Academic Credit and Grades

For Graduate Programs

Academic credit is expressed in semester hours (s.h.). A semester hour of credit is equivalent to one 50-minute period of class per week or one 150-minute laboratory session per week, for one semester. 

Campus-based programs at MBU use the definition that one credit hour equals one hour of classroom instruction and two hours of out of class student work each week for fifteen weeks. In the asynchronous learning environment, traditional face-to-face time is redefined as the time a typical student spends interacting with course content. This definition excludes out of class student work but assumes the “two for one” ratio cited in the federal guidelines. Courses taught in the online format must be equivalent to the same courses taught in the traditional format. Credit hours in short sessions (i.e., summer semesters or 7-week sub-term sessions) will be awarded proportionately to those earned for the same activity during a regular term of the institution. The definition of contact hours in online and short session classes is based on the following guidelines:

  • The course syllabus will clearly document that the course covers the same amount of material or course content that would normally be expected if the class were in the traditional format. Clear documentation includes the course objectives covered, the course topics covered, and the stated expectations for readings, projects, and other assignments as well as the stated learning outcomes. It is the responsibility of faculty teaching in an asynchronous environment to determine if the course content delivered in an asynchronous environment is of sufficient scope and rigor to ensure the amount of material delivered is comparable to a similar campus-based course.
  • During the planning and development of an asynchronous course, faculty should estimate the time a typical student will take interacting with the course content. This should be equivalent to the number of contact hours normally expected in a face-to-face course, and should be documented in the course syllabus. Hours for completing homework assignments, working on projects, studying for examinations, etc., should be considered outside the contact hour requirements for the course.
  • Attendance policies can be determined by the evaluation of student participation in scheduled online discussions, required interaction with the faculty as well as other classmates, and the timely submission of class assignments rather than simply by the number of logins provided in the statistics measured by the learning management system.

Course Numbering 

The following conventions apply to MBU’s course numbering system: 
100-level — introductory, generally no prerequisites 
200-level — intermediate, may have prerequisites 
300-level — major courses, generally have prerequisites 
400-level — senior projects 
500-level and above — graduate courses 

Course Numerical Suffixes 

These two-digit suffixes have specialized meaning beyond the course level: 
77 colloquium offered on a one-time basis
80 teaching assistantship 
87 internship 
90 directed inquiry 
97 CLEP credit 
98 portfolio credit in MBU Online only 
99 experimental course in MBU Online only 


The grading symbols used by the university are as follows:


Very good 


Minimum passing 



No credit 



Credit by examination 



No grade reported (temporary) 


Extended time (temporary -MBU Online only) 


Audit (satisfactory) 


Grade Point Equivalents 

Grade point equivalents are as follows (there is no grade of A+): 

A 4
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D 1
D- 0.7

Grade point average is determined by dividing total grade points earned by the total semester hours credit attempted for a regular grade. 

Grading Scale 

A 4
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D 1
D- 0.7

Grade Changes 

Requests for grade changes will not be considered if initiated by students later than the first week of classes in the calendar term following distribution of the official grade which is being contested. 

A student with questions about a grade should first contact the course instructor to determine if there is an error. If so, the instructor must report the correct grade to the university registrar immediately. If there is no error, and the student desires to contest the grade, the student must submit written reason(s) for the appeal to the dean of the respective college. 

The dean forms a hearing committee consisting of the dean, the university registrar, and two faculty members. The committee reviews the written appeal, hears statements from both the student and the instructor involved, and approves or disallows a change. 

Repetition of Courses 

Students may repeat a course in which a grade of C, D, F or NC was earned. Original grades are not removed from the permanent record, but in the case of C, D or F grades, the lower grade is removed from calculation of the cumulative grade point average. The original grade cannot be replaced by an NC. Students are allowed three graded attempts of a course. Repeat work can be done at MBU or at another institution, subject to the guidelines for transfer of credit, and only if appropriate MBU faculty certify that the transfer course is sufficiently similar to the MBU course being repeated. Students will receive only credit for transfer work, not grade points. However, the C, D or F grade earned in the MBU course will be removed from calculation of the MBU cumulative grade point average. 

Rules for Pass/No Credit (P/NC) 

  • Courses taken P/NC are not included in the computation of grade point average. 
  • A student may choose the P/NC option for up to four semester hours of credit during each of the first three academic years. 
  • During the senior year a student may elect to take up to seven semester hours of credit on a P/NC basis, but the seven semester hours may not all be taken during the same semester. 
  • Grades of A through D-are designated as Pass. 
  • Students may change from the regular graded basis to P/NC or vice versa through the end of the withdrawal period, eight weeks for a two-term course. 
  • Students may change a class from P/NC to regular grade through the last day of scheduled classes. 
  • No more than one course taken on a P/NC basis may be counted toward the completion of a major. No more than one course taken on a P/NC basis may be counted toward the completion of a minor. 
  • A course taken P/NC specifically to qualify for the BS is excluded from the five semester hour limit on P/NC courses in the major or minor. 
  • All courses required by the instructor to be taken P/NC, including internships, are excluded from the above limits. All such courses are designated in the course description in the catalog. 
  • All physical education classes may be taken for a grade or P/NC and are excluded from the above limits. 

Rules for Grades of Incomplete 

Incomplete Grades (There are no more ET extensions)

The temporary symbol of I may be given at the end of a course if, for reasons beyond their control, a student is unable to complete the course work.

  • An Incomplete may be given only with the approval of the course instructor, the student’s advisor, and a college dean or their designee.
  • UG Students in full semester courses have until the end of the next semester (not counting Summer) to complete the incomplete unless otherwise indicated by the instructor.
  • UG Students in sub-term or 7-week courses have until the end of the next sub-term (not counting Summer) to complete the incomplete unless otherwise indicated by the instructor.
  • UG Students enrolled in full semester courses in the Summer have until the end of Fall to complete their incomplete unless otherwise indicated by the instructor.
  • UG Students enrolled in sub-term courses in the Summer have until the end of the following sub-term to complete their incomplete unless otherwise indicated by the instructor.  

Graduate and Professional Students in yearlong programs need to count summer as the next semester or as the next sub-term to complete the incomplete unless otherwise indicated by the instructor.

Rules for Examinations and Make-Up Exams 

To receive credit for a course, a student must take the examination or its equivalent as prescribed for the course by the instructor. A scheduled examination may be postponed for reasons beyond the student’s control such as death in the family or illness. Approval for such postponement must be obtained from the instructor and a college dean. Students who, for other than unavoidable reasons, miss an examination receive a grade of F or No Credit (NC) for the course unless, because of extenuating circumstances, they are given permission by a college dean to make up the examination. All postponed examinations must be rescheduled and taken at the earliest practical date. Students involved must make these arrangements with a college dean and the course instructor. Failure to make such arrangements will be considered grounds for a grade of F or NC for the course. 

Auditing Courses 

Students may audit courses; neither grade nor credit is awarded. Auditors should observe the following standards: 

  • Permission of the university registrar and the instructor of the course must be secured before the end of the first week of class 
  • Minimum attendance of approximately 75% of class meetings 
  • Reading assignments and class participation to the satisfaction of the instructor; exemption from papers, tests, examinations, or other written work 
  • Students who audit courses are, with the consent of the instructor and universtiy registrar, free to drop out at any time without penalty