17. Academic Standing

Students’ academic standing is normally assessed at the end of each term.

17.1 Grade Scale and Definitions

The official grading system at the University is a letter-grade system.

The following table explains and defines Dalhousie's grading system for undergraduate courses and shows the GPA value that corresponds with each letter Grade.

GradeGrade Point Value %Definition 










Excellent Considerable evidence of original thinking; demonstrated outstanding capacity to analyze and synthesize; outstanding grasp of subject matter; evidence of extensive knowledge base.










Good Evidence of grasp of subject matter, some evidence of critical capacity and analytical ability; reasonable understanding of relevant issues; evidence of familiarity with the literature.










Satisfactory Evidence of some understanding of the subject matter; ability to develop solutions to simple problems; benefitting from his/her university experience.
D 1.00 50-54 Marginal Pass Evidence of minimally acceptable familiarity with subject matter, critical and analytical skills (except in programs where a minimum grade of ‘C’ or 'C+' is required).
FM 0.00   Marginal Failure Available only for Engineering, Health Professions and Commerce.
F 0.00 0-49 Inadequate Insufficient evidence of understanding of the subject matter; weakness in critical and analytical skills; limited or irrelevant use of the literature.
INC 0.00   Incomplete  
W Neutral and no credit obtained   Withdrew after deadline  
ILL Neutral and no credit obtained   Compassionate reasons, illness  
P Neutral   Pass  
TR Neutral   Transfer credit on admission  
Pending Neutral   Grade not reported


MT Neutral   Not Graded: Part of Multi-Term Course

The grade assigned temporarily within a single academic year until all requirements of the multi-term course are complete. The final grade obtained in the multi-term course will replace the MT grade in each term.

17.1.1 Grade Point Average (GPA)

The Grade Point Average is calculated by summing the values obtained by multiplying the grade points obtained in each course in accordance with the scale in 17.1, by the number of credit hours of each course then dividing that sum by the total credit hours attempted. A Term GPA includes only those courses attempted in a single term and the Cumulative GPA includes all courses attempted while registered in a level of study (see Definitions). If a course has been repeated, only the highest grade awarded is included.

17.2 Grade Points on Admission

Transfer credits on admission count as credits without grade points, e.g. they are neutral in the calculation of the GPA.

17.3 Grade Points on Letter of Permission

Courses taken on a Letter of Permission at a Canadian university, where a letter grade system is used, the appropriate Dalhousie letter grade and corresponding grade points will be assigned. For institutions not using letter grades, the grade will be translated into a Dalhousie grade and corresponding grade points assigned. For institutions outside of Canada, a grade of P (pass) or F (fail), as appropriate, will be recorded.

17.4 Repeating Courses for which a Passing Grade has been Awarded

With the permission of the department/school/college concerned, a student may repeat any course for which a passing grade has previously been awarded. The original passing grade will nevertheless remain on the transcript and a second entry will be recorded with the new grade and the notation “repeated course”. No additional credit will be given for such a repeated course, and only the highest grade will be included in the calculation of the GPA.