Grading System: Courses are most often taken for a letter grade except as outlined below under the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory option. Students who have advanced to Ph.D. candidacy and begun working on their dissertations will sign up for 299 courses which will be on a S/U basis. The university requires that graduate students maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average (B grade or better).

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Option: By university requirement no more than one third of all Berkeley units in the 100 and 200 series (excluding 299) may be taken on a S/U basis. By Departmental requirement, 4-unit 200 series courses may not be taken for S/U (excluding 299 and, under certain conditions, 298).  It is important for first-year students to take courses on a letter-graded basis in order to establish a grade-point average for future fellowship and academic appointment consideration. While auditing of courses is not encouraged by the Department or the University, it may be done on occasion by permission of individual instructor.

Incomplete grades: If you have incurred any incomplete grades in courses required for the M.A. or Ph.D. degrees, you are responsible for clearing these grades promptly. Though you may still participate in the M.A. exams, you will not be awarded an M.A. degree until the Graduate Assistant can confirm that incomplete grades have been removed for all required courses.

No student will be conferred an M.A. with more than one incomplete grade on the transcript. The Graduate Committee will not review readiness to enter the Ph.D. program until the student has removed all but one Incomplete grade from the transcript.

No student is allowed to take the QE, advance to Ph.D. candidacy, teach or hold a GSR appointment with more than two incomplete grades.  Incomplete grades must be discussed in the annual fcontinued funding request and the admission to Ph.D. review.

In order to resolve an incomplete the student must provide a Petition to Remove an Incomplete Grade form (available at ) to the instructor of the course. All Incomplete grades received remain on the transcript in perpetuity though the letter grade also appears once it is recorded.