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Education / Graduate Education / PhD Programs / Neuroscience Graduate Program (NGP) / Our Students / Handbook / Grading System & Performance Evaluations

Grading System & Performance Evaluations

All required courses, with the exception of Laboratory Rotations, Journal Club, Student Seminar, and Teaching Assistantships, are graded on an A/E system.  These exceptions are graded on an S/E system.

A/E System

  • A - Excellent
  • A-
  • B+
  • B - Good
  • B-
  • C - Poor
  • E - Failure
  • I - Incomplete
  • IE - Incomplete and Failure
  • W - Withdrawn
  • N - No Grade Reported

S/E System

  • S - Satisfactory
  • E - Failure
  • I - Incomplete
  • IE - Incomplete and Failure
  • W - Withdrawn
  • N - No Grade Reported



The minimum passing grades for courses and research carrying credit are C or S.  However, upon receiving one C or lower grade in a course, the student will be put on academic probation and will receive notification from the Senior Associate Dean of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs.  If a student receives a second grade of C or lower, the adequacy of the student’s academic performance is reviewed by the Dean and the NGP Director.  It is NGP Policy to dismiss a student upon receiving two grades of C or lower.  For more information, please refer to the Grades Section of the University’s Official Bulletin on Graduate Studies.

Annual evaluations

The NGP Steering Committee reviews the performance of first year graduate students at the end of each semester.  Student progress is evaluated based on grades, instructor feedback, rotation evaluations, rotation reports, oral presentations, performance in journal club and participation. Students may be placed on academic probation or a mentoring plan based on these evaluations.

Second year students and beyond also receive a written evaluation of their performance from their advisor and thesis committee.  After completing the Qualifying Exam, the student must meet with his or her Thesis Committee at least annually and file a written progress report with the Program Director within one week of the committee meeting, but no later than June 1. This report is reviewed by the NGP Director and Steering Committee and the Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs.  Scheduling thesis committee meetings is the responsibility of the student and should be done in conjunction with the annual student seminar whenever possible.

Please follow the guidelines below for annual evaluations:

  • Entering into your First year: since you are just entering or will be entering the program you do not need to complete this
  • Entering into your Second year: since you have just chosen a lab you do not need to complete this
  • Entering into your Third year: Please complete the annual evaluation. You do not need to complete the committee report section
  • Entering into your Fourth year and above: You need to complete the entire annual evaluation.

Please complete the annual evaluation when you have your qualifying exam and when you have your annual committee meeting to prepare for your PhD defense.