Academic Policies

Grading System

Table of Contents

In order to stimulate students to reach their maximum potential in a healthy competitive environment, as well as to obtain rigorous information on their performance during the program, IE University implements the Assessment System detailed below.

Each course will be assessed according to the criteria determined by the professor and confirmed by Program Management (PM). At the beginning of the course, professors will inform students of the criteria they will use, detailing it in the syllabus of their course. At the end of the course, students will have access to their grades through Blackboard Ultra (online campus).

Course assessment and grading components

Throughout the program, different assessment activities are used (such as exams, presentations, reports, case analyses, simulations, etc.). Due to the collaborative philosophy of the program, individual contribution in the classroom is a fundamental component in all courses – both main and elective – which must represent between 20% and 40% of the final grade. In turn, other individual supervisory methods – such as individual exams or reports – must comprise between 20% and 40% of the final grade, so that individual contributions reach a minimum of 50%. The remaining percentage of the final grade will consist of assessments obtained from the contribution of the working group. Workshop-type pedagogical activities will be graded with NGS / NGU (Non Graded Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory) and may have different assessment criteria.

Course Attendance

For in-person progams, students should attend their live, in-person sessions on campus.

According to IE University policy, attendance is mandatory; bachelor’s and master’s degree students are expected to attend 100% of the sessions as attendance is an essential component of IE’s learning methdology. For this reason, we monitor attendance closely and have established a policy for exceptional reasons for absence.

This policy applies to any type of session as planned in the syllabus: live in-person, asynchronous, and live online. Students attending less than 80% of sessions will receive a FAIL for the course. For bachelor-degree programs, this fail will apply to the ordinary and extraordinary calls of the current academic year. For master-degree programs, students must obtain a Low Pass in the subject’s retake, or they will face program expulsion.

The professor will monitor attendance to asynchronous sessions and such attendance will count the same way as synchronous sessions. As asynchronous sessions involve activitities or assignments, the professor will monitor the completion of such work to record attendance.

Health problems, visa delays, travel restrictions, personal trips, appointments, family celebrations, or other personal matters are to be treated as exceptions to the 100% attendance policy. Such exceptions cannot total more than 20% of the student’s overall attendance in the course. If any student exceeds 20% of exceptional absences due to ongoing extraordinary circumstances, Program Management will study the case individually with the student. Program Management will inform professors of any extraordinary cases.

If students have questions about attendance, they should contact Program Management. Under no circumstances should students approach faculty to discuss attendance since faculty members have no responsability/power to justify a student’s absence.

Students who are absent from live-in person sessions are permitted to attend the session online; however, they will be marked absent and will not be allowed to participate if any exam happens during the session.

Grades and Grade Distribution

Each course will be assessed according to the criteria determined by the professor in the course syllabus and confirmed by PM. At the beginning of the course, professors will inform students of the criteria they will use, detailed in the syllabus of their course. At the end of the course, students will have access to their final grades and corresponding break down scores through Blackboard Ultra (online campus).

Upon completion of each course, professors will be automatically required to upload the breakdown scores for each evaluation criteria on the course syllabus and assign final grades on the institutional grading system using this link

Any questions related to this process should be addressed to The Program Operations Team will get back to you promptly.

At the end of each course, the professor awards each student with one of the following five grades: Honors, Excellence, Proficiency, Pass or Fail. IE final grades follow a distribution curve consistent with those used in most leading universities:

1. Passing grades are Honors, Excellence, Proficiency and Pass. These qualifications indicate the achievement of the level of knowledge and competencies outlined in the syllabus learning objectives, and they are distributed as follows:

The top 15% of the class
The next 35% of the class
The next 35% of the class
The lowest performing 15% of the class

2. The grade of Fail indicates failure to meet minimum academic standards or excess in the established maximum of absences. According to IE institutional policy the Fail grade will only be assigned automaticaly by the institutional grading system to those students whose resulting final score is below the minimum required, which is two standard deviations from the mean of his/her section [minimum required = mean – (standard deviation*2)]. A Fail grade prevents the student from earning sufficient credits for graduation, so when a student fails a course, he/she is granted the opportunity for a reassessment to earn the necessary credits for graduation.

Professors should follow the grade distribution outlined above. They may, however, make small adjustments in the number of students assigned to each grade (+/- 1 student.)*. In addition, at the end of each course, professors should provide students, with a grade breakdown for all grading components included in the syllabus, with the objective of providing meaningful feedback to students.

(*) A major exception could be made only in the case of small classes of 15 students or less (low critical mass of students) where professors can be more flexible. Still, in this special context, professors are also expected to distribute the grades, differentiating student performance as well as providing the breakdown scores that correspond to each evaluation criterion as listed in the syllabus.

Additional qualifications:
NGS (Non graded, satisfactory) / NGU (Non graded, unsatisfactory). Not included in the calculation of GPA (for example Management Skills Workshops, Preprograms and other similar pedagogical activities)
Low Pass
Highest possible grade obtained in a reassessment after failing a course
Recognition of Credit (Coursework undertaken in other degree programs, through international mobility agreements, or other activities)
Withdrawal from a course after deadline

Grading Period and Review Session

Professors should submit the final grades and the corresponding breakdown of scores in the institutional grading system not later than 10 school days from the end of the course. Upon the publication of grades, students should be informed of the day, time, and place when their grades can be reviewed. Program Operations Team will facilitate all the arrangements for masters’ professors.

The review session must take place after 48 hours and no later than 10 school days, after grades have been published, and will be done via videoconference on a regular basis (exceptionally via mail). During this review session, students have the right to receive feedback from the professor.

If a student contests a grade during the review session, the professor can review all their work – not only the grade/sections in question and can adjust the final grade accordingly (either up or down).

If, after the review session, the professor confirms there will be no change in the student’s final grade, and the student disagrees, he/she may appeal the decision to the corresponding Associate Dean through the process outlined in the “Appeal Process” section of this document.

On the other hand, if the professor decides that a grade change is warranted, the professor must send a written request by e-mail to the corresponding Associate Dean with a detailed explanation that justifies the change. (Program Operations Team will help professors to identify the appropriate Associate dean to contact in case of doubt). Only if the Associate Dean authorizes the change, the Program Operations Team will enable the platform so that the professor can make the grade change. Please keep in mind that the change of grade will not imply any readjustment of the class grades already published.

Failing Grade and Reassessment

When a student receives a Fail in a course, they have to take a reassessment exam (RE) in order to earn the necessary credits for graduation. If the student refuses to take this reassessment, he/she will not be able to continue in the program. Grades awarded following a RE are limited to Low Pass and Fail: a student who passes the RE therefore cannot achieve a higher grade than a Low Pass. Both the initial Fail grade, together with the RE grade, will appear on the student´s grade transcript. However, for the calculation of the GPA, only the RE score will be taken into account. Students who receive a Fail in the RE cannot continue in the program.

Please, keep in mind that it is recommended, but not necessary, that the student attends the review session to take the RE.

Unless the professor advises NOT to maintain a student’s Fail after the review session the RE should take place within the next 10 working days after the date of the review session, giving the student sufficient time to prepare for the RE of the failed course and to resolve any appeal that might be in progress.

The RE design, including content, selection of the format, set up and delivery is the responsibility of the course professor (if applicable each professor can ask for support and advice to the Course Coordinator appointed; in case of doubt consult with the appropriate area director).

Reassessment Logistics

Once the Fail is published, PM will contact the professor to organize the RE and to propose an appropriate date (they have the overall view of the student’s schedule and other REs the student might have and are in charge of reserving the classroom if applicable). To do so, PM will request the following information from the professor regarding the RE:

  • Format (choose from several types, details below)
  • Time & Duration

The professor should send this information once the review session is finished and should begin to prepare the RE.

PM will send the RE call to the student and to the professor (date/time/classroom if applicable) the day after the review session. The course professor is responsible for elaborating the RE and choosing the format of the same.

Suggested formats for reassessments

Professors can choose between the following paperless and digital formats:

a) Test/quiz – Synchronous / Closed book type (all RE of a course at the same specific date and time). The professor must set up the exam in Blackboard Ultra (an exam with several types of questions) and activate the Respondus protocol for in-person programs if applicable. A maximum duration of one and a half hours is recommended. The professor is in charge of proctoring the exam; PM can offer support only if there are overlaps between sections.

b) Assignment – Asynchronous / Open book type (online delivery). Consisting of a paper, case analysis or practical application assignment to the student. The professor must set up the assignment in Blackboard Ultra as a Turnitin or Safe Assign assignment to detect possible cases of plagiarism in the work submitted by the student (that will be penalized with a direct Fail) The professor has to establish the instructions and the deadline (maximum 4 days) the student has deliver the assignment. We recommend combining this option with the last one especially if there are doubts about the authorship of the submitted work.

Adding this disclaimer when setting up the assignment will also discourage potential improper practices: this assignment will be run through a plagiarism detection program. In addition, the professor reserves the right to orally ask the student more in-depth questions about the work submitted.

c) Combination. The RE can also be a combination of options a) or b) with oral questions via videoconference or face to face with the course professor. If it is done by videoconference, the session will be recorded for our records.

Reassessment evaluation and final grade

The evaluation of the RE will be the responsibility of the course professor and the grade (Low Pass or Fail) must be communicated to PM in a maximum of 5 business days after the RE or student assignment submission. PM will inform the Program Operations Team at in order to publish the RE grade for the student.

Once the RE grade is published, the student will have the right to appeal to the Associate Dean of his/her program in case of disagreement. He/she will have 5 business days to send the communication in writing following the procedure below.

The Appeal Process

It is understood that each professor has the right to determine the specific assessment parameters for their course and has sufficient experience to evaluate the work done by each student. In the event that a student does not agree with the awarded grade and wishes to appeal the result, based on objective and substantive evidence, the following process must be followed:

  1. If students disagree with their grade after reviewing it with the professor or if a student receives a Fail at reassessment and disagree after reviewing it with the professor, they may appeal the grade. The appeal must be address to the Associate Dean of the Program within a maximum of 5 business days after attending the review session.
  2. Requests must be done by the student in writing, using the “Grade Appeal Form”, outlining the specific areas of the work that they feel were incorrectly graded (based on the content of the course syllabus) and explaining why they feel it merits reassessment. Arguments based on subjective opinions of a student, or requests for reassessment by another professor, will not be considered as grounds for reassessment.
  3. The Associate Dean of the program, having considered the course professor’s opinion, (and if available, the Course Coordinator), should decide whether the appeal is justified and, if so, reassess the contested work.
  4. As an exception, in extremely complex cases, the Associate Dean may forward the case to the Vice rector of academic affairs-, who will make the final decision based on the documents provided and after consulting the Associate Dean of the program.
  5. The Associate Dean must provide a response to the student using the “Grade Appeal Resolution” form, outlining the outcome of the appeal and whether the grade has changed. The decision of the Associate Dean is final. There is no option for a third-party appeal to resolve grading disputes.
  6. The Associate Deans must keep a record of the resolutions sent to the students. A copy of each grade appeal resolution must be sent to

Final Master's Exam - The Review Session

The student can ask for a review of the qualification obtained in the Final Master’s Exam. In the case that the final Master’s exam is group work with individual assessment, the request will have to be made by all the members of the group to the Program Director, who will provide the feedback.

After receiving feedback, the student/group may request a review session with the Examining Board Secretary. During the review session, if a student/group does not agree with a section of their grade, the Examining Board Secretary may review all their work and adjust the final grade accordingly (either up or down).

If, after the review session, the student/group is not satisfied, they may appeal to the Associate Dean of the program – within a maximum period of 3 days after the review session – following the steps described in “The Appeal Process” section above.

The arguments that support the appeal must be submitted in writing using the “Grade Appeal Form – Final Exam”.

Final Exam's Failing Grade and Reassessment

When a student receives a Fail in the Master’s final exam, they have the opportunity to present themselves for reassessment in order to earn the necessary credits for graduation. The delivery and content of the reassessment will be determined by the Associate Dean of the program.

The reassessment may be written work or an oral test to verify that the student has acquired the skills, abilities and technical knowledge required in the curriculum, and the ability to analyze a complex problem and formulate an appropriate strategy to tackle it. This reassessment may be done in person or by videoconference if the student is abroad.

The grading resulting from said reassessment will be limited to a Low Pass or Fail. This means that if a student passes the reassessment, they cannot receive a higher grade than a Low Pass. Both grades, a Fail in the course as well as the grade obtained in the reassessment, will appear on the student’s grade transcript. For the calculation of the GPA, however, only the reassessment score will be taken into account. Students who receive a Fail at final exam reassessment cannot graduate.

The reassessment will take place between 5 and 10 working days after the date of the review session. If the reassessment takes place after the graduation ceremony or the results have not been published before the graduation ceremony, the student may attend the ceremony and receive a provisional certificate indicating that their graduation is conditional on the result of the reassessment.

GPA Calculation

To calculate the GPA, the following table is applied to the courses:

Low Pass
Qualification in Spain

Each course has a weighting of certain credits / sessions. The final grades are weighted by the number of credits / sessions per course in order to calculate the final GPA.

Academic Recognition

The most outstanding students will obtain the academic and leadership recognition that is being part of the ´Dean´s List´. Those students who, in their graduation, are among the best 10% in their class, will be included in the ´Dean´s List´, recognition that they will receive on the day of their graduation and that they can reflect on their C.V. This nomination is based on the GPA accumulated during the program including the qualification obtained in the final Master´s exam.

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