Get credit without affecting your GPA

Do you want to take an interesting, unfamiliar, or challenging course, but are worried about how it might affect your GPA? You can take up to eight electives as pass/fail during your undergraduate career.

If you receive a grade of D– or above, you’ll get credit hours for the course and a grade of P on your academic record, and your GPA won’t reflect the grade. But keep in mind that if you receive an F, that F will appear on your transcript and be calculated into your GPA.

Courses taken as pass/fail count toward your full- or part-time standing for purposes of financial aid or loan deferments.

How to take a class as pass/fail

If you want to take a class as pass/fail, you’ll need to get a pass/fail option form from your school recorder. Fill out the form, get the required signatures from your advisor and dean, and return the form to the Office of the Registrar by the pass/fail deadline.

If you’re an undergraduate student, your instructor won’t know you’re taking their course as pass/fail. However, graduate students will need to get the instructor’s signature on the pass/fail form.

Requirements and restrictions

Every degree program has different requirements for taking the pass/fail option—check your school’s academic bulletin or contact your school recorder for details. Some schools allow fewer than eight pass/fail classes or have other restrictions. Note that after you’ve invoked the pass/fail option, you can’t change back to a letter grade for the course.

Pass/fail versus satisfactory/fail

Certain courses are taught on a satisfactory/fail (S/F) basis. Everyone in the course receives either an S or F, and you don’t have the option of receiving a letter grade. Courses that are graded as S/F generally include that information in the schedule of classes.

Like the pass/fail option, a grade of S isn’t calculated in your GPA, while a grade of F is.

Find other ways to take classes