Saint Louis University, like most other U.S. Universities, uses a credit system. Each course's specific number of "credit hours" represents the number of hours the students in the course spend in class each week.
In order to maintain your student visa, you must be registered as a full-time student. To be considered a full-time undergraduate student, you must be enrolled for 12-18 credit hours. Graduate students must be enrolled for 9-12 credit hours to be considered full-time.
Each course may have a different grading scale. Be sure to review the course syllabus. Academic performance in each course is evaluated by the instructor using number or letter grades.
At the end of the semester, you will receive a number of credits corresponding to the courses you have successfully completed. Your credit hours are multiplied by your grades to determine your "grade-point average" (GPA). Your GPA provides a general indication of your overall academic performance. A GPA is often used by admission offices and employers to evaluate your academic history.
The grading system used by most colleges and universities to evaluate students' academic performance is based on a four-point scale, with .3 variations for plus and minus grades (i.e. an A- equals 3.7, while a C+ equals 2.3):
A=4.0 B=3.0 C=2.0 D=1.0 F=0
To remain in good academic standing, undergraduates are expected to complete their studies with a "C" average (cumulative GPA of 2.0) or better. Graduate students are expected to complete their studies with no less than a "B" average (cumulative GPA of 3.0).
Portions taken from "International Student and Scholar Services Handbook" from Office of International Student and Scholar Services, University of Missouri-St. Louis.