How to Get Your Grades

Grades are not mailed to students. Access your grades through ctcLink, from the comfort of your home or from the kiosks on campus.

See the academic calendar for dates when grades are available.

Grading System and Policy

For full details on our grading system and policies, please visit the College Catalog - Academic Information.

Pierce College’s grading system provides a permanent record of student performance and achievement. Grades are reported as decimals to the nearest tenth. Grade point averages (GPA) are computed to the nearest hundredth. The numeric grades shown in the columns below will appear on the student record. The letter grades are an approximate equivalency guide to the official Pierce College decimal grades.

Specific decimal grades may be required to meet a class prerequisite, maintain good academic standing, maintain satisfactory academic progress, receive credit toward a degree, and meet program-specific requirements.

Numeric Letter Grade Equivalent  
4.0 - 3.9 A  
3.8 - 3.5 A-  
3.4 - 3.2 B+  
3.1 - 2.9 B  
2.8 - 2.5 B-  
2.4 - 2.2 C+  
2.1 - 1.9 C  
1.8 - 1.5 C-  
1.4 - 1.2 D+  
1.1 - 1.0 D (Lowest Passing Grade  
0.0 F   (Indicates student did not do passing work in the course, did not attend during the quarter, or did not officially withdraw.)  

Grade Symbols

Letter Name Explanation
* (none) Grade missing or not yet issued.
I Incomplete Issued when a student has been delayed in completing the required work. Time limit for removal of "I" grade is determined by the instructor but is not to exceed four quarters following the quarter in which the grade was issued. An "I" grade on a transcript after one year (four quarters) is automatically converted to a "0.0." 
N Audit Not computed in GPA.
NC No Credit Faculty-initiated grade. This grade is not computed in the grade point average and cannot be changed.
P/NP Pass/No Pass Not computed in GPA.
R Repeated Course The "R" shows beside the lower grade(s) received and only the highest grade is computed in the GPA.  
S Satisfactory Indicates the student is making satisfactory progress but has not completed all the competencies for a given level of instruction. No credit is received. The "S" grade is used only for ABE and ESL classes numbered under 100. Courses with “S” grade designators cannot be applied toward any degree or certificate program. Not computed in GPA.
W Withdrawal Student-initiated by following official withdrawal procedures. Not computed in GPA.
WE Excused Withdrawal Administrative grade Issued when a student has been administratively withdrawn due to extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control.  Must be approved by the Registrar. Not computed in GPA.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Grade point averages are calculated by dividing the grade points by the credit hours completed.

Grade Changes

Grade changes occur only when a legitimate error has been made in computing, reporting or recording a grade, or when a temporary grade (such as "I" Incomplete) needs to be changed to a permanent grade. Grade changes are reported by the class instructor to the records office.

Grade changes will be accepted and posted to a student record up to four quarters (including summer) following the quarter in which the original grade was issued. This time limitation applies to "I" grades as well as other grades. Exceptions to the four-quarter time limit may be made only in cases of documented grading errors.

An "I" grade on a transcript after one year (four quarters) will be automatically converted to a "0.0" without instructor input.

Students with questions regarding a class grade should contact the class instructor. When one year has elapsed from the time the grade was issued, the grade becomes a permanent part of the student’s record.

Withdrawal with Approved Excuse

A Withdrawal with Approved Excuse (WE), also referred to as an excused withdrawal or hardship withdrawal, is a grade recorded for a class from which a student has withdrawn or was unable to complete due to extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control. Students must submit a petition for a Withdrawal with Approved Excuse.  

In order to qualify for the issuance of a Withdrawal with an Approved Excuse (WE) grade, a student must satisfy all of the following conditions:

  • The coursework of the course cannot have been fully completed. "Completed" is typically demonstrated by the completion, whether successful or not, of a final assessment (e.g. final exam, paper, etc.).
  • Extenuating circumstances beyond academic performance in the course must be demonstrated and will require some form of documentation. Extenuating circumstances include, but are not limited to, serious medical conditions, serious family emergencies, military deployment, the student’s death and other severe/catastrophic circumstances.
  • Generally, students have up to one year from the end of a course to submit a request for an Excused Withdrawal. Appeals and exceptions to this condition must be documented.
  • Generally, an Excused Withdrawal is only approved for all courses in a quarter, except in unique circumstances where a student can demonstrate the extenuating circumstance(s) directly impacted the student’s ability to complete the requirements of a specific course(s), such as a broken leg for a student who is enrolled in a dance performance course. Considerations for different modalities may also be considered.
  • An Excused Withdrawal may be an option regardless of the amount of the course and coursework that has been completed, as long as all components of the course have not been attempted (e.g. completing the final exam/assessment would disqualify eligibility).
  • A student who is granted a Withdrawal with Approved Excuse for medical reasons may not be permitted to return until the student provides a statement from a medical provider showing that the student is medically ready to return.

Pass/No Pass

Students may take a class for pass/no pass credit if the class is not in the student’s major field of study or if the class does not fulfill a core requirement for the student’s Pierce College degrees. Classes taken as pass/no pass may only be used as general elective credit for AA-DTA and AS-T degrees. Classes that are prerequisites for other courses should not be taken pass/no pass with the exception of ABE/ESL classes.

The student and instructor must sign a pass/no pass contract before the last instructional day of the quarter with the exception of ABE/ESL courses. Pass/no pass grades are not computed in the GPA. “NP” is assigned when minimum standards of the class are not met.

Students may withdraw from a class being taken pass/no pass by following the same procedures as for any other class.

Repeating a Course

Students may repeat a course to improve their grades; however, all grades will remain on the transcript.  A course may be repeated only twice (taken a total of three times) unless otherwise specified in the college catalog. Students must re-register and pay all associated tuition and fees to repeat a course. Some programs may have more restrictive policies regarding repeating courses. Consult with programs for specific information. 

Repeats must be for classes with the identical course department, number and credit level with the exception of college-initiated changes to course departments and/or numbers. All classes to which the repeat policy applies must be taken at Pierce College.

Once the class repeat has been processed, the letter “R” will be placed next to the lowest grade(s) on the student’s transcript to indicate the class has been repeated.  Only the highest grade earned will be calculated into the grade point average (GPA). The college administratively calculates and posts the “R” designator on repeated classes.  The repeat process is not applied to grade symbols I, NC, NP, P, W, or WE, as these are not calculated in the GPA. The repeat indicator cannot be applied to a class if that class was used to meet the completion requirements of a posted degree or certificate.

Students who plan to transfer to another institution and/or plan to apply to programs with specific grade/entrance requirements should be aware that their GPAs might be recomputed by that institution and/or program. Repeated courses will be received in accordance with the receiving institution and/or program’s own requirements and policies. Students receiving financial aid, veterans benefits, or other third party funding, and/or those participating in athletics should consult those offices prior to repeating a course. Benefits or eligibility may be reduced or lost due to course repetition.

Auditing a Course

Most classes at Pierce College may be audited. This means you attend the class regularly but don't need to take exams and won't receive college credit. You will need to register and pay for the class. You may change from credit to audit or audit to credit through the 10th day (8th day in summer quarter) of the instructional quarter, with the instructor's signature.

Independent Study

Independent study is a contract established between you and an instructor for in-depth work in a particular area of interest to you. The bulk of responsibility for the study, research, and completion of the course rests with you, the student. The instructor provides guidance and final evaluation.

If you wish to propose an independent study, you should find an instructor willing to enter into a contract for that particular study, then file four copies of the contract: one with the registrar, one with the instructor, one with the division chair and one in your own records.

Tuition for independent study is consistent with regular tuition rates. A maximum of five credits per class may be carried through independent study during a quarter. Credits earned through independent study may be used only in the general elective category of the AAS and AS degrees. A maximum of 15 independent study credits may apply toward any professional/technical degree or certificate. Independent study classes cannot be titled the same as an existing course.

Final Examinations

A final examination is part of most courses. You are required to take final examinations when scheduled in order to receive credit for courses.

Grade Report

Grades are accessible via the Student Home Page in ctcLink.

Students with questions regarding a class grade should contact the class instructor. When one year has elapsed from the time the grade was issued, the grade will become a permanent part of the student’s record.