Grade System

Location: Unity Hall
Office Location: Room 435
Phone: 508-831-5211
Fax: 508-831-5931


Distribution of Grades

Academic grades of undergraduate students may be released to parent(s) of a student claimed as a dependent for tax purposes. WPI presumes that all undergraduate students are dependents of their parent(s) unless they file a Declaration of Independent Status petition form with the Registrar’s Office. These forms are available in the Registrar’s Office. After the Registrar’s Office receives a Declaration of Independent Status petition form from an undergraduate student, the Office will not release the student’s academic grades to the parent(s) of such student until such time as the student rescinds their Declaration, in writing filed with the Registrar’s Office, or his/her parent(s) provide acceptable proof of tax-dependent status to the Registrar’s Office. The Registrar's Office will keep a record of any release of grades directly to the parent(s) of a dependent student in that student's record, and the student will be able to review that record.

Grading System

Projects: The following term grades are possible: A, B, C, SP (Satisfactory Progress), NAC (Not Acceptable) and NR (No record).

Courses: The following grades are possible: A, B, C, NR, and I (Incomplete). An instructor may also assign an “I” in an Independent Study course. AT (attended) is used to denote participation in seminars or college-sponsored programs. If an undergraduate student repeats a course previously graded with an A, B or C, both grades will appear on the undergraduate student transcript with the lower grade marked with a ‘/R’ indicating a repeated class. Only the higher grade will be used to calculate the student’s numerical equivalent.

Students such as Consortium (CO), nondegree-seeking students, and Graduate students will receive traditional A, B, C, D, F, Withdrawal and Pass/Fail grades. 

Grades for Completion of Degree Requirements

The overall evaluation of degree requirements (for the MQP, the IQP and the Humanities and Arts Requirement) will be graded in the student’s respective grade system. The transcript will contain an abstract describing the content of the completed project. 

No Record (NR)

The NR (No Record) grade is assigned by a faculty member for course or project work for which credit has not been earned. This grade applies to PLAN students (admitted, degree-seeking) only. The NR grade does not appear on the students’ transcripts or grade reports.

Incomplete (I)

An I grade, when assigned, will be changed to NR after one term unless extended in writing by the instructor to the Registrar’s Office. The I grade is not assigned for Qualifying Projects.

Satisfactory Progress (SP)

In project work (IQP, MQP only) extending beyond one term for which a grade is not yet assigned, an interim grade of SP (Satisfactory Progress) may be used on grade sheets. In such cases, the SP evaluation will count as units earned toward meeting the 15-unit rule, the distribution requirements, and the minimum standards for satisfactory academic progress. SP grades remain on the transcript until changed to the final grade as submitted on the Completion of Degree Requirement Form or through the grade change form procedure.

Other Grades

A ? or Q signifies a grade that has not been submitted.

Qualifying Project Grading

The Faculty of WPI has endorsed the following grading guidelines for qualifying project activity:

  1. Each term a student is registered for a qualifying project, the student receives a term grade reflecting assessment of his or her accomplishments for that term. 
  2. Upon completion of a project, each student will receive an overall project grade (also known as the “CDR grade,” since it certifies completion of the degree requirement) reflecting his or her individual overall accomplishments for the project. 
  3. The term grades and the overall project grade reflect both the products of the project (e.g., results, reports, etc.) and also the process by which they were attained. The term grades and the overall project grade may be different.

The following are some characteristics that faculty should use in communicating expectations and evaluating the quality of each student’s project work. 

The degree to which the student: 

  • developed effective or creative goals or approaches, 
  • demonstrated initiative and originality, 
  • showed depth and critical thought in analysis, 
  • produced high quality results, 
  • took the lead in discussion, planning, and analysis, 
  • produced a clear, professional-level report with excellent drafts along the way,
  • anticipated work that needed to be done and completed it in a timely manner, and
  • worked to advance the success of the team.

For both terms and overall project, the available grades and interpretations are:

A: This grade denotes excellent work that attains all of the project goals and learning outcomes. The product and process of this work meet all of the expectations and exceed them in several areas. 

B: This grade denotes consistently good work that attains the project goals and learning outcomes. The product and process of this work meet but generally do not exceed all of the expectations. 

C: This grade denotes acceptable work that partially attains project goals and learning outcomes. The product and process of this work meet some but not all expectations. 

SP: This grade denotes satisfactory progress and certifies sufficient accomplishments to earn credit for that term. Faculty who assign this grade should provide clear feedback to the student regarding his or her progress during the term. The use of the SP grade is discouraged except in circumstances where the faculty member is unable to judge the quality of the work, yet can attest that the granting of credit is appropriate. This is a temporary grade and must be replaced by a permanent grade consistent with the criteria outlined above by, if not before, the end of the project.

NR: This grade denotes work that did not attain the project goals or learning outcomes and is insufficient for registered credit. Both product and process were inconsistent with acceptable project work at WPI as outlined above. 

NAC: This grade is reserved for performance that is unacceptable. It might mean that a student’s performance (or lack of it) has seriously impeded group progress, or it has embarrassed the group, a project sponsor, or WPI. Note that this grade remains on the transcript. 

4. Project goals should be established and clearly articulated early in the project. This may be done in the form of a formal project proposal. Learning outcomes for the qualifying projects have been established by the faculty and are published in the undergraduate catalog. 

5. Project advisors should clearly convey in writing their expectations for learning and performance to project students at the start of the project, and provide students with substantive feedback on a regular basis during the project.

Cumulative Grade Point Average

WPI does not maintain a Cumulative Grade Point Average for undergraduate students. A student who needs a cumulative point average for external use may apply to the Registrar and receive a numerical equivalent. This information is usually provided only for students applying to graduate or professional schools when the application process requires a translation. Cumulative point averages will not be printed on student’s transcripts nor shall class rankings be developed from them.

When requested by the student, the numerical equivalent of the cumulative point average will be based on a point assignment of A = 4.0, B = 3.0, C = 2.0 while DIST and AC grades will be 4.0 and 2.75 respectively.


In order to assess progress throughout the graduate program, grades are assigned to the student’s performance in course, project, and thesis work.  Academic achievement is based on the following grading system:

A - Excellent

B - Good

C - Pass

D - Unacceptable for graduate credit

F - Fail

AU - Audit

NC - No Credit awarded; (not included in GPA; used in Spring/Summer 2020)

P - Pass (minimum grade of C obtained)

I - Incomplete: transition grade only - becomes grade of F if not changed by instructor within 12 months

W - Withdrawal

SP - Satisfactory progress: continuing registration in thesis/dissertation, directed research

CR - Credit for work at another institution

UP - Unsatisfactory progress: this grade remains on the file transcript

Grade Point Average (GPA Calculated For Graduate Students Only)

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 over-all 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.