Grading at Princeton

Princeton University is committed to fairness and transparency in assessment of students' work and grading practices. This approach emphasizes well-defined evaluative criteria and meaningful feedback as the most important pedagogical components of the grading system.

Grading Policy

The University's grading policy charges each department and program with articulating well-defined and meaningful grading standards for work within its discipline. Faculty, grading in accordance with those standards, shall use grades and substantive feedback to give students clear and detailed information about the quality of their work. The Faculty Committee on Examinations and Standing shall periodically review departmental standards to ensure that they are consistent with the University's assessment philosophy and its commitment to the integrity of the grading system. 

The grading policy, approved by the faculty at their October 6, 2014 meeting, was informed by the work of the Ad Hoc Committee to Review Policies Regarding Assessment and Grading, which delivered its report in August 2014. 

From fall term 2004-05 through spring term 2013-14, the University faculty had a common grading expectation for every department and program: A-range grades (A+, A, A-) were to account for less than 35 percent of the grades given in undergraduate courses and less than 55 percent of the grades given in junior and senior independent work. Each department and program determined how best to meet these expectations. In the fall term 2014-15, the faculty removed this numeric target for the percent of A-range grades.

In September 2015 the Faculty Committee on Examinations and Standing reported on the grading results for AY 2104-15. Additional grading data for AY 2104-15 is available here.

Grading Practices

Additional information on grading practices, including auditors, incompletes, and A+ or F grades, is found on the website of the Office of the Registrar. Reporting of students in difficulty is also managed at that site.

Grade Changes

Grade changes may be requested online by the instructor in charge of the course. Authority for approving a grade change rests solely with the Dean of the College for undergraduate students or the Dean of the Graduate School for graduate students.