IE evaluation criteria

*Applicable as of the Fall 2020 intake

In order to stimulate students to reach their maximum potential in a healthy competitive environment, as well as to obtain rigorous information on their performance during the program, IE Business School implements the Assessment System detailed below.

Each subject will be assessed according to the criteria determined by the professor and confirmed by Program Management. At the beginning of the course, professors will inform students of the criteria they will use, detailing it in the program of their subject. At the end of the course, students will have access to their grades through Campus Online.


Throughout the program, different assessment criteria are used (such as exams, presentations, reports, case analysis, simulations, etc.) Due to the collaborative philosophy of the program, individual contribution in the classroom is a fundamental component in all courses – both main and elective – the assessment of which must represent between 20% and 40% of the final grade. In turn, other individual supervisory methods – such as individual exams or reports – must comprise between 20% and 40% of the final grade, so that individual contributions reach a minimum of 50%. The remaining percentage of the final grade will consist of assessments obtained from the contribution of the working group. Those workshop-type pedagogical activities will be graded with NGS / NGU and may have different assessment criteria.


Attendance is an important aspect of commitment to IE Business School. IE Business School students are admitted, in part, because of the experience they bring to the classroom, as well as by the contribution they can make in classroom discussion. Without attendance, learning as a collaborative activity cannot exist. For this reason, absences are only appropriate or permissible in cases of personal emergency.

The rules are as follows:

  • Students who miss more than 20% and less than 30% of the course sessions will receive a zero for the class participation grade that the professor assigns to that subject in the syllabus.
  • Students who miss more than 30% and less than 50% of the sessions of any course will automatically receive a FAIL. Students must then obtain a Low Pass in the affected subject´s re-sits, otherwise they will face program expulsion.
  • Non-attendance of greater than 50% of a course will incur a disciplinary sanction that will be determined by Program Management, in collaboration with the course professor. If the calculation does not result in a clear percentage, professors determine the final maximum number of absences (e.g. the professor decides in the case of 50% of 15 sessions if the maximum number of absences is to be 7 or 8 sessions.)

In addition to this, punctuality is expected from all students, being late to class interferes with the learning environment. Professors are encouraged to refuse class entry to latecomers.


Upon completion of each subject, the professor awards each student with one of the following five grades: Honors, Excellence, Proficiency, Pass or Fail. Honors, Excellence, Proficiency and Pass qualifications are passing grades, indicating the achievement of the level of knowledge and competencies outlined in the learning objectives. The grade of Fail indicates unsatisfactory performance, prohibiting the student from earning sufficient credits for graduation. Awarding a student a Fail grade is not mandatory but those students who have not achieved the required minimum in accordance with the learning objectives, or who have surpassed the established maximum of absences, will receive a Fail. Passing grades follow a distribution consistent with most used in leading Business schools:

  • Honors: The top 15% of the class
  • Excellence: The next 35% of the class
  • Proficiency: The next 35% of the class
  • Pass: The lowest performing 15% of the class
  • Fail: Failure to meet minimum academic standards. This grade will be assigned to all those students whose performance is below the minimum required which is two standard deviations from the mean of his/her section. [minimum required = mean – (standard deviation*2)]

Additional qualifications without a distribution curve:

  • Low Pass: Highest possible grade obtained in a re-sit after failing a course.
  • NGS: Not graded, satisfactory. Not included in the calculation of GPA.
  • NGU: Not graded, unsatisfactory. Not included in the calculation of GPA.
  • TC: Transfer of Credit (Dual Degree).
  • W: Withdrawal from a course after deadline.

Professors should follow the grade distribution outlined above. They may, however, make small adjustments in the number of students assigned to each grade (+/- 1 student.) In addition, professors should provide students, and the Program Management team, with a grade breakdown for all grading components, with the objective of providing meaningful feedback to students. Management Skills Workshops and other similar pedagogical activities will be graded as NGS/NGU based on the criteria stipulated by the professor or the program director. This grade could have academic implications but will not give any weight to the final GPA.


Students should be informed about their grades as quickly as possible and certainly not later than 10 business days from the end of the course. Upon the publication of grades, students should be informed of the day, time and place when their grades can be reviewed. During this review session, students have the right to receive feedback from the professor. This review session must take place within 10 business days of the grades being published. This session can also be completed via email or videoconference.

If a student contests a grade during the review session, the professor can review all of their work – not only the grade/sections in question – and can adjust the final grade accordingly (either up or down.)

If, after the review session, the professor confirms the final grade and the student disagrees, they may appeal through the process outlined in a later section.


When a student receives a Fail in a subject, they have the opportunity to present themselves for a re-sit in order to earn the necessary credits for graduation. The re-sit, including content and assessment, is the responsibility of the course professor, in agreement with the Course Coordinator. Grades awarded following reassessment are limited to Low Pass and Fail: a student who passes the reassessment therefore cannot achieve a higher grade than a Low Pass. Both the initial Fail grade, together with the reassessment grade, will appear on the student´s grade transcript. However, for the calculation of the GPA, only the reassessment score will be taken into account. Students who receive a Fail at course reassessment cannot continue in the program.

The re-sit should take place between 5 and 10 working days after the date of the review session, giving the student sufficient time to prepare for the reassessment of the failed subject.


It is understood that each professor has the right to determine the specific assessment parameters for their subject and has sufficient experience to evaluate the work done by each student. In the event that a student does not agree with the awarded grade and wishes to appeal the result, based on objective and substantive evidence, the following process must be followed:

  • If a student receives a Fail at reassessment, or they disagree with their grade after reviewing it with the professor, they may appeal the grade. Accordingly, they must apply the assessment criteria and appeal to the Dean of Academic Affairs via email ( within 5 working days of being informed of their grade.
  • Re-grading requests must be done in writing, using the questionnaire, outlining the specific areas of the work that they feel were incorrectly graded (based on the content of the course syllabus) and explaining why they feel it merits reassessment. Arguments based on subjective opinions of a student, or requests for reassessment by another professor, will not be considered as grounds for reassessment.
  • The Dean of Academic Affairs, having considered the course professor´s opinions, and if necessary, those of the course coordinator, should decide whether the appeal is justified and, if so, reassess the contested work. The Dean of Academic Affairs must provide a response to the student, outlining the outcome of the appeal and whether the grade has changed.  The decision of the Dean of Academic Affairs is final. There is no option for a third party appeal to resolve grading disputes.



The student can ask for a review of the qualification obtained in the final master´s exam. In the case that the final master´s exam is group work with individual assessment, the request will have to be made by all the members of the group to the program director who will provide the feedback.

After receiving feedback, the student/group may request a review session with the Examining Board Secretary. During the review session, if a student/group does not agree with a section of their grade, the Examining Board Secretary may review all of their work by adjusting the final grade accordingly – up or down.

If, after the review session, the Examining Board Secretary the final grade and the student / group is not satisfied, they may appeal to the Dean of Academic Affairs – within a maximum period of 3 days after the review session – by the process described in a previous paragraph.

The arguments that support the appeal must be submitted in writing using the existing specific questionnaire to make the appeal.


When a student receives a Fail in the Master´s final exam, they have the opportunity to present themselves for reassessment in order to earn the necessary credits for graduation. The content of the re-sit will be determined by the Vice-Dean of the program.

The reassessment may be written work or an oral test to verify that the student has acquired the skills, abilities and technical knowledge required in the curriculum, has the ability to analyze a complex problem and formulate an appropriate strategy to tackle it.

This test may be done in person or by videoconference if the student is abroad.

The qualification resulting from said reassessment will be limited to a Low Pass or Fail. This means that if a student passes the reassessment, they cannot receive a higher grade than a Low Pass. Both grades, a Fail in the subject as well as the grade obtained in the reassessment, will appear on the student´s grade transcript. For the calculation of the GPA, however, only the reassessment score will be taken into account. Students who receive a Fail at final exam reassessment cannot graduate.

The reassessment will take place between 5 and 10 working days after the date of the review session. If the reassessment takes place after the graduation ceremony or the results have not been published before the graduation ceremony, the student may attend the ceremony and receive a provisional certificate indicating that their graduation is conditional on the result of the reassessment.


To calculate the GPA, the following table is applied to the subjects:

Each subject has a weighting of certain credits / sessions. The final grades are weighted by the number of credits / sessions per course in order to calculate the final GPA.


The most outstanding students will obtain the academic and leadership recognition that is being part of the Dean´s List. Those students who, in their graduation, are among the best 10% in their class, will be included in the Dean´s List, recognition that they will receive on the day of their graduation and that they can reflect on their C.V. This nomination is based on the GPA accumulated during the program including the qualification obtained in the final Master´s exam.


*IE reserves the right to modify our Evaluation Criteria and our Ethics Code before the start of the academic year. In this instance, the modifications will be communicated to the students prior to the program start date.