A student's standing in academic work is expressed by grades earned on class assignments and examinations.

Grading scale

Number RangeCorresponding Letter GradeCorresponding Grade Point
90 - 100%A4.0
80 - 89B3.0
75 - 79C2.0
74 - 60D1.0
Below 60F0.0

To receive credit for a course, an undergraduate student must earn a grade of C or above in both academic or clinical course work. A student in the School of Health Professions must achieve a grade of C or above in all program courses to graduate. A grade below a C in any course may result in an academic dismissal from the respective program. This action is posted to the student's permanent record. During this period, the student will have the opportunity to exercise the appeal process outlined in the Grievance section of the SHP Policies and Procedures A student who wishes to be readmitted after an academic dismissal from the respective program may apply to the program through the entire admissions process for the next academic year.

After a grade is reported to the registrar, it may not be changed unless an error was made by the instructor. Grades are given by semesters; however, in a course extending through two semesters, credit is not counted toward the degree until both semesters of the course are completed.

A student is expected to complete a course, including self-paced courses, in a single semester or summer session. If the course is not completed as expected, the student normally will not be given additional time to complete it or to do additional work to achieve a better grade. In rare instances, and subject to the approval of the instructor, a temporary delay of the final course grade, Incomplete (I), may be given. If no final grade is reported by the end of the next semester, excluding any intervening summer session, a grade of F is recorded as the final grade in the course. A student will not be able to graduate unless the symbol I is replaced by a passing letter grade.

Members of the staff are not authorized, without the academic dean's approval, to withhold a final grade or to defer reporting a final grade at the end of the semester other than by the use of the symbol I. If a grade is withheld without the dean's approval, the grade may not be added to the official records later without the written approval of the dean.

About Symbols

Under specific conditions, instructors may use symbols to report a student's standing in the semester's work. The symbol I is used to report a temporary delay of the final course grade for a student who has been given additional time to complete a course, and the symbol W to indicate that a student has officially withdrawn from MDAnderson. If a faculty member fails to report a grade for a student, the registrar will enter the symbol I to provide the student time to contact the faculty member and arrange for a final grade to be reported. If a final grade is not reported by the end of the next semester, excluding any intervening summer session, the registrar will change the I to an F. The registrar will notify the student when a grade change is reported.

Symbol I: Temporary Delay in Reporting the Final Course Grade

Issuance of the symbol I, representing a temporary delay in reporting the final course grade, is approved under the circumstances described below and is at the discretion of the instructor.

If a student receives a symbol I in a course, the student must complete the requirements for the course and have the instructor report a final course grade on or before the last date for grade reporting in the next semester, excluding any intervening summer session, or an F will be recorded as the final grade in the course. The period for completion of the course work may be extended only for unusual circumstances beyond the student's control as recommended by the instructor and approved by the student's academic dean. A student who has received an I in a course may not register for that course again until a final grade has been recorded unless the course is one that may be repeated for credit.

If the symbol I appears on a student's record, the course for which the symbol is recorded is not used in the calculation of the student's grade point average. When the instructor assigns the final course grade and it is approved by the student's dean and reported to the registrar by the appropriate deadline, the grade is entered on the record and counted in computing the student's grade point average. The symbol I remains on the record.

Approved Uses of the Symbol I

An undergraduate student may, with the approval of the instructor, be assigned the symbol I in a course for one of the following reasons:

Missing the Final Examination

The student is unable to take a final examination because of illness or other nonacademic reason. A physician's statement or other satisfactory verification is required.

Incomplete Classroom Assignment

The student has not been able to complete the required class or laboratory assignments for a reason other than lack of adequate effort. A request for temporary delay of the final course grade because of incomplete class or laboratory work can be made only if the student has a passing average on the class or laboratory work already completed and has taken and passed the final examination (unless a final examination is not given in the course or the student is unable to take the examination for reasons indicated in the previous paragraph).

Reexamination Petition

Only a student who has an average of C or above on all class and laboratory work submitted before the final examination may request a temporary delay of the final course grade because he or she failed the final examination, which is the examination given during the final examination period as printed in the official examination schedule. If the petition is denied by the instructor, the student's final course grade will remain as originally determined. If the petition is granted by the instructor, the grade on the reexamination will be substituted for the grade on the original examination in determining the student's final course grade, provided the student earns at least a C on the reexamination. If the grade on the reexamination is less than a C, a final course grade of F must be recorded.

The temporary delay of final course grade symbol is not issued for student or faculty convenience; it may be issued for the reasons cited above only in the case of compelling, nonacademic circumstances beyond the student's control.

Improper Uses of the Symbol I

A student must not be assigned a temporary delay of the final course grade symbol to permit any of the following:

  1. Time to prepare course work in addition to that assigned to the entire class.
  2. Time to repeat the entire course.
  3. Opportunity to raise a grade for any reason other than the approved reasons cited above.

Computation of the Grade Point Average

The cumulative grade point average for each student is calculated on the basis of all work undertaken at MD Anderson (including credit by examination, correspondence and extension) for which a letter grade is recorded. Courses in which the symbol W or I is recorded are excluded in calculating the grade point average.