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  Sep 20, 2020
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Academic Policy - Grading

Evaluation of Academic Work

Grading Policies

At the end of each term, the standing of a Sage College of Albany student in each of his/her courses is reported by the instructor to the Registrar and is entered on the student’s permanent record. Standing is expressed using a grading system with plus and minus designations, which is also used to determine quality points for calculating grade point averages. Sage uses the following grading system:


A = Excellent
B = Good
C = Satisfactory
D = Passing
F = Failure

I (grade) = Incomplete

A grade of Incomplete (“I”) may be awarded at the discretion of the faculty member if a student is unable to complete all the work for a course due to illness or a comparable emergency. In order for a grade of “I” to be granted, a student should have completed most of the work for the course in the opinion of the instructor. If an “I” is granted, the student has the right to complete the work by the date specified by the faculty member, not to exceed the end of the eighth week of the following semester. However, students who are pending an academic action of academic warning, academic review, or academic suspension must complete all work prior to the beginning of the next fall or spring semester. The student will not be allowed to re-register for the course (either for credit or audit) in a subsequent semester until the Incomplete is removed.

It is the responsibility of the student to be aware of her/his grades in all classes prior to requesting an Incomplete. Should she/he be at risk of being placed on probation or suspended, arranging for an Incomplete may result in an earlier deadline than anticipated. Faculty are not obliged to offer extensions under these circumstances.

As part of the Incomplete-request process, the student and faculty member should write up and sign an agreement using the Incomplete/Extension Request Form, clearly identifying the specific reasons for the request, the work to be completed, and the deadline for the submission of the work. Upon completion of the work, the faculty member files a Grade Change Form with the Office of Student Services in order to convert the “I” grade to an appropriate letter grade. If the faculty member does not change the Incomplete grade by the end of the eighth week of the next semester (first Friday in November for spring and summer incompletes, last Friday in March for fall incompletes), the Registrar will replace the grade of “I” with the grade “F” unless the instructor has stipulated another grade to the Registrar’s Office. Any agreed-upon extension of time to the deadline must be reported to the Office of Student Services via the timely submission of another Incomplete/Extension Request Form.

W = Withdrawal

This grade can only be assigned by the Registrar’s Office, and is recorded when a student officially withdraws from a class.

RP = Research in Progress

In designated courses such as theses, research projects, honors projects, and senior seminars and projects, incomplete work may be assigned a grade of “RP.” “RP” grades indicate that the initial expectation was that the work to be evaluated normally requires more than one semester. The “RP” grade may not be used in place of an incomplete (“I” grade) for any course which students are normally expected to complete within the original semester. Within one year from the time the “RP” grade is assigned, students must complete a course for which the “RP” grade was given. A student whose research requires longer than one year may request an extension of the “RP” for up to one additional year. The program coordinator may grant the request for an extension of the “RP” grade, depending on the degree of completion of the project. The extension will be granted only if there has been substantial progress. Failure to complete the work within the timeframe described above will result in the conversion of the grade from “RP” to “Z.”

Pass/Fail (P/F)

The Pass/Fail (P/F) option should encourage students to select courses offered by departments outside their major area and requirements. The policies governing the use of the P/F option apply only to those courses that can be elected P/F. Courses offered only on a P/F basis are excluded from the limitations. Faculty do not know which students elect a course P/F; the instructor will record a letter grade, and the Registrar will assign the appropriate designation (P or F) based on that grade. Grades above “F” are considered passing. If the student is not successful in a course that he/she selects as Pass/Fail and receives a final grade of ‘F’, the F grade is listed on the official transcript and is averaged in to the student’s cumulative GPA.

  1. Students completing 120 credits at Sage may take four courses P/F; the number is proportionately lower for transfer students.
  2. These courses may not be major or minor requirements, or required support courses in a major program.
  3. Election must be made at the time of registration, up to and including the last day to withdraw from a course.
  4. When a student withdraws from a course elected P/F within the normal withdrawal period, the course will not count toward the P/F maximum.
  5. When registering for a P/F course, students may choose to have a letter grade recorded under specified conditions by filling out the appropriate section of the P/F form. The student must complete this section at the time of registration. Note: Courses taken for a letter grade under this option still count as courses taken P/F.
  6. To be considered for Dean’s List, a student must take a minimum of 12 credit hours per term on a letter-grade basis

Registrar’s Notes

(recorded on the transcript but not grades)

R - The “R” designation is limited to developmental, non-credit courses. The student must re-register for the course to receive a grade other than an “R.”

MC - Indicates that the student has successfully met the competency in Mathematics and English language skills. (Associate degree only).

Calculating Grade Point Average (GPA)

To determine a student’s grade point average (GPA), Sage uses the following system of quality points:

A+ = 4.0 C = 2.0
A = 4.0 C- = 1.7
A- = 3.7 D+ = 1.3
B+ = 3.3 D = 1.0
B = 3.0 D- = 0.7
B- = 2.7 F = 0.0
C+ = 2.3    

(I, P, and W grade designations not calculated in grade point average.)


Thus a bachelor’s degree student with one “A-,” two “Bs,” one “C+,” and one “D+” would have the following grade point average:

A- 3 credit course x 3.7 quality points = 11.1  
B 3 credit course x 3.0 quality points = 9.0  
B 4 credit course x 3.0 quality points = 12.0  
C+ 3 credit course x 2.3 quality points = 6.9  
D+ 3 credit course x 1.3 quality points = 3.9  
  16 credits   42.9  
GPA = Total Quality Points = 42.9 = 2.68
  Total Credits Accepted   16.0  

The student completed five courses for 16 credits with a GPA of 2.68.


Students who wish to audit a course must have the instructor’s permission to do so and will be permitted to audit a course on a space-available basis, limited to not more than 10 percent of class enrollment. They are not required to submit credentials if they intend only to audit, but they must declare their request to audit a course at registration or no later than the end of the Add-Drop period. Auditors pay all fees and partial tuition (see Section on Tuition, Fees and Deposits for tuition charges).

Repeat Course Policy

Students are permitted to retake any Sage course at the same College where they initially took the course. Credits and grade points for the first grade will be deleted from the cumulative average, while the grade itself will remain on the transcript and the repeat noted. The course information will be listed in the usual manner the second time it appears on the transcript. Generally, the course should be repeated the next time it is offered. However, it may be repeated any time prior to graduation. No matter which grade is higher, the most recent grade counts in calculating the cumulative grade point average.

In situations where a student has repeated a course previously taken for a letter grade at Sage, the grade replacement may not be used to remove the academic warning or term probation from the semester in which the course was previously taken.

Students may repeat no more than three previously passed courses while enrolled in a program leading to a bachelor’s degree. There is no limit on the number of courses a student may repeat for a course in which they received an F or a W.

Students cannot repeat using the P/F option to replace a grade. However, a student who has failed a course using the P/F option may elect to retake the course for either a grade or a P/F option. The retaken P/F course counts as an additional use of the P/F option.

All course repeats must be taken at Sage. In the event that a student’s program of study is jeopardized due to the lack of course availability at Sage, students may seek approval of the program coordinator/department chair to take the course elsewhere. The sequence of certain programs might not allow multiple retakes. Students should consult their advisor or program coordinator/department chair for further details. Students should seek approval of their advisor prior to pre-registration, as the sequence of their program may be affected by the need to retake a course. Course grades from other institutions do not transfer; only credits do.

Repetition of coursework for which credit has been granted may jeopardize financial aid eligibility. It is the student’s responsibility to understand his/her financial aid situation and the possible consequences of repeating courses. Students with questions regarding the impact of course repeats on financial aid should consult the Office of Student Services.

Appeals of Academic Issues

In the event that a student has a complaint involving a faculty member or wishes to question a grade, the student should follow the procedures listed below:

  • Meet with the instructor involved. In the best interests of both parties, resolution ideally should be reached at this stage.
  • Meet with the instructor’s department chairperson or program coordinator if resolution is not reached between the student and instructor.
  • Meet with the Dean of the College, only in the event that the student feels procedures were not followed.

The Provost is the final decision-making authority.