The following grading system applies to all undergraduate students.
|Letter Grade||Honor Point Equivalent per Credit|
"A," "A – ," "B+," and "B" are honor grades.
"B – ," "C+," and "C" represent satisfactory work.
"C – ," "D+," "D," and "D – " represent passing but unsatisfactory work.
"F" is a failing grade. It indicates that the student has not completed all course requirements in a satisfactory manner. Students who stop attending a course without having complied with the official withdrawal procedure can anticipate receiving a grade of "F." The "F" grade becomes a permanent part of a student’s record and cannot be expunged even if the course is successfully retaken. An undergraduate student who violates the academic honesty policy is subject to an automatic grade of "F."
"I" (Incomplete) indicates a student has done passing work in a course but has not yet submitted all the outstanding work required for a formal evaluation. The "I" is awarded at the instructor’s discretion, only if the student has completed at least half of the course requirements satisfactorily at the end of the semester, and there is a reasonable expectation that all course requirements can be completed in one academic year. An "I" must be formally re-evaluated by the instructor within one academic year, resulting in an evaluation grade or an extension of the "I," or it automatically converts to an "F*."
Students must complete coursework with the original instructor. The change in the "I" grade must be made by the original instructor, and in his or her absence, by the department chair. If this is not possible, arrangements must be made through the department chair in concurrence with an assigned instructor.
"F*" indicates that the student has not completed all the course requirements in a satisfactory manner in a course where they originally received an Incomplete grade. Incomplete grades expire to an "F*" grade one year after the Incomplete grade was assigned. An "F"* grade operates in the same manner as an "F" grade.
"IP" (In Progress) can be issued where by nature of the course content the course may not be complete by the end of the term. IP grades automatically convert to an "F*" after one academic year.
"W" signifies official withdrawal from a course. A "W" is assigned administratively if a student:
- Drops a course, following proper university procedure, between the end of the drop/add period and the withdrawal deadline of the semester, or
- Drops a course or withdraws from school after the deadline of the semester with the written approval of the Students Affairs office. Permission is given only for valid cause such as debilitating illness, relocation, serious family crisis or other circumstances beyond the student’s control.
"AU" (Audit): In an audited course, a student will not receive credit or honor points; however, a student must pay the same tuition as if taking the course for credit. Under no circumstances may a student change from the evaluative letter grade system to audit or vice versa after the first two weeks of classes.
A student who audits a course is responsible for attending classes and completing required coursework.
"P" (Pass): A Pass-Fail ("P/F") grade in lieu of a traditional letter grade may be applied to up to 12 credits per student, including both elective credits petitioned by the student and credits toward a major or minor designated by academic departments (as specified below). The grade of P will appear on the record for a student who does passing (i.e., A through D-) work in a P/F designated course. A student who fails a P/F designated course will earn the F. A Pass may be applied toward fulfilling degree credits, but may not be applied toward the quality point average. Courses officially dropped during the add/drop period will not appear on the student's record.
The use of P/F grades is also subject to the following limitations and regulations.
- A Pass/Fail option is available to students for elective credits.
- Eligibility is restricted to students in good academic standing who have completed a minimum of 15 semester hours of coursework at Suffolk University. This pass/fail option is applicable only to electives and cannot be used for courses that fulfill specific degree, core, major or minor requirements. Students who are unsure as to whether a course is an elective for their specific program should check with the Undergraduate Academic Advising Center.
- Students will designate elective courses as Pass-Fail after registration, but before the end of the course change period, by completing a Pass/Fail Declaration Request form. No changes from the designation of Pass-Fail to the letter grade system or vice versa are permitted after the course change period has elapsed at the opening of any semester or summer session.
- Students planning to attend law school or other graduate schools should be aware that many professional and graduate schools prefer students to submit traditional letter grades.
- Certain undergraduate courses used toward major or minor credits are graded on a Pass/Fail basis. These courses have been designated by academic departments and approved by the academic dean's office. They may include select field-based, internship, and professional development courses. Courses identified as graded pass/fail may be found in the Search for Classes by filtering on P/F course type or in the course description.
"PC" (Pass/Credit) is awarded in courses successfully completed with a grade of "C" or better at an affiliated study abroad program or approved course work at a consortium institution after matriculation at Suffolk University. "PC" grades may be applied toward fulfilling degree credits, but they may not be applied toward the quality point average.
"NP" (No Pass) is awarded in courses unsuccessfully completed at an affiliated study abroad program or approved course work at a consortium institution after matriculation at Suffolk University. "NP" grades do not earn academic credit and are not applied toward the quality grade point average.
Courses officially dropped during the add/drop period will not appear on the student’s record.
A student who has a complaint about a grade on a single assignment or exam or concerning the faculty member teaching a course should first speak with or email the faculty member. If the complaint is not resolved, then the student should bring the matter to the attention of the department chair or program director. If the complaint remains unresolved, then the matter should be brought to the attention of the academic dean’s office of the school in which the course is offered
There is a formal process for grieving a final course grade.
Within two weeks of the grade being assigned, the student should speak with or email the faculty member.
If, after communicating with the faculty member, the student believes that the grade had no basis in fact or was arbitrary, the student may then petition the department chair or program director in writing (or by email).
Students should keep copies of correspondence for their own records.
If the grievance is not addressed or resolved equitably after meeting with the department chair or program director, the student has 10 business days to file a formal grievance with the academic dean (or dean’s designee) of the school in which the course is offered.
The academic dean (or dean’s designee) will inform the student of a decision within 15 business days of receiving the formal grievance. The student may appeal this decision to the provost (or provost’s designee), whose decision shall be final. It is the responsibility of the provost (or provost’s designee) to come to a resolution of the grade dispute within 15 business days of receiving the formal grievance from the student.
A graduating student must initiate the grade grievance process no later than three days prior to commencement by emailing the faculty member and copying the department chair or program director.
Graduating students should be mindful that the grade grievance process may impact the awarding of Latin honors and may delay the date of degree conferral.
Grievances Related to Academic Accommodations for Students Registered with Disability Services
Students with disabilities who believe they have received inappropriate treatment or inadequate service from the University pertaining to their granted accommodations have the right to file a grievance with Director of Disability Services. The grievance must be submitted in writing to The Office of Disability Services and should include a detailed description of the inappropriate or inadequate service and supporting documentation (when appropriate). Students with disabilities must indicate the resolution they are seeking.
Students with disabilities who are unsatisfied with the response from the Director of Disability Services may submit an appeal within 5 business days to the ADA Coordinator, Dr. Ann Coyne, Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students, Student Affairs Office, 12th floor 73 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02108,617-573-8239, TDD:617-557-4875 or by email. Students with disabilities must state the resolution they are seeking. The decision of the appeal by the Dean of Students is final.
Suffolk University expects all students to be responsible individuals with high standards of conduct. Students are expected to practice ethical behavior in all learning environments and scenarios, including classrooms and laboratories, internships and practica, and study groups and academic teams. Cheating, plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, use of unauthorized electronic devices, self-plagiarism, fabrication or falsification of data, and other types of academic misconduct are treated as serious offenses that initiate a formal process of inquiry, one that may lead to disciplinary sanctions.
Resolving Incidents of Academic Misconduct
A faculty member suspecting academic misconduct will contact the student using the Suffolk email address to schedule a meeting and will make all effort to do so within five business days of detecting the incident. During the meeting, the faculty member will present the documentation that led to suspected academic misconduct. If the faculty member reaches the conclusion that academic misconduct has occurred, he or she may impose limited sanctions that are meant to acknowledge the behavior in the context of providing remediation and addressing skill development. These sanctions involve grade reductions to student work that constitutes up to 25% of the course grade (e.g., homework; short papers; quizzes) and frequently include some form of remediation.
When the suspected academic misconduct involves student work that constitutes more than 25% of the course grade, or if an F grade (0 credit) on the assignment is recommended as a sanction, the faculty member will consult with the department chair (or program director) prior to imposing the sanction. If the faculty member and chair agree on a determination of academic misconduct, the sanction may be imposed.
If a determination of academic misconduct is made and a sanction is imposed, the faculty member must complete the Academic Misconduct Incident Form (available online) and submit it electronically to the AMC coordinator who will document the incident, along with the written documentation of misconduct, in the AMC internal record. A student may appeal the determination of academic misconduct, but not the sanction, by requesting a hearing before the full AMC. Appeals should be filed with the AMC coordinator within ten business days of receiving the sanction.
If the suspected academic misconduct involves actions that the faculty member and chair believe warrant an F grade in the course, or if there is disagreement between the faculty member and chair on the appropriate sanction, then the incident must be forwarded directly to the AMC for committee review. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: cheating on exams; group cheating; submitting purchased term papers or term papers with extensive copying or use of external sources without citation; and fabrication or falsification of research data. If the faculty member and chair suspect an incident of this type, they must file an incident report form with the AMC coordinator to initiate a full committee review. The AMC coordinator will schedule a hearing at the next standing meeting of the AMC, generally within ten business days of receipt of the incident form. The faculty member will submit all documentation to the AMC coordinator who will email the student (using Suffolk email) a notice to appear for a hearing. At the hearing, a determination is made by the committee, regardless of whether or not the student is in attendance; imposition of sanctions is made by committee vote. A determination letter is then sent to the student, the faculty member, and the chair.
A full review by the AMC, as described above, will also occur if multiple incident reports for a single student are detected in the AMC internal record.
AMC hearings are not open to the public. Therefore, members of the Suffolk University community who are not directly involved in the allegation and friends, parents, partners, siblings, legal counsel, and others are not permitted in the room where the AMC hearing takes place but may wait nearby for support purposes. Formal rules of process, procedure, or evidence such as those applied in civil or criminal courts are not used in the AMC. Members of the AMC will recuse themselves from a case when appropriate. Student conduct that warrants sanctions may result in forfeiture of all Suffolk scholarships, financial aid, or monies paid.
Sanctions imposed by the AMC may include but are not limited to a reprimand; a remediation plan; a grade of F in a course; probation; and/or dismissal. A sanction grade of F in a course will be factored into the overall grade point average regardless of whether or not the course is successfully repeated. A student found responsible for academic misconduct and sanctioned by the AMC may file one appeal to the provost (or designee) by sending a written letter of appeal within ten business days. (A graduating student must initiate the appeal process no later than three days prior to commencement.) Appeals are considered only if there is additional information not available at the time of the hearing or a procedural error that calls into question the determination of academic misconduct. Students must include a statement of why the additional information should be considered and why it was not presented at the time of the original hearing. The decision of the provost is final.
Grading Students under Review for Academic Misconduct
Faculty, department chairs, program directors, and the AMC will work diligently to ensure timely review and closure of cases of academic misconduct. In some cases, however, it may not be possible to reach a determination or impose a sanction prior to the deadline for submitting course grades. In this case, the faculty member will not submit a grade for the student, but will leave the grade field blank. Once a determination has been made, the faculty member will complete a change of grade form, with an explanation of the grade change that includes a brief statement of how the sanction impacted the final course grade.
Membership of the Academic Misconduct Committee
The AMC hears cases of alleged academic misconduct involving students in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and the Sawyer Business School (SBS). The committee consists of two CAS faculty members, appointed by the CAS dean; two SBS faculty members, appointed by the SBS dean; the CAS and SBS assistant deans who convene the Academic Standing Committees in their respective schools; and a non-voting dean from Student Affairs. At the start of the academic year, AMC members elect a committee chair; the chair casts the deciding vote in the case of a tie.
All full-time CAS and SBS faculty are eligible to serve on the committee with the exception of non-tenured, tenure-track faculty. Associate deans from the two schools may be asked to attend as ex officio members when particular background or expertise is requested by the committee.
Grades are available online soon after the conclusion of each semester.
Students are solely responsible for their academic progress and should confer immediately with their academic advisor in the event their performance becomes substandard. Failure to maintain satisfactory progress can lead to loss of financial aid, academic probation, or dismissal, or other equally serious consequences.
Scholastic averages are computed by multiplying the credit hours by the honor point equivalent. For example, a 4 credit course evaluated as "A" will be counted as 16 honor points (4 credits multiplied by 4.0 = 16). Grades of "I," "W," "P," "IP," "AU," "NC," and "PC" are not computed in determining Honor Points, and have no impact on a student’s scholastic average.
A cumulative average of 2.0 (C) and an average of 2.0 (C) or better in one’s major, minor, and/or certificate program are required for graduation. Students are required to monitor their average in their major and minor. If students are at risk of falling below the required average, the Academic Standing Committee will notify the academic department of their major.