Grading: Standards and Examinations


Grading Standards

According to SANS Technology Institute policy, the following grades are used:

  • A (90-100) = excellent
  • B (80-89) = good
  • C (70-79) = passing
  • D The Institute does not award the grade of D
  • F (69 or below) = failure
The grade of A

Only graduate students who fully meet the benchmark standard and also demonstrate exceptional comprehension and application of the course subject matter earn a grade of A.

The grade of B

Faculty will award the grade of B to indicate that the student has demonstrated competency in the subject matter of the course, e.g., has fulfilled all course requirements on time, has a clear grasp of the full range of course materials and concepts, and is able to present and apply these materials and concepts in clear, well-reasoned, well-organized, and grammatically correct responses, whether written or oral.

The grades of C and F

Students who do not meet the benchmark standard of competency fall within the C range or lower. They, in effect, have not met graduate-level standards. Where this failure is substantial, they can earn an F.

Incomplete (I)

The grade of Incomplete (I) is an exception and is given only to students whose completed coursework has been qualitatively satisfactory, but who have been unable to complete all course requirements because of illness or other extenuating circumstances beyond their control. Students must request an incomplete grade from their faculty member. Faculty members, however, are not required to grant the request. Students with a mark of I must arrange to fulfill course responsibilities at a later time. If they do not complete the course responsibilities within 12 months, their incomplete grade will be automatically converted to F.

Grade-Point Averages

Final grades are used to calculate the student's grade-point average (GPA). Cumulative (not individual semester) GPAs are included on SANS Technology Institute transcripts.


Students are responsible for obtaining information about quizzes, examination schedules and policies. All exams taken for the purpose of obtaining credit must be proctored. We ask students to complete their exams within 14 days from the time a student is authorized to take the exam. Students may request longer times, up to a total of 120 days, and such requests will generally be granted when the student has a substantial time conflict. All exams are open book, which reflects the philosophy of the SANS Technology Institute that a leader knows how and where to find answers.