Grading System and Regulations

Letter grades are given for major lessons, coursework, ensembles, juries, and recitals. Students may not elect to take a class in a different format: there is no pass/fail option. For the following purposes of assessing academic progress, letter grades are assigned grade points as follows:

Letter Grades Assigned Grade Points
A 4.00
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B 3.00
B- 2.67
C+ 2.33
C 2.00
C- 1.67
D 1.00
F 0.00

No grade points are assigned for the following non-credit designations:

Letter Definition
AU Audit
IP In Progress
W Withdrawn
NCR No Credit
P Pass

The non-credit designations AU, W, NCR, and P are permanent grades for final transcripts. The regulations for auditing courses and In Progress grades can be found below.

Grade Determination

Professors may determine the scale of letter grades appropriate to the class grading percentage and make this scale known in their syllabuses. For most purposes, the following table may be regarded as a useful standard.

Grades Scored Between Will Equal
95% and 100% A
90% and less than 95% A-
87% and less than 90% B+
84% and less than 87% B
80% and less than 84% B-
77% and less than 80% C+
74% and less than 77% C
70% and less than 74% C-
60% and less than 70% D
0% and less than 60% F

Grade Point Average

Grade point averages (GPA) are computed each semester and reported as term and cumulative GPA. A GPA is determined by multiplying the grade points for each earned grade by the number of credits for the course; the product is called the number of quality points.  Artist Diploma recitals, composition and computer music portfolios, and final documents are not assigned letter grades and are therefore not calculated in a GPA.  English as a Second Language courses are not calculated in a GPA, but students are still assigned standard letter grades. A GPA is the total number of quality points divided by the total number of attempted credits.


Grade & Credits and Weighting:

Class Letter Number Credits Grade x Credits Quality Points
Class 1 B 3.00 4 3.00 x 4 credits 12.00
Class 2 A- 3.67 3 3.67 x 3 credits 11.01
Class 3 F 0.00 2 0.00 x 2 credits 0.00
Class 4 C 2.00 3 2.00 x 3 credits 6.00
Attempted Credits 12 Total Credits x Grades 29.01

29.01 Quality Points divided by 12 attempted credits = 2.4175
Semester GPA: 2.42. Student receives 10 credits.

In Progress Grades

A grade of IP (In Progress) may be recorded if a student in good standing in the course is not able to complete the course requirements by the end of the semester. A student must request a grade of IP from the appropriate faculty member prior to the end of the semester.  Students receiving an IP in any course are not eligible for the Dean’s List for that semester.

The grade of IP for a jury or graduate hearing is granted only for reasons of illness or injury. Students requesting the grade of IP for a jury or graduate hearing must provide appropriate medical documentation to the Office of the Registrar.


A grade of IP must be resolved by the sixth week of the subsequent semester. In general, all work should be submitted to faculty no later than the fourth week of the subsequent semester, although faculty can set earlier deadlines as they deem appropriate. IP grades that are not resolved by the deadline in the succeeding semester will be changed to F on the student’s permanent record. The Policy for Friday Noon:30 is to change IP grades to NCR.

Failing Grades

At the undergraduate level, the grade of F is a failing grade for coursework. In addition, in the Department of Music Theory, a D is a failing grade. At the graduate level, the grades D and F are failing grades for coursework.

For enrollments that are specifically designated as requiring higher grades in the Academic Standing policy (below), failure to achieve those grades may delay graduation.

Grade Appeals

If a student disputes a recorded grade, they can appeal the grade through direct communication with the instructor. If the matter cannot be resolved with the instructor, the student may take their appeal to the chair of the department. If the matter cannot be resolved with the chair, the student may submit an academic petition.

Grade Changes

Grades are only changed at the request of the course instructor in order to resolve an IP grade or to correct an error in grading. The instructor should request a change of grade by contacting the Conservatory Registrar, who will confer with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Changes of grade should be requested and addressed promptly. Absent extraordinary circumstances—which would require broader consultation with the Conservatory leadership—no grade will be changed after 18 months of being posted to the student’s record.