Grading Policy

Students will receive grades according to the following scale:

A = 4.000 points
A- = 3.667 points
B+ = 3.333 points
B = 3.000 points
B- = 2.667 points
C+ = 2.333 points
C = 2.000 points
C- = 1.667 points
F (fail) = 0.0 points

(A) Excellent: Exceptional work for a graduate student. Work at this level is unusually thorough, well reasoned, creative, methodologically sophisticated, and well written. Work is of exceptional, professional quality.

(A-) Very good: Very strong work for a graduate student. Work at this level shows signs of creativity, is thorough and well-reasoned, indicates strong understanding of appropriate methodological or analytical approaches, and meets professional standards.

(B+) Good: Sound work for a graduate student; well-reasoned and thorough, methodologically sound. This is the graduate student grade that indicates the student has fully accomplished the basic objectives of the course.

(B) Adequate: Competent work for a graduate student even though some weaknesses are evident. Demonstrates competency in the key course objectives but shows some indication that understanding of some important issues is less than complete. Methodological or analytical approaches used are adequate but student has not been thorough or has shown other weaknesses or limitations.

(B-) Borderline: Weak work for a graduate student; meets the minimal expectations for a graduate student in the course. Understanding of salient issues is somewhat incomplete. Methodological or analytical work performed in the course is minimally adequate. Overall performance, if consistent in graduate courses, would not suffice to sustain graduate status in “good standing.”

(C/-/+) Deficient: Inadequate work for a graduate student; does not meet the minimal expectations for a graduate student in the course. Work is inadequately developed or flawed by numerous errors and misunderstanding of important issues. Methodological or analytical work performed is weak and fails to demonstrate knowledge or technical competence expected of graduate students.

(F) Fail: Work fails to meet even minimal expectations for course credit for a graduate student. Performance has been consistently weak in methodology and understanding, with serious limits in many areas. Weaknesses or limits are pervasive.

NOTE: Students do not have the option to request a Pass/Fail (P/F) grading basis for a course.


A final grade earned in a course taught by an NYU Wagner instructor will be changed only in exceptional circumstances. Grading is a matter of the discretion of the instructor in his or her application of the NYU Wagner Grading Policy (see above). 

Only the instructor who assigned the final grade can make a quality grade change (e.g., change a grade from a B+ to an A). The following circumstances are the unusual exceptions that may warrant a grade appeal: (a) the final grade assigned for a course is based on clear error (e.g., an arithmetic error in computing a grade or failure to grade one of the answers on an examination), or (b) the faculty member who assigned the grade did so in violation of a specific New York University policy. Please note that course grades are assigned based on a student’s accomplishment in a course, not upon effort, unless explicitly otherwise noted in a course syllabus. As such, grades may not be appealed on the grounds that a student feels the grade received is not commensurate with the effort applied.

A student who believes a final grade was assigned pursuant to (a) above must first present the case informally to the NYU Wagner instructor responsible for the course in which the student believes an inappropriate grade has been awarded. All possible effort should be taken to resolve the case at this informal stage. The instructor can make a quality grade change at any time prior to a final written decision by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at NYU Wagner (the “Associate Dean”).

If the grading issue cannot be resolved with the instructor or a student believes a final grade was assigned pursuant to (b) above, the student may choose to submit a formal, written appeal directly to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs via email within the first fourteen (14) days of the term following the awarding of the final grade under challenge. The written appeal shall state clearly whether the appeal is based on manifest error or an alleged violation of NYU policy. If the basis for the appeal is manifest error, the appeal shall state the alleged error and provide all supporting documentation (such as exam grades, course syllabus, etc.). If the basis for the appeal is an alleged violation of NYU policy, the appeal shall include the written policy of the University that has allegedly been violated and describe the facts and evidence supporting the alleged violations. In either case, the written appeal shall indicate what redress is being sought and provide a brief history of the attempts to resolve the case, including a detailed account of all communication with the instructor.

The Associate Dean may meet, and the written appeal may be shared, with any persons he or she deems appropriate for the purpose of ascertaining the facts and attempting to resolve the case. The written appeal may be shared with the instructor at the Associate Dean’s discretion. The Associate Dean may only take one of the following actions in regard to the appeal: 1) no change of grade or 2) change of grade to “Pass.” The Associate Dean shall render a written decision on the merits of the appeal. Final decision authority on grade appeals rests with the Associate Dean and the decision of the Associate Dean is not appealable.

Please note that the Grade Appeal process is not a substitute for or does not supersede other University policies and procedures governing community standards at NYU.

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Gallery Space

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