Grades, Units, & Transcripts
The grades used (and their value) to indicate scholarship at Santa Monica College are: A (Excellent; 4.0), B (Good; 3.0), C (Satisfactory; 2.0), D (Less than satisfactory; 1.0), F (Failing; 0.0), FW (Failing for lack of participation; 0.0), P (Pass; at least satisfactory; units awarded, but not counted in GPA), NP (No Pass; less than satisfactory; no units awarded or counted in GPA), W (Withdrawal), MW (Military Withdrawal), and I (Incomplete).
“Pass/No Pass” (“P/NP”) Grade Policies (Formerly “Credit/No Credit”)
California Code of Regulations Title 5 §55752 allows a grade of P (Pass) or NP (No Pass) to be given under two circumstances:
1 Courses offered by the College on a pass/no pass basis, where a single standard of satisfactory performance is used to evaluate students; and
2 Courses that a student individually petitions to enroll in on a pass/no pass basis, and receives approval to do so.
Courses that Santa Monica College designates as pass/no pass courses will use the P/NP grading system exclusively. Students who enroll in these courses will be evaluated on a single standard of satisfactory performance. Course units will be credited only when students meet this standard. Units will not be credited for a performance that is less than satisfactory.
Courses that a student individually petitions to take on a pass/no pass basis require the student to take all of the course’s tests and do all assignments. The standards of evaluation in such courses are identical for all students. Students who enroll on a pass/no pass basis are subject to all attendance and withdrawal policies, and must meet the criteria listed below.
1. Part-time students (those enrolled in fewer than 12 units) are limited to 5 units of pass/no pass enrollment per semester. Full-time students (those enrolled in 12 or more units) are limited to 6 units of pass/no pass enrollment per semester. Exceptions for enrollment in a single course that awards more than 5 units may be authorized by the Dean of Enrollment Services or designee.
2. Course units taken under the option of pass/no pass may not exceed a total of 12 units at Santa Monica College.
3. Students who have already received a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited college or university may take an unlimited number of units on a pass/no pass basis.
Students who wish to take courses on a pass/no pass basis must file a request in the Admissions Office before the 30th percentile of the course length. For specific information, please go to www.smc.edu, click on the “Corsair Connect” link, and see your class schedule. Courses that are 2 weeks or less in length may not be taken on a P/NP basis. Once the deadline has passed, the decision to take a course on a pass/no pass basis is irrevocable.
“Pass” will be indicated on a student’s permanent record as P, with units awarded, but no grade points. Students receive a grade of P when their performance is equivalent to a C (2.0) or higher. “No Pass” will be indicated on a student’s record as NP, with no units completed and no grade points. Students receive a grade of NP when their performance is equivalent to a D (1.0) or F (0.0). In either case, a student’s grade point average is not affected, and units are not included in a student’s units attempted for purposes of determining academic probation or academic disqualification. Units awarded for courses taken on a pass/no pass basis will, however, be included in a student’s units enrolled for purposes of determining progress probation or progress disqualification. See Academic & Progress Probation & Disqualification Policies, for details.
“Incomplete” (“I”) Grade Policies
“Incomplete” is a temporary grade status available to a student who has participated in the course and is doing C (2.0) or better work prior to the final exam or final project, but who is unable to complete the final requirements of a class because of illness, accident, emergency, or other circumstances beyond the student’s control. An Incomplete may NOT be used for a student who should have been dropped earlier in the term for nonattendance.
An Incomplete can be given only upon the approval of the instructor. However, the instructor is not required to grant an Incomplete to a student, and such decisions by an instructor are final and may not be appealed by the student. If the instructor approves, an “I” is temporarily entered on the student’s record.
An Incomplete for a class may be requested during the final week of the class or the final test period. Appropriate documentation may be required. Only an instructor may give approval for an Incomplete.
To receive an Incomplete for a course, a student must request the Incomplete from the instructor of the course BEFORE the instructor submits final grades for that course OR before the College’s official deadline for submission of final grades, whichever comes first.
The conditions necessary for removing an Incomplete will be stated in writing by the instructor and recorded in the Admissions Office, and a copy will be provided to the student. The statement will also list the grade (A through F, or 4.0 through 0.0) that will be assigned if the conditions are not met. The instructor will fill out and submit the Incomplete form online when submitting grades for the course.
An Incomplete must be made up no later than one year from the end of the semester it was assigned, and the actual date by which the student must complete the required coursework will be determined by the course instructor.
Units for classes in which a student receives an Incomplete will be counted as part of a student’s units enrolled, but will not be included in the student’s units attempted or units completed, and no grade points will be assigned. Once a student completes the requirements for the “Incomplete,” the instructor will submit a “Request Correction of Course Grade” to the Admissions Office. An Incomplete, when properly made up, will give the student the appropriate grade points for the grade finally earned.
Students may NOT repeat a class in which they currently have an “I”. If they enroll into the class again before receiving the final grade, they will be dropped by the Admissions office.
“Withdrawal” (“W”) Grade Policies
See the Attendance Policies section, for information regarding withdrawal from classes and policies affecting W (Withdrawal) grades.
A student who fails to attend all sessions of a class that meet during the first week of the class, or who is no longer participating in the class, or who—in the instructor’s judgment—has an excessive number of absences at the 75th percentile of the term, may receive an FW. An FW is counted in units enrolled and timely progress.
Grade Point Average (GPA)
A grade point average (GPA) is the sum of a student’s grade points divided by the number of “all units attempted.” California Code of Regulations Title 5 §55757 defines “all units attempted” as “all units of credit for which the student is enrolled in the current community college of attendance,” but leaves it up to the governing board of each community college district—in this case, the Board of Trustees of the Santa Monica Community College District—to establish regulations regarding whether “all units attempted” includes or excludes units for classes in which a notation of P (Pass), NP (No Pass), I (Incomplete), IP (In Progress), W (Withdrawal), or MW (Military Withdrawal) is assigned.
At Santa Monica College, units for classes in which a student is assigned a notation of W (Withdrawal), MW (Military Withdrawal), I (Incomplete), or IP (In Progress) are specifically excluded from “all units attempted.” Units for classes taken on a pass/no pass basis are also excluded from “all units attempted,” and are disregarded when calculating a student’s grade point average. In addition, grades earned in courses that may not be applied toward earning a degree are excluded from a student’s grade point average. In other words, only the units of credit for classes in which a student received a grade of A (4.0), B (3.0), C (2.0), D (1.0), F (0.0), or FW (0.0), are included in “all units attempted” and used when calculating the student’s grade point average.
With the exceptions of academic renewal, progress renewal, and approved course repetition, grades assigned by the faculty are considered to be final and will generally only be changed in cases of clerical error. Students who wish to appeal a grade should be aware that they must file a formal grade appeal by October 30 for Spring semester grades, November 30 for Summer session grades, April 30 for Fall semester grades, and May 30 for Winter session grades. As soon as possible after receiving the grade, the student should consult with the instructor, and must also see the College Ombudsperson, who will outline the procedure to be followed. Students may schedule an appointment with the Ombudsperson by sending email to email@example.com or by calling (310) 434-3986. Additional details on the procedure for appealing a grade can be found in the Student Complaints, Hearings, & Appeals section of this catalog.
Santa Monica College defines “units enrolled” (or “enrolled units”) as being all the units of credit for all the classes in which a student was officially enrolled on or after the first census date of an academic term. In other words, “units enrolled” means all the classes a student enrolled in and received a grade of A (4.0), B (3.0), C (2.0), D (1.0), F (0.0), FW (0.0), P (Pass), or NP (No Pass), or a notation of I (Incomplete), W (Withdrawal), or MW (Military Withdrawal). Enrolled units are used for purposes of determining progress probation and progress disqualification, and for calculating a student’s grade point average.
Santa Monica College defines “units attempted” (or “attempted units”) as being all the units of credit for all the classes a student was officially enrolled in on or after the first census date of an academic term, in which the student received a grade of A (4.0), B (3.0), C (2.0), D (1.0), F (0.0), or FW (0.0). Units for classes in which a student received a grade of P (Pass) or NP (No Pass), or a notation of I (Incomplete), W (Withdrawal), or MW (Military Withdrawal) are excluded from units attempted. Attempted units—sometimes referred to as “graded units”—are used for purposes of determining academic probation and academic disqualification, and for calculating a student’s grade point average.
“Graded units” are the units of credit for classes in which a student received a grade of A (4.0), B (3.0), C (2.0), D (1.0), F (0.0), or FW (0.0). See Units Attempted, above, for details.
Santa Monica College defines “units completed” (or “completed units”) as being the units of credit for classes in which the student received a grade of A (4.0), B (3.0), C (2.0), D (1.0), or P (Pass). Units for classes in which a student was assigned a grade of F (0.0), FW (0.0), or NP (No Pass), or a notation of W (Withdrawal), MW (Military Withdrawal), or I (Incomplete) are specifically excluded from completed units.
At Santa Monica College, each unit of credit is generally equivalent to a minimum of three hours of student work per week for the duration of a course. One unit of credit can equal one hour of lecture and two hours of study, OR two hours of activity and one hour of study, OR three hours of laboratory, OR three hours of independent study under the supervision of a faculty member.
Students may obtain an official transcript of their permanent record by placing an order online at a secure site on the Admissions webpage or by filing an application for transcripts in person in the Admissions Office. In both cases, a student’s signed authorization to release records is required by law, and students who request transcripts through the Admissions Office must present a photo ID.
A nominal service fee is added to the cost of transcripts ordered online, which are delivered by mail within approximately 10 business days of receipt of a student’s signed authorization. RUSH service is also available for transcripts ordered online, which are mailed within 72 hours of receipt of signed authorization. Students may arrange to pick up transcripts ordered on a RUSH basis if they wish. FedEx shipping options are also available.
Transcripts requested through the Admissions Office take two to four weeks to process and are delivered by mail only. The Admissions Office provides a student’s first two transcripts at no cost to the student. Each subsequent transcript costs $5 (subject to change).
Please see the information available at www.smc.edu/admissions/transcripts for specific details on how to order transcripts.
While enrolled at SMC, students may download an unofficial copy of transcripts by going to www.smc.edu/admissions, clicking on the “Corsair Connect” link, and following the instructions provided there.