Scholastic Requirements

Grades and Grade Points

Sam Houston State University’s grade system consists of five grades:

Grade Description Grade Points Per Semester Hours
AExcellent4
BAbove average3
CAverage2
DPassing (not necessarily satisfying degree requirements)1
FFailure0

Note: All of the above grades will be used in grade point average (GPA) calculations.

The following marks are assigned but are not used in the grade point average calculations:

X (Incomplete)

The mark X indicates that the student has not been able to complete the course because of emergency circumstances beyond the student’s control. These circumstances usually prevail over other drop dates and opportunities to withdraw from the course. When the student is given the X mark, it is assumed that the student will be able to finish the course without further instruction or tutoring from the faculty member in charge of the course. Permission to award the mark of X is granted only by the chair of the academic department involved with the recommendation of the instructor. If the student meets the prescribed requirements of the course before the end of the next long semester (fall or spring; the summer term is not considered a long semester for X grade submissions) after the X is given, the student will receive the grade earned; otherwise, the mark X will be automatically changed to the grade of F.

IP (In Progress)

Assigned to thesis and other selected courses designed to require additional time to complete course requirements.

CR (Credit)

Designates that academic credit was earned for the course. Hours earned with the mark of CR are counted in determining classification but are not used to calculate GPA.

NC (Non-Credit)

Assigned for failure to complete satisfactorily the requirements for selected courses.

Q (Q-drop)

Assigned to courses dropped on or after the 13th class day (5th class day for summer sessions) and prior to the first day for which a letter grade must be assigned.

Students are allowed no more than 5 Q-drops. Students are encouraged to visit their advisor prior to dropping a course.

W (Withdraw)

Students who resign after the twelfth class day of a fall/spring term receive a mark of W (withdrew) for each course for which they were enrolled.  If a student has received a grade in any course for that term, they are ineligible to resign.

* (Developmental Course Designation)

Assigned to developmental courses which are assigned a letter grade with the asterisk (*) symbol.

Note: Class days are University class days (Monday through Friday), not the number of days an individual class meets. Class days are to be counted from the first class meeting of on-campus daytime courses as indicated in the Academic Calendar.

Determining Grade Point Average (GPA)

The grade point average is calculated by dividing the quality points earned by the total GPA hours attempted toward the degree. The total GPA hours attempted toward the degree excludes hours in developmental courses and courses assigned a CR (credit) or NC (non-credit) mark. The grade point average is carried out two decimals (2.00) and is not rounded. Courses receiving the marks of IP or X are not used in the hours calculating the term GPA until such time that the marks are reported with letter grades of A, B, C, D, F. Developmental courses will be assigned grades of A*, B*, C*, D*, F* and are not used in the calculation of grade point average.

Quality points earned are determined by multiplying the number of hours assigned to the course by the number assigned to the grade for that course.  For example, the number of quality points for a three-hour course for which a B is earned is nine, i.e. 3 x 3 = 9.  If there are any questions about how grade point averages are determined, please consult with an academic advisor.  The SAM Center offers GPA calculators to help determine various GPAs.

Quality points are computed for a given term on the basis of term hours attempted. A course attempted, for grade point average purposes, is defined as one in which the student receives a grade of A, B, C, D, or F, excluding developmental courses.

For grade point average purposes, the number of GPA hours attempted increases each time a student is assigned a letter grade (A, B, C, D, F) for a course with the following exception:  Courses marked with “E” indicate "exclude" and are not calculated into the grade point average.

A student receiving a grade believed to be in error after the grade is reported should request a review of this grade upon receipt. The review of the grade should be made with the instructor involved. Please refer to Academic Grievance Procedures for Students located in Student Guidelines.

Class Attendance

  1. Regular and punctual class attendance is expected of each student at Sam Houston State University.
  2. Each faculty member will keep a record of student attendance.
  3. Each faculty member will announce the policies for accepting late work or providing makeup examinations. Students are expected to show appropriate cause for missing or delaying major assignments or examinations.
  4. A student shall not be penalized for three or fewer hours of absences when examinations or other assigned class work has not been missed; however, at the discretion of the instructor, a student may be penalized for more than three hours of absences.
  5. Each instructor is obligated to clarify in writing to each student enrolled in class at the beginning of the term the instructor’s classroom policy regarding absences.
  6. Class absences will be recorded and counted only from the actual day of enrollment for the individual student in that specific class.

Student Absences on Religious Holy Days

Section 51.911(b) of the Texas Education Code requires that an institution of higher education excuse a student from attending classes or other required activities, including examinations, for the observance of a religious holy day, including travel for that purpose. A student who is excused under this subsection may not be penalized for that absence and shall be allowed to take an examination or complete an assignment from which the student is excused within a reasonable time after the absence.

Final Examinations

Final examinations are not given before the designated time in the official examination schedule. A student is not permitted to take a final examination before all other work for the course is completed. A student who is compelled to be absent from a final examination may petition the instructor involved to permit a mark of X in the course. This permission is granted only by the academic department chair with the recommendation of the instructor concerned.

Dean’s List of Academic Honors

Those outstanding undergraduate students who attain a grade point average of 3.5 or higher, with no grade of F, for all courses attempted while earning not less than twelve semester credit hours of academic coursework during the fall or spring term are included on the Dean’s List of Academic Honors. The Dean’s List is released at the close of each long semester. In order to provide the recognition these students have earned, the Dean’s List is distributed throughout the University community as well as by the News Bureau to various other media. (The twelve semester credit hours of academic course work may not include developmental hours. Developmental hours completed above the twelve academic hours will require the grade of A or B in order to have a student qualify for Dean’s list.)  The Dean's List is not provided for summer terms.

The requirements to be listed on the Dean's List of Academic Honors are:

  • 3.5 GPA for the term inclusive of all courses attempted in the term regardless of repeated courses;
  • Minimum of 12 completed academic hours (developmental hours will not count toward the 12 academic hours completed);
  • Developmental Courses must earn grade of either A* or B* (Students earning grade lower than B* in any developmental courses taken within the term will not qualify for the Dean’s List);
  • Students who have the following grades assigned to any of the courses within the term will not qualify for the President’s List: IP or X.

What can prevent a student from being listed on the published online Dean's List?

  • Grades of X or IP within the term
  • Invoking the Buckley Amendment
  • Incomplete grades or grade changes processed after the Dean's List is published
  • Graduate students are not eligible for the Dean's List of Academic Honors

As of Fall 2011, The Dean's List is designated on the official transcript for undergraduate students.

President’s Honor Roll

Those undergraduate students who achieve a grade point average of 4.0 in all coursework attempted while earning not less than twelve semester credit hours of academic coursework during the fall or spring term attain the distinction of being included on the President’s Honor Roll. The names of those students achieving the highest attainable grades denoting academic excellence comprise the President’s Honor Roll and are released at the conclusion of each long term. (The twelve semester credit hours of academic course work may not include developmental hours. Developmental hours completed above the twelve academic hours will require the grade of A in order to have a student qualify for President’s list.)

The requirements to be listed on the President's Honor Roll are:

  • 4.0 GPA for the term inclusive of all courses attempted in the term regardless of repeated courses;
  • All course grades recorded within the term must have earned the grade of A;
  • Minimum of 12 completed academic hours (developmental hours will not count toward the 12 academic hours completed);
  • Grade of A* must be earned in any developmental courses taken within the term;
  • Students who have the following grades assigned to any of the courses within the term will not qualify for the President’s List: IP or X.

What can prevent a student from being listed on the published online President's List?

  • Grades of X or IP within the semester
  • Invoking the Buckley Amendment
  • Incomplete grades or grade changes processed after the President's List is published
  • Graduate students are not eligible for the President's Honor Roll.

As of Fall 2011, The President's List is designated on the official transcript for undergraduate students.