Academic Standards & Grading

This is a draft edition of the 2024-2025 catalog. Information contained within is subject to change.

Grades and the Academic Transcript

Grading System 

Grades used in evaluating the work of students are as follows:

Level of Performance Letter Grade Quality Points Earned
Superior A 4 per credit
Good (above average) B 3 per credit
Average C 2 per credit
Minimum (passing below average) D 1 per credit
Failing F 0 per credit
Incomplete (pending official grade) I 0 per credit
Withdraw (no grade assessment) W 0 per credit
Audit AU 0 per credit
Credit CR 0 per credit
No credit U 0 per credit

A/Credit/Unsatisfactory Grading (A/CR/U)

The major objective of the A/CR/U option is to encourage students to explore challenging elective courses they might not otherwise select. Only courses which are normally graded A through F may be taken A/CR/U. The following guidelines apply for the A/CR/U option:

  1. Students must have satisfactorily completed at least twelve (12) credit hours to be eligible.
  2. Students must have a pre-major or declared major on file with their chosen department.
  3. Students on academic probation are not eligible.
  4. Coursework may not be taken in the major and minor fields. This includes cognate courses stipulated by the major and minor degree programs.
  5. Only one course per semester or summer session may be taken A/CR/U.
  6. All undergraduate level courses may be taken.
  7. A grade of A received in a A/CR/U course will be recorded as an A. A grade of B or C will be recorded as a CR. A grade of D or F will be recorded as a U and will not receive course credit or be included in any GPA calculation.
  8. The number of credit hours completed under this option will number no more than twelve (12) for any degree. Exception: Hours attempted in a course taken under the A/CR/U option and graded as an A will not be deducted from the twelve (12) hours allowed to a student under this grading system.
  9. Students are expected to meet all course prerequisites.
  10. Students must designate the A/CR/U option at the Registrar’s Office before the end of the fourth week after the first day of classes (second week of summer session).
  11. Instructors will not be informed that students are enrolled under the A/CR/U option. Regular procedures will be followed in the submission of final grades by the instructor to the Registrar. Grades will be assigned A, CR, or U in the Registrar’s Office.
  12. A course completed under the letter grade system in which D or F was earned may not be repeated on an A/CR/U.

Students should be aware that some schools, scholarship committees and honorary societies do not accept work taken on a non-graded basis. Furthermore many employers do not view non-graded coursework favorably. All students should be very cautious in using the A/CR/U option.

Auditing a Class (AU)

A class auditor is a student registered for a course only for informational instruction, not to earn credit. A student may audit a course for a number of reasons, ranging from skills improvement to a review before registering for credit. Regardless of the purpose, it is important that students get a meaningful experience from instruction and make satisfactory progress toward their purpose. A student who is auditing a course will have an AU assigned as the course grade and it will not impact the GPA.

Incomplete Grades (I)

Under certain circumstances, during the final grading process an Incomplete Grade Contract may be completed, approved and signed by the instructor, student and department chair. An incomplete grade may be given when accident, illness, death in the immediate family, or other documented circumstances beyond the student's control, prevent the student from completing some course requirements. An incomplete grade should only be considered when the majority of course requirements have been satisfied and the student is receiving a passing grade in said coursework. Students should be aware that an incomplete grade may affect the initial calculation of academic standing, eligibility for semester honors and eligibility for federal, state or institutional financial aid programs.

An incomplete grade must be removed within eight weeks after the last final exam day for the current term (Fall, Spring, Summer); otherwise, the grade will be recorded as an “F". Any extension of time beyond the allotted eight weeks is not permitted. After the eight week deadline, the instructor of record may, under documented and justified conditions, submit a grade change to replace the “F” (see Grade Change policy).

The Incomplete Grade Contract with all signatures must be submitted to the Registrar's Office by the last day to submit final grades for the term which the Incomplete grade is being requested. No Incomplete Grade Contracts will be accepted after this date. Copies of the contract should be made and given to the instructor, student and department chair.

Pass-Fail Grading (CR/F) 

Courses evaluated by pass-fail criteria earn the number of credits for that course with a grade of CR. A failure will result in a grade of F and not earning credit. Courses that are stipulated in the catalog as being graded on a pass-fail basis will not be used in computing grade-point-averages for honors.

Grade Change

A course grade change must be approved by the instructor, chairperson and dean. The approved grade change must be submitted to the Registrar prior to the end of the next regular (Fall/Spring) term after the close of the semester in which the original grade or incomplete was awarded. After this time period, a grade change must be approved by the Admissions and Graduation Committee.

Grade-Point Averages

Grade-point averages are used to determine class standing and eligibility for graduation, the Dean’s and President’s Honor Lists, and membership in honor societies.

The grade-point average (GPA) is a numerical ratio of credits and grade points received. The following are examples of the method of computing the grade-point average:

  • A student receiving 16 credits of B has earned 48 grade points. The GPA is 48 ÷ 16 = 3.0.
  • A student receiving 16 credits of which 8 credits are B and 8 credits are C has earned 40 grade points. The GPA is 40 ÷ 16 = 2.5.

Credits earned in courses in which a grade of CR is recorded are not included in the computation of the GPA. When a course is repeated, only the last recorded grade is included in the calculation. Grades of I, W, U or AU do not represent credit earned and are not included in the computation of the GPA. When a grade of F is earned, the credits are included in the computation of the GPA. Under the A/Cr/U option, a grade of A is the only grade which will be used in GPA and honors calculations.

The overall grade-point average uses the same numerical ratio and includes all undergraduate credit earned at institutions accredited by the North Central Association or a similar regional agency.

Repeating Courses

Students are permitted to repeat any course. (The A/Cr/U grading option cannot be used to repeat a course in which a prior letter grade of D or F was earned.) When a course is repeated, the original grade remains on the transcript but is excluded (E) from the GPA calculation and the most recent grade is included (I) in the GPA. Topics and related format courses which change in content on a semester-to-semester basis do not apply in this regard. Courses which may be repeated for credit are only excluded from the GPA calculation if previous attempt(s) are a failing grade.

Semester Honors

Semester honors are calculated immediately following each semester and a notation will be placed on the student transcript. This initial honors list will also be used for printed awards and publications. Beyond this point student records will continue to be updated, adding semester honors to or removing from, as appropriate. To be included on the President's List a student must be degree-seeking and earn a minimum of 12 credit hours (not including courses graded as (CR) credit) with a grade-point average of 4.0. To be included on the Dean's List a student must be degree-seeking and earn a minimum of 12 credit hours (not including courses graded as (CR) credit) with a grade-point average of 3.5-3.99.

Transcripts and Records of Academic Work

Official transcripts will have a certifying signature, date of issue, and university seal. Requests for official transcripts must be made online at or through the student's Goldlink account and requires the student’s signature. A fee will be charged. Unofficial transcripts may be obtained by current students through their Goldlink account. Questions about transcripts may be directed to the Registrar's Office at (816) 271-4211 or Eder Hall 102. Student transcripts received from other colleges and universities become the property of Missouri Western, and are not reissued to the student or to another institution.

Academic Standards

Academic Probation and Suspension

Students are placed on academic probation if the overall grade-point average (GPA) drops below 2.0. Students are placed on academic suspension if their overall GPA drops below the suspension GPA in the Table of Academic Standards which corresponds to the overall GPA hours, subject to the provisions listed below. To be placed on academic suspension a student:

  • Must have been on academic probation or suspension during the previous semester (including Summer); and
  • Must have a term GPA lower than 2.0.

Transfer students will be evaluated based on Missouri Western’s Academic Standards. If found to be on suspension, the student will be subject to MWSU policies as if the suspension had been earned at Missouri Western.

Table of Academic Standards

Overall GPA Hours1 Probation if Overall GPA is less than Suspension if Overall GPA is less than
0-18 2.0 NA
19-30 2.0 1.50
31-45 2.0 1.60
46-60 2.0 1.70
61-75 2.0 1.80
76-90 2.0 1.90
91+ 2.0 2.00

Grades assigned as I, W, AU, CR or U are not included in GPA hours.

Pathways to Academic Student Success (PASS)

Pathways to Academic Student Success (PASS) is a deliberate intervention program for students in each fall cohort who are on academic probation because they fall below a 2.0 overall grade point average after their first semester. Each fall cohort consists of first-time, full-time freshmen. 

Students are automatically enrolled in PASS for the spring semester following their first semester if they earn below a 2.0 overall GPA.  There is no student cost for the course. Its intent is to encourage positive study habits, connect students with campus resources and to raise their GPA and completion rate while immersing them into the campus culture of academic options and resources. 

Appealing an Academic Suspension

Students who believe that the causes of their suspension merit special consideration may submit a letter of appeal challenging their suspension. The deadline date for appeals is stated in the official notice of suspension that is emailed to the student's campus email address and sent to the current mailing address reported by the student. Appeals received after the deadline stated in the notice of suspension will not be considered. The Academic Regulations, Standards, Honesty and Scholarship  Committee will review all appeals. The Committee may reinstate a student based on documented circumstances beyond the student’s control. It is the student’s responsibility to complete a Suspension Appeal form and provide documentation clarifying how the circumstances that caused poor performance have been addressed. More information can be found here.

Students who are suspended because their GPA is adversely affected by grades over ten years old may also petition for reinstatement immediately following notice of suspension. It is the student’s responsibility to complete a Suspension Appeal form, provide documentation, and a recalculated GPA to include  only grades earned within the last ten years. The ten years are to be calculated from the semester in which the student’s current suspension occurs. The Committee will review each suspension of this type on a case by case basis, considering all factors, and may reinstate students if the evidence warrants it.

If reinstatement is granted for any circumstances, the student remains on academic probation. Furthermore, the suspension under appeal will remain on the student’s record as a suspension and will be counted as such.

Readmission After Suspension

Students placed on academic suspension may not attend MWSU for the time period indicated below unless the Academic Regulations, Standards, Honesty and Scholarship Committee grants their appeal. A “semester” is defined as the Fall or Spring terms only.

First Suspension One semester
Second Suspension Two semesters
Third Suspension Four semesters
Fourth Suspension Eight semesters
Fifth Suspension Twelve semesters
Sixth Suspension Sixteen semesters

Students applying for readmission after completing the required suspension period must file a new application with the Admissions Office. Students readmitted after suspension will enter on academic probation unless transfer work raises their overall GPA to a good standing status.

Academic Renewal Policy

The Academic Renewal Policy is an appeals procedure which allows a current undergraduate student to request an adjustment to their overall grade point average and credit hours earned. Through this policy Missouri Western seeks to give a student who has matured during an absence from college coursework a second chance in their college career, while maintaining the integrity of Missouri Western’s academic standards. 

Undergraduate students who are currently enrolled as a degree-seeking student may be eligible to petition for academic renewal.

  • The student must not have been enrolled in college-level coursework as a degree-seeking student for three or more consecutive calendar years. Hours earned for developmental, dual credit or continuing education courses are excluded from this three year time-frame. An exception to “three or more consecutive calendar years” will be considered with advisor endorsement and on a case by case basis.
  • After the above-mentioned college absence, the student must earn at least 12 credit hours in courses 100 level or above at MWSU, receive no course grade lower than a "C", and earn an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher in said coursework. Note: A student may be disqualified from academic renewal eligibility if more than 15% course withdrawals (“W” grades) are recorded in the time-frame since the college absence. An exception to these academic standards may be considered on a case by case basis.

Students who meet the above criteria may petition the Admissions and Graduation Committee for academic renewal by completing and submitting the Petition for Academic Renewal form (available in the Registrar’s Office or on the Registrar’s Office website). The applicant will indicate a single start term and end term for academic renewal to be applied. All coursework between the start and end terms will be a part of academic renewal, including transfer work. The applicant should also attach a letter of explanation and support documentation, if applicable, addressing the circumstances which occurred during the term(s) they are requesting to be excluded from their Missouri Western transcript and their academic experience and personal and professional accomplishments achieved during the timeframe away from higher education. The student must also include written support from their advisor or other faculty member in their major department with their Academic Renewal request. If approved, the student will receive an updated copy of the transcript once the Academic Renewal process has been complete.


  • All credit and grades earned between the selected start and end terms will be excluded from GPA calculations and credit hours earned.
  • Excluded coursework cannot be used to meet degree or prerequisite requirements. Students should work directly with their department to address major coursework or prerequisite requirements.
  • “Academic Renewal” will be noted on the transcript for each relevant MWSU term.
  • Academic renewal will be applied to transfer work if it occurred between the identified start and end terms. Transfer courses included in academic renewal will be identified with an excluded (E) notation and excluded from GPA calculation and hours earned.
  • Students will not be granted Academic Renewal after an application for graduation has been submitted or a previous degree awarded.
  • Students who receive academic renewal are not precluded from graduating with honors.


  • Academic Renewal may impact financial aid eligibility. Applicants should contact the Director of Financial Aid for information and clarification.
  • Academic Renewal is irrevocable.
  • Students are limited to one appeal of academic renewal during their academic career at Missouri Western State University.
  • Academic Renewal may not be used to obtain athletic eligibility.
  • Academic Renewal is a Missouri Western State University policy and may not be recognized by outside agencies or other institutions.