Grades and Grading System Policy Amendment

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Grades and Grading System Policy Amendment

To: All UA Faculty


Dennis Ray, Chair, Undergraduate Council
Celeste Pardee, Assistant Director for Academic Policies/Organizations

Subject: Grades and Grading System Policy Amendment

Date: March 8, 2017

In Fall 2016 a faculty member asked the Undergraduate Council (UGC) to give department curriculum committees the authority to set a prerequisite grade of C in a required course for academic purposes, instead of seeking approval from the UGC to do this. The UGC agreed that it was time to modify the current procedure for C-grade prerequisites and proposed an amendment to this effect for the Grades/Grading System Policy on 12/06/16. The Faculty Senate approved the proposal on 3/06/17, to be effective for undergraduate courses offered in Fall 2017.

Amendment to Grades and the Grading System for the 2017-18 Catalog (second paragraph):

Regular grades:

A, B, C, D and E constitute the regular grades used at the University of Arizona. Regular grades are included in the calculation of the grade-point-average (GPA).

A minimum grade of C may be required to register for some courses when a higher level of mastery than a D is necessary for the student’s success in the subsequent course. Students should check the requisites (recommended course work) and enrollment requirements (required course work) when planning their class schedules and registering for the next term. Recommended and required course work is noted in the UAccess Class Search and in the Course Catalog.

Justification for the amendment:

A grade prerequisite of C (satisfactory) in foundational course material is only justified when a higher level of mastery than a D (poor) is necessary for the student's success in the subsequent course.

When grade prerequisites are added to the Course Catalog, students will see the expected level of achievement for academic progress in more than one source (currently only visible in UAccess Class Search during the registration period). Grade requirements in the Course Catalog will be transparent to students, faculty and staff.

Management of the amendment:

This policy amendment replaces the current procedure of submitting C-grade prerequisite requests to the Undergraduate Council's Academic Programs Subcommittee for review. It places the decision on setting a C-level of mastery with the faculty in the academic unit.

Requests for B or higher grade prerequisites will continue to be reviewed by the Undergraduate Council's Academic Programs Subcommittee, per the current procedure.

When a department curriculum committee approves a C-grade prerequisite for a required course, a modification request with academic justification will be submitted through the Course Management System (CMS). As with any request submitted through the CMS, a modification of a grade prerequisite will be routed through and approved by the Unit Curriculum Committee, the College Curriculum Committee, the departments cross-listing that course, the University-wide General Education Committee (if appropriate), and UA Curricular Affairs.

For transparency in course sequences offered by a department, any C-grade prerequisites submitted by the department (via the CMS) should be added to the second course in a sequence as an enrollment requirement. Those grade prerequisites now appear with enrollment information in the UAccess Class Search but will be added to the Course Catalog.

Departments offering courses with previously approved C-grade prerequisites, as listed in the UAccess Class Search, need take no further action. When system modifications are completed, those grade prerequisites will be pulled to the Course Catalog as well.

Course grade prerequisites should also be noted on the 2017-18 Academic Advisement Reports. Asterisks should designate courses with grade prerequisites, along with a footnote of explanation.

"Related Guidelines" at the bottom of the Grades and Grading System Policy site will include a link to this memo announcing this policy change.

Questions about the policy amendment may be addressed to Celeste Pardee, Curricular Affairs, at 621-5375, or Questions about submitting a Course Modification to add a C-grade prerequisite may be addressed to Abbie Sorg, Registrar's Course Approvals Unit, at 621-0973 or

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