Grading System

Northern Michigan University uses letter grades that are assigned a numerical value. The total number of grade points (honor points) is the product of the credits and the honor point value of the grade received in the course.

Note: Grade reports are not mailed to the student at the end of each semester. Students access their grades on the Web at

Grade Significance Honor Points Per Credit
A Distinguished 4.00 
A- Superior 3.70
B+ Excellent 3.30 
B Very Good 3.00
B- Good 2.70
C+ Satisfactory 2.30
C Average 2.00 
C- Fair 1.70
D+ Inferior 1.30
D Poor 1.00
D- Poor but Passing 0.70
F Failure 0.00
AU Audit 0.00
I Incomplete 0.00
MG No Grade Submitted 0.00
P Completion 0.00
R Research in Progress 0.00
S Satisfactory 0.00
U Unsatisfactory 0.00
W Withdrawal 0.00
X Course in Progress 0.00

Grade of AU: A grade of “AU” (Audit) is awarded to a student who is not taking a course for credit.

Grade of I: A grade of “I” (Incomplete) applies to work of acceptable quality when the full amount is not completed because of reasons acceptable to the instructor, such as illness. It is never applied to poor work. Students cannot graduate with a grade of “I” on their record.

Grade of MG: A grade of “MG” (Missing Grade) is issued when the instructor does not submit a grade by the deadline to be included on the official grade report. Students cannot graduate with a grade of “MG” on their record.

Grade of P: A grade of “P” (Completion) is awarded when a ­ student has marginally completed a student teaching assignment. These students are not recommended to the state for certification.

Grade of R: A grade of “R” (Research in Progress) is issued when research, field study or internships extend beyond the end of the semester. Used for graduate courses only.

Grade of S: A grade of “S” (Satisfactory, equivalent to a “C”) is issued when a course has been satisfactorily completed. Courses graded “S” are counted in earned hours. The grades are not included in the computation of the grade point average.

Grade of U: A grade of “U” (Unsatisfactory, equivalent to a "C-" or below) is issued when a course has not been completed satisfactorily. Courses graded “U” are included in attempted hours. The grades are not included in the computation of the grade point average.

Grade of W: A grade of “W” (Withdrawal) is awarded when a student has officially withdrawn from a course. Courses graded as “W” are included in attempted hours. The grades are not included in the computation of the grade point average.

Grade of X: A grade of “X” is assigned when a course continues to meet past the time of grading for a particular semester. Students cannot graduate with a grade of “X” on their record.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Northern Michigan University calculates a grade point average (GPA) for all its students. The GPA is used for admission into majors and degree progress requirements by academic and administrative departments. Students may view their GPA on the Web at Only the Northern Michigan University GPA appears on NMU transcripts. Transfer students have a GPA for NMU, a transfer GPA, and an overall cumulative GPA. The transfer GPA is used for assessment (progress toward degree) only. A ­ student’s GPA is not released outside the university unless the ­ student has signed a written release specifically permitting the university to do so. Under no circumstances will the university release a student’s GPA to anyone over the telephone. Northern Michigan University does not calculate rank in class based on GPA.

Calculating a Grade Point Average

Only courses numbered 100 and above are used in calculating a GPA for baccalaureate and associate degree students and counted as credit toward the minimum credit-hour requirement for the degree. To compute a semester GPA, divide the total honor points earned by the total number of credits carried. Credits carried include failed courses. A cumulative GPA is calculated by dividing the total honor points earned by total credits carried in all semesters. Repeated courses count only once, the last time taken.

Incomplete Grade Policy

Students may receive an Incomplete (“I”) grade for coursework in which they are currently enrolled if the following conditions have been met.  Failure to complete the specified work within the ­ designated time frame may result in an “F” grade for the course.


  1. The student must be currently enrolled in the course(s) in question (prior to grading).
  2. The deadline for an automatic “W” grade for the course(s) must have passed. ("W" grades are awarded through the tenth week of the semester for full-semester courses. The time period is prorated for courses that meet for less than a full semester.)
  3. The student must be passing the course(s) (student must have completed work of acceptable quality). An “I” grade may never be applied when the student has done poor work or has successfully completed less than 70% of the work for the course.
  4. The student must have a legitimate extenuating circumstance(s), such as a severe illness, that prohibits completion of the course. The faculty member will consult her or his department head and/or the Dean of Students Office with any questions regarding legitimacy.
  5. Students are not allowed to “re-take” the course as a condition of the incomplete. (If the circumstances are such that the student is meeting the requirements of the course at the time of the “I” grade [the tenth week or its equivalent], then only the remainder of the course content is required to be completed.)
  6. The instructor, upon receiving and evaluating the completed work, will record the appropriate grade (“A” through “F,” “S” or “U”) prior to stated deadlines for grading at the end of each respective semester (see item 7 below).
  7. “I” grades will revert to an alternate grade assigned by the instructor if the assigned work is not completed within a period designated by the faculty, not to exceed one year.
  8. The instructor granting an “I” grade must provide the Registrar’s Office with an Incomplete Grade Form listing:
    1. the “acceptable” reason for the “I” grade (such as illness), and
    2. details of the work that has to be performed by the student to complete the course. The form must be returned no later than the deadline identified for end of semester grading.
  9. Students cannot graduate with an “I” grade on their record.

Exceptions to the Incomplete Grade Policy

Exceptions to the incomplete grade policy (for instance, if a student requests an “I” grade prior to the “W” deadline) may be granted by appeal to the Dean of Students Office; the decision on any appeal to this policy by the Dean of Students is final.

Process for Changing an Incomplete to a Grade

At the time an “I” grade is awarded, the instructor will complete the appropriate form stating (1) the reason for awarding the incomplete, (2) what work has to be performed by the student to complete the course, (3) the deadline for completing the work, and (4) the alternate grade to be awarded in the event the deadline is not met. One copy of this form is retained by the instructor, one is forwarded to the Registrar’s Office and one is mailed to the student. If an instructor fails to indicate an alternate grade, the incomplete will automatically revert to an “F” at expiration of the deadline. The maximum time that can be given to complete an “I” grade is one year.

Students may request a duplicate copy of the Incomplete Grade Form from the department in which the course was taken. The student is responsible for obtaining all information regarding the completion of the course, including deadlines, from the instructor or the instructor’s department head.

Procedure for Changing Improperly Recorded Grades

If a student believes that a clerical error has been made in awarding the final grade for a course, he or she should meet with the instructor to determine if there has been an error. A change of grade is normally allowed only for clerical error. Requests for a grade change must be signed by the instructor of the course and the head of the department before being referred to the college dean for review. Grade changes must be received by the registrar no later than the 15th working day of the following semester (exclusive of the summer session).

Students who believe they have been unfairly graded in a course should follow the appeals procedure outlined in the NMU Student Handbook.

Dean’s List

The Dean’s List is published each semester naming those undergraduate-level students who have achieved a high scholastic standing for the previous semester. To qualify for this recognition, a student must (1) have completed a minimum of 12 credits, earning honor points in at least eight credits, and (2) have earned a semester GPA of 3.25 or higher. Remedial courses at the 080 level are not included in the 12 hours.