibility for Phi Beta Kappa, seniors will have to request the change from P to a letter grade by May 26, 2020. Similarly, students in the classes of '21, '22, and '23 will need to choose to change to a letter grade by April 15 of their graduating year for purposes of determining collegiate honors. Again, at any time in the future, though, you can change a P earned in the Spring 2020 semester to the letter grade that exists behind the P.

In year courses (e.g., SPAN 111-112) the grade recorded for the fall semester will convert to the grade received at the end of the course and will be recorded as P or F. Again, a student may choose to reveal the whole year’s grade if one wants to do that. In addition, if a student wants to keep the fall semester letter grade but leave the spring semester grade as P or F, that option is available.

Courses recorded as P/F for the Spring 2020 semester and year-long courses do not count toward the college limit of 3.0 units of P/D/F. Similarly, courses for one’s major may be recorded as P/F in Spring 2020.

When it examines student records at its semi-annual review of students who are on Conditional Enrollment or who might be placed on Conditional Enrollment, the Committee on Academic Standards will see the grade the student has chosen, either P/F or a letter grade, whichever the student has opted to keep.

This policy also applies to students who were studying off campus in Spring 2020 and are now completing courses remotely. We treat OCS courses as the equivalent of transfer credit, and ordinarily convert, say, a “B” earned on an OCS program as “TB” on the transcript, meaning “Transfer B.” While some OCS programs are offering P/F, in the case of programs that provide letter grades, a course that is recorded as a passing grade (A-D) on the transcript sent by your OCS provider (e.g., CIEE, SIT, Arcadia, etc.) will now be recorded as “TP” unless you ask that it be changed to the corresponding letter grade (TA, TB, etc.) by April 15 of your graduating year. OCS students should be aware that graduate schools and employers often request transcripts from the original program provider. What is recorded on providers’ transcripts (including letter grades) may become known even if you have opted to have P/F recorded on your Kenyon transcript. Please remember that we do not include transferred courses in the calculation of your GPA.

Thank you for sharing your views about the grading policy last week, and thank you for your patience as the faculty has sought to determine the best path for Kenyon. As I think you will be able to see, this policy will now give you even more choice about your grades this semester.

Good luck in the weeks ahead.

Joseph L. Klesner

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