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Letter Grades

Advice for Current Students:
How to Share your Shadow Grades

These instructions are for current students only. Once you graduate you will normally not need to share shadow grades because you will have plenty of letter grades on your transcript.  Please note that the medical and law school application services utilize only official transcripts, so shadow grades cannot and will not be revealed in those application processes.

Keep in mind that by college policy your college transcript for your first semester will only have CR/NC grading -- the transcript will never show your "shadow" letter grades. Thus to share shadow grades in context, you should share both your college transcript showing CR/NC grades and your shadow letter grades from mySwarthmore.

  1. Share a college transcript with the official CR/NC grades
  2. Share your mySwarthmore shadow letter grades and/or evaluations


There are three kinds of college transcript, Unofficial PDF Transcript, Official PDF transcript, and Official Paper Transcript. Most scholarship or internship opportunities will accept the unofficial pdf variety. The unofficial pdf and either of the official transcripts have the same course and grades content -- and none have shadow grades.

Any of these transcripts can ordered using mySwarthmore "Academic Transcript Request" procedure, with no charge. In mySwarthmore, go to Student Main Menu,  Academic Transcript Request.

The unofficial pdf transcript goes to you via email, after which you can forward or upload it elsewhere  The official paper transcript can be retrieved at the registrar's office, or mailed by the registrar's office elsewhere. The official pdf transcript goes via secure server to a recipient. The mySwarthmore online request process collects all the needed information to fulfill your request.


You share your shadow grades yourself.

There is a "Shadow Grades" listing on mySwarthmore. Separately, you have your email evaluations including the narrative evaluation.

Most scholarship or internship opportunities will be satisfied with just the mySwarthmore "Shadow Grades" listing (and do not need the emails). In mySwarthmore, go to Student Main Menu, Shadow Grades.

Print the Shadow Grades page (or save as a pdf) and share it -- from you to the recipient.

Importantly, the mySwarthmore "Shadow Grades" page includes the college policy, so it both explains the reason shadow grades are not on your college transcript, and is an official expression of college policy, making it the closest thing available to an official list of your shadow grades.

Alternately, you could print or forward your shadow grade evaluation emails, which include the narrative evaluations, if you want to share those.


The registrar has a GPA policy web page including a GPA calculator. After your first semester and before your second semester grades are available, you can use your shadow grades in the GPA calculator to calculate a GPA. You should be prepared to explain that you used the unofficial shadow grades.

Normally once you have official letter grades (after your first year) including your shadow grades in a GPA calculation is a questionable practice and you should be prepared to explain that you used the unofficial shadow grades if you do so.

If you have any questions about shadow grades, please feel welcome to contact