Grading Criteria

All courses are graded according to the alpha-numeric scale. The grading scale is as follows:

  • 90 - 100% (A+)
  • 85 - 89%   (A)
  • 80 - 84%   (A-)
  • 75 - 79%   (B+)
  • 70 - 74%   (B)
  • 65 - 69%   (C+)

All grades below C+ (65%) are failing grades for graduate students.

Students whose assignments and/or exams indicate a rudimentary understanding of the course material will earn a grade of C+. This grade may also be awarded if a student's work is hampered by vagueness, inconsistencies, or a failure to grasp key concepts or points. 

Students whose assignments and/or exams indicate a solid understanding of the course material will earn a grade of B. This grade may also be awarded if a student's work is clear and focused, yet is not exceptional or innovative. A grade of B may equally indicate that the student's work contains a few errors, average literary style or presentation, or is padded.  

Students whose assignments and/or exams indicate a strong understanding of the course material will earn a grade of B+. This grade may also be awarded if a student's work is particularly clear, well-developed, and shows some originality, yet is not especially exceptional or innovative. A grade of B+ may equally indicate that the student's work contains a small number of errors, only above-average literary style or presentation, and some superfluous material.

Students whose assignment and/or exams indicate a superior understanding of the course material will earn a grade of A-. This grade may also be awarded if a student's work is precise, remarkably well articulated or presented, and demonstrates innovative thinking, yet is not truly outstanding or original. A grade of A- is only awarded to work that is nearly free of errors, evidences a refined literary style or presentation, and contains no superfluous material. 

Students whose assignment and/or exams indicate an excellent understanding of the course material will earn a grade of A. This grade may also be awarded if a student's work is remarkably precise, original, and very well articulated or presented. A grade of A is only awarded to work that is free of errors, evidences a highly refined literary style or presentation, and contains no superfluous material.

Students whose assignments and/or exams indicate an exceptional understanding of the course material will earn a grade of A+. This grade may also be awarded if a student's work is nearly flawless, remarkably precise, original, strikingly well articulated or presented, and demonstrates a complete mastery of the course material. A grade of A+ is only awarded to work that is completely free of errors and demonstrates a true mastery of the course material. This grade is very rare. 

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