Grading System

Grading System

Learn more about the grading and notation system utilized at Mesa College.

Unit of Credit

A unit of credit represents one hour of lecture or recitation and two hours of preparation per week, or three hours of laboratory per week for one semester.

Academic Grades

Grade Points per Unit
Satisfactory Passing
Less than Satisfactory
Units earned not counted in GPA
No Pass
Units not counted in GPA


Your grade point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the total grade points earned by the total grade point units completed as listed in the chart above.

Administrative symbols

P/NP - Pass/No Pass; I - Incomplete; W - Withdrawal; IP - In Progress; EW - Excused Withdrawal; RD - Report Delayed. Administrative symbols are not used for computation of GPA. See below for further explanation.

Pass/No Pass (P/NP)

Pass/No Pass (P/NP) is a non-punitive grading system where such units earned will be counted in satisfaction of curricular requirements but will be disregarded in determining your grade point average.


A symbol of "I," Incomplete, may be assigned by an instructor if you are unable to complete academic work for unforeseeable emergency and/or justifiable reason at the end of term. A final grade will be assigned when the work stipulated has been completed and evaluated by the instructor or when the time limit for completion of the work has passed. An "I" must be made up no later than one year following the end of the term in which it was assigned. In the event of unusual, verifiable circumstances beyond your control, you may file a petition for extension of the one-year limit. Course repetition is not permitted to remove an Incomplete.


You may request an official withdrawal from classes or have one initiated on your behalf by the instructor of Vice President, Student Services. The following conditions apply to official withdrawal:

  • No record of the class will be entered on your permanent record if the official withdrawal is made by the deadline to drop without a "W" being recorded as published in the schedule of classes.
  • If the withdrawal is made after the deadline for withdrawing without a "W" and prior to the deadline for withdrawal published in the class schedule for that session, a "W" will be recorded on your permanent record. No exception to the policy will be made.
  • If you are attending a session after the deadline for withdrawal, you will not be eligible to receive a "W" and must be assigned an academic grade or other administrative symbol by the instructor. Exceptions to this policy will be made only upon verification of extreme circumstances beyond your control.
  • Withdrawal (W) symbols will be used in the calculation of lack of progress probation and disqualification status.
  • If you are a student in active duty or reserve duty, you may petition for a "military" withdrawal. This withdrawal is not calculated in the determination of academic progress and is noted on your academic record.
  • You will be allowed a maximum of three withdrawals in any course.

In Progress

A symbol of "IP," In Progress, will be assigned when a class extends beyond the normal end of a semester or summer session, that is, when the class "carries over" from one term to the next. The appropriate grade, however, will be assigned and appear on your record for the term during which the course is completed. The "IP" will remain on your academic record and will not be used in the calculation of your GPA.

Excused Withdrawal

A symbol of an "EW," Excused Withdrawal, may be assigned when you are permitted to withdraw from a course(s) due to specific circumstances beyond your control affecting your ability to complete a course(s).

  • Excused withdrawal will not be counted in progress probation and dismissal calculations
  • Excused withdrawal will not be counted as an enrollment attempt

If you are requesting an Excused Withdrawal, you must obtain a Petition for Excused Withdrawal (EW). We recommend that you visit with a counselor to discuss alternative options to an Excused Withdrawal to be sure that this choice is the best course of action for your academic career.

Pass/No Pass Grading Policy

There are some courses which can be taken on a Pass/No Pass basis. These are designated in the course description that states whether courses may be taken for "Pass/No Pass" or "Letter Grade." You may elect to be graded on a Pass/No Pass basis if you are a student in good standing. A grade of "Pass" (P) shall be awarded only for work which otherwise would have received a grade of "C" or better. Work that would have received a "D" or "F" will be graded "No Pass" (NP). The units earned will be counted in satisfaction of program requirements, but will be disregarded in determining your GPA. If you plan to transfer to a four-year institution, you should review the Pass/No Pass acceptance policy of the transfer institution prior to requesting the grade option.

You may change from a "Letter Grade" option to a "Pass/No Pass" option during registration or up until the published deadline. To select a "Pass/No Pass" option for the course, go to the "Efit Class Enrollment Options" page on your mySDCCD portal. The deadline is listed under "Important Deadlines." After the "Pass/No Pass" Deadline, the "Letter Grade" or "Pass/No Pass" Option may not be changed for that class.

Grade Challenge

Final grades will be issued at the end of each semester. In the absence of mistake, fraud, incompetence, or bad faith, the determination of your grade by the instructor will be final once it has been recorded by the Registrar's Office. You may challenge a grade or request a change to your academic record within two years from the date of issuance. If you wish to challenge a grade, you should first attempt to resolve the challenge informally with the instructor. Grade challenges must be processed under District Procedure 3001.2, Grade Challenge Procedure.