Grading

Evaluation of a student’s performance in a RISD course is done by letter grade. A letter grade is awarded to indicate the level of performance. It becomes a part of the student’s permanent academic record. In studio classes, these letter grades may be supplemented by written narrative comments or evaluations from the instructor describing and analyzing each student’s performance in the class. Written comments/evaluations are not a part of the student’s permanent academic record. The Registrar’s Office does not provide these to students or alumni. Students can access their written comments/evaluations through WebAdvisor. The following grading scale is used for letter grades:

Grades included in the GPA:

  • A = 4.000
  • A - = 3.700
  • B+ = 3.300
  • B - = 2.700
  • B = 3.000
  • C+ = 2.300
  • C = 2.000
  • C - = 1.700
  • D+ = 1.300
  • D = 1.000
  • F = 0.000 (Failure)
  • I = 0.000 (Incomplete)
  • IF = 0.000 (Incomplete)*
  • UW = 0.00 (Unofficial Withdrawal)**

*The grade of IF is used when a student fails to complete their incomplete by the given deadline

**The grade of UW is used when an instructor indicates a student stopped attending or never attended class or the instructor has not submitted a grade.


Grades not included in the GPA:

  • AU = Audit Grade
  • P = Pass
  • NC = No Credit*
  • S/U = Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory**
  • W = Course Withdrawal

*The grade of NC is used only for course taken but not passed (i.e., courses taken at Brown University)

**The grade of S/U is used only as a midterm grade.

As of Fall 2015, if a course is failed and then repeated, all course attempts and grades are recorded on the student’s transcript; however, in the calculation of the grade point average, only the grade from the most recent attempt used.

All RISD courses are letter graded with the exception of internships, one-credit workshops and courses taken at Brown University. RISD Internships taken for credit and one-credit workshops are the only RISD courses graded using a pass/fail system (P/F). The grading system for one-credit courses can be designated as letter grade or pass/fail at the discretion of the instructor and approval from the department head prior to course registration. The grading system may not be changed once registration has begun. A student does not decide on a P/F option. The entire course is either pass/fail or it is letter graded.

A permanent grade of “W” is assigned when the student withdraws from a course during the Course Withdrawal Period (see the Academic Calendar for the Withdrawal deadline).

RISD does not compute and does not report a student’s rank in class.