Skip To Content

Athabasca University

Examinations and Grades

6.2.1 Grading Policy

Effective January 1, 2003, Athabasca University adopted the province-wide alpha/4.0 grading system to report undergraduate final grades. Courses with start dates of January 1, 2003, and later use an alpha grading scale. For courses with start dates before January 1, 2003, the percentage grading scale is used.

For individual courses, the alpha scale uses letter grades ranging from A+ through F to reflect a student’s performance and knowledge of the materials covered. Overall academic performance is reported using the 4.0 grade-point average (GPA) scale. A grade point is a value between 0 and 4.00 that is assigned to a grade (alpha or percentage). The grade-point average is a weighted average of all the courses a student has taken with AU.

The passing grade for AU undergraduate courses taken before December 31, 2002, is 50 per cent unless otherwise stipulated in the course outline/syllabus. For courses started January 1, 2003, and later, the passing grade is the equivalent to a D unless otherwise stipulated in the course outline/syllabus. Grade-Point Average

A grade-point average is calculated for all AU undergraduate transcripts. All courses listed on your transcript have a grade and are included in the cumulative grade-point average calculation.

For each course taken, the transcript will display the course grade (percentage or alpha) as well as its corresponding 4-point grade value. All failing grades, excluding WF (Withdrawal Failure) and U (Failure: in courses using pass/fail grade mode), are calculated into the cumulative average. For courses started before December 31, 2002, the actual percentage grade earned by a student for a failed course is also shown on the transcript. For courses started before September 1989, the passing grade is 60 per cent unless stipulated otherwise. Grades for courses using the pass/fail grade mode are not included in the GPA calculation. Notification of Marks and Grades

Unofficial final grades can be viewed in Gradebook in the myAU portal. It can take five to seven days from the time your final grade appears in Gradebook until the final grade is entered into the student information system. If the final grade appears in the PDF document when you preview your transcript online, then the final grade is entered in the student information system and you can order a transcript. For each course you complete, the Office of the Registrar will provide a statement of the final grade that you achieved and the credits you earned.

If you are transferring your courses to another institution, please determine the receiving institution’s deadlines and ensure you allow adequate time for your grades to be processed and sent. Questions Regarding Marks

Questions about your midterm marks may be directed to your Academic Centre or tutor. You must identify yourself before AU staff will release unofficial marks or grades over the telephone. Marks and grades released over the telephone have no official standing.

The Office of the Registrar provides statements of your composite grade (final grade) achieved in courses and the credits earned for each course completed. Your course composite grade cannot be calculated until all the course requirements (e.g., labs, assignments, essays, tests, quizzes, and examinations) have been completed, submitted, and marked. Final Grade Processing

We recommend that you write your examination and complete and submit all your assignments at least six weeks before the date your final grade is required.

If you are transferring your courses to another institution, please ask about the receiving institution’s deadlines and ensure that you allow adequate time for your grades to be processed and sent. Incomplete Course Work

Before December 31, 2002, students who were unable to complete a course by the course contract end date and did not request a course extension or a course withdrawal were awarded a grade of 0F (Zero Failure).

After January 1, 2003, students who are unable to complete their course by the course contract end date and do not request a course extension or a course withdrawal are awarded a grade of F (Failure) or U (Failure: for courses using pass/fail grade mode).

For courses that have mandatory components (e.g., quizzes, assignments, or minimum grades on all assignments or quizzes), these components must be completed to pass the course. A mark of zero on such a component may result in a failing grade being assigned to the course. You are strongly advised to carefully read the course evaluation scheme in the course syllabus.

Some courses, especially those with lab components, are offered only at specific times of the year and are exempt from this policy. For more information, contact the Academic Centre that offers the course.


Information effective Sept. 1, 2019 to Aug. 31, 2020.

Updated July 24 2019 by laurab

AU, CANADA'S OPEN UNIVERSITY, is an internationally recognized leader in online and distance learning.