Earning College Credit

Credits Defined

College of DuPage uses the semester system for awarding college credit. The academic year is divided into two semesters of approximately 16 weeks each and a summer term. The number of semester hours of credit granted for each course varies. The "Course Descriptions" section of this Catalog lists the value of each course in credit hours. A student must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours in fall and spring and a minimum of six hours in summer to be considered a full-time student. Halftime status is six to 11 semester credits during fall and spring semesters. In addition to standard semesters, the College also offers some terms that vary in length from the standard and may affect determination of status.

Class Standing

A student who has earned fewer than 30 semester credits is considered a freshman. A student with 30 or more hours has sophomore standing.

Semester Grades, Types of Grades and Grade Points

Final course grades may be accessed online at myaccess.cod.edu.

The following abbreviations appear on student grade records (transcripts):

A - High degree of excellence in achievement
B - Better than average achievement
C - Average/acceptable achievement
D - Minimum standard of achievement
F - Failure to complete minimum requirements
S - Satisfactory
I - Incomplete
W - Withdrawal
X  - Audit

The following grade point values are assigned to letter grades:

A - 4 for each semester hour of credit
B - 3 for each semester hour of credit
C - 2 for each semester hour of credit
D - 1 for each semester hour of credit
F - 0 for each semester hour of credit

Grades of "S," "I," "R," "W," "N," and "X" and grades for courses numbered below 1000 are not included in the official grade point average (GPA ), but will be shown on a student's transcript.

Satisfactory/Fail (S/F) Grade Option

Certain classes, as identified in the College of DuPage Class Schedule, offer only Satisfactory/Fail grades. In most other classes, the student and the instructor may choose to use the Satisfactory/Fail grade option. The instructor retains the prerogative to determine whether the Satisfactory/Fail option is applicable to the course and to define what grade must be earned to receive a satisfactory grade. The student must actively pursue and complete all of the requirements of the course to request a Satisfactory/Fail grade.

A student who would like to take a class Satisfactory/Fail must obtain approval from the instructor prior to the last day to withdraw from the class. If granted, a signed contract with the instructor confirming the use of the Satisfactory/Fail grading option contract must be developed and submitted to the Office of Student Registration Services within 10 calendar days after the contract is signed. Once the Satisfactory/Fail option has been finalized, the grading option may not be changed.

The satisfactory or "S" grade will not be computed in the student's GPA, but the fail or "F" grade will be computed.

Credits earned in the Communication, Physical/Life Sciences, Mathematics, Humanities/Fine Arts and Social and Behavioral Sciences categories may NOT be graded with a Satisfactory/ Fail grade if the student is seeking any degree other than the Associate in General Studies degree or the Associate in Applied Science degree. Only 12 credit hours of "S" credit may apply toward any degree from the College of DuPage.

Grade of Incomplete

The instructor of record may assign an incomplete or "I" grade when a student who has completed a substantial portion of a class with a passing grade is unable to complete the course within the prescribed time due to documented unforeseen circumstances. When an instructor agrees to issue an incomplete grade, an Incomplete Contract must be completed and submitted to the Office of Student Registration Services.

Unfinished course work must be completed within the time limits prescribed by the instructor, but may not exceed twelve (12) months from the end of the term in which the "I" grade was assigned. The student is responsible for contacting the instructor of record or, when the instructor of record is no longer employed at the College, the appropriate Associate Dean regarding course completion. If the "I" has not been changed by the instructor of record within the twelve (12) month period, the "I" will automatically change to an "F" grade. During the time the "I" is on the student's record, it will not be calculated into the cumulative grade point average.