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College of Engineering Grade Policies at UM


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Does anyone know if instructors can easily assign letter grades of C+ or below for Chemical engineering courses at the University of Michigan. I heard through the grape vine the that it is hard for a student to receive lower than a B-. 

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Generally at the grad level, since the focus is on research - a lot of emphasis is not placed into grading course work. Usually the cohort has a sufficient enough background that most of the material is review - which means that most students tend to get B's or higher. Now it would be possible to get a C+, but you would have to really be putting very little effort into your work - plus most grad programs have limits on the minimum passing grade one can receive and still be on good academic standing. 

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Thanks. However, the definition of an "average student" bothers me a little in this case. At this institution a student is required to take 2 courses outside of their field of study. For example, an inorganic chemistry student might have to take a mechanical engineering course that has nothing to do with their proposed field of study. Therefore their experience in this class might be a little deficient and most of the topics would be new. If you work really hard and consistently work with the professor to understand the material yet still seem to score low on the midterm and final would you still agree with your above statement? Thanks in advance!

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Thanks. However, the definition of an "average student" bothers me a little in this case. At this institution a student is required to take 2 courses outside of their field of study. For example, an inorganic chemistry student might have to take a mechanical engineering course that has nothing to do with their proposed field of study. Therefore their experience in this class might be a little deficient and most of the topics would be new. If you work really hard and consistently work with the professor to understand the material yet still seem to score low on the midterm and final would you still agree with your above statement? Thanks in advance!

 

I'm not a U Michigan, but I think your example is a little extreme. Usually when graduate programs require you to take courses "outside your field of study", they don't mean something like a chemistry student taking a mech eng. course! From my experience, this likely means that if you are an astronomer studying planet formation, you might be expected to take other courses such as electromagnetism. It's really weird if an astronomy student had to take e.g. inorganic chemistry. Most astronomy graduate students would not have the right undergrad pre-reqs to take any graduate chemistry class!!

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I'm at U of M and my roommate is an engineer. The "taking courses outside of your normal course of study" is true not just for graduate engineering, but for the entire university. Nearly my entire History of Ancient War course is full of engineers, grad and undergrad. If you feel this might be a problem for you, I would encourage you to talk to your future advisor or the department.

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As a possible answer to my own question, it would seem as though professors can easily give a grade of a C in a course. Per a website known as www.myedu.com 22% of the students in a particular professor's class in engineering received a grade of a C, C+, or C- in 2012. 38% A, A+, or A-.. 38% B, B+, or B-.

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