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Grading Policies

Last updated on Mar 04, 2024

Definition of Grades


Grade Points/Unit


Used in GPA



Outstanding achievement -- significantly exceed standards










Commendable achievement -- exceeds standards













Acceptable achievement -- meets standards







Marginal achievement -- below standards















In Progress












No credit




Transfer Credit


Grade with "*"


Grade Forgiveness




Audit (eligible alumni only)


Interpretation of Grade Statistics

Credit Attempted: Total number of credits attempted.
Credits Completed: Total number of credits completed for successful completion of academic or studio coursework.
GPA Credits: Total number of graded credits used in calculating the grade point average (only CCA units included).
Grade Points: Value is derived by multiplying GPA credits by grade earned.
GPA: Value is derived by dividing graded points by GPA credits.

Interim Progress Reports

Interim Progress Reports (IPRs) are a tool for facilitating timely, proactive communications in support of students who may be in danger of failing courses. The reporting period begins after the add/drop period and concludes on Monday of Week 10 prior to the course withdrawal deadline.

Students are notified via CCA email of their instructors’ specific concerns that--if not addressed--may impact their ability to pass courses. IPRs are available in Workday through the Academics Dashboard by selecting Grades and then View My Interim Grades or by searching “View My Interim Grades" directly. IPRs do not appear on official transcripts.

IPRs notify students that an instructor has one or more specific concerns:

  • Never/Stopped Attending: Student has either never attended the course or has stopped attending/engaging/communicating for two consecutive weeks.
  • Attendance Concern: Student is not attending sufficient number of course events/meetings as required.
  • Performance/Progress Concern: Student is not submitting assignments by due dates or demonstrating proficiency in alignment with course expectations.

If a student receives an IPR, they should immediately contact their instructor to discuss the concern(s) and opportunities, expectations, and timeline for getting back on track.

Please note: the lack of receipt of an IPR does not indicate that a student's performance in a given course is satisfactory. Students should always consult with their instructors regarding their progress in courses.

Incomplete Grades

Students who are unable to complete the work for a course due to a family emergency, personal illness or other extenuating circumstances may request an incomplete grade/extension of time.

At least two-thirds of the semester's course work must be completed and the student must be passing the course to be eligible for an incomplete grades. Incompletes are not granted to students on academic probation.

If a graduating senior receives an incomplete for a course taken in that student's last term at CCA, that student's degree will not be posted until the final passing grade has been received by the Registrar from the instructor.

Students who have received an incomplete must complete the outstanding course work and have a grade turned in within 5 weeks of the end of the term; instructors may set earlier deadlines at their discretion. If the student completes the work by the deadline, the instructor will assign a final grade for the course.

Otherwise, the instructor or the Student Records Office will assign a grade of F for the course. The student's schedule will be adjusted if they do not receive a passing grade for the class and it is a prerequisite for another course they are enrolled in. Notification of any schedule changes will be sent to the student's CCA email account.

Students on financial aid who do not complete all of their course work in a given semester may be required to complete that course work the following semester in order to maintain their financial aid eligibility. Completion of this work is in addition to any other enrollment and eligibility requirements.

Grade Point Average Requirement

Undergraduates must have a cumulative CCA grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or above to be eligible to graduate. Degrees are posted on the student's transcript once all grades have been received and the Student Records Office has conducted a final graduation check.

Students who do not pass this final check will be notified by mail of any outstanding requirements.

C Grade Requirement

The following courses must be completed with a grade of C or better to be counted toward undergraduate degree requirements:

  • All first-year Core studios/substitutions
  • All courses required by the major program
  • Specific Humanities and Sciences requirements (listed below)
    • Writing 1 and 2
    • Introduction to the Arts: Antiquity to Early Modern
    • Introduction to the Modern Arts
    • Foundations in Critical Studies

A student who receives a grade of C- or lower in a major requirement or first-year Core studio may be able to count the course as an elective. Students in this situation should consult with their advisor for details. In order to receive credit toward the major requirement or first-year Core studio, the student must repeat the course with a grade of C or better. Whether the course is repeated for a higher grade, the original grade remains on the student's transcript and will factor into that student’s term and cumulative GPAs.

If a student has requested and been approved for Grade Forgiveness, the new grade and most recent previous grade remain on the student's transcript and will factor into the student’s term GPA, but only the higher grade will be reflected in the cumulative GPA. Grades that have been forgiven cannot fulfill degree requirements, and so a grade of C- or lower in a major requirement or first-year Core studio that would normally count as an elective cannot do so if it has been forgiven and replaced in the cumulative GPA.

Undergraduate students are permitted three graded attempts at any course, other than specific, repeatable classes (e.g., Sculpture Workshop, Ceramics Workshop, Advanced Ceramics Workshop, Animation Workshop, Illustration Tools, Advanced Architecture Studio) that are intended to be taken multiple times to fulfill degree requirements or courses with variable section topics of which students may take more than one. “Graded attempts” includes instances that result in grades of A+ through F, Pass, No Credit, or Fail; courses from which a student has withdrawn with a W recorded on the transcript are not considered “graded attempts” for the purpose of this policy.

For repeatable and variable topics courses, multiple registrations for a specific course number may be needed; students should consult Student Records for assistance with registration. Workday does not distinguish between attempts that result in a W and those that result in a grade; students who have difficulty registering for a second or third attempt because of prior Ws can contact Student Records for assistance with registration.

Undergraduate students who receive less than a C for a third time in a repeated major requirement are required to meet with their program chair to request permission to retake the course and discuss their continuation in the degree program. Such students are also advised to make an appointment with their academic advisor to determine next steps at the College.

Undergraduate students who receive less than a C for a third time in any other repeated requirement for which a C is needed (first-year Core studio, specific Humanities & Science requirements listed above) will need the permission of the Academic Review Committee to retake the course. Requests may be submitted to the registrar at

Grade Forgiveness

Undergraduate students may request to have the highest grade earned for a repeated course taken at CCA factored into their cumulative grade point average when the previous attempt is below a C. Grade forgiveness can only be sought by repeating the specific course taken initially (i.e. same course number and content). The original and subsequent grades earned will appear on the academic transcript; grade forgiveness does not retroactively affect a student’s Probation, Suspension, or Dismissal decisions made at the end of each term.

If a student repeats a course in Fall 2020 or after, forgiveness will apply to the most recent prior course attempt below a C grade. However, this is not a retroactive policy, so it will not apply when the repeated coursework was successfully completed with a C or higher grade prior to Fall 2020.

It may be possible to have a course where the earned grade is below a C fulfill another degree requirement, so please refer to the Academic Progress Report or discuss with your academic advisor. Once a course grade has been forgiven, the original course credits cannot count towards another degree requirement.

If a student chooses to repeat a course in which the grade earned was a C or higher, grade forgiveness is not an option, and all units attempted and all grade points earned will be used in the calculation of the student's cumulative GPA.

Only current, active students can request grade forgiveness. Once a student completes their degree, their record is final, and grade forgiveness cannot be requested. Grade forgiveness shall not be applicable for Non-Degree and Graduate Students nor for courses in which the original grade was the result of Academic Dishonesty.

Note: courses graded with NC (no credit) are not eligible for grade forgiveness. As a reminder, the NC grade does not carry grade points and therefore does not affect the GPA.

There is no discount in tuition or fees for repeated courses. There are restrictions on the number of attempts that can be used to determine enrollment status for Federal Student Aid eligibility. See Eligibility Requirements for more information.

You can submit the request by logging in to Workday, search Create Request and select "Grade Forgiveness Request - Undergraduate".

If you have general questions about this policy, please email Student Records.

Grade Reports

Grades are visible to students through Workday once grades have been processed at the end of each semester. Grade reports include the student's term and cumulative grade point averages.

More information can be found by visiting Transcripts.

Grade Appeals

Any student who wishes to appeal a grade should discuss the matter with the instructor as soon as possible after receiving the grade. If the matter remains unresolved following this discussion, the student should consult with the chair of the program in which the course in question resides.

Only two conditions exist under which the college will consider changing a final grade as submitted by an instructor:

The grade resulted from a recording error.
Specific evidence exists that the instructor evaluated the student's work in a manner inconsistent with:
a. the grading policies stipulated in the course syllabus
b. that used to evaluate the work of other students in the course or specific evidence of personal bias against the individual student

A student who wishes to contest a grade for either of these reasons must contact the instructor of the course in writing by the end of the fourth week of the following semester. The student should request clarification of the grade and address one of these two conditions; in the case of the second condition, the student must also include evidence supporting the claim.

If the instructor is not available, the student should contact the appropriate program chair.

If attempts to resolve the issue with the instructor are unsuccessful, the student may appeal to the program chair and the dean within two weeks of receiving the instructor's decision.

The student must detail the nature of the discussions with the instructor and present a case justifying a grade change. After consultation with the instructor, the program chair and the dean will weigh the evidence and make a final decision within two weeks of receiving the petition.

For further assistance with the process of grade appeals, undergraduate students should consult the Advising Office. Graduate students should contact their assigned advisor for assistance.