Refer to the University Calendar for more details about the University of Alberta's evaluation procedures and grading system.

Fixed Grading

In the Fall 2016, the Undergraduate Program(s) in the Faculty of Nursing moved to a fixed grading scale. Faculties may define acceptable grading practices in their disciplines. Such grading practices must align with the University of Alberta Policies and Procedures Online (UAPPOL) and its procedures.

Refer to Fixed Grading for more information.

Foundational Minimum Pass (FMP)

In September 2018, the Faculty of Nursing implemented a minimum pass grade (C+) in foundational courses. As per the University Calendar, Academic Standing and Graduation under heading Academic Performance: 1b: "Students wishing to proceed in the Nursing program must achieve a grade of at least C+ in the foundational Nursing courses. A student who has not passed all foundational courses may not be able to progress. [...].

The following courses are designated Foundational Minimum Pass (FMP) courses:

  • After Degree: NURS 316, 334, 335, 344, 416
  • Bilingual: ANATE 140, MICRE 133, NURS 125, 216, PHSYE 152, SC INF 223
  • Collaborative: MMI 133, NURS 106, 116, 120, 124, 125, 216, 220
  • RPN to BScN: NURS 335, 344, 416

Refer to Foundational Minimum Pass for more information

Clinical Course Pass/Fail

In the Fall 2017, the Undergraduate Program(s) in the Faculty of Nursing amended all clinical courses before the fourth year to be assessed as a pass/fail rather than marked components. The grade is assigned to courses with P (Pass) or F (Fail) by assessing if students are meeting the competencies required for the clinical course. An unsatisfactory rating at the summative clinical evaluation will result in a failure of the course. Clinical failure is defined as consistent clinical behaviors that fail to demonstrate a level of competency within current placement in the program.

The following courses are designated pass/fail clinical Nursing courses:

  • After Degree: NURS 335, 345, 431, 433, 435, 437
  • Bilingual: NURS 110, 225, 321, 323, 325, SC INF 221, 327
  • Collaborative: NURS 221, 225, 321, 323, 325, 327
  • RPN to BScN: NURS 335, 345, 431, 433, 435, 437

Natural Breaks

Students who started in Fall 2015 have grades assigned based on a combination of absolute individual performance and performance relative to other students in the class. The relative performance component helps an instructor determine what letter grade will be assigned to the student's total term mark. Instructors consider the grade assignment guidelines provided by the University of Alberta Office of the Registrar and look for "natural breaks" in the list of total term marks received by students in a particular class. However, since we do not apply a standard bell curve, instructors are not required to assign certain letter grades or failing grades to a predetermined or specified portion of the class.

Assessment Types (natural breaks):

Student performance in lecture-based courses is evaluated using a combination of assignments and exams, which will vary depending on the specific course and instructor.

Tutorials (Seminars)

Student performance in tutorial courses is evaluated using a combination of exams, scholarly papers, and participation in group work (assignments, research, and discussions).


Student performance in the lab component of courses is evaluated using a combination of lab exams and the lab instructor's assessment of each student's participation, preparation, and skill proficiency (including nursing psychomotor skills, communication, and professionalism).

Clinical Placements

Student performance in clinical courses is evaluated using a combination of exams, assignments, and an evaluation of nursing practice or clinical performance from each student's clinical instructor.