Attendance, Change of Schedule, Testing and Evaluation Policies


Regular attendance at classes is expected; all students are responsible for any class work done or assigned during any absence. In each course, two absences shall be accepted by the instructor during the term. However, when any absence results in a student missing an examination, or an assignment deadline, the instructor’s policy covering missed examinations or late work shall apply. Beyond two absences the instructor’s policies shall be in effect.


The first two weeks of each semester are designated as a “schedule-adjustment period.” During this time, students may change their class schedule by presenting completed “add-drop” forms to the Office of the Registrar. The course “drops” made during the first two weeks of the semester will not be reflected on the student’s permanent record. Although no fees are assessed for changes within the schedule-adjustment period, each course change made thereafter will be charged a schedule-adjustment fee.

If a student does not attend any of the first week of class meetings, the student may be dropped from the class up to the end of the add/drop (change of schedule) period at the discretion of the instructor; however, instructors typically place responsibility on the student for completing the requisite paperwork. The Office of the Registrar will notify students by e-mail if they are dropped by an instructor. Without this notification, students must assume they are enrolled in the course.

After the second week and before the end of the fourth week of classes, but not thereafter, students may add courses by presenting completed “add-drop” forms to the Office of the Registrar. (The only exceptions to courses that may be added after the fourth week of classes are independent studies, private music lessons, and theater practicum. The absolute deadline for adding independent studies and private music lessons is the same as the last day to withdraw from a course, that is, the end of the 10th week of classes. Adding theater practicum is accomplished only through submission of official rosters by the faculty member.) After the second week and before the end of the 10th week of classes, but not thereafter, students may withdraw from courses. A grade of W for any course from which a student withdraws will be placed on the student’s permanent record.


Students are required to participate in assessment and testing programs arranged for the purpose of institutional research and development. These testing programs enable students to measure their own academic progress against that of classmates and national samples, while furnishing group data needed for institutional research at the College.


1. Grading

Evaluations are made in accordance with the following system:

A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, F, CR (credit for the course), AU (audit), NC (no credit for the course), I (incomplete), IP (in progress), W (withdrawal). All grades will appear on the permanent record.

2. Change of Grade

A change of the final grade in a course may occasionally be justified for extraordinary reasons, such as computational error. Such a change may be initiated by either the instructor or the student. A request initiated by a student must be a formal one, submitted in writing with justification to the instructor by the end of the fourth week of the following semester. Any changes initiated or approved by the instructor must be approved by the department chair and submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the end of the sixth week of the subsequent semester. The registrar will record the grade change on the student’s permanent record.

3. Mid-term Reports

If a student’s work in a course is unsatisfactory at mid-term, the instructor submits a report to the registrar, who sends a copy to the student and faculty adviser.

4. Credit/No credit grading

There are two situations in which a student may receive a Credit/No credit evaluation in lieu of a letter grade. These situations are specified separately in (a) and (b) below:

  1. Courses in which letter grades are normally assigned:
    A student in good academic standing may elect to take, on a credit/no credit basis, a course in which letter grades are normally assigned. In order to do so, the student must file the appropriate form with the Office of the Registrar no later than the last day of the fourth week of classes. When the student has completed the course, the faculty member will assign a letter grade for that student that will be recorded officially as CR if the letter grade is D or higher, or NC if the grade is F. These courses may not include any that are required in a student’s major program, minor program, or those used to satisfy Core Curriculum requirements. A maximum of 16 credit-hours elected on the credit/no credit basis can be applied to graduation. For students transferring into St. Mary’s College with 64 credit-hours or more, a maximum of eight credit-hours elected on the credit/no credit basis can be applied to the degree.
  2. Courses in which letter grades are not assigned: In certain courses the assignment of a letter grade is not feasible. These courses are offered only for credit/no credit evaluation by the instructor. Such courses are approved by the provost of the College on recommendation of the appropriate department and the Curriculum Committee and are identified in the course descriptions in this catalog. There is no limit on the number of such courses that a student may take; however, these courses may not be used to satisfy a Core Curriculum requirement, major, or minor requirements, with the exception of credit internships approved by the appropriate department or cross disciplinary study area.
5. Withdrawal from a course

A student who formally withdraws from a course after the last day of the schedule-adjustment period but before the end of the 10th week of regularly scheduled classes receives a grade of W for that course. A student may not withdraw from a course after the 10th week of classes unless the student is withdrawing from the College. The assistant vice president for academic services may grant exceptions to this latter provision in unusual circumstances and following consultation with the instructor and the Academic Policy Committee. The schedule-adjustment period and final date of withdrawal for courses that do not follow the regular academic schedule will be published in the academic calendar. For half-semester courses, this date is usually at the end of the fifth week of regularly scheduled classes.

6. Enrollment as an auditor

A student who wishes to show that he or she has attended a course regularly but who does not wish to earn credit for the course may register as an auditor with the consent of the instructor. The following policies govern such registrations:

  1. If attendance has been regular, the instructor will assign AU as a grade, but no credit (either attempted or earned) is entered and no quality points are calculated.
  2. If the instructor deems that attendance has not been adequate, the instructor will notify the Office of the Registrar and the student will be dropped from the course.
  3. A change from credit to audit or audit to credit may be made only with the consent of the instructor and no later than the last day of the fourth week of classes.
  4. Part-time students must pay for audited courses at the same rate charged for credit courses.
  5. Audited courses will not be included in determining the total academic load of the student.
  6. Regular attendance at class is expected of the auditor, but he or she is not required to write papers or take quizzes, tests, or examinations.


A grade-point average (GPA) is calculated on the basis of the following quality points: A = 4.0, A- = 3.7, B+ = 3.3, B = 3.0, B- = 2.7, C+ = 2.3, C = 2.0, C- = 1.7, D+ = 1.3, D = 1, F = 0. The grades of CR, NC, I, W, and AU do not enter into the computation of the grade-point average. The GPA is computed on the basis of all courses taken at St. Mary’s College for which a letter grade has been received. The grade-point average is computed on both a semester-by-semester basis and on a cumulative basis. Transfer credits are excluded from the GPA computation.


A student is classified according to the number of credit-hours earned: