MBA/MAcc/MM/MSCM/MBAn: Grading Scales & Distribution

Grading Policy for coursework taken in the Business School

The faculty of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business use a five-level grading scale for all MBA, MAcc, MSCM, MM and MBAn students:

Academic Performance

Faculty will assess student performance according to the following:

  • Excellent (EX): Performance that is of superior quality.
  • Good (GD): Performance that exceeds the standard requirements of the course.
  • Pass (PS): Performance that meets the standard requirements of the course.
  • Low Pass (LP): Performance that minimally meets the standard requirements of the course.
  • Fail (F): Performance that does not satisfy the minimal requirements of the course and is deficient on significant dimensions. No credit toward the degree will be granted for the grade of “Fail,” but the grade will be used to evaluate academic standing.

Grade Distribution Guidelines for Academic Year 2023-2024

Core Courses

  • No more than 25% of students will receive a grade of EX and no more than 60% will receive a grade of GD or higher.
  • A minimum of 5% of students are required to receive a grade of LP or below. Faculty can assign a greater percentage of grades in this range based on student performance. 

 Elective Courses

  • No more than 35% of students will receive a grade of EX and no more than 75% will receive a grade of GD or higher. 
  • Faculty will use the full distribution based on student performance, including assigning Low Pass and Fail grades if student performance warrants it.


  • There are no honor points associated with the grade designations and no grade point averages appear on transcripts.
  • Some courses may be graded under other university school or college guidelines, and some may be graded on a mandatory Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit basis.
  • All graduate students enrolled in Ross courses, regardless of their campus degree program, will receive grades consistent with Ross policy (i.e., EX, GD, PS, LP or F).
  • A separate grade distribution is employed for EMBA students. Please contact the EMBA office for further information.

Grades for Coursework taken in other University Units

Grades appear on the transcript in accordance with the grading system designated for that course. The grading systems used in the university and accepted for Business Administration graduate level students are letter (“A” through “E”), mandatory Pass/Fail, and mandatory Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (refer to the Grade Modification Policy for more details). For the purpose of evaluating academic standing, graduate-level grades from Rackham and other University of Michigan schools will be treated as follows:

  • A+, A, A- = Excellent
  • B+, B, B- = Good
  • C+, C, C- = Pass
  • D+, D, D- = Low Pass
  • E, ED, F, NR = Fail 

International Exchange Program

Once students have accepted their spot within the MBA Global Semester Exchange program, they are required to enroll into a BUSABRD placeholder course at Ross during their term abroad. This course is listed as Pass/Fail. Students must pass each of their courses per the host school’s grading scale. In the event that a student receives a failing grade, they will not receive the proportionate number of Ross credits for that course, and it will be recorded as a Fail on their transcript. Students on exchange are required to register for a full load of credits at the host school. Students studying abroad at a Winter A school may earn 6–9 credits, depending on the host school. Students studying abroad for the full term may earn 8–15 credits, depending on the host school.

Note that each school has its own definition of full load/full time, so participating students are encouraged to review their course electives with their Ross Global Education Advisor and host school advisors before registering for classes at the host institution. Students must only register for business electives at the host institution; credit is not accepted for non-business courses.

Incomplete (I), No Report (NR), or Blank Grades

When part of the work of a particular course is not completed at the end of a term, a mark of “I” may be recorded, provided the quality of the work actually completed is at least of PS quality or better. This includes instances when a faculty member may approve delaying a final project or paper, or when an instructor may allow a later final exam. This also includes instances where the student provides documentation (medical or other)of the reason for the incomplete. The “I” grade simply denotes that the course was finished later than the normal class deadline. In all instances, once the work is complete and evaluated, the “I” will remain on the student’s record with the final grade appended (ex. “IGD”).

Grades of “I” must be resolved and corrected within four weeks following the last day of classes of the term in which they were earned. If the grades are not corrected within this period, they are automatically lapsed to fail (“ILF”). These failing grades will stand unless the instructor allows the student to complete all requirements at a later time. When the instructor submits a final grade for an incomplete course, the “I” will remain on the transcript.

If not replaced by a passing grade, “NR” (no report) notations will also lapse to “ED” (fail) four weeks after the end of the term. A notation of “I” or “NR” is calculated in academic honors as a failing grade. A notation of “Y”, “##”, or a missing grade will lapse to “ED” one year after the end of the term, at which point it will be computed into academic standing as a failing grade.

Dispute of Final Grades

After a faculty member determines a final grade, a student may feel it is necessary or appropriate to dispute that grade. Students should review the Ross procedures for student disputes with an instructor, and proceed to the first step: discussing the issue with the instructor (in person).