Grades and GPA – For Students

Grades and GPA

The general quality of a student’s work is expressed in terms of a grade point average (GPA). The GPA is based on the total number of credits taken in which grades of A through F are received. The highest possible GPA is 4.0, representing A grades in every course; the lowest possible is 0.0. Undergraduate and Graduate students will have a GPA for each term and a cumulative (overall) GPA.
The UW-Madison GPA is based solely upon credits earned or attempted at UW-Madison. Grades for transfer coursework and credits earned by exam do not carry grade points and are not factored into the GPA. They are listed on the UW-Madison transcript with a grade of “T”.

Undergraduate students- Additional information about UW-Madison grading scale and policies related to Pass/Fail, Audit, Failures, and Incomplete Grades can be found in the Undergraduate Guide.

Graduate students- Additional information about UW-Madison grading scale and policies related to Pass/Fail, Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, Failures, Progress, and Incomplete Grades can be found under the Grades category of the Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures.

Law students- The Law School has its own grading scale.

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Grades in Canvas

Although you may see a grade in Canvas for one or more courses, it is not considered an official grade until your instructor has submitted the grade to the Office of the Registrar and it appears in the MyUW Student Center or transcript.

Grade changes

Students with questions about grade changes should communicate directly with their instructor about the change. Once an instructor formally submits a grade change request, it will be routed to the student’s Academic Dean’s Office for review. Some grade changes need an additional level of review and will be routed to the Office of the Registrar (from the Academic Dean’s Office) for final processing.
Once a grade change is approved and processed, a history of the grade change will appear at the bottom of the unofficial transcript in the “Memoranda” section, but will not print on the official transcript.

Midterm Grades

True first-year students* can receive temporary midterm (week 6) grades, to help them track their academic progress, usually over their first two terms at UW–Madison.
These grades are not recorded on the official transcript, and in fact are only visible to students in Student Center for about ten days, ending on the last day on which they are allowed to drop a course.
Students who feel a midterm grade isn’t meeting their expectations are encouraged to work with their instructor, their advisor, and also the designated academic dean in their school or college. The goal is to help students explore the range of support on this campus, leading either to solutions that improve their studies or to a guided plan to drop the course before the last course-drop day.

[* “First year” generally means students for their first (and sometimes second) semester/term at any college or university. Transfer students are not considered to be first-year students, even if it’s their first semester at UW–Madison. Because first-time students can receive credits for study completed before enrolling at UW–Madison, a first-year student could have sophomore or junior standing in terms of the credits.]

Academic Standing

Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum academic thresholds, including the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation. Thresholds for “scholastic actions” like probation vary by school/college. Students are encouraged to view academic standing policies for their school/college in Guide. In most cases, this information can be located in the “Policies and Regulations” section of the Guide for the appropriate school/college by clicking on the “Schools and Colleges” tile, selecting the appropriate school or college, and then the “Policies and Regulations” tile.

Viewing your Grades

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Final Grades

Grades are posted to the student record by the end of each term’s grading deadline. Students can view their official grades in the following places:

After grades are submitted by an instructor, overnight processing is involved before the grades are posted to a student’s record. Students who are interested in checking grades near the end of the term need only check once per day for newly updated/visible grades.

Midterm Grades

When applicable, midterm grades for first-year students will be visible for a short period of time in MyUW > Student Center > Academic Records > View Grades.
Midterm grades are typically visible during the 8th and 9th week of each fall and spring semester to help first-year students assess their academic progress.

Grade-related Honors

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Dean's List

Undergraduate students with a minimum of 12 graded credits in a semester may receive the semester honor of Dean’s List based on the grades earned that semester. Each school or college sets the semester grade-point average requirements to receive an honor, the name of which varies by school/college. The Dean’s List is established at the end of each fall and spring semester after the final grading deadline. At that time, the Dean’s List designation will appear on a student’s transcript for the relevant semester.

UW-Madison’s Dean’s List website is updated about a month after the end of the final-exam grading period for the Fall and Spring semesters. This timing allows for grade reporting, grade changes, the clearing of Incompletes, and other end-of-semester actions.

Additional information about Dean’s List criteria by school or college can be found via links provided on the Dean’s List website.

Graduation Honors

Distinctive Scholastic Achievement (Commencement Honor)
Undergraduate students expecting to graduate with at least 60 residence credits completed or in progress whose cumulative grade point average places them in the top 20% of their graduating class are invited to wear the honors stole at the Commencement ceremony. Eligible students will be notified by their Academic Dean’s Office during the month before the Commencement ceremony.

Students who are declared in a UW-Madison Honors program will also be invited to wear the honors stole at Commencement via this same notification process.

Graduating with Distinction (After Degree is Awarded)
Undergraduate degree recipients with at least 60 residence credits completed whose cumulative grade point average places them in the top 20% of their graduating class will have “Graduated with Distinction” (GWD) posted to their academic records.

Students in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the school of Human Ecology, and the school of Pharmacy who meet the criteria for GWD and rank in the top 5% of their graduating class have “Graduated with Highest Distinction” (GWHD) posted to their academic records.

Calculations for GWD and GWHD are run approximately 45 days after the end of each semester. Once awarded, the notation will appear in the “Degrees Awarded” section of the transcript. Some school/college academic deans offices will notify graduates in their school/college who have received this honor.

FAQs

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Where do I view my grades?

Students can view their official grades in the following places:

Please note- grades listed in Canvas are not your final grades.

When will my final grades be available?

Final grades are due 3 days (72 hours) after the last final exam day. It is possible for class with a final exam scheduled on the last 3 days of finals week to have a 3 day extension.
To review the grading deadline by term, see Grades and Grading Policy.

Final grades will be available the day after the instructor submitted the grades.

When will my final grades appear on my transcript?

Final grades are due 3 days (72 hours) after the last final exam day. It is possible for a class with a final exam scheduled on the last 3 days of finals week to have a 3 day extension.
To review the grading deadline by term, see Grades and Grading Policy.

Final grades will be available the day after the instructor submitted the grades.

What if I received a grade of NR?

Please contact your instructor. They might need to submit a grade change or further discuss the grade with you.

What if I received a grade of Incomplete?

An Incomplete (I) is a temporary grade used when work is not completed during a term. If you haven’t already discussed next steps with your instructor, you are encouraged to do so.

What is the grading scale for the university?

A 4.000 grading system.
The Law School has its own grading scale.

Where do I find my Cumulative Grade Point Average?

Students can view their Cumulative Grade Point Average in the following places:

How do I calculate my major Grade Point Average?

Students occasionally have interest in knowing their major GPA. Although this varies by school/college, some undergraduate students have a section on their DARS report that displays major GPA. Alternatively, students can use a GPA Calculator, enter grade and credit information for major courses, and calculate their major GPA.

How/where to tell if my request to take a class on a pass/fail or audit basis was approved?

Go to MyUW > Student Center > Academic Records > View Grades and select the relevant term.
When a request to take a class on a pass/fail or audit basis was approved and processed, the default “Graded” listing on the Grading column will be replaced with Pass/Fall or Audit.
Exact timing will vary. If you have any questions about the expected processing time, please contact your Academic Dean’s Office.

How do I qualify for the Dean’s List?

Undergraduate students with a minimum of 12 graded credits in a semester may receive the semester honor of Dean’s List based on the grades earned that semester. Each school or college sets the semester grade-point average requirements to receive an honor, the name of which varies by school/college.
Additional information about Dean’s List criteria by school or college can be found via links provided on the Dean’s List website.

Where and when will I see my midterm grades?

When applicable, midterm grades for first-year students will be visible for a short period of time in MyUW > Student Center > Academic Records > View Grades.
Midterm grades are typically visible during the 8th and 9th week of each fall and spring semester to help first-year students assess their academic progress.

My instructor submitted a grade change for me, when will the grade be updated?

Once an instructor formally submits a grade change request, it will be routed to the student’s Academic Dean’s Office for review. Some grade changes need an additional level of review and will be routed to the Office of the Registrar (from the Academic Dean’s Office) for final processing.
Exact timing will therefore vary. If you have any questions about the expected processing time, please contact your Academic Dean’s Office.

What is the correlation between graded course work and my final grade?

Final grade calculations are course specific. The course syllabus must provide linkage between the relative graded course work and final grades calculations. You may also contact the course instructor for additional information.

How can I get a grade changed?

Instructors must initiate all grade changes.  Once an instructor has completed their part of the grade change, the student’s Academic Dean’s Office must approve.