In the first semester, students are generally assigned an SP (Satisfactory Performance) and their grade is later changed to the letter grade received on the final project. Faculty may assign students an INC in the first semester to be changed in the second semester to signal the work thus far has not met expectations. 

Recommended Standards for Grading Capstone Projects

Faculty advisers are asked to develop their own set of evaluative criteria (‘rubric’), and share and discuss it with students on their team. Students should be proactive about determining the adviser’s rubric. Projects should be graded fairly with the understanding that this is a long-term research project and unsatisfactory work is unacceptable. Rubrics will likely include some weighted combination of the following:

  • Quality of primary project methodology.
  • Depth/quality of background research.
  • Spirit of teamwork and collaboration.
  • Ability of an individual student to set and meet deadlines and participate fully in the project.
  • Originality/innovativeness.
  • Engagement with the community (-ies).
  • Quality of early report draft.
  • Quality of mid-year presentation.
  • Quality of final written report.
  • Quality of final presentation.

Please note: all students in a single group do not need to receive the same grade. Students who clearly participated less to the team effort can be assigned a lower grade. Likewise if a single team member is carrying the weight of the project, a higher grade may be assigned. 

Sample Rubric (please note this is just an example, advisors can grade on different scales)

(0-2 pt)
Below Satisfactory
Exceeded (8-9pt)
Background Research
Individual Contribution
Community Engagement
Mid-Year Progress
Mid-Year Presentation
Final Report
Final Presentation
Total Out of 100=

Sample Graduate Grade Equivalencies:

A+ 97-100; A 93-96; A- 90-92; B+ 87-89; B 83-86; B- 80-82 ; C+ 77-79; C 73-76; C- 70-72; F 0-69