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Course Grades

:!: Caution: This is unofficial advice from fellow grad students, and not official department policy. See the UTCS Graduate Program web site for the final word on policy topics.

Grading Bases: Letter Grade, Credit/No Credit

At UT, courses are graded on a “letter grade basis” or “credit/no credit basis”. The letter grades used at UT are A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, and F. (There is no A+.) The credit/no credit grades are CR and NC. Some courses are offered only on one basis or the other, but most courses allow the student to select the grading basis. For course that offer both bases, to receive the symbol CR, a graduate student must earn a grade of at least C.

Meaning of the Letter Grades

UT has no official defined meaning of the letter grades. However, one can understand them on the basis of their implications for grad students:

Grade Grade Points Per-Course Implication Aggregate Implication
A 4.00
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33 Below minimum required average for diversity/depth courses
B 3.00
B- 2.67 Not usable as depth course Warning/dismissal/no degree
C+ 2.33 Not usable as depth or diversity course
C 2.00
C- 1.67 Not usable for any graduate degree program
D+ 1.33
D 1.00
D- 0.67
F 0.00 No credit

A “B+” or “B” will take multiple “A” or “A-” grades to offset and maintain the required GPA. A “B-” is a major crisis. A “C+” or worse is potentially fatal to your UT career.

Meaning of the Credit/No Credit Grades

“CR” means the course was successfully completed. “NC” means the course was not successfully completed.

Both “CR” and “NC” have no impact on your GPA. However, there are extensive restrictions about which degree program requirements can be fulfilled with credit/no credit courses. See the UTCS Graduate Program web pages for these rules.


As long as you maintain the required minimum GPA, (almost) no one cares about your graduate GPA. There are no class rankings. There are no “honors” or “cum laude” degrees for grad students.

UT CS professors will repeatedly tell you the following: Your research results matter, not grades. (Just don't let the rules about minimum GPAs become a problem for you.)


You can switch a course's grading basis until about 2/3 of the way through the semester. You can, with approvals, drop a class up to the last class day of a semester. See the university academic calendar for specific dates.

grades.txt · Last modified: 2017/03/19 00:15 by jthywiss