Reporting of Grades

Final grades are available through PAWS (Personal Access Web System at at the completion of each semester or term.

Midterm Grades

Undergraduate students in full-term courses will receive midterm grades that will address attendance and academic progress. Midterm grades are intended to provide feedback for students and will not show on the academic transcript unless the midterm grade is the final grade submitted due to the student’s failure to continue in the course.

Graduate students in full-term courses will receive midterm grades. Letter grade feedback for graduate courses may or may not be assigned at midterm but all graduate course midterm grades will address attendance and academic progress. Midterm grades are intended to provide feedback for graduate students and will not show on academic transcripts unless the midterm grade is the final grade submitted due to the student’s failure to continue in the course.

Grades and Grade-Points

Final examinations are held at the end of each semester. Students are graded on the basis of the following guidelines:

Grade Guideline
A Excellent, 4 grade-points per semester
B Good, 3 grade-points per semester
C Satisfactory, 2 grade-points per semester hour (Undergraduate); Marginal, 2 grade-points per semester hour (Graduate)
D Minimum Passing, 1 grade-point per semester hour (Undergraduates)
F Failure, no grade-points (weighted)
F* Failure in cases where the student does not officially withdraw, but failed to attend or participate in class activities, or stopped attending or participating in class activities prior to the end of classes.. No grade points.
S Satisfactory, no grade-points (unweighted)
U Unsatisfactory, no grade-points (unweighted)
U* Unsatisfactory in cases where the student does not officially withdraw, but failed to attend or participate in class activities, or stopped attending or participating in class activities prior to the end of classes.. No grade points.

The following symbols are substitutes for grades. They are not grades:

Symbol Guideline
I Incomplete (see below)
WD Withdrawal
P Course in progress (see below)
AU Audit
N No grade or invalid grade (assigned only by the Registrar)

The symbol “I” (Incomplete) is assigned when, for reasons beyond the student’s control, the student is unable to fulfill all the normal course requirements. The situation warranting an “I” must be a medical condition, an equipment problem, or other mitigating circumstance that is patently demonstrable to be beyond the student’s control. This symbol is not used to provide time for completion of extra work beyond the normal course requirements for improving the student’s grade, or to permit the student to avoid probation, suspension, or dismissal. The “I” symbol should not be assigned unless the amount of incomplete work can reasonably be completed in the time period allotted for an “I” grade without additional extensions. Extensions of “I” grades should only be granted in rare cases where additional and unanticipated circumstances beyond a student’s control have prevented completion. All records of the symbols “I” must be cleared by the specified deadline of the next semester or term; if they are not, grades of “F” will be recorded by the Registrar.

The symbol “P” (In Progress) is assigned only in a limited number of approved courses which require more than one semester or term for completion. Unless the “P” is removed by the end of the second succeeding semester or term, a grade of “F” will be recorded.

Change of Grade

Grades reported by instructors to the Registrar may not be changed unless there was an error in recording or in evaluation. Grade changes require the approval of the primary instructor of record and the signature of the department chair and the dean of the college in which the course is taught (or, for graduate students, the Director of Graduate Studies and the Dean of the Graduate School.) A Dean may delegate this responsibility to an Assistant/Associate Dean or to a Director or other academic administrator in their college when appropriate. All grade changes involving an F* or U* grade will also require the signature of the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. Grades on record for one calendar year may not be changed. The approval authority of the Dean is not intended to impede or restrict the right of the faculty to request and be granted approval to change a grade when it has been erroneously entered into the official academic records of the University.

Final Grade Grievance Policy

A student may initiate an inquiry under procedures set forth by the Undergraduate Final Course Grade Grievance Policy. A copy of this policy is available in the dean's office of each college and is published in The Lowdown (Student Handbook) and in the Faculty Handbook.

Repeated Courses

A student may repeat a course in which a grade of "D" or "F" is received. Total grade-points are computed on the basis of all attempts. A student who has a grade of "C" or better may repeat the course with the approval of the appropriate academic dean. Credit for a repeated course may be counted only once toward graduation, but all grades are recorded on the student's transcript and are counted in determining quality points.

Grade Replacement Policy

Please Note: A USA grade point average that includes grade replacement, may not be used for some purposes. For example, graduate and professional programs may recalculate your grade point average with no grade replacement for admissions decisions.

Note to students: If you are receiving financial aid, please be aware that the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy is separate from the Grade Replacement Policy. Replacement of a grade does not change the Satisfactory Academic Progress calculation. All work attempted is part of this calculation and repeating courses could negatively affect your eligibility for financial aid. If you have questions, please contact the Office of Financial Aid (251-460-6231 or

If you received a University of South Alabama Scholarship that requires you to complete 30 semester hours/academic year, be aware that repeating a course for grade replacement in the same year will not contribute additional credit hours toward satisfying the 30 semester hour requirement. For the replacement to impact your USA GPA in a specific year or term, a Grade Replacement Application must be processed prior to the deadline for scholarship review for that year or term. Contact the Office of Scholarship Services to obtain deadline dates.

Grade replacements are subject to the following conditions:

  • Only USA undergraduate students seeking a first Bachelor's degree qualify for this policy.
  • All attempts for each course are recorded on the transcript. Courses that are not used in calculating the GPA will remain on the transcript.
  • Only courses taken at USA are eligible for grade replacement.
  • Courses in which a B, C, D, or F was earned may be eligible for grade replacement.
  • A maximum of 12 credit hours of undergraduate (100-400 level) course grades may be replaced. In each case, the student must have repeated the identical course with an improved grade relative to the course grade being replaced.
  • It is possible for a student to have more than one grade removed from the GPA calculation for the same course. However, each grade that is removed counts towards the maximum 12 credit hours eligible for grade replacement.
  • Certain courses are not eligible for grade replacement. Courses that are not eligible include: Graduate courses, PE activity courses, internships/clinical courses, health science professional courses, field experiences, research seminars, independent/ directed studies, and special topics courses. Students check with their specific program for further restrictions on eligible courses.
  • A course grade for which academic misconduct has been established does not qualify for grade replacement.
  • Once a student graduates with any first Bachelor's degree, a class may not be repeated to improve the USA grade point average.
  • Grade replacement does not change a student's past academic standing.

Application Procedure

  • Complete a Grade Replacement Application form and turn it in to your College Advising office.
  • Each course grade replacement request must be done on a separate form.
  • Once a grade is replaced, the action is irrevocable.
  • A maximum of 12 USA credit hours for repeated courses can be replaced. Additional requests will not be granted. This rule may not be appealed.
  • The Grade Replacement Application form may be turned in anytime before the awarding of the student's first Bachelor's degree at USA.
  • Students will be notified through their USA e-mail of the approval or denial of this request. Students may confirm grade replacement by viewing their PAWS transcript.

Adding or Dropping Courses

Students may drop courses, using PAWS (the student on-line self-service system), without penalty provided the withdrawal occurs within the time limits listed in the official calendar. See procedures for withdrawals below. Course drops may also be submitted in person to the Registrar's Office. The grade of "F*" or "U*" is recorded for a course abandoned without an official withdrawal. Students who withdraw from a course after the last day for refunds may, with the permission of the instructor, continue to attend the course but may participate in class activities and assignments only to the extent allowed by the instructor. Students who withdraw from clinical courses or laboratory or field experiences must have permission of the department chair to continue in the course.