Grades at U-M

Adapted by Virginia Hamori-Ota from Morris (2000), University of Michigan

Grading and the Web Roster

In Fall 2005, the University replaced paper grade rosters with an on-line system for grade submission on Wolverine Access (  In June 2008, Teaching Support (the previous name of this system) was renamed Faculty Business. Complete information on using web rosters may be found at:

On the Ann Arbor campus, grades are due within 72 hours after the scheduled final examination. If there is no exam scheduled for the class, grades are due 72 hours after the last day of the class or 72 hours after the completed work was due for the class.

There is no University-wide grading scale, although some units have guidelines or requirements about grading procedures.  Please check with your academic unit for information about any policies or procedures that may apply.  In general, acceptable letter grades for undergraduates are:

Symbol Significance

A+, A, A-


B+, B, B-


C+, C, C-


D+, D, D-

Deficient, but passed


Not passed

In addition to the standard A-E grades, there are several special reports you may use:


(No Report) Used if a student on the grade sheet has attended class not at all or only sporadically, thus providing insufficient basis for a grade.


(Missed Final) If the student has completed all course requirements except the final exam, you should report "X". Reporting "X" does not oblige you to allow a make-up of the final. It only leaves you free to do so, if the student provides an excuse satisfactory to you. Find out your college's policy regarding the date when the student must complete the final exam. At that time you must submit a revised grade (see "Changing Grades" below). If the student does not complete the final, or if the excuse is unacceptable to you, the "X" will automatically be turned into an "E" on the transcript.


(Incomplete) Find out your college's policies regarding the assignment of incompletes. Note that submitting an "I" presumes that you have made arrangements for the student to complete the work at a later date. Once you submit the "I" you are obliged to accept and grade the student's missing work if it is submitted before the college deadline or before an earlier deadline specifically set by you. In cases where a student has not completed the course assignments yet has made no acceptable arrangements with you for late submission of the work, do not bind yourself by submitting an "I". Use "NR" instead, and if the student subsequently makes satisfactory arrangements with you, the "NR" can be changed to "I" (see "Changing Grades" below).

Departments determine who has access to online grade rosters, for both entering and approving grades. However, a proxy can also be assigned by the instructor(s), also through Faculty Business via Wolverine Access.

Posting Grades and Returning Exams and Papers

Many faculty post grades outside of their office or in some other public place.  It is important not to post grades by name, social security number, UM ID, or by any method in which students can be identified, because to do so violates the students’ right to privacy. If posting grades, use non-identifiable lists, such as a pre-established code name or number for each student. Please do not leave graded material lying in the hallway or outside your office because this practice may also violate students’ federal privacy rights.

In general, it is advisable to return papers and exams to students so that they can see their performance, correct their mistakes, and learn from your comments. If you have specific reasons for not returning a set of papers or exams, you are free to do so, but please announce your policy to the class in advance.  If at all possible, return papers and exams in class or during office hours; alternatively, ask students to give you a large self-addressed envelope with adequate postage so that you can return their materials. 

If you retain papers or exams, you should keep them for a year after the end of the course so that students will still have the opportunity to examine them and to learn from your comments. Saving unreturned papers and exams will also protect you in case a student charges you with improper grading.  Disputes regarding grades are handled according to the policy and procedure of the school or college. 

Your records showing the class grades throughout the term, as well as the final course grades given, should also be retained. If you leave the University, you should leave your grade records with the department for safe keeping along with an address at which you can be reached if students have questions about their grades. Even if you are only on leave, it is useful if the department has access to your records in order to be able to respond to questions that might arise during your absence.

Changing Grades

In February 2007, the University implemented an on-line grade change process to replace the Supplemental Grade Report (SGR) paper-based forms.  Please note that grades can be changed only after the grade roster has been posted, and only by an instructor with “Approve” grade roster status or a proxy with “Grade Change” access. Grade changes can be made through Faculty Business via Wolverine Access.  Each School/College has different approval rules that are encoded into the system, so please check with your department to see if grade changes must be reviewed and approved by staff.  Paper grade change request forms may still be required in cases where there is no electronic grade roster (i.e., pre-2005).

Most often grades are changed due to some kind of clerical error or a decision that in retrospect a particular piece of work was graded too low (or too high). Be sure to check with your department to find out the situations in which it is acceptable to change a grade.

If the student's report is "I" (incomplete) or "X" (missed final exam), the work must be completed according to the deadline set by your college; however, your instructional team (i.e., you and the faculty teaching the course) can set an earlier deadline if appropriate. The notation "I" or "X" will remain on the student's transcript as a sign that the course was completed after the end of the term. In general, but especially with graduating seniors, it is important for you to report the final grade as soon as possible.

Adapted from:

Morris, C.G. (2000). Grading, cheating, and plagiarism. GSI guidebook (7th ed.). Center for Research on Learning and Teaching: University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

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