BSIS Grading Policy

The School of Information Sciences uses both the University’s letter grade and Satisfactory/No-Credit (S/NC) grade options (formerly the S/N option) (see Grading and Records for more information). In addition to the general University rules governing those grading systems, there are a few formal limitations to the SIS student’s freedom of choice regarding grading systems:

  • Students must decide by one week after the end of the add/drop period which grading system they propose to use for each of their courses. This decision may not be changed, nor may a grade of one kind received for a course be changed to a grade of the other kind (e.g., from an S/NC grade (formerly the S/N option) to a letter grade).
  • Schools/departments may decide which courses may be taken on the S/NC system (formerly the S/N option).
  • No courses required for the information science major, the related field, information science distribution, general distribution, English composition, or language requirements may be taken on the S/NC system (formerly the S/N option).
  • Students are limited to a total of 18 credits of S grades that may be applied to the 120 credits required for the degree.
  • Students should be sure, before deciding on the grading system for a course, that their decision will not have an adverse effect on their plans for a major.
  • Under certain circumstances, schools/departments may declare a course available only on the S/NC system (formerly the S/N option). In such courses, students may not elect to receive a letter grade.

Evaluation of a student’s ability and achievement in a course is not eliminated by the Satisfactory/No-Credit (S/NC) system (formerly the S/N option). Recitations, tests, and papers may all be required and assessed by instructors who will convey to the student their judgments of the worth of the student’s work. Because the publicly recorded evaluation is minimal, students should use the instructor’s comments in the most helpful way possible: as a guide to their own future course of study and for assessment of their own potential.

Since it is difficult to evaluate transcripts containing very few letter grades, students seriously considering transferring to the Information Science program or considering graduate study should keep this in mind. The student may wish to ask instructors from whom they have taken courses on the Satisfactory/No-Credit (S/NC) system to write letters of recommendation for them immediately at the end of the course. The office of the SIS director of the undergraduate program will supply forms for such letters and will make them a permanent part of the student’s file. Students may also wish to keep portfolios of their best academic work and other evidence of ability and accomplishment with which they might supplement the formal transcript and letters of evaluation when they apply for transfer or for graduate study. This recommendation is useful for all students whatever grade options they select.