The UW Flexible Option program at UW-Milwaukee is organized as distinct courses made up of a series of competences, or identified skills and knowledge, that must be mastered and successfully demonstrated in order to advance toward your degree or certificate completion. Mastery is demonstrated through assessments. Depending on the content covered, your assessments can range from objective exams to essays to recorded presentations to interviews to case study analyses.
When you complete an assessment, your work is considered for mastery. When all assessments within a given course show that you have achieved mastery, you will have completed your set. In some cases, you may need more than one attempt to demonstrate mastery of a particular competency or assessment. Visit the Student Resource Center for your program of study and click on the Repeating a Course link to learn more about the repeat policy.
At the conclusion of each subscription period, a letter grade is assigned to reflect your level of mastery in each course. In addition to traditional letter A-F letter grades, you may see a PR grade. The PR grade may be given to a student who has shown progress in mastering one or several competencies within a given set, but who may not have attempted all assessments. Assigning the PR vs. a standard A-F letter grade is at the discretion of the instructor. The PR grade only can be assigned to a student’s initial enrollment in a competency set.
Click on any of the following headings to learn more about the grades used in this program.
Students who successfully complete all competencies in the set, or students who do not successfully complete any competencies in the set. The A-F (A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, and F) letter grade may be used for students who successfully complete some but not all competencies in a set, although the PR grade is also an option for these students.
Students who successfully complete at least one but not all competencies in the set. The PR grade does not earn any credit for the student nor does it count toward the student’s GPA, but it does count as an attempt for repeat purposes. Students who receive a PR grade are able to re-enroll in the competency set during any future subscription period (i.e., it does not need to be the immediate subsequent period), however, they are not eligible to earn a PR attempt again. This grade is permanent but does not count toward degree attainment or calculation of grade point average.
While continuous enrollment in a course with a PR grade is not required, you must demonstrate progress towards mastery by re-enrolling in the course (retake).
Grading scales and use of the PR can vary somewhat and may be applied differently by instructors. It is important that you read through your syllabi and assessment descriptions carefully so that you fully understand the expectations of your course and what determines mastery. Your Academic Success Coach can assist in helping you fully understand expectations of a course.
- Assigning a PR grade vs. a standard letter grade is at the discretion of the instructor, per the UWM faculty motion that approved the grade.
- The PR grade can only be assigned to a student’s initial enrollment in a competency set; all subsequent enrollments require a standard letter grade or Incomplete.
Students who were on track to complete all competencies in the set but, due to extraordinary circumstances (e.g. family/medical emergencies), were unable to do so may receive an Incomplete (I) grade. Students who earned a “I” grade do not re-enroll in the course, but they are required to complete their remaining requirements during the next consecutive subscription period or the grade will lapse to an F.
A grade of W (Withdrawn) is a permanent grade assigned if you drop a course between the 26th and 48th day of the subscription period. Withdrawals are not awarded after the 48th day of the subscription period. Consult the Academic Calendar for the exact dates of your subscription period.
- Last day to drop a course without receiving a “W” grade is the 25th day of the subscription period. Note: Beyond this date, it is still possible to drop a course, but a student will receive a “W” and this will appear on the official student record – see next item below.
- Last day to drop a course with a “W” on the student record is the 48th day of the subscription period.
Grade Point Average (GPA) for UW-Milwaukee
As in traditional learning, your final grades will result in a grade point average, or GPA. A student will earn both a subscription period grade point average and a cumulative grade point average, which is the culmination of all grades received for your work at your institution.
How a GPA is Calculated
Each grade earned in a given course corresponds to a grade point value.
Current grade point values (on a 4 point scale) are:
A = 4.00
A- = 3.67
B+ = 3.33
B = 3.00
B- = 2.67
C+ = 2.33
C = 2.00
F = 0.00
Note: Grades below a C are generally not given in UW Flexible Option, as they are normally not considered passing.
Calculating a subscription period GPA
Multiply the number of credits for each course by the grade point value corresponding to the grade you earned. Do this for each course. Then add up all totals and divide by the total number of credits in which you enrolled for that subscription period. The result will be your subscription period grade point average.
GPA Example: You are enrolled in ENG 102X, HIS 102X and MAT 105X, for a total of 9 credits.
At the end of the subscription period, your level of mastery earned grades were A, B+ and A-.
- ENG 102 (3 credits) A = 12 grade points
- HIS 102 (3 credits) B+ = 9.99 grade points
- MAT 105 (3 credits) A- = 11.01 grade points
12 + 9.99 + 11.01 = 33
33÷ 9 = 3.6 GPA
Calculating a cumulative GPA
Follow the process above for calculating a subscription period GPA but for a cumulative GPA you will count ALL the credits and grades points earned at that institution and then divided that number by the total number of credits enrolled at that institution. The result will be your cumulative university GPA.
Administrative Note Regarding GPA and Prior UW Coursework:
Beginning July 2019, the calculation of the university GPA for new students admitted to the UW Flexible Option program included all prior coursework taken at both UW-Milwaukee (UWM) and the UW Colleges. With this prior coursework from UWM and UW Colleges calculated into your university GPA, students who are admitted to the UW Flexible Option program may begin their program on probation (if their cumulative GPA is below 2.00).
- Former UWC Grades Earned: count toward AAS GPA but does NOT count toward a baccalaureate degree program
- Prior UWM Grades Earned: count towards the university GPA in all degree programs
- Non-UWC/UWM Transfer Grades Earned: Does NOT count towards the university GPA
Your GPA and Dual Enrollment
It is important to know that grade point averages are institutionally based; that is, they are calculated only on those courses taken at a particular institution. This means that if you are enrolled in more than one institution at the same time, you will earn a subscription period GPA and cumulative GPA for each institution through which courses are being completed. Grade point averages are calculated and transcribed separately for each institution attended.
Your GPA and Academic Actions
There may be times when you have difficulty achieving mastery. If your grade point average falls below minimum university-wide standards for any subscription period, it is important to know you will be subject to academic action. Academic action could become a serious matter if not well-understood. Visit the Student Resource Center for your program of study and click on the Academic Action Policy link learn about your institution’s policy and how you can remain in good standing.
Still Have Questions?
We are here to help! If you need additional help in understanding what is meant by mastery, or the role that grades play in UW Flexible Option, contact your Academic Success Coach.