Grades, Grading Guidelines and Grade Grievances

The following grading system is used for graduate students: A, Excellent; B, Good; C, Satisfactory; F, Fail; other grades that may be assigned are A−, B+, B−, C+, C−. Symbols that may appear include AU, Audit; I, Incomplete; IPG, In Progress; W, Authorized Withdrawal; Z, Unauthorized Withdrawal; CR, Credit; NC, No Credit.

Unauthorized Withdrawal —The symbol of Z is assigned when students are registered for a course that they have not attended or have attended only briefly, and in which they have done no graded work. At the end of each academic semester, students’ records are reviewed; if there is more than one Z per semester, a student’s record will be encumbered until released by the student’s advising office. The symbol of Z is not a grade but an administrative notation.

GWSB Grade Distribution Guidelines

The George Washington University School of Business Faculty approved the below grade distribution guidelines for graduate courses taught in the School of Business.  For graduate-level coursework (courses numbered 6000 and above) the total number of A and A- grades for a course should not be over the recommended maximum percentage listed below.

Graduate Courses Maximum Percentage of A and A- Combined

  • MBAD Courses: 40%
  • Non-MBAD Courses: 50%

Grade Grievance Process

In the event that a student feels that a grade is the result of arbitrary and capricious academic evaluation, a student may pursue resolution through the Grade Grievance Process. Students must follow the grade grievance procedures and meet all of the posted deadlines outlined in the Grade Grievance Policy and below.

Students are responsible for providing adequate written documentation as outlined in the full policy. Only grade disagreements of two levels or more may be submitted to the Dean’s Council. For example, a request to have a grade changed from a B+ to an A- (one level) is not material and will not be reviewed while a request to change a B+ to an A (two levels) is material and will be reviewed by the committee.

A brief overview of the policies and procedures are:

  1. Student should seek an acceptable resolution through a discussion with the instructor of the course. This discussion must be initiated within one month of the posting of the course grade.
  2. If a satisfactory resolution is not reached, student should seek an acceptable resolution through a discussion with the Department Chair in which the course is held.
  3. If a satisfactory resolution is not reached, the student should file and submit an official Notification of Grade Grievance Form to the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs within four months after the student’s final course grade has been posted. The notification must include all relevant documentation.
  4. The Associate Dean will be forward all materials submitted to the Chair of the GW School of Business Dean’s Council who will appoint a Grade Grievance Hearing Committee within three weeks of receiving the Notification of Grade Grievance Form.
  5. The Grade Grievance Hearing Committee will make a final determination regarding the allegation of arbitrary and capricious grading. The Committee is the final appellate body for grade grievances in the GW School of Business.
  6. If the student believes that in some identifiable manner the procedures detailed above have not been followed by this Committee, the student may request in writing (detailing procedural violations) that the GW School of Business Dean’s Council review the procedural aspects of the case.