Grades and Standards

Man in graduation robes

General Information

From time to time, the College may require students to take tests or to provide other evidence to allow the College or parts of the College to assess student progress and to evaluate academic programs. Such requirements may be departmentally based or they may be more broadly based. Students may be required to take specific tests as part of their academic requirements, and they may be required to achieve certain levels on the tests. The College may change such requirements as it believes appropriate. Part of the purpose of the assessment program may be to generate information in order to assist students in planning their educational careers by understanding their academic abilities, aspirations, and career preferences.

When auditing a course, you participate in a course without receiving credit or affecting your GPA.  To audit a course, you need to obtain a Course Audit form, found at the following link.   The form needs approval from the instructor and the respective department chair.  You are required to pay for the credits associated with the audited course.

A course may be audited only if registration for it has not been closed. Preference must go to those enrolling for credit. During the first two weeks of a semester, a course may be added for audit—and no late registration fee charged—or changed from audit to credit through the regular Add/Drop procedures. After that time and up to midterm, a course may be changed from credit to audit. In the latter instance, the course must be dropped for credit and added for audit. Full-time undergraduate students may register as auditors without paying additional fees. Part-time students pay the usual per-credit fee. Any refunds will be made only at the student's request and according to the standard College refund schedules. Under no circumstances will audited courses be counted for credit toward a degree.

Capstone means "culminating" or "crowning"; it is used to describe a course that is the culminating experience for a program of study.

Cognates are required courses in disciplines related to the major. Cognates are intended to broaden and enhance the major.

Concentration is the area of specialization. Courses in the concentration are a group of courses that relate specifically to the student's area of study.

Content major refers to the disciplinary course work taken by students in elementary education.

Electives are courses which the student may choose beyond the specifically required courses, in order to fulfill the degree requirements.

Enrolled means a student has been admitted to the College and/or a program and has registered for courses.

Full-Time Student is a student taking 12 to 18 credit hours per semester.

Major is the discipline or academic area in which the student is studying in depth and normally requires a minimum of 30 credit hours.

Matriculate means to be admitted formally to a degree program.

Minor is a secondary specialization in a degree program and normally requires a minimum of 15 credit hours.

Part-Time Student is a student taking fewer than 12 credit hours per semester.

Program of Study usually consists of the following: General Education, a major, cognates, and electives.

Required Courses are courses students must take to fulfill degree requirements.

Retention Requirements are requirements students must meet in order to remain enrolled at the College and/or in a program.

Teacher preparation program is a term used in the elementary education, secondary education, and pre-kindergarten to twelfth-grade programs to describe the major and other requirements needed to be eligible for certification as a teacher.

Teaching concentration in special education is a term used in the elementary education and secondary education curricula; it is a group of courses in special education taken in addition to required courses in elementary or secondary education.

Students are urged to complete the College Mathematics Competency by the end of their first semester of study at the College. Students who have not fulfilled the requirement will have that noted on their schedules and grade reports. Students who do not satisfy the College Mathematics Competency by the end of their first semester (15 or more attempted credit hours at Rhode Island College) will be placed on academic probation. Note: Fulfillment of the College Mathematics Competency is distinct from and does not substitute for completion of the Mathematics Category of General Education.

Entering Freshmen:

  1. Students who score 480 or better on the quantitative portion of the SAT-I (ACT mathematics subscore of 20 or better) will have met the College Mathematics Competency.
  2. Freshmen who scored less than 480 on the quantitative portion of the SAT-I (or mathematics subscore of less than 20 on the ACT) will be required to take the Accuplacer prior to or during freshman orientation. Students who achieve a satisfactory grade on the Accuplacer will have met the College Mathematics Competency. (This examination is given at least six times each semester, and, if necessary, may be repeated once. It is administered by the Mathematics Learning Center in 154 Craig-Lee Hall, or call (401) 456-9763.)
  3. Students who do not achieve a satisfactory grade on the Accuplacer (which may be taken twice) must enroll in Mathematics 010 prior to or during their first semester at Rhode Island College. Should such a student fail to earn a satisfactory grade during that semester, he/she shall be required to retake Mathematics 010 until successful completion.

Entering Transfer Students:

  1. Students who score 480 or better on the quantitative portion of the SAT-I (ACT mathematics subscore of 20 or better) will have met the College Mathematics Competency.
  2. Students who receive transfer credit for a course(s) deemed equivalent to Mathematics 010 or 177 or higher will have met the College Mathematics Competency.
  3. Transfer students who do not fulfill the College Mathematics Competency by means of numbers 1 or 2 above will be required to take the Accuplacer prior to or during their first semester at Rhode Island College. Students who achieve a satisfactory grade on the Accuplacer will have met this requirement.(This examination is given at least six times each semester, and, if necessary, may be repeated once. It is administered by the Mathematics Learning Center in 154 Craig-Lee Hall, or call (401) 456-9763.)
  4. Students who do not achieve a satisfactory grade on the Accuplacer (which may be taken twice) must enroll in Mathematics 010 prior to or during their first semester at Rhode Island College. Should such a student fail to earn a satisfactory grade during that semester, he/she shall be required to retake Mathematics 010 until successful completion.

All students are required to complete the College Writing Requirement. In most cases this requirement is satisfied by the completion of Writing 100: Writing and Rhetoric with a minimum grade of C. If students receive a D+, D, or a D- in Writing 100, they will receive the college credit, but will not have fulfilled the College Writing Requirement. This requirement may also be satisfied by (1) passing the appropriate College Level Examination Program (CLEP)/English Composition Exam with Essay with a minimum score of 50 and reporting the score to the admissions office and to the Writing Center director, (2) passing the course equivalent of Writing 100 with a C or better, or (3) scoring at least 610 on the College Board SAT-II: Writing Test. All students who score 430 or below on the Verbal Reasoning section of the SAT-I (or English subscore of 17 or less on the ACT) or students who have not taken the SAT-I are required to sit for the College Writing Examination. This placement examination will determine the student's readiness for Writing 100. As a result of the placement examination, some students will be required to enroll in English 010 prior to taking Writing 100.

Students are encouraged to fulfill the College Writing Requirement in their first year of study at Rhode Island College. Students who have not fulfilled the requirement will have that noted on their schedules and grade reports. Students who have not fulfilled the College Writing Requirement before the completion of 40 attempted credits at the College will be placed on academic probation and be advised to satisfy the requirement as soon as possible.

The term Credit/No Credit is used where CR is given to students who achieve a grade between A and D-.  NCR is given to students who earn an F.  Courses graded with CR/NCR are not factored into the GPA average.  Courses with CR count towards graduation while NCR grades do not.  You are entitled to choose to take a course for CR/NCR with the following limitations:

  • No one can take more than one course per semester under this option
  • The total number of courses taken for credit/no credit and counted toward graduation shall not exceed six. 
  • A course in a student’s major, concentration, minor or cognate cannot be taken for credit/no credit.
  • No course taken as a general education requirement may be taken for credit/no credit.

The Credit/No Credit Option Contract is due on the last day to withdraw from classes without permission.  The Credit/No Credit Option Contract may be found at the following link.

After failing a required course twice, a student is subject to dismissal from degree candidacy. Upon the second failure, the student will be notified that he/she will not be permitted to register in any program for which the course is a requirement and will be advised to choose an alternate major or curriculum. To avoid dismissal, a student must enroll in a new major or curriculum by the end of the late registration period of the succeeding semester. Should a student fail to complete this process within the designated time, dismissal will result, and the action will be recorded on the student's permanent record.

Academic standing is based on grade points, which are related to letter grades as indicated:

Letter Grade Grade Points per Semester Hour
A (excellent) 4.00
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B (good) 3.00
B- 2.67
C+ 2.33
C (satisfactory) 2.00
C- 1.67
D+ 1.33
D (low pass) 1.00
D- 0.67
F* (failure) 0.00

*Included in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average W—Withdrawn with permission. No credit and no grade points. The grade is disregarded in computing grade point average (GPA). I—Incomplete. No grade points. CR—Passing grade in course taken with Credit/No Credit option. Credits counted toward graduation, but there is no effect on the GPA. NCR—Failing grade in course taken with Credit/No Credit option. No credits counted toward graduation and no effect on the GPA. The Credit/No Credit option may be chosen in certain elective courses. Students should discuss this option with their academic advisors before electing it. Z—Financial obligations outstanding. Not computed in GPA, no credits earned. NA—Not available. Instructor did not report grade. AUD—Notation for course which was audited. H—Honors. No grade points, no effect on GPA. Credits counted toward graduation. S—Satisfactory. No grade points, no effect on GPA. Credits counted toward graduation. U—Unsatisfactory. No grade points, no effect on GPA. No credits counted toward graduation.

For all undergraduate students, incompletes should only be given to students with extenuating circumstances.  The time limit for completing course requirements for courses in which the grade of Incomplete was received is the last day of classes of the succeeding semester (summer sessions not included). Your instructor has up until the grading due date to submit a grade before the incomplete is changed to a failing grade.

For further information, students and their advisors should consult the current edition of the Student Handbook.

Independent study, directed study, and certain research courses afford the student an opportunity to pursue concentrated study in a selected topic under the supervision of a faculty member. Students enrolled in independent study are expected to observe time limits corresponding to semester limits, unless specifically arranged by the instructor. A Request for Independent Study form, signed by the instructor, the department chair, and the appropriate divisional dean must be filed. Application forms may be obtained in the Records Office. Normally, application for these courses must be made prior to registration for the following semester.

The College community is committed to the principles of academic integrity. A student who commits an academic integrity violation is subject to consequences ranging from an effect on a grade to dismissal, depending on the seriousness of the act. Academic integrity violations are adjudicated under the procedures developed by the Academic Integrity Board. The Board is composed of students, faculty, and administrators. 

A student may repeat any course taken for undergraduate credit that is not subject to restrictions within undergraduate programs. Courses may be repeated only once; however, a student who wishes to repeat a course a second time may request permission to do so from the Academic Standing Committee. Forms for petitioning the Academic Standing Committee are available in the Records Office.

The latest grade for a repeated course will be calculated in the cumulative grade point average and will appear on the student's transcript. The original course and grade will also appear on the transcript. Only grades for courses repeated at Rhode Island College will be adjusted.

Courses may be repeated only once; however, a student who wishes to repeat a course a third time may request permission from the Academic Standing Committee.  Academic Standing petition forms may be found at the following link

The College has set certain minimum requirements for cumulative grade point averages (GPAs), based on the number of credit hours attempted. The averages are as follows:

Semester Hours Attempted* Probation GPA Lower Than Dismissal GPA Lower Than
0 - 29 1.75 -.--
30 - 59 1.90 1.75
60 - 89 2.00 1.90
90 and above -.-- 2.00

This policy pertains to undergraduates matriculating as of fall 1993. Undergraduates who matriculated before fall 1993 should contact the Records Office if they have questions about probation and dismissal criteria. Failure to attain the minimum cumulative GPA at the end of a given semester results in the student being placed on academic probation or being dismissed from degree candidacy. Students who are dismissed or placed on probation are notified in writing by the Records Office. *Includes transfer and proficiency credits. Transfer students should understand that the credits transferred in from another institution will count in their accumulated credits earned at Rhode Island College, but their GPA will be based only on their Rhode Island College course work. As with all students, transfer students will not be subject to academic dismissal at the end of their first semester at Rhode Island College. 

In special instances, students may be permitted to take courses at other colleges, either during a summer or regular session, and have the credit transferred to Rhode Island College. Students must file an Authorization of Credit form with the Records Office before pursuing credit and must obtain permission of the department chair involved, or in the case of interdisciplinary courses, permission of an academic dean. Upon completion of the course, students must arrange to send an official transcript to the Records Office. Credit will not be posted until the official transcript is received. Students with financial aid awards should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid about their continued eligibility to receive aid while they take courses at other colleges.

Students who wish to change their registration by withdrawing from a course section may do so by logging into My.RIC.  Drops before the last withdrawal date will be recorded as a W which will not count in your grade point average.  Withdrawing from a course may affect your full-time status and financial aid.  It is strongly encouraged to seek advice from your instructor, advisor or department chair.

Students may withdraw from a course during the first two weeks of a semester (or during a corresponding time for summer sessions courses) without having any entry made on the permanent record. After this time, students receive a grade of W. Withdrawal from a course after midterm requires the approval of the instructor or the chair of the department in which the course is located. Approval is based on evidence of extenuating circumstances other than academic difficulty in the course. Additional information on options and procedures for withdrawing from a course is available from the Records Office or the Office of Student Life.

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Final Exam Schedule

Final examinations will be held during the period of Wednesday, May 6 to Tuesday, May 12. All final examinations are two hours in duration. Faculty and students are asked to review the schedule and report any discrepancies to the Records Office at 456-8203. Requests for changes must be made in writing to the Records Office. Faculty members wishing to combine sections into one testing period please call or email the Records Office at records@ric.edu.

Download the final exam schedule

RIC Academic Improvement Plan

General Information

This proactive plan requires meeting with an academic coach as soon as possible. The plan must be completed and signed by the student and the academic coach to avoid having your classes dropped. Complete and sign the form below and click "Submit" once you have finished.

You will be assigned an academic coach who will contact you about setting up an appointment to review your Plan and to complete and sign a second page together. If you have any questions, please email aip@ric.edu.

Academic Probation I

To be in compliance with Rhode Island College’s policy on good academic standing, you are required to maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least a 2.0 each semester. Academic probation occurs the semester after an academic alert (not achieving a minimum cumulative and/or semester GPA of 2.0). A reduced course load will allow you more time to focus on your studies and access any needed resources.

Academic Probation I will be noted on your unofficial transcript and has the following stipulations:

  • Hold on registration until you and your assigned academic coach complete and sign this academic improvement plan
  • Limit of 12 credits for next semester for full-time students (8 credits for part-time students)
  • Failure to complete the plan before the start of the next semester will result in the cancellation of all courses.
  • While on probation, students may not hold office in student organizations
  • Students who fail to achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 after their next semester will be dismissed from the college.

Academic probation is for one semester. Students on Probation I who show significant improvement in their semester GPA (≥2.5), and have a cumulative GPA of 1.80 – 1.99, may continue on probation for one additional semester (Probation II).

Academic Probation II

Academic Probation II will be noted on your unofficial transcript and has the following stipulations:

  • Hold on registration until you and the assigned academic coach update, complete and sign the academic improvement plan
  • Limit of 12 credits for next semester for full-time students (8 credits for part-time students)
  • Failure to complete the plan before the start of the next semester will result in the cancellation of all courses.
  • While on probation, students may not hold office in student organizations
  • Students who fail to achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 after their next semester will be dismissed from the college.
Rhode Island College entrance

Contact

Records Office

Responsible for the registration processes, recording of student academic progress, scheduling course offerings and the physical facilities, preparing degree evaluations and certifying graduation, providing transcript services, and certifying attendance.