Academic regulation I-10 - Grading system

10.1. Official grading system

(Approved by the Senate on February 26, 2017, and effective on May 1st, 2017)

The University of Ottawa’s official grading system is alphanumeric. It must be applied to all courses except in cases approved by the University Senate. In some instances, for example, the expected learning outcomes of a course require a Satisfactory/Not satisfactory or a Pass/Fail grading scheme. 

Letter grade

 

Numeric value

Percentage value

A+

 

10

90-100

A

 

9

85-89

A-

 

8

80-84

B+

 

7

75-79

B

 

6

70-74

C+

 

5

65-69

C

 

4

60-64

D+

 

3

55-59

D

 

2

50-54

E

 

1

40-49*

F

 

0

0-39

ABS

 

0

Absent

EIN

 

0

Failure/Incomplete

Other non-numerical grades – do not affect the student’s average

CR

-

Credited course

 

NC

-

No credits

 

P

 

-

Pass

S

 

-

Satisfactory

NS

 

-

Not satisfactory

* Redeemable failure in some faculties

Passing grades

At the undergraduate level, the passing grade is usually D.

At the graduate level, the minimum passing grade is C+. Some programs may require a higher grade.

Note: The passing grades required in a course including students at more than one level are determined by each student’s level and not by the course level.

At the Faculty of Education, the passing grade is C.

The passing grade for all NSG and NUT courses is C+.

The passing grade for all courses at the 2000 level and above offered by the Faculty of Engineering is D+.

10.2 Calculating Averages

(Approved by the Senate on February 28, 2017, and effective immediately)

*This regulation does not apply to graduate studies programs

Grade point

The grade point represents a student's performance in a course and takes the number of units as well as the numerical value of the letter grade into account.

To determine grade points, the number of units for the course is multiplied by the numerical value of the letter grade

Cumulative grade point average (CGPA)

The cumulative grade point average (CGPA) represents the student's performance over all courses taken (successfully or not) by the student.

To calculate the cumulative grade point average (CGPA), the sum of all grade points is divided by the sum of all course units taken (successfully or not) by the student.

The CGPA is rounded to two decimal places.

Decimals are rounded to the next highest number if the third decimal is 5 or higher and to the next lowest number if the third decimal is 4 or lower.

Term grade point average (TGPA)

The term grade point average (TGPA) represents a student's overall performance for all courses in a given term.

To calculate the term grade point (TGPA) average, the sum of all grade points is divided by the sum of all course units taken by the student during the term.

Application

Grade point averages take into account only those courses completed at the University of Ottawa, Saint Paul University, the Dominican University College and Carleton University.

For courses with supplemental exams, only the grade assigned after this exam is part of the grade point average calculation and is the only grade that appears on the transcript. However, a note on the transcript will indicate that this grade was obtained as a result of a supplemental exam

10.3 Revision of grades and appeal

(Approved by the Senate on May 8, 2017 and effective immediately

Note : This regulation applies to all undergraduate and graduate students, except those registered in the Postgraduate Medical Education program.

Preamble

The University recognizes the right of every student to see, on request after grading, all documents that have been used to establish their grade for courses in which they are duly registered; the documents include those produced by the students themselves or evaluations written by supervisors (as part of work terms, clinical placements or internships).

The University also recognizes students’ right to ask for a grade review and to appeal grades.

General provisions

Students who question a grade assigned to them must contact their professor or practicum supervisor for clarifications or for the reasoning behind the grade.

If students still question the grade despite the explanations they receive, they can ask for a grade review, as set out in this regulation.

The revised grade can be higher than, lower than or equal to the grade submitted for review.

The grade review cannot be cancelled once the process has been completed and the new grade assigned.

This regulation applies to grade reviews for all courses under the University of Ottawa’s responsibility.

At the undergraduate level, this regulation does not apply to activities which are evaluated by a jury or committee in accordance with established procedures.

At the graduate level, a jury’s decision may only be appealed to the Dean of the Faculty where the student is registered on the grounds that appropriate procedures were not followed. Students who are not satisfied with the outcome of this process can appeal, on the grounds that appropriate procedures were not followed, to the Senate Appeals Committee.

This regulation also does not apply to technical errors (calculation errors, transcription errors, omissions, etc.), because they are quickly corrected by professors themselves.

A request for revision for any given mark may only be submitted once.

First stage: Grade review

A-  All faculties except for undergraduate programs offered by the Faculty of Law and the Postgraduate Medical Education program

  • Students who are not satisfied with their grade after discussing the matter with their professor can ask for a grade review.
  • When grade reviews can take place during the term, students must submit their request within five (5) working days of receiving the contested grade. For grades received on final exams or in cases when grade reviews take place only at the end of the term, the request must be submitted within ten (10) working days after the grade in question becomes official (see the University calendar for the exact date).
  • Students submit their requests for grade reviews in writing to the chair of the academic unit offering the course. The request must include a) the course title, the course syllabus, the grade assigned and the name of the professors having assigned it, b) the grounds for the appeal, and c) the assignment/test corrected by the professor, if applicable, and other relevant documents.
  • The chair of the academic unit, or a designate, immediately sends a copy of the student's request to the professor concerned, inviting him or her to submit in writing any comments as well as the evaluation criteria used for the test or assignment, and other relevant documents. When appeals can be made during a term, professors must respond within five (5) working days for tests given during the term. For final tests and exams or in cases when appeals can take place only at term's end, professors must respond within ten (10) working days.
  • Upon receiving the required documents from the professor, the chair of the academic unit, or a designate, asks at least one other professor to review the test or assignment under appeal and forwards all documents from the student and the grading professor to this reviewing professor.  The chair of the unit, or a designate, must ensure that the reviewing professor possesses the necessary professional qualifications. The reviewer`s anonymity must be maintained. When appeals can be made during a term, the review must be done within five (5) working days for tests given during the term. For final tests and exams or when appeals can take place only at term's end, the review must be done within ten (10) working days.
  • Based on all of the documents received, including all evaluations (initial evaluation and revisions), the chair of the unit, or a designate, determines the grade to be awarded and immediately informs both the student and the professor in question.
  • Students have the right to obtain a copy of all the documents used in reaching the decision, with the exception of any type of examination or confidential marking key, which they may consult nevertheless.

B -  Reviewing a grade - Faculty of Law (undergraduate programs only)

  • Students who are not satisfied with their grade after discussing the matter with their professor can ask for a review. Their request must be submitted within ten (10) working days after the course’s final grade becomes official (see the University calendar for the exact date).
  • Students submit their request for review in writing to the dean of their section, or to the dean's designate. The request must include a) the course title, the course syllabus, the grade assigned and the name of the professors having assigned it, b) the grounds for the appeal, and c) the assignment/test corrected by the professor (if applicable), and other relevant documents.
  • The dean, or a designate, appoints a grade-review panel at his or her discretion and notifies the student. The panel first assesses the admissibility of the request within ten (10) working days. Acceptable grounds for granting a review are serious errors in the application of grading criteria, as well as facts that point to a lack of impartiality or to unequal treatment during grading.
  • If the request is deemed inadmissible, the chair of the review panel informs the student in writing and includes the reason for rejecting the appeal.
  • If the request is deemed to be admissible, the chair of the panel informs the student. The chair also immediately sends notice of the student's request to the professor concerned and may invite him or her to revise the grade and/or submit in writing any comments, as well as the evaluation criteria explained to the student for the test or assignment, and other relevant documents. Professors must respond within ten (10) working days.
  • Upon receiving the required documents from the professor, if necessary, the chair of the panel asks at least one other professor to review the test or assignment under review and forwards all documents from the student and the grading professor to this reviewing professor. The dean, or a designate, must ensure that the reviewing professor possesses the necessary professional qualifications. The review must be done within ten (10) working days.
  • Based on all of the documents received following the review process described above, the review panel determines within ten (10) working days the grade to be awarded and the student and the professor in question are informed immediately.

C - Appealing work-term grades, clinical placements or internships—All faculties except for undergraduate programs offered by the Faculty of Law 

  • Students who fail a work term or practicum and who do not agree with the grade received may, after discussing the matter with the person at the University who assigned the final work-term grade, ask for a grade review; students must submit their appeal no more than ten (10) working days after receiving their grade at the end of his/her work term. 
  • Students must submit their appeal in writing to the chair of the unit offering the work term or to the director of the Coop programs, depending on the case.   The appeal must include a) all work-term-related information, such as the course title, the course syllabus, the number of work-term days, the work-term location, the type of supervision, the grade obtained, and the name of the person at the University who assigned the final work-term grade, as well as b) the grounds for the appeal, c) the work-term evaluation reports and d) all other relevant documents. 
  • The chair of the academic unit, or a designate, immediately sends a copy of the student's request to the person at the University who assigned the final work-term grade, inviting him or her to submit in writing any comments, as well as the evaluation criteria explained to the student, and other relevant documents. The person at the University who assigned the final work-term grade must respond within ten (10) working days.  
  • Upon receiving the required documents from the person at the University who assigned the final work-term grade, the chair of the academic unit, or a designate, asks one or several other professors to assess the request for review (the appeal), forwards all documents from the student and the person at the University who assigned the final work-term grade to these reviewing professors, and asks them for recommendations (ex., maintain the grade or have the work term, clinical placements or practicum repeated in whole or in part).  The chair of the unit, or a designate, must ensure that the professor or these professors possess the necessary professional qualifications. This review must take place immediately. 
  • Based on all of the documents received, the chair of the academic unit, or a designate, determines the grade to be awarded and immediately informs the student, the professor, the person at the University who assigned the final work-term grade, and the faculty in question.

Second stage: Appealing to the Senate Appeals Committee

  • A student can approach the Senate Appeals Committee to contest decisions handed down after an initial grade review.
  • Once a student has filed such an appeal, the academic unit will provide to the Committee all relevant documentation and its comments.


The Senate appeals procedure is posted here.

 

10.4 Grade report

(Approved by the Senate on February 28, 2017)

The grade report lists the student’s academic results for a university term. The grade report is available as soon as grades for a term become official.

If the grade report contains errors or omissions, the student must notify his or her home faculty within ninety (90) days following the date when grades become official. Otherwise, the grade report will remain unchanged.

10.5 Transcript

(Approved by the Senate on September 14, 2009)

 

A transcript is an official document issued by the University.

The transcript lists all courses for which a student is officially registered at the University, all corresponding academic results as well as all degrees, diplomas and certificates earned by the student.

A transcript issued to a student or to a third party authorized by the student will be marked "Issued to the student".


The group average and the number of students registered in the course are indicated on the transcript provided that at least six students are registered in the course.


A student with an outstanding balance or other financial obligations to the University cannot obtain a transcript.

10.6 List of symbols

(Approved by the Senate on February 28, 2017)

ABS (Absent) – Symbol used when a student has not attended the course, has not submitted any assignment and has not advised the University, within the time limits specified in the Important dates and deadlines schedule, that the course was dropped. This symbol is equivalent to a failing grade (F).
 
AUD (Auditor) - Symbol used when a student registered as an auditor.
 
CR (Credited course) – Symbol used for a course, taken with success in another institution, with the prior authorization of the student’s faculty. The course grade is not included in the grade point average calculation; only the units are indicated on the transcript.
 
CTN (Continuing) – Symbol used for a course or an activity which carries over into the next term.
 
DFR (Deferred) - Symbol used when the appropriate authority considers that the student has not completed the course requirements for a valid reason. The student will have to complete such requirements within a maximum of 12 months after the end of the term. If no mark has been filed with the Office of the Registrar twelve months after the end of the course, the DFR symbol will be changed to EIN.
 
DR (Drop) – Symbol used when a student has dropped the course within the time limits specified in the Important dates and deadlines schedule. This symbol is not associated with a mark and, therefore it does not affect average calculations.
 
EIN (Failure/Incomplete) – Symbol used whenever a student has failed to complete a significant portion of the course assignments and/or examinations. Such symbol is equivalent to a failure mark (F).
 
Q (Advanced standing) – Symbol used for a course previously completed with success in another academic institution, and that is recognized as part of the student’s program of study at the University of Ottawa.
 
NC (No credits) – Symbol used when no credits are associated with a course. This symbol has no numeric value and is not included in average calculation.
 
NNR (Mark not submitted) – Symbol used until a final mark is filed with the Office of the Registrar.
 
NS (Not satisfactory) – Symbol used for a failed course that is not included in grade point average calculations.
 
P (Pass) – Symbol used to indicate success in an internship report submitted with respect to the co-op education stream, a course or an activity. This result is not included in grade point average calculations.
 
S (Satisfactory) – Symbol used for a successfully completed course that is not included in grade point average calculations.
 

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