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Grading Policy and Dropping Courses at UIUC

At UIUC, a grading scale from A+ to F is used with a corresponding GPA scale from 4.00 down to 0.00 for all courses unless otherwise indicated. Sometimes having this type of grading method can be a bit overwhelming but there are some options available to help you with that.


Credit/No Credit:

If you want to take a class but are worried that the grade you may receive will lower your GPA, you can request a Credit/No Credit grading policy. You need to receive a C- or higher to obtain credit in the course and you need to request this change before halfway through the semester. Using this grading method does not alter your GPA but still gives you credit hours. On your transcript “CR” will appear to indicate that you passed the class. Be advised that some graduate or professional schools may not favor having many “CRs” on your transcript. If you do not pass the course, you will receive No Credit, “NC”, on your permanent record. You are still allowed to drop a course under this grading policy, however, make sure to do so prior to the deadline.

How do I obtain CR/NC?

  • You need to seek approval from your advisor and fill out a request form.

  • More information should be provided by your advisor.



An Incomplete, “I”, is when you request an extension to complete a course that you were unable to do during its intended completion time within a given semester. You have until the midterm of the next semester to complete this course and failure to do so will result in an F. Only the dean of the student’s academic college can approve this extension. It is best to contact your advisor, professor and/or dean for other alternatives or special arrangements within the course.


Dropping a Course:

If you find yourself overwhelmed by the workload or expectations of a course, it is OK to drop it. There are no penalties for doing so, especially in a university where so many students drop different courses. There will be more opportunities in the future to either retake this course or take a different course instead. With that being said, you should be aware of when it is best to drop a course so that it does not affect your transcripts and how to do so.

When should I drop a course?

  • The first two weeks of the fall and spring semesters are when you are allowed to add and/or drop any amount of courses. Keep in mind, if you qualify for the MAP grant you HAVE to be registered for at least 15 credit hours to receive the full grant. So by the end of the two weeks make sure you have added another course to make 15 credit hours if you dropped one to avoid getting charged! If you drop a course after those two weeks and you end up going down to 12 credit hours, you should not have to worry about being charged before the drop deadline.

  • It is best to drop a course before halfway through the semester because if not, you will receive a “W” on your permanent transcript. A “W” on your transcript means “Withdrawal” from the class without credit. A “W” does not affect your GPA however it is best to avoid it overall. One or two “Ws” are acceptable but having multiple “Ws” may raise concerns with a university or future job. If you have a failing grade in the class after the deadline to drop without “W”, you may be better off getting the “W” instead of an F or D on your transcripts (which will affect your GPA). You will not get a “W” if you drop a course prior to the set deadline. Check the UIUC academic calendar to view these deadlines.

  • If you have contacted your professor and TAs for help/advice and have exhausted all other resources and you still are unable to complete the work or receive passing grades then dropping a course may be the best option. Don’t feel like a failure! As long as you feel like you tried your best and did everything you could, then it is OK. Having the option to drop a course is there for a reason.

  • If you know that you will not be able to raise your grade by the end of the semester then you should drop it sooner rather than later so that it will not affect your GPA if you look like you will not pass the class.

How do I drop a course?

  1. If needed, discuss with your advisor first.

  2. Log into Self-Service

  3. Click on “Registration and Records” tab

  4. Go to “Enhanced Registration”

  5. Click on “Register for Classes”

  6. Select your current term and press continue

  7. There should be a summary of your courses

  8. Under “Actions” there is a drop down menu next to each course you are registered to

  9. Select the option “Drop Course” and then submit at the bottom

  10. If you successfully dropped a course, it should be removed from your course history which can be accessed through “Registration and Records”> “Student Records and Transcripts”> “View Academic History”> “Submit”


MOST IMPORTANTLY: Consider discussing all of these options with your advisor prior to making your final decision if you still feel unsure or have any doubt. Your advisor is there to help you succeed at school so use them!

#UIUCUnfiltered #Editorials #GradingPolicy

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