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Policy 46: Undergraduate Grading, Promotion, and Academic Standing (The "GPA Policy")

 

Revision Approval Date:                         April 7, 2020

Revision Implementation Date:             Winter 2020

Previous Approval Dates:                      February 3, 1987 (original policy date);

                                                                November 6, 2001; March 5, 2013

                                                                Revised: January 13, 2004;

                                                                April 5, 2005;

                                                                January 29, 2008; January 27, 2009;

                                                                March 1, 2011; January 24, 2012;

                                                                May 31, 2016; January 28, 2020

Policy Review Date:                               2017

Responsible Office:                                Registrar

 

1.0     Policy Objectives

The objectives of this policy are:

i.      to establish a consistent minimum standard for acceptable overall academic performance;

ii.     to provide a consistent and fair system for determining students' eligibility to graduate; and

iii.   to provide all students with a system of academic standing that is based on uniform definitions and categories for their academic progress from first enrolment to graduation.

2.0    Policy Elements

2.1     Graded Course Performance Designations:

       The final percentage grade in a course will be  rounded to an integer as per standard    mathematical practice before converting to a letter grade. *

       *For example, a 49.5% would be rounded to 50% and 49.3% would be rounded to 49%.

2.1.1.    

Performance Description

 

Letter Grade

Grade Points

Percentage Range

 

 

A+

4.33

90-100

Excellent

A

4.00

85-89

 

A-

3.67

80-84

 

 

 

 

 

B+

3.33

77-79

Good

B

3.00

73-76

 

B-

2.67

70-72

 

 

 

 

 

C+

2.33

67-69

Satisfactory

C

2.00

63-66

 

C-

1.67

60-62

 

 

 

 

 

D+

1.33

57-59

Marginal

D

1.00

53-56

 

D-

0.67

50-52

 

 

 

 

Unsatisfactory

F

0.00

0-49

Final academic performance in each course is recorded as one of the above letter grades or as one of the "other" designations listed below. At the discretion of the teaching Department, performance on term work or specific assignments may be marked on a numeric scale. When a numeric scale is used, it will result in a percentile  scale with ranges of conversion to letter grades as shown in the Calendar. If any other numeric scale is to be used, its ranges of conversion to letter grades shall be defined for the students at the start of the course.

2.2.    Other Course Performance Designations

2.2.1    Non-graded designations acceptable for transfer credit purposes, but not included in any calculation of grade point averages:

PSD – (Passed) - acceptable performance in a course graded only pass or fail (as pre-defined in the course outline).

CHG – (Challenge) - transfer credit achieved through a successful challenge examination.

CRT – (Credit) - transfer credit achieved through an acceptable grade in an equivalent course (as determined by the Ryerson course teaching Department) completed at Ryerson or at another post-secondary institution. Such credit may be granted as a part of the admissions process. For students already enrolled in their program, this type of equivalence credit is normally granted only on the basis of a prior letter-of-permission from the course teaching Department.

2.2.2.   Other course performance designations which may be assigned at the discretion of the teaching department:

INC – (Incomplete) - incomplete coursework or a missed final examination due to documented medical or compassionate grounds*. An INC can be awarded only when some work remains to be completed and when the completion of the outstanding work or an alternate final examination may result in a passing grade. An INC will be assigned to students who have not completed a required Academic Integrity Tutorial for educational purposes as defined in Policy 60, Academic Integrity. The outstanding work or alternate examination must be completed by a specified date within 3 months of the submission of the INC unless alternative arrangements have been made with the program’s Chair/ Director.

** The INC will be replaced by an official course grade when the work is completed. If the work is not completed by the deadline the INC will become a grade of F. The designation INC is not included in calculating the grade point average nor is it counted as a transfer credit or failed course. An INC can be changed to an AEG (see below) by a Dean under exceptional circumstances. 

* Students must petition their instructor to receive an INC grade within 3 working days, or as soon as reasonably possible, of the missed final examination or final assignment deadline. Supporting documentation (e.g. Ryerson Medical Certificate) must be provided. Instructors awarding an INC grade must provide the student, within 7 working days, with a written statement of outstanding work to be completed and the date by which it must be completed (or the date of the alternate final examination). The instructor must also file a copy of this documentation with the Chair/Director of the Teaching Department/School. 

** If an extension is provided and an INC is not completed by the end of the semester following when it was given, students will not be permitted to enroll in any course for which the INC course is a prerequisite. If a student has more than one INC remaining past the end of the following semester, at the discretion of the program the student may be prevented from registering in any courses.

AEG – (Aegrotat) - credit granted by a Dean, in consultation with the instructor, only under exceptional circumstances when there has been acceptable performance in a course and some coursework remains to be completed.

DEF – (Deferred) - an interim grade assigned during the investigation of academic misconduct (as described in the Student Code of Academic Conduct). The DEF grade will be replaced by an official course grade upon resolution of the matter.

F-S – (Failure – Supplementary) marginally failing performance that may be raised to a minimum pass through a redeemable failure, students with an F-S designation would have to apply to write such an examination which would be scheduled prior to the end of the second week of classes during the next academic term. The F-S grade will be converted only to a D- or to an F, depending on performance. (The original F-S will remain on the student’s record.) Meanwhile, the F-S grade is treated as an interim failed grade and is calculated in the grade point average at zero grade points. The resulting grade point average is normally considered to be provisional until the end of the period during which the redeemable failure would be written. If an academic standing cannot change as a result of clearing an F-S grade, the provisional standing will automatically be converted to a formal standing.

FNA - (Failure, Non-Attendance) - awarded by an instructor when the student has been absent from most course meetings and has submitted no work for grading. This grade is assigned when a student abandons a course without completing a formal withdrawal prior to the established deadline dates. This grade is counted as a failure in the calculation of grade point average.

FLD – (Failure in a Pass-Fail course) - Failure to meet the minimum acceptable standards for a course graded on a pass/fail basis. Failures in such courses will not be included in calculating the grade point average but will be counted as a failed course to determine academic standing for approved department/school standing variations and for graduation.

2.2.3.   Designations assigned by the Office of the Registrar that are not included in GPA calculations, nor in establishing academic standing, nor as academic program credit

              AUD – (Audit) - course attended as auditor only; no grade will be assigned.

              CNC – (Course not for credit) - course not for credit in the current program, this designation is recorded on the transcript as information supplementary to the grade earned in the course.

              GNR – (Grade Not Recorded) - grades have not been submitted for an entire class. The student should initiate an inquiry with the faculty member and/or teaching department within one month of receiving the GNR grade unless a grade revision is received.

              INP – (In Progress) - indicates course work in progress with at least one more term of formal course registration and study is required for completion (e.g. extended absence requires repeating the course, or a final thesis is still in progress); the designation INP is not included in calculating the grade point average, nor as either a credit or a failed course.

2.2.4.   CRD, CRV - Credit / NCR - No Credit

Credit/No Credit designations may be used during an unforeseen period of academic disruption as declared by the President and Vice-Provost, Academic in response to extenuating circumstances such as institutional closure (e.g. COVID-19), extended labour dispute, natural disaster or other circumstances that significantly impede academic continuity across the university. These designations are not included in GPA calculations or in calculating academic standings but may replace an earned letter grade.  CRD, CRV and NCR grades will appear on the academic record and official transcript. 

CRD (Credit). Grade can only be requested when the earned grade is a D- or higher and the course is not part of a program variation. Will not be included in the calculation of the GPA. Counts as a credit towards program requirements. A course with this grade is counted as an attempt. 

CRV (Credit for Standing Variation Course). Grade can be requested for courses that are part of a program variation requirement when the earned letter grade exceeds the minimum requirement for the specific program variation. The eligibility of this grade is subject restrictions defined by Academic Program departments during the period of academic disruption. This grade will not be included in the calculation of the GPA but will count as a credit towards program requirements. A course with this grade is counted as an attempt.

NCR (No Credit). Grade can only be requested when the earned grade is F, F-S, FLD or FNA and will not be included in the calculation of the GPA and will not count as a credit towards program requirements. This grade is not counted as a failed attempt in determining academic standing. For programs and courses with academic standing and/or graduation variation requirements, this grade can be requested when the earned grade is below the minimum requirements for the specific program variation, subject to restrictions defined by Academic Program departments during the period of academic disruption.

2.2.4.1.       A student cannot request a CRD/CRV and NCR grade replacement as well as a formal grade appeal. Should this occur, the formal grade appeal will take precedence and the CRD/CRV and/or NCR grade request will be cancelled.

2.2.4.2.       Students who have a finding of academic misconduct and have been assigned a Disciplinary Notation (DN) in a course are not eligible for a CRD, CRV and/or NCR grade.

2.3     Grade Point Average (GPA)

              A cumulative grade point average (CGPA) is calculated as an indicator of overall academic performance and is used as a criterion for graduation requirements, academic awards and distinctions, and for determining academic standing during study in a program.

2.3.1.   For purposes only of calculating grade point averages, courses of single-term and multi-term duration will be given weights of 1.00 and 2.00 respectively, with provision for variation from this norm under exceptional circumstances.

2.3.2.   The grade point average is calculated as the sum of the products of course weights and earned grade points, divided by the sum of the course weights, and rounded up to the next higher second decimal place.

2.3.3.   The following course performance designations are NOT included in calculating the grade point average -- AEG, AUD, CNC, CHG, CRT, DEF, INC, INP, GNR, FLD, PSD, CRD, CRV and NCR.

2.3.4.   Courses completed prior to formal program admission will not be included in the calculation of grade point averages. Such courses may qualify for transfer credits towards the program and receive CRT designations.

2.3.5.   The designation F-S is counted as an interim failure and included in the grade point average at zero grade points until a final grade is assigned.

2.3.6.   The designation FNA is included in the grade point average at zero grade points and counts as a failure when academic standings are assigned.

2.3.7.   The grade earned for a repeated course is substituted for the previous grade in calculating subsequent grade point averages even if the later grade is lower, but both attempts are recorded on the transcript. No course can be repeated more than twice. If at least one of the course attempts results in a passing grade (including a CRD or CRV grade), the course will count towards graduation requirements irrespective of the sequence of grades earned. The NCR grade is not counted as an attempt.

2.3.8.   An initial grade point average is not calculated until the student has received three or more course grades.

2.3.9.   The cumulative grade point average is calculated at the end of each academic term for which additional course grades have been recorded on the student's transcript and is calculated on all of the student's formal Ryerson course grades in the program in which the student is registered.

2.4        Academic Standings

              In undergraduate degree and diploma programs, each student's academic standing will be established from the student's formal course grades at the end of each academic term on the basis of the following categories and criteria for overall academic performance:

2.4.1.   Clear - a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of at least 1.67 (except where the student has violated an approved Department/School standing variation or, while on probation, the student has violated the terms of their Probationary Contract).  Students with Clear standing may continue their program studies with no restrictions       except for the obligation to satisfy requisite requirements.

2.4.2.  Probationary - a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 1.00 to 1.66.

2.4.2.1.    Students with Probationary standing are required to have a developmental Probationary Contract outlining a specific plan for studies and academic supports authorized by their program School or Department and signed by the student. Students who fail to have such a Probationary Contract by the last day to add courses for the specified term, will have their course registrations and course intention requests cancelled for the term in question.

2.4.2.2.    Students with a Probationary standing at the start of any semester will be eligible to continue their studies in a subsequent semester as long as they achieve a term grade point average (TGPA) of 1.67 or higher and provided they meet the terms of their Probationary Contract and do not violate approved Department/School standing variations. Failure to meet the terms of the Probationary Contract as set out by the School or Department will result in the student being RTW from their Ryerson program.

2.4.2.3.    Except for students who follow the Student Success Program outlined below, who may attain a Clear standing, students who are reinstated to their program after an RTW standing return on Probation. Some programs may reinstate students with a probationary contract which may significantly restrict course load and require successful completion of specific program course(s).  Programs may also specify grades which must be achieved.

2.4.3.    Standing Variation Withdrawal (SVW) – Students who meet the university’s definition for clear academic continuance (a CGPA of 1.67 or higher) but who have not met their program’s standing variation requirements will be permanently withdrawn from their program. SVW students will be eligible for transfer to other undergraduate programs for which they are qualified subject to the competitive admissions process.

2.4.4.    Required to Withdraw (RTW) - Students will be RTW from their program for any one of the following reasons:

i.                a CGPA of less than 1.00 (except students enrolled for their first semester);

ii.             a term GPA below 1.67 while on probation;

iii.          violation of a Probationary Contract (including unauthorized changes to the contract or failure to negotiate a Probationary Contract).

No student in their first semester at Ryerson will be RTW in December. Students with a GPA of less than 1.00 in their first semester will be advised about their prospects for success. Such students who continue in their program for the subsequent Winter semester will do so on Probation.

Schools/Departments, at their discretion, may issue a special contract in cases where the program judges the student to have a realistic chance of achieving a Clear standing in the semester following assignment of RTW by taking up to two courses. Students remain RTW during this semester. If the student fails to achieve a CGPA of 1.67 at the end of that semester, s/he will remain RTW. If the student is successful, s/he will return as Clear.

Students who have been denied reinstatement to their program twice may not reapply for reinstatement to that program.

2.4.4.1.     Procedures for RTW students who wish to be considered for reinstatement to their program

2.4.4.1.1.   In the semester immediately following the assignment of RTW standing (for this purpose Spring/Summer is included): Students may not register in any Ryerson credit courses and no courses taken at another institution will be counted towards graduation requirements for a Ryerson degree program.

2.4.4.1.2.   In the second semester following assignment of RTW standing

a.    Student Success Program

i.         Students may request to participate in a defined Student Success Program (SSP) under an SSP participation contract. Students will be allowed to take up to two credit courses and may be required to participate in other activities or workshops designed to address their needs. Courses taken as part of the SSP will be included in the student’s CGPA. Criteria for participation, terms of the contract and the required outcomes will be established by the program. Programs, including part-time programs, will provide information each year on the usual criteria used for participation in the SSP. Students may participate in an SSP only once during their academic careers at Ryerson. Normally, withdrawal from, or unsuccessful completion of, an SSP will constitute one attempt.

ii.     Students approved by a program to participate in the SSP will be designated as having an Extended Academic Probation (EAP) standing. (See section 2.4.4).

iii.  Students who do not successfully complete their second semester contract return to RTW standing and may apply to be reinstated to their program for the semester following the third semester. Prior to reinstatement these students may not register in any Ryerson credit courses and no courses taken at another institution will be counted towards graduation requirements for a Ryerson degree program.

b.   Students who are not eligible for the SSP, or who do not wish to participate in the SSP, may apply to be reinstated to their program after the third semester following assignment of RTW. Prior to reinstatement these students may not register in any Ryerson credit courses and no courses taken at another institution will be counted towards graduation requirements for a Ryerson degree program.

2.4.4.1.3.    In the third semester following assignment of RTW standing

a.      Students who successfully complete the requirements of their second semester SSP contract will be given a further SSP contract, which may allow them to take up to four credit courses. Courses taken as part of the SSP will be included in the student’s CGPA. The terms of the contract and the required outcomes will be established by the program, including part-time programs. Programs, including part-time programs, will provide information each year on the usual criteria used for evaluating acceptable performance in the SSP. Students approved by a program to participate in the SSP will be designated as having an Extended Academic Probation standing.

b.     Students who do not successfully complete their third semester contract return to RTW standing and may apply to be reinstated to their program for the semester following the third semester. Prior to reinstatement these students may not register in any Ryerson credit courses and no courses taken at another institution will be counted towards graduation requirements for a Ryerson degree program.

2.4.4.2.    Procedures for students who are assigned an RTW standing and wish to be considered for transfer to another program:

                 Students must consult with the University Admissions Office and the program to which they wish to transfer. At the program’s discretion, a student may follow an SSP sequence as outlined above. Such students will be placed on EAP standing. If approved for such a transfer SSP, there is an understanding that the transfer program commits to admitting the student pending successful completion of the SSP. Students may apply for transfer for the semester following the third semester as defined above. Applications for transfer will be considered as outlined below.

2.4.4.3.       Procedures for reinstatement or transfer after the period of RTW or Extended Academic Probation:

2.4.4.3.1.        Students who successfully complete their third semester SSP contract are automatically reinstated to their program, and do not need to apply. They may return as Clear or on Probation.

2.4.4.3.2.        Students who did not successfully complete their second or third semester SSP contract, or who did not participate in the SPP, may apply for reinstatement for the semester following the third semester.

2.4.4.3.3.        Applications for reinstatement will be considered by Faculty and/or program committees based on criteria, assessments and/or procedures developed by the Faculty or program in consultation with the Registrar's Office. Past academic performance and space availability will normally be considerations. Programs, including part-time programs, will provide information each year on the usual criteria used for evaluation of reinstatement applications.

2.4.4.3.4.        Applications for transfer will be considered by the University Admissions Office in consultation with Faculty and/or program admission committees. Past academic performance and space availability will normally be considerations.

2.4.4.3.5.        Students who are reinstated to their program or are approved for transfer upon successful application or successful completion of an SSP, will be reinstated or transferred with Probation or Clear standing based on their past academic performance. If they proceed as Probationary students, they will be required to have a Probationary Contract as outlined in section 2.4.2.

2.4.5.      Extended Academic Probation for First-Time RTW Students:

2.4.5.1.    Extended Academic Probation (EAP) is a special, provisional academic standing available only to first-time RTW students who participate in a defined Student Success Program as described in section 2.4.3 of this policy.

2.4.5.2.    To remain EAP, students must fulfill all required components in each of the two semesters of the SSP. Students deemed not to be meeting the program-specified requirements at any time will be withdrawn from the SSP and will return to RTW standing.

2.4.6.      Permanent Program Withdrawal:

                Students will be Permanently Withdrawn from their program for the following reasons:

i.                Any academic performance that would result in “Required to Withdraw” standing for a second time;

ii.             Failure of a course required by their program for a third time; courses with NCR grades will not be considered a failed attempt.

iii.          Failure to meet the terms of a probationary contract following return after an RTW standing.

                     Students who are Permanently Withdrawn from a program may not apply for reinstatement into that program. Students who are Permanently Withdrawn                                             from a program may apply to a different program for the Fall semester of the following calendar year.

2.4.7.     Disciplinary Suspension

              Students who have been placed on Disciplinary Suspension (DS) for Student Code of Conduct violations will not be permitted to register in any course at the University during their period of Disciplinary Suspension. Students who have served their period of Disciplinary Suspension must contact their program department to make arrangements for reinstatement.

2.5     Graduation Requirements

            To be eligible for their program's graduation award as authorized by Senate, students must have met the following academic requirements:

a.        successful completion of all courses in the program's curriculum with at least a minimum passing grade (or a non-graded transfer credit) in each course,

b.        and achievement of a cumulative grade point average of 1.67 or higher in graded Ryerson courses;

c.         completion, as a Ryerson student registered in the program, of studies that normally include at least a final one half of the program's curriculum[1][2]

i.        all applicable, credit-level Continuing Education courses may be used to meet Ryerson degree or diploma requirements.

ii.      students who have enrolled in (or graduated from) Ryerson degree or diploma programs may qualify for Continuing Education certificates only through the completion of additional (beyond the requirements of their degree or diploma) Continuing Education courses representing at least one-half of the requirements of the certificate in question; and

d.        formal admission to, and registration in, the program for which the award is sought.

e.        completion of the program's curriculum within a time span from first enrolment to graduation that normally does not exceed the number of years calculated as follows:

i.          for full-time programs, the maximum number of years is the number of years scheduled for full-time study multiplied by 2. In the case of co-op programs requiring an additional year of program registration, one additional year shall be added to the normal time limitations;

ii.         for part-time Degree or Diploma programs, the maximum number of years is the number of required single-term courses (or equivalent) divided by 3; and

iii.       for part-time Certificate programs, the maximum number of years is the number of required single-term courses (or equivalent) divided by 2, plus one year.

Under extenuating circumstances, students may be granted permission by the Dean of the relevant Faculty or Division to extend these time limits. In order to graduate, a student will be required to meet the academic requirements in effect when the extension is granted, or such alternative requirements as may be stipulated by the program School or Department in keeping with Ryerson’s academic policies.

f.        Students pursuing a Continuing Education Certificate must complete 50 per cent of the required number of courses as a registered Continuing Education student enrolled in the certificate program. At least 50 per cent of the courses must be taken over and above the student’s degree/diploma studies.

2.6     Graduation with Distinction

         Students graduating from an undergraduate degree or diploma program with an      overall cumulative grade point average of 3.50 or higher will graduate "With             Distinction" and will have this academic distinction recorded on their transcript and graduation award.

 

3.0  Operational Policy Elements

a.        The specific criteria defined for grading, graduation requirements, graduation with distinction, academic standing, and course weights are intended to establish University-wide standards. However, amended or additional criteria may be authorized by Senate for a particular program or Faculty.

b.        Only final course grades and F-S grades will be used as a basis for determining academic standing.

c.         Academically equivalent courses (as determined by the course teaching Department) offered through any Ryerson academic organizational unit have the same academic status for purposes of graduation and academic standing as the courses designated and normally offered for a program's curriculum.

d.        Restricted academic standing may result from either unsatisfactory academic performance or serious violation of the Codes of Conduct.

e.        In the application of all academic policies, students have their established rights of academic appeal.

 

[1] Senate may authorize variation from this requirement in the case of collaborative, joint, or articulated programs.

[2] in the case of degree completion programs offered through distance education, the requirement shall be interpreted to mean “one-half the courses required to complete the Ryerson degree”. Students who have completed Ryerson courses prior to admission may apply as many as three one-semester courses towards program requirements