Grading Criteria

Hood’s faculty uses the following general criteria in determining grades. Demonstration of the ability to write and speak standard English is included in the grade evaluation of every course. The criteria upon which students will be evaluated is included on every course syllabus.

A, A- (90–100) indicates general excellence; the student displays initiative, independence and often originality in the course.

B+, B, B- (80–89) indicates an unquestioned grasp of the subject’s fundamental facts and principles, an understanding of their significance and an ability to use them effectively; work is logically organized and technically correct; the student often shows initiative and independent work.

C+, C, C- (70–79) indicates the student has a fairly accurate knowledge of the subject’s fundamental facts and principles and is able to apply them reasonably well; work is fairly logical in organization and technique but it is incomplete; there is evidence of growth in handling the coursework.

D+, D, D- (60–69) indicates work is of inferior quality yet deserving of credit; there is some acquaintance with basic facts and principles, but work is poorly organized and technically faulty; the student frequently fails to complete assignments.

F (0–59) indicates work shows no grasp of basic facts and principles and is not deserving of credit; it is poorly organized and technically faulty; the student frequently fails to complete assignments.

S indicates satisfactory completion of work done on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis; performance is at a C- level or better.

U indicates unsatisfactory completion of work done on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis and not deserving of credit; performance is at a D+ level or lower.

INC indicates incomplete work in a course because of illness or serious emergency beyond the student’s control; students must arrange to finish assignments in accordance with the College’s incomplete grade policy.

Grade Appeal

Grade appeals of the final course grade must be filed in a timely manner. Students must contact the faculty member involved no later than the end of the first week of the semester following the filing of the disputed grade. If the issue is not satisfactorily resolved, the department chair must be contacted within 30 days of the beginning of the semester. Appeals to the Committee on Academic Standards and Policies must be initiated by the last day prior to midsemester recess of the semester following the filing of the disputed grade. A Final Grade Appeal, available in the registrar’s office and online, must be completed and submitted with all required documents before the Committee considers the petition. A delay in the filing of a grade appeal constitutes sufficient reason for denial of the appeal by the Committee.

The Committee on Academic Standards and Policies will screen out frivolous or unsubstantiated appeals and will consider legitimate appeals that fall into the following categories:

  • Miscalculation of a grade; or,
  • Assignment of a grade to a particular student by application of more exacting requirements than were applied to other students in the same course.
  • Assignment of a grade on some basis other than performance in the course.

All parties to the grade appeal (student, instructor, chairperson, registrar, committee members) are to maintain strict confidentiality until the matter is resolved.

Grade Changes

Instructors have the right to change a grade if they have made an error in computing or recording a student’s grade. Instructors must notify the Registrar’s Office in writing of the error within three weeks after the grades have been issued. Grade changes due to a computational or recording error discovered after the deadline, and requests for grade changes for any other reasons, must be submitted by the instructor in writing to the Committee on Academic Standards and Policies.

Final and Midterm Grades

Hood releases final and midterm grades electronically to the student and the student’s adviser through Self-Service. Final and midterm grades will be forwarded to parents/guardians of first-year students who have signed a release form sent to them the summer before they enter Hood.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grade Plan

Hood provides an alternate grade plan as a means of encouraging intellectual curiosity. Under the satisfactory/unsatisfactory option, students receive a grade of “S” and credit for work of “C-” caliber or better or a grade of “U” and no credit for work of “D+” or lower quality. Neither grade is computed in the cumulative grade point average.


  • Students may not choose the S/U option for any course used to satisfy the Core, in the major field, the minor field or an independent study. If a course is only offered for S/U credit, this policy does not apply.
  • Students may choose the S/U option for a maximum of 12 satisfactory/unsatisfactory credits within the total 124 credits Hood requires for graduation. Students spending three years at Hood may choose the S/U option for only 9 satisfactory/unsatisfactory credits to meet graduation requirements; two years, 6 credits; one year, 3 credits. Courses only offered for S/U credit are not counted in these totals.
  • At registration, students indicate their intent to take a course on the satisfactory/unsatisfactory plan on the course and schedule card. Change from one grading plan to another must have the adviser’s approval and must occur before the end of the drop/add period. No changes to or from the satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading system may be made after the drop/add period.
  • Students are cautioned that some graduate and professional schools and employers look negatively at satisfactory/unsatisfactory on transcripts because actual performance or mastery of the subject has not been demonstrated.