Official transcripts of records
Students receive an official transcript of records when:
– failing or passing the EPFL admission exam
– failing* the first semester of the Cours de mathématiques spéciales (CMS)
– failing* or passing the Cours de mathématiques spéciales (CMS)
– failing the first attempt at the first year (after one or two semesters)
– failing* or passing the mise à niveau (MAN)
– definitively failing* or passing the Bachelor’s program
– definitively failing* or passing an admission program (HES pathway included)
– definitively failing* or passing the Master’s program
Students who receive a failing transcript marked * in the list above are not allowed to continue their studies at EPFL. In addition, student who fail the first attempt at the first year after one semester must successfully complete the mise à niveau during the same academic year to continue their studies at EPFL.
It is sent out by postal mail at the exam address (as indicated by the student on IS-Academia) in the days following the Exam Conference, or as soon as the program is successfully completed in the case of the Master’s. Failing transcripts marked * are sent out by registered mail.
Every student can print out a provisional grade sheet at any time from their IS-Academia access.
Students who drop out without passing or failing a program do not receive transcripts and should therefore download a grade sheet. They can request a grade sheet from the Student Services Desk if they need one after their IS-Academia login has been canceled.
Assessment, grades, and credits
This information is indicative and only intended to help third parties understand EPFL transcripts and grade sheets. Laws and regulations apply.
For each subject, a grade is awarded on a scale from 1 to 6, including half points (e.g., 5.5, 4.5, etc.) and quarter points (e.g., 4.75, 5.25, etc.). A subject may be graded based on a number of different assessment components.
Grades 4 or above correspond to a pass. Grades below 4 correspond to a fail. When several subjects are grouped together as part of a “block” in the study plan, the block as a whole is passed when the weighted average grade of all the subjects in that block is 4 or above, even if some of these subjects are failed individually.
If the overall grade for a subject is less than 1 when all assessment components are taken into account, and no valid reason is given for missing tests and/or not submitting work in time, a grade of NA (“not acquired”) is awarded and corresponds to a fail.
Work done outside of EPFL (such as internships) is graded either R (for passes) or E (for fails).
Assessment components make take any form deemed appropriate to assess the performance in a fair and relevant manner. They include but are not limited to written exams, oral exams, in-class tests (“midterms”), oral presentations, posters, reports, essays, portfolios, projects, and laboratory or workshop work.
For each assessment, the teacher uses a grading rubric, which is a clear statement of what is being rewarded with marks and how many marks are given for each part of the assessment. Such rubrics ensure consistency in grading and help clarify subject-specific performance expectations.
EPFL follows the ECTS system for credits. Each ECTS credit correspond to approximately 25 to 30 hours of work. These hours take into account time spent in the classroom, laboratory, or workshop (“contact hours”), as well as time spent on homework, assignments, and exam preparation.
The credits attributed to a given subject are acquired either when the subject is passed or when the block that the subject is part of is passed.
A Bachelor’s program at EPFL is worth 180 credits (corresponding to six terms worth 30 credits each). A Master’s program at EPFL is worth 90 or 120 credits (corresponding to three or four terms worth 30 credits each). To obtain the corresponding degree, all the groups and blocks of subjects in the program must have been successfully completed.
Calculation of averages (from 2021)
The averages of under-blocks, under-groups, blocks, groups, years, cycles, and study programs are obtained by calculating the weighted average (based on coefficients in the first-year cycle and the CMS and on credits in every other level of studies) of all subjects included for which a grade between 1 and 6 has been attributed. Averages are calculated to the second decimal.
Insufficient subjects are taken into account when calculating averages, even when credits are not acquired (e.g., within a group or a block completed by means of credit accumulation). Subjects graded R, E, D, or NA are however not taken into account when calculating averages. Grades obtained in the context of academic mobility are not included in EPFL grade sheets and transcripts and are therefore not taken into account when calculating averages (except in the case of joint degrees with ETH Zürich).
For blocks (as well as the under-block ‘moyenne du bloc 1 après la session d’hiver’ in the first-year cycle), the average is used to decide success or failure. In other cases, the average is indicative and has no bearing on success or failure. Some averages may however be taken into account when granting admission to some academic mobility or study programs at EPFL, as well as for the attribution of prizes.
EPFL does not produce any ranking of its students by program and/or level of studies.