Grading Standards


TO: Finance Faculty (regular, visiting, and adjunct faculty, and instructors)
FROM: David Yermack, Finance Dept. Chair; Richard Levich, Finance Dept. Deputy Chair
DATE: November 30, 2016
SUBJECT: Suggested MBA Grading Standards for the Finance Department

This memo lays out the Finance Department policy on suggested grading standards in the (full-time and Langone) MBA program effective Fall 2016 and reaffirms Department policies that go back more than 15 years.

At NYU Stern, we strive to create courses that challenge students intellectually and that meet the Stern standards of academic excellence. It is part of your responsibility as a faculty member to evaluate student understanding of the materials in your course with examinations or written assignments that are sufficiently demanding to reveal differential performance.

For the introductory courses, Foundations of Finance and Corporate Finance, for sections with enrollments of 20 students or more, we expect that a maximum of 35% of students will receive an “A” or “A-” grade. This policy is consistent with the Stern School guidelines for grading in core courses.

For all other courses, the Finance Department guidelines are that instructors should award grades of “A” or “A-” to approximately 35% of students in these courses. 

A reference to these guidelines should appear on your syllabus for the course so that students are aware of them.

Remember also that students must specifically request incomplete grades from the instructor and fill out the Request for Incomplete Grade form before the last day of class. Only the instructor has the authority to grant incomplete grades, and there are strict time limits on students to complete course work or else the incomplete grade will lapse. We strongly suggest that you limit the number of incomplete grades that you give in all courses to less than 5%.