Grade Status

When a grade has not been assigned for a course, the notation "W" (Authorized Withdrawal), "I" (Incomplete), or "Z" (Unauthorized Withdrawal) will be recorded.  No refunds are given.

Authorized Withdrawal

The notation “W” indicates that a student left a course after the fourth week of classes, but before the end of the tenth week, in the Fall or Spring semester. The notation remains on the student’s permanent record, and appears on the transcript, but has no effect on the student’s GPA. Students may retake a course for which they received a “W,” but the notation will not be changed by retaking the course, or by taking its equivalent elsewhere.


The notation “I” indicates that students have provided a satisfactory explanation to the instructor for their inability to complete the required course work in a timely fashion, due to circumstances beyond their control. Students are responsible for informing the instructor of these circumstances, and for seeking the instructor's approval, before the date when grades must be reported. This notation may be applied only if the student’s prior performance and class attendance in the course have been satisfactory.

Incomplete work must be completed by the date set forth by the professor, but no later than one calendar year from the last day of the examination period for which the grade of “I” was assigned. If the Incomplete was taken prior to the Fall 2014 semester, upon completion of the course work, the “I” remains on the student’s permanent record, along with the assigned grade (e.g., “IA,” “IB”). If the Incomplete was taken after Fall 2014, the notation of "I" will not remain on the transcript once the course is completed. If the course work is not completed within this period, the grade automatically becomes an “F,” and constitutes a failing grade.

Students can utilize the Contract for Incomplete Grade form when working with their professor.

Unauthorized Withdrawal

The notation “Z” is assigned when a student has registered for a course but has not attended class or done any graded work for the course. The notation remains on the student’s permanent record, and appears on the transcript, but has no effect on the student’s GPA. Students may re-register for courses in which they received a “Z,” but the notation will not be changed by registering for the course, or by taking its equivalent elsewhere.


To audit a class means to take the class without receiving academic credit. A student may register for a class, with the permission of the instructor, as an auditor. A notation of “AU” appears on the student’s transcript. A student who has audited a course may not repeat the course for credit. Tuition is charged at the same rate as for courses taken for credit.

Note: For most undergraduate students, there rarely will be a situation in which it is advantageous to audit a class. Students who want to take a class without having it affect their GPA would be better advised to wait until their junior or senior year and take the class Pass/No Pass.

Pass/No Pass

Juniors and seniors who are in good standing may, with the approval of the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, take one elective course per semester on a Pass/No Pass (“P/NP”) basis. Transfer students, however, cannot take a class “P/NP” until their second semester of enrollment at GW; and, in any case, not before having a total of 60 credit hours.

No student may take more than four courses under this regulation. Students may, however, also receive grades of “P/NP” in courses for which such grades are normally given.

Once registered for a course which they later wish to take “P/NP,” the student must use a Registration Transaction Form and have the instructor's signature to drop the course for a letter grade, and add it again, indicating a grade choice of “P/NP.” Students cannot change grading status after the end of the eighth week of classes. Courses required for G-PAC or a student’s major or minor cannot be taken “P/NP.”

Pass/No Pass courses do not count toward the 15 credits needed for Dean's List.

Final Exam Policy

Final examinations for undergraduate courses are scheduled by the Office of the Registrar.  Final examination dates, times, and policies are posted on the Registrar's website and at the Registrar's Office in Colonial Central. 

University Policy Regarding Final Examination Conflicts:

The Faculty Senate has recommended the following guidelines regarding final examination conflicts:

  • If a student has three or more final examinations scheduled on the same day, one of the examinations may be rescheduled.
  • Rescheduling a final exam must take place three weeks prior to the last day of classes, and whenever possible the rescheduled examination should be rescheduled for during the examination period.
  • The rescheduling of the exam should be achieved in consultation with the instructors involved, and whenever possible it should be the student who selects which examination to reschedule.