Tests and Examinations
Evaluating your students' work fairly and consistently requires regular written work and examinations. It is especially important to provide students with a measure of progress throughout the semester, and not merely at the end. To this end, faculty are encouraged to give mid-term as well as final examinations. Please return all written work to students with comments as soon as possible.
All examinations should be carefully prepared and announced in advance. Faculty are responsible for making clear to the students what material an examination covers, so that every examination is a fair and accurate assessment of the mastery of course content.
A student's performance should be evaluated solely on an academic basis; opinions and conduct not relevant to academic standards should not be involved.
Final examinations should be given in the last week of the semester, during the last scheduled class session. Take-home examinations should not be due until the date of the regularly scheduled final.
If a student misses a scheduled examination, and if the instructor wishes to provide a special examination, this examination may be monitored by a member of the University College staff. Faculty should furnish University College with the makeup examination and all necessary instructions. The completed examination will be returned to the instructor.
A staff member in University College will administer Make-Up Exams for students. Exams may be taken during regular office hours (ending no later than 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and by 4:30 p.m. on Fridays) in the University College Office as follows:
- Instructor informs the student to contact Arika Cannon at firstname.lastname@example.org to set an agreed time/day for the make-up exam.
- Instructor provides exam/materials to Arika, including information about time limit, additional materials, notes, etc. via Campus Mail (Box 1085) or e-mail (preferred).
All completed exams and materials are left at 11 N. Jackson Road, Suite 1000, St. Louis, MO 63105-2153 until instructor picks them up or other arrangements have been made.
Grades are an important measure of academic progress, and students need evidence of where they stand throughout the semester. Grades are now submitted electronically through the EGrades system. The student name is followed by a row of available grade options. The following grades, and corresponding grade points, apply to all University College students and courses:
- A indicates superior work. 4.0
- B means good work. 3.0
- C satisfactory work. 2.0
- D passing but marginal work. 1.0
- F failure in the course, no credit.
- CR# awards credit, but work was not subjected to finer evaluation.
- NCR# means no credit. Student's work was not satisfactory.
- I means work is incomplete.
- L audit; not for credit.
- Z audit; student did not attend class.
- W withdrawal; student withdrew from course prior to completion.
- N means no grade received by the Registrar's Office by the grading deadline.
- R means course has been retaken.
A plus (+) and minus (-) may be used. The plus and minus calculate .3 points, up or down respectively, to single grades and to the grade point average, which are measured and capped on a 4.0 scale. On a 4.0 scale, both A and A+ are worth 4.0 grade points.
Other divisions of Washington University may use somewhat different grading schemes, which will be designated on your grade page for a student from such a division. For example, Arts & Sciences (LA) students will show "NCR" instead of the "F" used for University College students. You must select one of the available options.
The roster of students should include everyone registered for the course; special auditors will not be listed. Please mark only one grade for each student.
Grades should be submitted within 48 hours after completion of the final examination in the spring semester, and 1-week after the final in all other semesters. Students are entitled to prompt reporting of grades, which is often essential in receiving tuition reimbursement from their employers.
Please inform students that University College will not give out grades in advance of official notification from the Registrar. Students wishing grades in advance should contact their instructors directly and may wish to provide the instructor with a self-addressed postcard or envelope before the final examination. They may also check for final grade information through the University's on-line Student Information System, WebSTAC.
At the end of the semester a grade of "I" (Incomplete) may be assigned to a student, indicating that the instructor has agreed to withhold a final grade pending completion of assigned work.
The grade of "I" should be assigned only under limited circumstances:
- When the student's work is of passing quality but a small portion such as a single paper, lab report, or examination is incomplete;
- If the work is incomplete for a "good cause," e.g., emergency health or work-related problems;
- If the student contacts the instructor to make arrangements for completion of the work in a specified amount of time, normally within the following academic semester.
The grade of I should be assigned only after discussing the situation with the student and agreeing exactly what needs to be done to complete the work. University College strongly recommends the use of a written contract for this purpose.
It is, however, the student's responsibility to initiate the discussion and provide the necessary form in order to receive an Incomplete. View the Incomplete Agreement Form. If the student does not contact the instructor concerning completion of work, the instructor should assign whatever regular grade is appropriate based on the work completed.
The grade of I should not be used to allow a student to retake an exam or to repeat the course because of failing work or absence for a substantial period. The appropriate letter grade should be awarded when, for example, a student stops coming to class, misses exams, or repeatedly fails to turn in written work with no explanation.
In awarding a grade of "I" or "X", faculty should make arrangements with a student to complete course work within the semester following the course. Faculty may extend this time, however, if it seems warranted. Upon completion of the work, a Special Grade Report form should be submitted. Likewise, a Special Grade Report may be submitted, based on work completed, when the instructor determines that the terms of the agreement have not been or will not be fulfilled.
Special Grade Reports
The Special Grade Report form is provided for faculty to make changes in grades, such as removal of incompletes, after grades have been submitted. All grade changes must be made on these forms, which must be signed and validated with a faculty identification card in department offices or the University College office.
The Credit/No Credit Option
University College students may elect the Credit/No Credit option in place of a letter grade or an audit. Changes from one option to another must be made by the dates indicated on the calendar printed in the course schedule or the online Academic Calendar.
The Credit/No Credit option is available to encourage students to enroll in courses they might not otherwise take. Under this option, students receive credit for courses satisfactorily completed, but the grade is not calculated in the cumulative grade point average. The standards for receiving Credit are at the discretion of each individual instructor. Please indicate your expectations in your syllabus and to your class early in the semester.
Undergraduate degree candidates may enroll in no more than ten percent of their credits taken at Washington University under the Credit/No Credit option. Other restrictions apply as well.
Near the end of the semester each instructor is required to ask all class participants to make course evaluations online at http://evals.wustl.edu. After the instructor submits final grades through EGrades, the results of these evaluations will be made available to the instructor, the coordinator, the administration of University College, and to the University College advising staff who may share the information with students selecting courses.
Faculty Handbook Statement on Academic Integrity
Students at Washington University are expected to adhere to the highest standards of behavior. Plagiarism, copying from other students, and other forms of cheating will not be tolerated. It is dishonest and a violation of student academic integrity if a student plagiarizes, cheats on an examination, copies or collaborates on assignments without permission, fabricates or falsifies data or records, or engages in other forms of deceit or dishonesty.
If you suspect a violation, first confront the student and gather all relevant information, including any special circumstances. You are required to report all violations of standard rules of academic integrity to the Dean of University College who, with your assistance, will conduct a thorough investigation and determine appropriate sanctions. If it is determined that a student has acted dishonestly, or even if the student has admitted the charges prior to a formal investigation or hearing, an appropriate sanction will be imposed, including automatic failure of the assignment or course, or in the case of serious or repeat violations, suspension or expulsion from the University. Withdrawing from a course will not prevent the Dean from imposing or recommending sanctions.
Instructors have an obligation to prevent and control cheating. Toward that end, please distribute in class and discuss the complete Undergraduate Student Academic Integrity Policy. You should also specify the appropriate forms of citation required for a particular writing or research project and, if warranted, require special seating arrangements or exam formats for written examinations. Most importantly, take the time in class to review and practice rules of proper citation, using the examples and exercises from the resources noted in this document. For additional information, definitions of plagiarism, guidelines for writing and research, examples of proper citation, and practical tips on avoiding conventional and Internet plagiarism, please visit the following Web sites:
- Plagiarism.org, click on "Research Resources" and "Citation."
- wpacouncil.org, click on "WPA Guide," then "WPA Position Statements and Resolutions," then "Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: the WPA Statement on Best Practices."
The Internet makes it easy to cheat, and to detect plagiarism. Additionally, Internet sources, because they are so easily accessed and reproduced, are mistakenly viewed as general or public knowledge, which typically does not require formal attribution. It is important to be absolutely clear with students that, while the Internet may blur the distinction between public and private, policies concerning academic integrity, intellectual property, and proper citation apply equally to electronic, online, and conventional print resources. For information about rules and styles for citing electronic media, including examples, please review the following Web sites:
All graduate students receive a statement of the Academic Integrity Policy for Graduate Students from the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. Please contact the Office of the Dean if you would like a copy of this document.