Alverno's Grading System

Results, Rather Than Grades

The purpose of grades is to measure your academic success. But a single letter doesn’t tell you whether you have mastered the content for a course and know how to apply the theories in the real world. That’s why we don’t give traditional grades. Instead, teaching and learning at Alverno College are enhanced by assessment of your individual progress and by giving you meaningful feedback. Instead of a GPA, we give you something more valuable—it’s a narrative transcript. It is documentation that showcases growth, painting a detailed picture of your accomplishments for parents, graduate schools and employers.

We recognize and value the documented educational significance of narrative feedback and self-assessment to student learning.  We also want to open opportunities for our students in competitive scholarships, internships, employment, and advanced degrees where narrative transcripts are not easily communicated or recognized. To facilitate these opportunities, faculty submit grade equivalencies to the registrar at the end of each semester. Students can request to see these equivalencies by submitting a release form.  We recommend that students meet with their professional or faculty advisor before requesting their grade point equivalency to discuss the purpose of their request. Grade point equivalencies are not part of the official transcript but can be used in situations where this information is required. 

The collection of grade equivalencies is a service to the students pursuing scholarships and professional opportunities and never has been, nor will it be, a substitute for narrative feedback.



We care deeply about what is taught and how it is taught. We are world renowned for our teaching and learning methods, which are based on the content of your major area of study and specific abilities we know you will need through your personal and professional life.


We believe that the best learning occurs in an academic environment with a real-world approach. You will master the content of your major and minor in the classroom and also gain experience and skills through required internships.


We use various assessment tools to understand what you have learned. Your professors will guide the assessment process, but you will also assess yourself, a skill you will use long after you earn your degree.


Faculty members, peers and professionals constantly provide in-depth written and verbal feedback on assignments and projects. This feedback will allow you to understand how to capitalize on your strengths and how to improve your weaknesses.