There are two grading options for MUSI 212: it may be taken
either for a grade, or for "credit/no-credit" (CR/NC).
What is "Credit/No Credit"?
This grading option awards credit hours without assigning
a standard letter grade. As its name indicates, there are two possible
grades: CR (credit) or NC (no credit). Neither grade is factored into
your Grade Point Average (GPA).
To explain how this works, imagine a course load of four
courses for 12 credit-hours. If you receive grades of A, B, C, and CR,
your GPA would be based on the average of the letter grades (in this case,
3.0). If you receive grades of A, B, C, and NC, your average would still
be 3.0, but you would be awarded only 9 credits for the semester.
Who should take the course CR/NC?
This is a difficult question to answer. There are usually
two considerations: course load and minimum GPA. If you are carrying a
heavy course load (either in numbers of credits or difficulty of required
courses), or if you feel you cannot allow your GPA to sink below a certain
level, you will probably benefit from taking this course CR/NC. You should
think of the Credit/No Credit grading option a kind of insurance policy,
freeing you in times of great stress to devote time and energy to other
classes without risking a low grade in this one.
What are the restrictions on the CR/NC option?
This varies from school to school (see the Undergraduate
Arts and Sciences:
CR/NC courses may not be used to satisfy area requirements.
No more than 2 CR/NC courses may be taken in any given semester, and no
more than 24 CR/NC credit-hours may be applied toward the degree.
Only one CR/NC elective per semester.
CR/NC courses taken before admission to the Commerce school
may count toward the degree. After admission: CR/NC courses cannot be
applied toward the degree, and must be taken as an "overload" (above 15
Only courses outside the degree program may be taken CR/NC.
Only 6 credits of CR/NC courses.
What is the deadline for changing my grading option?
For most schools, the deadline for changing the grading
option is the add deadline. For Engineering and Education, the deadline
is the drop deadline. Please note: officials in any school are very unlikely
to approve petitions to change grading options after these deadlines.
They will usually allow for computer errors, but will expect you to file
for corrections early in the semester, after you receive your final course
What do I need to do to get a CR?
My official policy is that the minimum threshold for CR
is equivalent to the letter grade of D. But be forewarned: the CR/NC option
offers no protection to those students who neglect basic course requirements.
Every semester I give out the NC grade to students whose work fails to
rise above the threshold.
How many students take this course CR/NC?
On average, about 20-35% of the total enrollment. My sense
is that those who didn't take the course CR/NC but wish they had greatly
outnumber those who did, but wish they hadn't (i.e., because their work
would have qualified them for an A or B).
What are some typical grading distributions?
What follows is the actual grading distribution for a recent
Grading breakdown: MUSI 212, Spring 1997 (436 students)
Here is the grading distribution for the same semester,
omitting CR/NC grades:
Grading breakdown: MUSI 212, Spring 1997, omitting CR/NC
grades (288 students):