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Grading System and Official Records

Grading System

The course marks used in the Divinity School are A, B, C, D, P, F, and I or NGR. The marks A, B, C, D, with or without + or - modifiers, and the mark P are passing marks for courses in which students have registered for course credit.

The mark F indicates unsatisfactory work and carries no course credit.

The mark I  indicates that the student registered for course credit but has not submitted all the evidence required for a qualitative grade, and has made satisfactory arrangements with the instructor to complete the work. The mark I is given only under special circumstances, and the final determination to do so rests with the instructor. The policy in the Divinity School is that grades of I may be replaced with a letter grade up to one year following the completion of the course. After one year, the I becomes permanent, and any grade submitted will be placed next to the I.  Students who wish to be eligible for federal student loans are only able to employ the incomplete policy with a grade of I.  

The Divinity School does not allow students to register for audit credit (grade of "R"). Students may observe classes without credit, with permission of the instructor.

Masters levels students (M.A. or M.Div.) with more than three Incompletes on their transcript at the beginning of a quarter may not register for that quarter. 

Satisfactory Academic Progress

All full-time students, following federal financial aid regulations, must be enrolled quarterly in course work and must maintain satisfactory academic progress in their program of study. Satisfactory academic progress for doctoral students is determined annually by the area faculty in the spring quarter for academic purposes and by the Student Loan Administration in the summer for federal loan eligibility in compliance with federal financial aid regulations. Satisfactory academic progress for students in  the M.A. and M.Div. programs is determined annually by the program for academic purposes and by the Student Loan Administration in the summer for federal loan eligibility in compliance with federal financial aid regulations. Satisfactory academic progress for students in the A.M.R.S. program  is determined quarterly by the program for academic purposes and quarterly by the Student Loan Administration for federal loan eligibility in compliance with federal financial aid regulations.

All doctoral students who are enrolled in fewer than 300 units (typically 3 courses) will be enrolled automatically in an "Advanced Studies" course, which will carry up to 300 units.

All students enrolled in this course must receive a grade for the course for every quarter and the grade will be recorded by the Dean of Students on behalf of the faculty advisor.  The grade to be assigned to this course will either be a grade of "satisfactory" (S) or "unsatisfactory" (U). 

For the autumn and winter quarters, the area’s faculty can determine whether the assigned grade will be either an "S" grade or whether the grade will be left blank until the spring quarter when the annual progress review is conducted by area faculty.  A grade of "U" is to be entered in a particular quarter if a student's academic advisor communicates to the Dean of Students that the student is not making satisfactory progress or if a student has not met specific academic requirements set by an area or the academic advisor. A student scheduled to graduate in a particular quarter is to be assigned a grade by the convocation grade deadline for that quarter.

The faculty advisor will communicate with the student who is not making satisfactory academic progress what the expectations are each quarter for the student to return to good academic standing. If at any time during the probationary period the student fails to meet specified expectations, the faculty will determine whether the student should be withdrawn from the program.

In general, students are making satisfactory academic progress when they have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 and have at least one passing grade entered per quarter enrolled. Students who receive a grade of I or NGR must complete coursework with a grade entered within one year of the quarter in which the course was taken. A Plan of Action for Incomplete Courses must be submitted to the Dean of Students if 1) a master's student has three or more incomplete grades, or 2) any student has not received a grade for coursework within one calendar year of the course enrollment.

To determine whether a student in a one-year masters program is making satisfactory progress and remains eligible for federal loans, by the end of each quarter grades must have been entered for all courses in which the student was enrolled.

For more information about the federal aid regulations and satisfactory academic progress, please see the Student Loan Administration's policy at:

Course Credits

A student who is registered for a course and successfully completes the requirements as prescribed by the instructor receives credit for the course on the records of the University. The student’s record, indicating the units of instruction successfully completed together with the marks received in the various courses, may be used for transferring course credits to another university.

Transfers Between Degree Programs

Because a student’s academic and professional interests can change, even at the doctoral level, the Divinity School provides procedures for transfers between degree programs. In general, transfers will be considered within the quarter they are presented. Any petition by a student to transfer to another program after admission but before registration is subject to review by the Committee on Admissions and Aid in consultation with the appropriate persons in the respective programs.

An enrolled student who wishes to transfer from one degree program to another should submit an application for transfer to the Dean of Students Office. The application must be approved by both the releasing and accepting programs.

In some circumstances, a Ph.D. student who already has had the course of study petition approved by the Committee on Degrees may wish to change the academic focus of that program from one to another of the ten areas of Ph.D. study. Such a change requires the submission of a new course of study petition outlining the revised course of Ph.D. study, and requesting transfer to the new area. Students should be advised that admission to the Ph.D. programs by specific area, and that petitions to transfer from one area to another require the approval of both areas and are not automatic. Financial aid for transfers is subject to review by the Committee on Admissions and Aid, which will take into account the recommendations of the releasing and accepting programs or areas of study.

Application for Degree

The University confers degrees at the conclusion of each academic quarter. A student who has completed the requirements of his or her degree program—M.A., A.M.R.S., M.Div., Ph.D.—may apply to receive the degree as soon as the next quarter.  

The University holds University-wide convocation ceremonies only in June of each year. However, degrees are conferred in Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer quarters.

To receive the degree, the student must file an application for degree online no later than the Friday of the first week of the quarter in which he or she expects to receive the degree. If the student does not receive the degree that quarter, a new application must be filed for the quarter in which it is next expected.

In some cases, a Ph.D. candidate may wish to apply to receive the degree prior to having received final approval of the dissertation from the dissertation reading committee. Ph.D. candidates should consult with their dissertation advisor and the Dean of Students about the advisability of making such application under the specific circumstances.

Ph.D. candidates who deposit the dissertation by the 7th week of one quarter with the intent to graduate in the next quarter may choose not be registered as students for that quarter in which they graduate.


A student may request a transcript of his or her academic record or certification of student status by contacting:

Office of the University Registrar
1427 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637
web site:

A lifetime fee for transcripts is assessed once upon matriculation.