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Changes to S/U Policy - FAQs

What are the changes?

For Spring 2020, the College adopted a policy to allow an additional grade within the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grading option and has approved the continuation of this through Fall 2020.  The change allows students to avoid the negative impact of a low grade during this challenging semester and to potentially earn additional credit toward their degree and/or General Education requirements.

How does it work?

The new policy creates a new “Low Pass” or “P” grading option. If a student opts for the S/U grading option, they will earn one of the following grades:

  • Satisfactory (S) - Student earns course credit if they achieve a 2.0 grade or better in the course. May be able to count the course toward major/minor requirements.
  • Low Pass (P) – Student earns course credit if they achieve a 1.0, 1.3, or 1.7 grade in the course. Will fulfill college and General Education requirements.
  • Unsatisfactory (U) – Student earns no credit if they earn a 0.0 grade.

Will it impact my GPA?

None of the S/P/U grades are factored into the student’s term or overall GPA, which could allow you to avoid the negative impact of a course grade on your GPA. 

Will a P grade count for my major or minor?

No. While the P grade will allow students to earn credit for a grade below 2.0, it is important to note that a P grade will not satisfy minimum grade requirements in the major or minor.

Will an S grade count for my major or minor?

Possibly. Usually, most majors and minors have limits on the number of credits – if any – that can be taken for S/U.  For this semester, some departments have implemented S/U policy exceptions for major and minor requirements.   Please see the comprehensive list of these exceptions online for further details.

What good is a P grade?

It’s important to understand that S/U grades only allow a student to avoid the negative impact of a course grade on their GPA.  However, it is more difficult to earn credit for a class under the S/U option. Under a numerical grade option, students only need to earn a 1.0 to earn credit for the course.  Under S/U, the threshold to earn the credits rises to a 2.0.  Under the new policy implemented for this semester, students who earn above a 1.0 but below a 2.0 can still earn credit with a P grade.

The P grade will allow students to earn more credits without the negative impact on their GPA.  It may mean you avoid additional semesters of coursework to make up for failed courses.  It may mean you retain eligibility for some financial aid. 

How long do I have to change my grading option?

Students may opt to change the grading option in classes from numerical to S/P/U between now and Friday, December 11, 2020 @ 11:59 p.m. 

How do I request a change of grading option?

Graduate students should contact the Office of Graduate and Continuing Education.  Undergraduate students please visit the  “S/U a Course” website for additional information including the online S/U request form.

What if I already changed to S/U earlier in the semester?

The new policy will automatically apply to any previously S/U election for this semester.  There is no need to make additional changes. They will automatically be processed as S/P/U grades.

How will the S/P/U grade impact my 14-Credit S/U limit?

The P grade has only been approved for Spring 2020 and Fall 2020.    The college has also approved a policy change that omits the Spring 2020 and Fall 2020 S/U grades from a student’s 14-credit S/U limit as an undergraduate.  So, a grade of S, P, or U during the fall will not count in your 14-credit total.