Pass-Fail Option for Spring 2020

The revised pass-fail option described below pertains for the Spring 2020 semester ONLY.

Deadline: May 1, 2020

Deadline to submit Pass-Fail Appeal: May 19, 2020 (11:59 pm): To submit a pass-fail appeal, please see "How to Request a Pass-Fail Grade" below.

If you are struggling to perform as well as you would like in a course, one action you may consider is changing your grading option to pass-fail. This is not a decision to be made lightly or quickly.  Before selecting the Pass/Fail option, we encourage you to first work with your instructors to discuss your progress towards course completion, or to consider an incomplete to allow you more time, if the instructor has determined that you have a valid reason for not meeting a particular requirement prior to the end of the semester.

However, there may be some instances this semester where you feel that the option of a pass-fail is the right choice for you. Please remember, however, that choosing to move a course to pass-fail does not mean you can stop attending or engaging in the course; failure to participate academically can result in you being reported as “Failed-Stopped Out” by your faculty.


  • This option is available to matriculated students (i.e. degree-seeking) for eligible courses in the Liberal Education Program (LEP), major, minor, or electives.
  • There is no limit on the number of courses that may be placed on pass-fail. 
  • The instructor is not aware of the student's use of the pass-fail option until after the grades are submitted, except where the instructor is also the advisor. 
  • Once a student has decided to place a course on pass/fail, this decision cannot be undone.
  • If an undergraduate student earns a "D-" or higher in the course ("C" or higher for graduate students), the final grade will be reported as “P”. This grade WILL NOT count toward a student’s GPA but counts as attempted credit. 
  • If an undergraduate student earns an “F” in the course (“C- or lower for graduate students), the final grade will be reported as “F”. This grade WILL count toward a student’s GPA and counts as attempted credit. 
  • Course with minimum grade requirement: If a student is approved for the Pass/Fail grade option, this will also waive any minimum grade requirement for the student for that course. 
  • Course that is a pre-requisite for subsequent course: If a student is approved for the Pass/Fail grade option, and the course is a prerequisite for a subsequent course, a grade of ‘P’ will meet the prerequisite and waive the prerequisite grade requirement, for the subsequent course. Students should discuss this decision with their advisor or instructor, to be sure they have mastered enough of the material to move onto the next course in a sequence of courses.

Deadline to Appeal Pass-Fail Grade: May 19, 2020 (11:59 pm)

The University has established a process whereby students with extenuating circumstances can present an appeal seeking to opt-in to the Pass-Fail grade option past the May 1st deadline. Before making this irreversible decision, students should review the "Important Considerations" section of this web page.


Pass-Fail Appeal for Undergraduate Students (DEADLINE PASSED)

Pass-Fail Appeal for Graduate Students (DEADLINE PASSED)


Students who submit an appeal will need to provide an explanation of the extenuating circumstances that resulted in their not submitting a Pass-Fail contract by the May 1st deadline. Examples of extenuating circumstances that meet the appeal requirements are:

  • I (or someone I care for) was ill at the time of the May 1st deadline and I was unable to submit a pass-fail contract.
  • I (or someone I care for) have become ill since the May 1st deadline which has impacted my performance in class and I am now seeking to submit a pass-fail contract.
  • I am a frontline employee which has impacted my performance in class since the May 1st deadline and I am now seeking to submit a pass-fail contract.


The Appeal Process is as follows: 

  1. Student must complete both pages of the Pass-Fail Appeal form (links above) and submit the contract to the Dean’s office for your major by 11:59 p.m. on May 19th, 2020. (see contact list below).
  2. If approved, Dean’s Office submits contracts to, including the student on the approval email, by 11:59 p.m. on May 21st, 2020
  3. If denied, Dean’s Office will notify students via email by 11:59 p.m. May 22nd, 2020.


Dean's Office Contacts:

College of Arts and Sciences, submit to:

Melissa Taylor, Administrative Assistant to the Dean at 


College of Health and Human Services, submit to:

Alisa St. Georges, Administrative Assistant to the Dean at


College of Education, submit to: 

Office of the Dean at


School of Business, submit to:

Joan Demorro, Administrative Assistant to the Dean at


If you are an Exploratory major, submit to:

Department of Academic Advising at


Academic Warning/Probation 

Students currently on academic warning or probation must understand the implications of putting a course(s) on pass-fail. It's important to remember that an "F" will impact a student's GPA, while a "P" will not improve it. 

For example, if a student is doing well in a course, a pass-fail WOULD NOT be a good option,  as the letter grade could improve their GPA to be removed from warning/probation.  

However, if a student is currently doing poorly (not failing) in a course and doesn't want the grade to negatively impact their GPA, a pass-fail might be a good option. 

Before making this decision, students on warning or probation should consult with an advisor in the appropriate Academic Advising Center (AAC). 

Applying to Graduate School 

Some graduate programs require letter grades in classes that are prerequisites to their programs. If a student plans on applying to graduate school, it might NOT be a good idea for them to take any prerequisite or related courses as pass-fail. 

Students thinking of putting a course(s) on pass-fail should inform their assigned advisor of any plans for applying to graduate school. When possible, they should consult with any graduate program(s) to which they plan to apply. 

Dean's List

Students are recognized for their high academic achievement by being placed on the dean's list of their respective schools.  In order for undergraduate students to qualify for the dean's list, students must complete 12.0 or more credits, excluding courses taken for pass-fail, in Fall or Spring and earn a semester GPA of 3.5 or better.  These requirements apply to all undergraduate students, regardless of their academic class (i.e., freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior). 

Financial Aid and Scholarships 

In order to receive financial aid, students must meet the satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards, which require undergraduate students to maintain a 2.0 overall GPA and complete 67% of the credits they attempt, regardless of whether they put classes on pass-fail or not. When it comes to determining SAP for financial aid, it doesn't make a difference if a course(s) is placed on pass-fail or taken for a letter grade. Students should contact Financial Aid with any further questions related to the financial impact of placing a course on pass-fail. 

Many scholarships, whether they be University-based or private, have specific requirements. These requirements can range from maintaining a defined GPA to earning a specific letter grade in a course.  Students who have scholarships should contact SCSU Scholarships or the provider of a specific private scholarship if they have questions regarding how placing a course(s) on pass-fail might impact their scholarship. 

GPA Requirements 

Students should consider the possible impact(s) that placing a course(s) on pass-fail can have on their GPA. It's important to remember that an "F" will impact a student's GPA, while a "P" will not improve it. Students can use this GPA calculator to estimate their overall GPA.  

Consider the following when thinking about GPA requirements:  

  • Academic Programs: Some majors and minor have GPA requirements. Students must communicate with their assigned academic advisor to discuss this. They can also review “Courses Not Eligible for Pass-Fail” below.  

  • Non-Academic Programs:  See "Special Programs/Groups" below. 

Grade Replacement 

Grades taken for pass-fail are not eligible for grade replacement consideration. Students retaking a course to replace the original grade should not elect pass-fail, as passing grades are excluded from GPA calculations; therefore, they are not eligible for replacement of earlier GPA calculations. 

Major/Minor Requirements 

Some majors and minors have requirements that mandate a letter grade. For example, many nursing courses require a letter grade in order to get certified. Before making this decision, all students must communicate with their assigned academic advisor and should review “Courses Not Eligible for Pass-Fail” below. 

Special Program/Groups 

Students who are part of non-academic programs and/or groups (listed below) should check with those programs before requesting a pass-fail. While most of these programs do not require students to have particular letter grades, they may have GPA requirements. 

If a student is part of a program/group that is not listed, they should contact the appropriate program/group. 

Transferring credits 

Courses taken as pass-fail might not be accepted for transfer credit when attending another institution. Students considering a pass-fail should contact the institution to which they plan to transfer credits. 

Tuition Reimbursement from Employers 

Graduate students who receive tuition reimbursement from their employers typically need to earn a minimum grade in courses; thus, these students should consult with their employer before considering pass/fail.

The courses listed below are not eligible for the pass-fail option for students in the following majors/minors:


Athletic Training, BS

  • HMS 203, 286, 289, 301, 303, 308, 328, 380, 383, 384, 403, 490

Athletic Training, Accelerated

  • BIO 120,  200, 201
  • CHE 120
  • MAT 107
  • PCH 200
  • PHY 200
  • PSY 100

Bilingual Multicultural Education

  • TSL 315, 418, 503, 511, 512, 518, 563


  • BIO 102, 103, 200, 201, 220

Business Administration

  • ACC 310, 311, 350
  • ECO 201, 270

Earth Science

  • ESC 200, 220, 325


  • ECO 201, 270

Exercise Science-Human Performance

  • HMS 191, 281, 282

Exercise Science-Physical Education

  • HMS 191, 292, 293, 352, 442, 483

Health Science

  • BIO 102, 120, 200, 201
  • CHE 120, 121, 260, 261
  • PHY 200, 201
  • PSY 100, 219


  • JRN 101, 135, 170, 200, 226, 227, 301, 375, 497

Marriage and Family Therapy

  • MFT 548, 562, 587, 596, 607, 662, 668, 673 


  • NUR 350, 351, 352, 353, 354, 423, 425, 430, 431, 442, 443, 444, 462, 463, 469, 482, 499, 514, 524, 526, 534, 537, 540, 592, 600, 810, 812

Respiratory Therapy

  • RSP 325, 440

Social Work

  • SWK 491