Transcript Key

General Information

The transcript key provides guidance on how to read the grades, symbols, and course numbers that appear on an official transcript issued by the University of Pennsylvania. The official University transcript may vary based on the system of record at the time a student attended. Additional details about all academic programs at Penn as well as important policies, resources, and information on courses at all levels of study can be found in the University Catalog.

Course Numbering System

Effective Summer 2022


Undergraduate courses


Mixed courses primarily for undergraduate students


Mixed courses primarily for graduate students


Graduate courses


Graduate individual study (thesis/dissertation) courses

Prior to Summer 2022


Undergraduate courses


Mixed courses primarily for undergraduate students


Mixed courses primarily for graduate students


Graduate courses


Graduate individual study (thesis/dissertation) courses

Course Units, Semester Hours, Credit Hours, Continuing Education Credits

All of Penn’s undergraduate programs and many of its graduate and professional programs use Course Units (CU) as a general measure of academic work and progress towards a degree. A Course Unit generally represents one course that meets for three hours per week of class time, four hours of laboratory, or 5 hours of class time in beginning language courses, in a course that lasts for one term (semester).

Effective Spring 2014, one Course Unit should be converted to Semester Hours at a ratio of 1:4. Prior to Spring 2014, one Course Unit should be converted to Semester Hours at a ratio of 1:3.

A Semester Hour (SH) is defined as one hour per week of class time per term, with a normal expectation of two hours of outside study for each class session, or equivalent in other course related activities. The Law School uses Semester Hours.

A Credit Hour (CR) is defined as one hour per week of class time per term and two hours of out-of-class student work per week, or equivalent in other course-related activities. The Schools of Dental Medicine and Veterinary Medicine use Credit Hours.

A Continuing Education Credit (CE) is a measure used in non-traditional continuing education graduate programs. A Continuing Education Credit recognizes professional credits earned based on continuing education courses. CE credits are independent from degree granting programs. The Penn Literacy Network’s professional development programs uses Continuing Education Credits.

Penn Equivalent Credit includes internal and external transfer credit, advanced placement credit, and credit by examination.

Transcript Notations and Symbols

In the column labeled ‘R’ prior to Summer of 2022, an ‘E’ indicates the course was excluded from credit. Beginning Summer 2022, an ‘E’ indicates the course was repeated and excluded from credit and an ‘I’ indicates it was a repeated course that was included for credit.

Courses for which no credit is awarded appear with parentheses around their credit value, for example (1.00).

An (H) at the end of a course title indicates an honors course. An H or GH preceding the course number also indicates an honors course. A (BFS) at the end of a course title indicates a Benjamin Franklin Seminar course.

Dean’s & Director’s List is calculated per academic year and effective Summer 2022 is noted at the end of the spring term.

Ehrs Earned Hours
Chrs Earned Hours (Continuing Ed Only)
QPts Quality Points
Interpreting Grades

Grades by School

The various schools and divisions of the University use different grading systems on the transcript.  Find the specific grade systems that apply to each school below.

To Test for Authenticity

The signature of the University Registrar appears on all official transcripts. Document should be rejected if the signature is missing or distorted.  The word COPY will appear if an electronic transcript is forwarded, and VOIDSECURE will appear if a paper transcript is copied or scanned. Official transcripts cannot be released to a third-party without the written consent of the student. This is in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. Alteration of an official document may be a criminal offense. If you have any questions about a transcript you received, please contact the Office of the University Registrar at