Your mentor calculates and communicates your grade at Don Rags.

Limiting you to a once-a-semester grade revelation is part of our strategic attempt to resist grade-centered evaluation of your academic performance. We invite you to a richer conversation about your intellectual life throughout your Torrey experience.

That said, grades are valuable feedback. They help you estimate the quality of your work, they protect the rigor of the program’s expectations, and they norm faculty feedback. While your mentor gives you your final grade, the department norms its grading by sharing a grading rubric and by partnering faculty for Don Rags grading responsibilities.

Your Semester Grade

Your semester grade comes from the division of your work into three categories—reading, talking, and writing—into which all your major assignments fit. Each category comprises a portion of your grade.

READING: Reading requirements and Notes constitute 30% of your final grade.

TALKING: Attendance requirements, session participation, and your Don Rags constitute 30% of your final grade.

WRITING: Paper and pull questions constitute 40% of your final grade.

The system is built so that it is easy for students who meet all of the program’s high expectations, including completing all work on time, to get a 90 or above for the semester. In other words, the program expects excellent work from excellent students.






Additionally, the program recognizes stellar performances with commendations.

High Commendation: 97% or greater
Commendation: 95-96.9%
Expected Performance: 90-94.9%


If you earn a B+ for the semester, 89.9%, or lower, you are officially on probation. This means that you should work closely with your mentor in the next semester to raise the level of your performance to be well within program expectations, since a second semester earning below a 90 is grounds for dismissal.


Earning below a 70 usually leads to dismissal from the program. If you earn below a 70 and remain enrolled in Torrey, you are required to repeat those units in order to graduate from Torrey.


Any work that you submit for evaluation must be free of plagiarism.

Plagiarism occurs when you use words, images, or concepts from any source other than your own mind without acknowledgment or citation. Plagiarism can be deliberate or otherwise; it does not depend on intention. You commit scholarly theft when you do not indicate, either by explicit acknowledgement or citation, that you are not the original author of any specific words, images, or concepts being presented as part of your submitted work.

This occurs most frequently in the Torrey context in Pre-class Notes, Torrey Paper or Project, and Pull Questions. While there is a time and a place for collaborative work, these written works (or other media of communication) are submitted as evidence of your individual thoughts and efforts in relation to the course material.

In agreement with the official policy of the university, plagiarism found in any assignment will result in a grade of “F” for the course and submission of a plagiarism incident report to the Dean of Academic Records. Plagiarism is also grounds for immediate dismissal from the Torrey Honors Institute.

Due to the significant impact of a failing grade on a student’s cumulative GPA, another consequence of plagiarism may be the loss of significant financial aid, including any scholarships with a minimum GPA requirement.

To avoid plagiarism always indicate when words, images, or concepts are taken from another source, including all print or digital sources and media.


When a student has unexcused absences for two weeks of session, a UW (unofficial withdrawal) will be assigned. A UW grade will influence a student’s GPA in the same way as an F grade.

Leaving Torrey


The Director, in consultation with faculty, may discern that your continued enrollment in the program is no longer of sufficient benefit to either or both you and the learning community. Grounds for dismissal include gross academic failure, severe ethical violations, plagiarism, destructive group participation, and repeated academic underperformance. In the case that a mentor recommends your dismissal from the program, you have the opportunity to meet with the Director to discuss, contest, or understand the terms of the decision.


Whether for academic, financial, or personal reasons, you may discern that withdrawal from Torrey is your best choice either for a season or for good. You should consult with your mentor about your standing in the program at the time of departure. Students who depart in good standing are welcome to return to the program at will. Students who withdraw in poor standing will need to apply for readmission.

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