Grading System

Unit of Credit

The standard unit represents one hour per week of classroom work or its equivalent carried for one semester of not less than 16 weeks of class work. The unit is also referred to as the semester hour.

In the case of academic subjects, the general rule is that not less than two hours (120 minutes) per week of preparation outside class are expected for each unit of class work. This conforms to the provision in the Education Code that “one credit hour of community college course work is approximately three hours of recitation, study or laboratory work per week throughout a term of 16 weeks.”

In some courses, such as physical education, drafting, and laboratory, more than one hour in class each week is required for each unit. Course descriptions show the minimum number of hours that must be completed in order to earn the number of units of credit associated with each course.

Grades and Grade Points

Pasadena City College uses the letter system of grading to evaluate the quality of work done by students. The interpretation of each grade or symbol, with its value in grade points, is described below.

Grade or Symbol Meaning Quality Points per Semester Unit
A Excellent Honor Grade indicating Excellence earned as a result of consistently superior examination scores; consistently accurate and prompt completion of assignments; ability to deal resourcefully with abstract ideas; superior mastery of pertinent skills; promise of success in a field relating to the subject. 4
B Good Honor Grade indicating Competence earned as a result of high examination scores; accurate and prompt completion of assignments; ability to deal well with abstract ideas; commendable mastery of pertinent skills; promise of continued success in sequential courses. 3
C Satisfactory Standard College Grade indicating Successful Performance earned as a result of satisfactory examination scores; generally accurate and prompt completion of assignments; ability to deal with abstract ideas; fair mastery of pertinent skills; sufficient evidence of ability to warrant entering sequential courses. A “C” is the minimum course grade necessary to meet a prerequisite. 2
D Less Than Satisfactory Substandard Grade indicating the meeting of Minimum Requirements only earned as a result of low examination scores; generally inaccurate, in-complete or late assignments; inadequate grasp of abstract ideas; barely acceptable mastery of perti-nent skills; insufficient evidence of ability to make advisable the enrollment in sequential courses. A grade of “D” would indicate the student is not likely to be successful in a higher level course and would not meet prerequisite requirements. 1
F Failing Non-passing Gradeindicating Failure to meet Minimum Requirements earned as a result of non-passing examination scores; inaccurate, incomplete or late assignments; failure to cope with abstract ideas; inadequate mastery of pertinent skills, re-peated absence from class. 0
I Incomplete This symbol identifies Unfinished Work Other-Wise Passing at a “C” or better level, indicating that an important assignment such as term paper, final examination or experiment is missing (for ill-ness or other sufficient reason) but can be submit-ted to complete the course. An “I” is not assigned as a withdrawal grade and is not considered in grade-point average but it is included in the computation of progressive probation. A course for which an “I” has been assigned must be completed within one year from the end of the semester in which the “I” grade was assigned. After one year, a default grade will be assigned. 0
W Withdrawn A symbol recorded for a course when a student vol-untarily withdraws; student is dropped from class by instructor; or petition is approved for a withdrawal. It is not considered in grade-point average but it is included in the computation of progressive proba-tion. 0
MW Military Withdrawal A symbol used to record a student withdrawal due to unexpected military obligations. 0
EW Excused Absence A symbol used to record a student withdrawal due to documented extenuating circumstances. 0
P Passing Passing Grade, level of “C” or better, not consid-ered in grade-point average but it is included in the computation of progressive probation. 0
NP No Pass Credit not Allowed; performance less than aver-age quality; not considered in grade-point average but it is included in the computation of progressive probation. 0
P In Progress Indicates work in progress but not considered in grade-point average. This symbol is intended for courses which may extend beyond the end of the normal semester. 0
RD Report Delayed Used when there is a delay in reporting grades. It is a temporary notation not considered in the grade-point average. 0

Grade-Point Average

The grade-point average (GPA) is computed by dividing the total quality points earned by the total number of GPA hours.

Example: A student earning a grade of A in ENGL 001A READING AND COMPOSITION (4 units) would have a total of 16 grade points for the course (4 x 4 = 16).

Course Units Grade Grade Points
ENGL 001A 4 A (4 points) 16
STAT 050 4 B (3 points) 12
SPCH 001 3 C (2 points) 6
SOC 001 3 A (4 points) 12

To calculate the GPA, total the number of grade points and divide by the total number of units.

Total Grade Points: 46
Total Units: 14
GPA: 3.29 (46/14)

Pass/No Pass Grading

Most, but not all courses of the College are offered on a pass/no pass grading basis. The following provisions shall apply for pass/no pass credit grading:

  1. A maximum of 12 units may be taken on this basis, with a limit of one class per semester.
  2. Pass/no pass classes must be taken in areas outside the student’s Baccalaureate Degree major.
  3. The decision to take a class on a pass/no pass basis can be made through the first 28% of the course duration. For semester-length courses this is Friday of the fourth week. Request deadlines in short-term classes and Summer session are considerably earlier; check with the Registration Office, the online schedule, and the course CRN (Course Record Number) details for exact dates.
  4. The pass/no pass grading option is not available through online registration. You must go to the Admissions and Records Office to complete a Request For Pass/No Pass Grading Form.
  5. A grade of “P” (pass) represents satisfactory achievement which would have been graded C or better on the regular grading scale. A grade of “NP” (no pass) indicates unsatisfactory achievement which would have been graded with a D or lower on the regular grading scale.
  6. Sequential courses may be taken on a pass/no pass basis.
  7. Instructors are notified as to which students have elected the pass/no pass option in their courses at the time of grading.
  8. Any restriction listed above does not apply when a class is offered only on a pass/no pass basis.
  9. The request for pass/no pass grading is final and may not be reversed.

Some universities may not recognize pass/no pass grading or may limit the number of units. Please check with a counselor for clarification if you’re planning on transferring.

Incomplete Grades

A grade of “I” is given by an instructor only in cases where a student is doing passing work at C or higher level, but for reasons beyond the student’s control, is unable to complete the requirements of the course. The student must contact the instructor before the end of the semester and make arrangements for completing the required assignments.

When a grade of “I” is given, a “Contract for the Assignment of an Incomplete Grade’’ must be completed and signed by the instructor and the student. This contract lists specific conditions for removal of the “I” and the default grade to be recorded if the conditions are not met within one year from the end of the semester in which the “I” was assigned. A student must complete the remaining course assignments within one year, or the default grade will be recorded on the transcript. Re-enrollment in the class as a way to make up the “I” is not allowed except in exceptional situations, such as a laboratory class. When required work is made up, the grade earned is entered on the student’s transcript. “I” grades are not used in computing the grade-point average.

To meet graduation requirements, a student must achieve a minimum C average (2.000 GPA) for all lower division college units attempted in degree applicable courses, including transferred courses and grades. Students should be aware that “I” grades are computed as F grades when a student’s records are being evaluated for graduation. A student’s overall degree applicable GPA must be 2.000 to be eligible to graduate.

Authority on Grades

The instructor is the final authority on assignment of grades. When reported to the Admissions and Records Office, grades represent the instructor’s final decision as to a student’s achievement. Grades are not given as a warning, punishment or reward and are not subject to revision for purposes of determining eligibility for office or honors, college transfer or for any other reason except the subsequent discovery of an error (as a result of mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetence). Any change of grade submitted after the normal two-year holding period for backup materials will require documentation as to the nature of the error in the first grade.

Grade Reports

At mid-semester the instructor may issue midterm grades to students in LancerPoint. Final semester grades for all courses taken during the semester, regardless of the end date of the course, are available to students on Lancerpoint at the end of the semester.

Grade Appeal Process

The purpose of the academic grade appeal procedures is to provide a process by which a dispute in the assigned final grade for a course may be resolved in a full and efficient manner as provided in section 76224a of the California Education Code and section 55760a in the California Code of Regulations. The Grade Appeal Process can be found in the PACCD procedures No. 4051.10. The process and appropriate forms are available in the Office of the Vice President of Instruction (C231). The student must initiate any request for a grade change within the next regular semester following the award of the original grade.