Topics Map > Curricular Services
Topics Map > Data Services
Topics Map > Graduation
Topics Map > Enrollment
Topics Map > Credit Evaluation
Topics Map > Residency for Tuition
Topics Map > Student Information System (SIS)
Topics Map > Student Records
Topics Map > Grading
Topics Map > FERPA/Privacy

Transcript - Key/Legend


This document provides an overview of the grading system and breaks down the notations found on official transcripts.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Definition of an Official Transcript: An official transcript is one that has been received from a secure authenticated designated party or issuing institution. It must bear an institutional validation (such as a seal, logo, or watermark), date and signature of the University Registrar. Official transcripts are printed on security paper.  Transcripts received that do not meet these requirements should not be considered official.

Grading System

  • All credits are based on semester hours.
  • A 4.000 grading system is used.
  • Prior to 1954-55, a 3.00 grading system was used.
  • Intermediate grades of AB and BC were instituted as of September 1973.
  • Courses taken at external institutions are not included in the term or cumulative grade point averages at UW–Madison. Transfer work reflects the equivalent UW–Madison courses and the credit hours awarded.
  • In Spring 2020 and Spring 2021, UW–Madison approved a special Satisfactory-Disruption/University Disruption-No Credit (SD/UD) grading option in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In most cases, students were able to elect SD/UD grading, but some classes exclusively evaluated student work using SD/UD grading.
  • Courses, credits and grades attempted within the same career (e.g. Undergraduate, Graduate, Law, etc.) are all included in a student's GPA for that career.

Grades With Associated Grade Points Per Credit:

  • A (Excellent): 4
  • AB (Intermediate Grade): 3.5
  • B (Good): 3
  • BC (Intermediate Grade): 2.5
  • C (Fair): 2
  • D (Poor): 1
  • F (Failure): 0
  • NR (No Report (Prior to 1999)): 0

Grades Which Do Not Have Associated Grade Points:

  • CR: Credit
  • DEF: Deferred
  • DR: Dropped
  • EI: Extended Incomplete
  • EX: Excused
  • I: Incomplete
  • IF: Incomplete (Medical School Courses Only)
  • IN: Incomplete in Credit/No Credit Course
  • N: No Credit
  • NR: No Report (beginning in 1999)
  • NW: No Work
  • P: Progress
  • PE: Permanently Excused
  • PI: Permanent Incomplete
  • Q: Question on Credits
  • R: Registered
  • S: Satisfactory
  • SD: Satisfactory-Disruption
  • T: Transfer Credit Awarded
  • TI: Transfer in Progress (a final transcript has not yet been received)
  • U: Unsatisfactory
  • UD: University Disruption-No Credit
  • W: Withdrew

Abbreviations and Symbols

  • -: Failed course that has been repeated. Credits are not used to calculate cumulative GPA
  • #: Course taken on a pass/fail basis
  • *: Grades of Failure or No Report – Credits do not count toward degree
  • * With Name: Full name in body of transcript
  • ? On Credits: Question on credits
  • @: Repeat of a failed course
  • >: Course does not count toward degree
  • X: Repeat of a non-repeatable course
  • ¢: Credit/No Credit course in progress
  • ADV STG CRS: Credits not earned on UW–Madison campus
  • AU: Course taken for Audit credit
  • CRS: Number of credits
  • CUM: Cumulative totals
  • EARNED CRS: Total credits earned
  • GPA: Grade Point Average
  • GPA CR: Credits included in Grade Point Average calculation
  • GR: Grade received
  • H: Course taken for Honors credit
  • PTS: Grade Points
  • SUM: Semester/Term Totals

Year Level Definitions

  • 1 (Freshman): Fewer than 24 credits
  • 2 (Sophomore): 24 credits
  • 3 (Junior): 54 credits
  • 4 (Senior): 86 credits
  • 5/GR# (Graduate): A student pursuing a graduate degree
  • P#: Professional & Year

Course Numbering System

  • 000-099: Special Purposes Courses
  • 100-299: Undergraduate Courses
  • 300-699: Courses Open to Either Undergraduate or Graduate
  • 700-999: Graduate and Professional Courses Including Seminars

A middle digit of 8 (i.e. 181) indicates an honors course. Honors courses are denoted by a text line beneath the course.


Undergraduate students in Letters and Science must remove the grade of I (Incomplete) by the end of the fourth week of classes in the next semester (excluding summer) the student is in attendance.

All other undergraduate students and most special students must remove the Incomplete by the end of the next semester they are in attendance.

Incompletes that are not removed by the deadline dates lapse into a grade of F (Failure). The deadlines for removal of Incompletes may be extended with approval of the student’s Dean’s Office.

Graduate and professional students are not subject to the above Incomplete deadline.

Students who are not in attendance for a five-year period after an Incomplete is received may not remove the Incomplete without permission from the Student’s Dean’s Office. These Incompletes remain on the record as Permanent Incompletes and do not lapse into failure.

Law School Grades

The Law School has its own grading scale.

Law students entering in 2005 and thereafter are given letter grades of:

  • A+
  • A
  • A-
  • B+
  • B
  • B-
  • C+
  • C
  • C-
  • D+
  • D
  • D-
  • F

Law students who entered in 1992 through 2004 were graded on a numerical scale of 65 through 95. Letter grade equivalents during that time period are as follows:

  • A: 87-95
  • AB: 85-86
  • B: 83-84
  • BC: 80-82
  • C: 77-79
  • D: 70-76
  • F: 65-69

From 1970 to 1992, the following grading system and letter grade equivalents were used:

  • A: 87-100
  • B: 82-86
  • C: 77-81
  • D: 70-76
  • F: 0-69

Detailed information concerning Law grades is available from the University of Wisconsin Law School's Registrar’s Office.

School of Medicine and Public Health

Detailed information concerning a student’s grades, relative class standing, and clinical performance is available upon request of the student from the UW–Madison School of Medicine and Public Health's Student Services Office.

The grade of IF is available only to medical students in School of Medicine and Public Health courses.

The Honors Program

Some Schools and Colleges have developed special Honors programs that replace or supplement the designation of awards based on grade point average alone.

These programs encourage and recognize work of greater depth, scope, and originality by undergraduate whose abilities and interests make them eligible. The content and pace of honors courses are adapted to student who have chosen to do intensive work (either of an accelerated or enriched nature) in the subjects.

The programs are entirely voluntary.


If this section of the transcript displays, it contains additional information about the student record. When instruction was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, a transcript notation was added for students enrolled in any of the impacted terms.

Transcript from Other Institutions

The University of Wisconsin–Madison does not issue copies of transcripts or other documents received from other institutions, including those from the University of Wisconsin–Extension.

Recording of UW Work Prior to January 1972

Prior to January 1972, all courses and grades for work taken within the former University of Wisconsin System (UW–Madison, UW–Milwaukee, UW–Green Bay, UW–Parkside, UW Centers, and UW–Extension) were recorded on one record and may appear on this transcript.

Keywords25Live, add, change, course (courses, class), course search and enroll, dars (DARS), degree (degrees, degree planner), drop, gpa (GPA), hold, honors, indicators, name, permission, plan (plans, planner), record (records), requisite (prerequisite), schedule (scheduler), sis (SIS), swap, textbook (textbooks), transcript, transfer, wait (waitlist, wait list), withdraw (withdrawal)   Doc ID102294
OwnerDanielle C.GroupOffice of the Registrar
Created2020-05-21 11:39:35Updated2024-01-23 15:05:36
SitesDoIT Help Desk, Office of the Registrar
Feedback  5   10