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There are policies and procedures in place to ensure that students will remain accountable for their actions in the classroom. The Ohio State University hopes every student is successful during their academic career and offers help to those who need it. See below for policies regarding grades and “fresh starts.”

You can check your grades online at BuckeyeLink. The registrar does not mail (or e-mail) grades to students. 

Note: Ohio State does not offer the grades of A+ and D-. You earn no points for an E or an EN, but the hours are calculated into your grade point average. (An EN grade indicates that, at some point during the semester, you stopped attending the class and therefore failed.)

Calculate your GPA

How to calculate your semester grade point average

  1. Determine the number of points you have earned for each course you have taken for a grade this semester.
  2. Add the number of points for each of these courses.
  3. Divide the total of points you have earned by the number of credit hours you have taken for a grade this semester.
  4. The result is your semester grade point average (GPA).

How to calculate your cumulative grade point average

  1. Add the points for this semester’s work to the total points for all of your previous graded work.
  2. Add the number of credit hours for this semester’s work to the total credit hours for all of your previous graded work.
  3. Divide the point total by the credit-hour total to get your cumulative grade point average (GPA).

Other marks are listed below. Note that points are not awarded for the following marks:

EM examination credit
I incomplete
K transfer credit
NEN non-pass, due to non-attendance
NP non-pass
P progress
PA pass
PE emergency pass
R audit
S satisfactory
U unsatisfactory
UEN unsatisfactory, due to non-attendance
W withdrew

Note that the mark of NEN can apply to a course for which the PA/NP grading option was elected, and also when the Exceptional Circumstances policy is in effect. The mark of PE applies only when the Exceptional Circumstances policy is in effect; it is the equivalent of a D+ or D but is not calculated into the GPA.


An "I" indicates that a student has completed a major portion of the work in the course in a satisfactory manner, but for reasons judged by the instructor to be legitimate, a portion of the course requirements remains to be completed. If illness or an emergency prevents you from finishing a course, you may request an “Incomplete” from the instructor. When you receive this grade, you must consult with the instructor as soon as possible to make arrangements for completing the course requirements. Incomplete work must be completed no later than the sixth week of the following semester. If the work is not made up by the due date, the “I” mark will be changed to the alternate grade the instructor reported.

Pass/Non-Pass option

  • You may take a maximum of 20 credit hours of electives on a pass/non-pass (PA/NP) basis.
  • You cannot take general education, major, minor, or prerequisite courses pass/non-pass.
  • You must have a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA to use the pass/non-pass option.
  • You must complete the pass/non-pass form with your academic advisor in order to use the option.
  • Please visit registrar.osu.edu and select "Registration, Fees, and Important Dates" for semester, term, and session deadlines for registering for the pass/non-pass option.

Auditing a Course

You may choose to audit a course in order to refresh yourself on the material or to learn more about a subject without earning a letter grade. Fees are assessed for auditing a course, but no credit hours are awarded. You cannot audit a course and then later take the course for a grade. Auditing a course requires the permission of the instructor and the permission of your college office, the latter obtained through your academic advisor.

Students completing a minimum of 12 graded credit hours with a point-hour ratio of 3.50 or higher for any given term will be named to the Dean's List for that term in the college in which they are enrolled. Up to 3 hours of course work graded Satisfactory (S) may be included in the 12 graded hours. However, course work graded Pass (PA) may not count toward the minimum of 12 graded hours. Any grade of E, EN, NEN, NP, P, U, or UEN will disqualify a student from making the Dean's List even if the student has a term point-hour ratio of 3.50 and 12 graded hours.

Any student whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.0 will be placed on academic probation. The College may make exceptions to this policy for students who are being dismissed because they failed to meet the conditions of their previous probation, and for new first-term students who can be placed on academic warning rather than probation. Students placed on warning will be placed on probation the following term if their cumulative GPA is still below 2.0.

If you are in academic difficulty, or if you believe you are in danger of falling into academic difficulty (even if your cumulative GPA is above 2.0), you should see your Arts and Sciences academic advisor as soon as possible to discuss the issues that may be affecting your academic performance and to get advice on how to earn and maintain good academic standing.

Any student in academic difficulty is at risk of being dismissed from the university. There is no particular cumulative GPA or number of deficiency points that warrants a dismissal. Decisions to dismiss students are made on a case-by-case basis, after thoughtful review of the academic record. Dismissed students will be notified of their status via e-mail, in a letter from the Assistant Dean for Advising and Academic Services.

Reinstatement Petition Process

After being academically dismissed from the university, students can petition for reinstatement to the university after waiting for a period of at least two semesters. Reinstatement is not guaranteed, and a student’s desire to return is not sufficient support for a petition. Petitioning students need to prove that they are ready to succeed if they are allowed to return to the university. It is advisable to take academic course work at another institution during your time away from Ohio State, to demonstrate that you are capable of succeeding in quality college-level work. See an Arts and Sciences academic advisor to discuss the reinstatement petition process. The advisor can help you start the petition and assist in the selection of courses at another institution that will transfer back to Ohio State and help you earn credit toward your degree.

Deficiency points are a measure of how many credit points a student with below a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) needs to earn in order to raise his/her GPA to a 2.0. A student accumulates deficiency points when he or she earns a term GPA below 2.0.

Deficiency points are removed by earning more points than the minimum needed to achieve a semester GPA of 2.00. 

Students can petition to complete a second attempt at a course and apply grade forgiveness to the first attempt. The parameters of the Grade Forgiveness Rule are as follows:

  • Students must submit a Grade Forgiveness Rule petition online no later than the tenth Friday of the term in which the student is enrolled in the second attempt of a course. Summer term and sessions follow different deadlines; please visit regsitrar.osu.edu for details.
  • Students seeking to repeat a high-demand course in which they have already earned a passing grade may not receive permission to repeat it until students who truly need to take the course have had a chance to enroll.
  • If approved, the first attempt's grade and credit hours will be removed from the Ohio State cumulative grade-point average (GPA) upon completion of the second attempt. 
  • Forgiveness only impacts the Ohio State cumulative GPA calculation. All grades remain on the student's transcript.
  • Academic standing is not retroactively reviewed if a first attempt's grade is removed from the GPA calculation due to forgiveness.
  • A maximum of three courses can be repeated under this policy. 

Returning students who have a cumulative GPA under a 2.0 or who have been dismissed from the university may want to petition to use Fresh Start. This will eliminate any deficiency points that you may have earned previously and will let you restart at Ohio State will a clean cumulative GPA (0.00).

If you have not been enrolled at the university for 5 or more years, you may petition for the Fresh Start Rule. While all courses will remain on your permanent record, only courses in which you received a C- or higher will be counted for credit. Other course work will not be counted for credit, towards any requirement, or toward graduation. You will return to Ohio State with a recalculated cumulative GPA of 0.00. You must complete a minimum of two semesters and 30 semester hours after using the Fresh Start Rule before you are eligible to graduate. Meet with an Arts and Sciences academic advisor for more information.

Keep in mind that if you are considering applying to graduate or professional schools, or even to other colleges at Ohio State, their admissions processes will look at all of your grades and may recalculate the original grade(s) into your total.