Reinstatement of the U grade Policy

Reference Number: S01-109
Senate Approval Date: Monday, January 01, 2001

Policy on the use of "U" grade





The symbol "U" shall be added to the existing grading symbols used in evaluating student performance at SFSU.  The symbol "U" (unauthorized incomplete) shall be used where a student, who is enrolled on the Census Date, does not withdraw from a course but fails to complete it.  The symbol "U" denotes failure of the course, shall be identified as a failing grade in the transcript legend, and shall be counted as units attempted but not passed in computing the grade point average.  In courses which are graded Credit/No Credit or in cases where the student has elected Credit/No Credit evaluation, use of the symbol "U" is inappropriate and "NC" shall be used instead. 


By Executive Order (EO) - 268.  The December 5, 1995 Academic Senate resolution to terminate Academic Senate Policy #S83-109 is in violation of the EO-268 issued in 1977.



Effective Fall 2001, the "U" grade shall be reintroduced into the SFSU grading system.  The 2001-2002 Bulletin as well as all related university information must reflect this change.  The following statement shall appear in the Bulletin:

The symbol “U” indicates that an enrolled student did not withdraw from the course but failed to complete course requirements.  It is used when, in the opinion of the instructor, completed assignments or course activities or both were insufficient to make normal evaluation of academic performance possible.  For purposes of grade point average and progress point computation this symbol is equivalent to an “F”.

“[Note:  The “U” grade is not a substitute for an “F”.  The “U” grade is used, for example, when the student (a) did not drop or withdraw before the published dates to drop or withdraw without penalty AND (b) failed to complete a substantial portion of the course requirements.]”

The Provost/Academic Vice President's Office shall notify chairs of all department or equivalent units of the change.  Each department chair shall inform the unit faculty of the grading policy and procedure to ensure adherence to all grading policies and procedures.  Grade Report sheets from the Records Office shall include a column for the "U" grade.

Differences among "U", "F", and "I" grades:

The "U" grade is used for the student who has come to class but then disappears without withdrawing from the course.  Its most common use is in those instances where a student has not completed sufficient course assignments or participated in sufficient course activity to make it possible, in the opinion of the instructor, to report satisfactory or unsatisfactory completion of the class by use of the letter grade (A-F). 

The "F" grade indicates completion of unsatisfactory course work. The faculty has sufficient information to conclude that the performance of the student has failed to meet the minimum passing standard of the course. 

The "I" grade is used only when the faculty member concludes that a clearly identifiable portion of the course requirements cannot be met within the academic term for unforeseen, but fully justified, reasons.  It should be given to students who have satisfactorily completed a substantial portion of the course work.  A "Petition for Incomplete" form must be filed and approved by the instructor and the department chair.  The instructor, with the approval of the department chair, may change the "I" grade to a regular grade (A-F, CR/NC) after receiving and evaluating the student's remaining course requirements.