Understanding grades, credits, and academic terms - New Saint Andrews College

Grade system, credits, & academic termsIMG_4999-Edit

Understanding the NSA Grading System

The grading system at New Saint Andrews employs a unique terminology; the chart below is a translation guide to that of other grading systems.


Mark4.0 EquivalentLetter EquivalentPercentageLatinEnglish
SCL4.0A94.0 – 100Summa Cum LaudeWith Greatest Praise
CL3.7A-90.0 – 93.9Cum LaudeWith Praise
SCH3.3B+87.0 – 89.9Summo Cum HonoreWith Greatest Honor
CH3.0B84.0 – 86.9Cum HonoreWith Honor
MCH2.7B-80.0 – 83.9Minimo Cum HonoreWith Lesser Honor
SCS2.3C+77.0 – 79.9Summa Cum SufficientiaWith Greatest Adequacy
CS2.0C74.0 – 76.9Cum SufficientiaWith Adequacy
MCS1.7C-70.0 – 73.9Minima Cum SufficientiaWith Lesser Adequacy
M0F00.0 – 69.9MinimeNot Adequate
AUDAUDAudit; no credit
IPIPIn Progress

 New Saint Andrews College has four 8-week terms in each academic year, August through May. Two NSA terms are the equivalent of a traditional college semester. Full time status is 6 credits per term. The average student enrolls in 8 credits per term. Academic credits at NSA are the equivalent of traditional semester credit hours based on contact hours plus outside class hours of work. See the chart on the back of this page for a detailed comparison of the 2-credit course workload in a typical NSA 8-week term with a 2-credit workload required in the typical 16-week semester.


Academic Terms and Course Credits

Terms in the Academic Year

The academic year at New Saint Andrews is divided into four eight-week terms, each named after a great council of the Christian church. The first is Jerusalem Term, named for the great council recorded in Acts 15 that confronted the heresy of the Judaizers. The second is called Nicea Term, deriving its name from the council held in A.D. 325 that definitively addressed disputes regarding the Trinity. The third is Chalcedon Term, named after the council which convened in A.D. 451 to address Christological controversies. The fourth is Westminster Term, named for the assembly of divines that met in London from 1643 to 1652 and produced one of the great systematic expressions of the Reformed faith. Full time status at New Saint Andrews is 6 (semester) credits per term. The average NSA student enrolls in 8 (semester) credits per term. Two NSA terms are the equivalent of a traditional 16-week college semester and NSA students average 16 (semester) credits during that period.


Weeks in the Academic Term

Each academic term consists of eight weeks: seven weeks of study (lecture, recitations, declamations, readings, etc.), and an eighth week for examinations. All students must sit for oral examinations (unless the course instructor is granted permission by the Dean to offer a written component during the examination schedule because of the nature of the subject studied, for pedagogical reasons, or personal circumstances).


Days in the Academic Week

Each academic week consists of two (or three) lecture days and three days of small group recitations. Instructors deliver 2-hour lectures with orientations to the required student readings early in the week (usually Monday or Tuesday, sometimes Wednesday) and hold 1-hour small group Recitations (with 4 to 8 students in each section) Wednesday through Friday. Readings and out-of-class assignments are expected to take a minimum of 13 hours per week per class to complete. Some classes, like Classical Rhetoric, hold Declamations in which all students enrolled meet to give public oral presentations before their instructors and their peers.


Academic Credit for Coursework at New Saint Andrews College

All New Saint Andrews College course credits are calculated as semester credit-hours. Most courses at New Saint Andrews are worth 2 (semester) credit hours. NSA courses typically require a minimum of three faculty-student contact hours, plus 13 hours of outside class work consisting of substantial reading assignments and written work. The total minimum number of hours of in-class and outside-of-class work for each NSA 2-credit class is 128 hours per NSA 8-week term, the same as the typical college 16-week semester 2-credit class. See the chart below for a comparison of NSA’s 8-week term 2-credit classes workload and the typical college semester 2-credit class workload:

TWO-CREDIT COURSES: A comparison of a typical college’s 16-Week Semester and NSA’s 8-Week Term
Typical College 16-Week SemesterWk 1Wk2Wk3Wk4Wk5Wk6Wk7Wk8Wk9. . . .Wk16Total Hrs
2-Cr Course Contact Hrs/Wk222222222. . . .232
Study Time Outside-Class Hrs/Wk666666666. . . .696
Total Contact Hours + Study Time for 2 CR.888888888. . . .8128
New Saint Andrews 8-Week TermWk 1Wk2Wk3Wk4Wk5Wk6Wk7Wk8Total Hrs
2-Cr Course Contact Hrs/Wk3333333324
Study Time Outside-Class Hrs/Wk1313131313131313104
Total Contact Hours + Study Time for 2 CR.1616161616161616128