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Academic Performance

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Academic Standards

Students must maintain high academic standards in all their program activities. After attempting 12 credit hours, all students must maintain an overall grade point average (GPA) above 2.75 to be considered as making satisfactory progress. If a student’s overall GPA falls to 2.75 or below, the student and advisor are notified by the Registrar that the student is not making satisfactory progress.

If the overall GPA of any student falls below 2.65, the Registrar will inform the student that all future registrations will be given grades only on a pass/fail basis unless the department Graduate Committee intervenes.

If the overall GPA of any student falls below 2.5, the student is removed from the program unless the department Graduate Committee intervenes.
Grade Point Average (GPA)

Grades are assigned the following grade points:

A = 4.0, B = 3.0, C = 2.0, D = 1.0 and F = 0.0. The grade point average is calculated as the sum of the products of the grade points and credit hours for each registered activity (including courses, independent studies, directed research, thesis research and dissertation research) in the average, divided by the total number of credit hours for all registered activities in the average. If a student takes the same course more than once, the course enters the GPA only once, the most recent grade received for the course being used in the average.

A student’s overall GPA is calculated on the basis of all registered activities taken while enrolled as a graduate student at WPI. WPI graduate courses taken before a student had status as a degree-seeking graduate student are included in the overall GPA. A student’s program GPA is calculated on the basis of those WPI courses listed by the student on the student’s Application for Graduation form. The transcript will report the overall GPA.

Courses transferred from elsewhere for graduate credit (for which a grade of CR is recorded on the WPI transcript), and courses taken to satisfy undergraduate degree requirements or to remove deficiencies in undergraduate preparation, are not included in either GPA. Registered activities in which the student receives grades of AU, NC, P, I, W, SP or UP are not included in either GPA.

Only registered activities in which a grade of A, B, C or CR was obtained may be used to satisfy courses or credit requirements for a graduate degree.
Grade Appeal and Grade Change Policy

The Student Grade Appeal Procedure affirms the general principle that grades should be considered final. The principle that grades for courses, thesis credit and dissertation credit should be considered final does not excuse an instructor from the responsibility to explain his or her grading standards to students, and to assign grades in a fair and appropriate manner. The appeal procedure also provides an instructor with the opportunity to change a grade for a course or project on his or her own initiative. The appeal procedure recognizes that errors can be made, and that an instructor who decides it would be unfair to allow a final grade to stand due to error, prejudice or arbitrariness may request a change of grade for a course or project without the formation of an ad hoc committee. An instructor may request a grade change by submitting a course, thesis credit or dissertation credit grade change request in writing to the Registrar at any time prior to a student’s graduation.

The purpose of the Grade Appeal Policy is to provide the student with a safeguard against receiving an unfair final grade, while respecting the academic responsibility of the instructor. Thus, this procedure recognizes that:

* Every student has a right to receive a grade assigned upon a fair and unprejudiced evaluation based on a method that is neither arbitrary nor capricious; and, * Instructors have the right to assign a grade based on any method that is professionally acceptable, submitted in writing to all students, and applied equally.

Instructors have the responsibility to provide careful evaluation and timely assignment of appropriate grades. Course and project grading methods should be explained to students at the beginning of the semester. WPI presumes that the judgement of the instructor of record is authoritative and the final grades assigned are correct.

A grade appeal shall be confined to charges of unfair action toward an individual student and may not involve a challenge of an instructor’s grading standard. A student has a right to expect thoughtful and clearly defined approaches to course and research project grading, but it must be recognized that varied standards and individual approaches to grading are valid. The grade appeal considers whether a grade was determined in a fair and appropriate manner; it does not attempt to grade or re-grade individual assignments or projects. It is incumbent on the student to substantiate the claim that his or her final grade represents unfair treatment, compared to the standard applied to other students. Only the final grade in a course or project may be appealed. In the absence of compelling reasons, such as clerical error, prejudice, or capriciousness, the grade assigned by the instructor of record is to be considered final.

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