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Units and Semester Hours

Academic Calendar

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Transylvania uses a modified calendar called a “4-4-1 system.” Under this calendar the academic year is divided into three parts: two regular terms (fall and winter) and a one-month term in May. Ordinarily, students take four courses during fall and winter terms and one course in May term. Academic regulations are stated, and progress toward the degree is measured by courses rather than by credit hours. The basic curricular measure is the course unit. One unit is considered to be the equivalent to four semester hours.

Course Numbering System

Courses are numbered as follows to indicate levels of difficulty and degrees of specialization:

  • 1000 series courses, for the most part, cover a wide range of material and serve as introductions to a particular discipline. Generally appropriate for first-year students.

  • 2000 series courses are more specific in focus than 1000 series; they may require some previous knowledge of a subject. Generally appropriate for sophomores.

  • 3000 series courses are clearly upper-level courses that require significant background in a field and may have specific prerequisites. Generally appropriate for juniors and seniors.

  • 4000 series courses require extensive background in a field and usually have prerequisites. Generally appropriate for juniors and seniors.

Grading Practices

The guidelines for evaluating a student's performance in a course are as follows:

  • A for excellent work
  • B for good work
  • C for satisfactory work
  • D for minimally passing work
  • F for unsatisfactory/failing work

Grade point average (GPA) is the ratio of quality points (QP) to grade units attempted and is calculated by using the formula GPA = QP ÷ Graded units attempted. Only Transylvania standard grades are used in GPA calculations.


For grades earned subsequent to September 1998, the following quality points scheme is used:

A+, A = 4.0
A- = 3.67
B+ = 3.33
B= 3.0
B- = 2.67
C+ = 2.33
C = 2.0
C- = 1.67
D+ = 1.33
D = 1.0
D- = 0.67
F = 0.0

Prior to September 1998, the quality points were earned based on the following grade-point scheme:

A+, A, A- = 4.0
B+, B, B- = 3.0
C+, C, C- = 2.0
D+, D, D- = 1.0
F = 0.0

The following grades may be assigned but are not used in calculating grade-point average:

  • I - Incomplete
  • W - Withdrawal
  • WU - Withdrawal from university
  • CR - Credit (pass/fail)
  • NC - No Credit (pass/fail)
  • AU - Audit
  • NR - No Report from Instructor
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