Pass/Fail Option for Spring 2021

Students may elect to take one course under the Pass/Fail option.  Please consult with your advisor no later than Friday, May 7,, 2021, after consulting with your advisor, they will initiate a pass/fail contract.  Students must accept and submit the contract no later than Sunday, May 9, 2021 11:59 PM.

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.  We encourage you to first work with your instructors to discuss your progress towards course completion, or to consider an Incomplete Contract 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 pass-fail does not mean you can stop attending or engaging in the course; failure to participate academically can result in a grade of 'F' due to stop out.  Talk to your advisor and learn more about the policy and see course exclusions that may apply to your major or minor below. 

  • This option is available to matriculated students (i.e. degree-seeking) for eligible courses in general education requirements (LEP), major, minor, or electives.

  • Students may elect to take one course under the Pass/Fail option.  If multiple contracts are received, only the first contract will be processed.  

  • The instructor is not aware of the student's use of the Pass/Fail option, 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.

  1. Students must consult with their advisor by Friday, May 7, 2021.
  2. Advisors will initiate the Pass/Fail contract in Banner Web-Faculty Services-Advisor Menu.  
  3. Students will receive the contract in their Southern email.
  4. Students must sign the contract to accept the Pass/Fail by May 9, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. 
  5. The contract will be automatically sent to the Registrar's Office for processing.   

Note: If the advisor is also the instructor, student may consult the department chairperson.  Students who no longer wish to pursue a pass/fail contract for the listed course may select Other Actions, then Decline to Sign.

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. 

Mathematics Courses

1. Math major/minor classes are not eligible for P/F grading.

2. Non-math majors/minors in a Spring 2021 math class can request P/F grading for the class. However, the class will not be accepted as satisfying major/minor prerequisite requirements if the student later changes to a math major/minor. Furthermore, if the Spring 2021 class is part of a sequence where there are one or more C- or better grade requirements to progress, then:

     • If the student is likely to earn a P for D-, D, or D+ coursework simply due to their current trajectory in the Spring 2021 class, withdrawing (W) is strongly recommend over a P/F grade.
     • If the student is likely to earn a P for D-, D, or D+ coursework because of extenuating circumstances, but would probably have done better under normal circumstances, a P/F grade could be an option for the Spring 2021 class.
     • If the student is likely to earn a P for C- or better coursework for the Spring 2021 class, P/F grading could be an option, but students and advisors need to take into account additional considerations like the P/F grade impact on GPA, financial aid, athletics/other eligibility, and so on.

3. A P grade earned by non-math majors/minors in a prerequisite course during Spring 2021 will allow a student to progress to the next course in a sequence requiring C- or better. However, since math classes do build sequentially, a P grade for D-, D, or D+ Spring 2021 coursework does not mean a student is ready for the next class in a sequence. This is even more of a concern if a student is in a Spring 2021 math class because of a P grade for D-, D, or D+ coursework from Fall 2020. It is the recommendation of the math department that students in either situation withdraw from the class rather than request P/F grading.

4. Below is a summary of grade requirements for some common math classes/sequences. Note: in what follows, MAT 100/P means MAT 100 or MAT 100P. The following sequences have no grade restriction for progression:

     • MAT 100/P → MAT 103, MAT 100/P → MAT 105, MAT 100/P → MAT 107

The following sequences require a C- or better to progress:

     • MAT 100/P → MAT 108
     • MAT 100/P → MAT 112
     • MAT 105 → MAT 106
     • MAT 112 → MAT 120, MAT 122, MAT 125, or MAT 139
     • MAT 122 → MAT 150 → MAT 151 → MAT 252

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 programs/majors/minors.  See Important Considerations above for a special note regarding Mathematics courses.  For graduate students, any undergraduate courses listed in your program that you are required to take to strengthen your academic background are not eligible for pass-fail.

All Honor’s College (HON) courses are ineligible for pass/fail.

College of Arts & Sciences

  • Bilingual Multicultural Education/TESOL

TSL 315

TSL 418

TSL 502

TSL 505

TSL 510

TSL 515

TSL 518

  • Biology

BIO 102

BIO 103

BIO 120

BIO 200

BIO 201

BIO 220

  • Communication

COM 150

COM 210

COM 212

COM 221

COM 258W

COM 302W

COM 333W

COM 350

COM 450

COM 493

  • Computer Science (General)

CSC 152

CSC 207

CSC 212

CSC 229

CSC 235

CSC 265

CSC 330

MAT 100/100P

MAT 112

MAT 122

MAT 150

MAT 151

  • Computer Science (CIS)

CSC 152

CSC 207

CSC 212

CSC 229

CSC 235

CSC 265

CSC 330

MAT 100/100P

MAT 112

MAT 120

MAT 122

  • Computer Science (Graduate)

CSC 535

CSC 540

CSC 563

CSC 568

  • Data Science

MAT 122

MAT 150

MAT 151

MAT 178

MAT 221

MAT 326

MAT 372

  • Earth Science

ESC 200

ESC 201

ESC 205

ESC 220

ESC 312

  • Environmental Studies/Systems and Sustainability/Geography

EVE 491

EVE 532

EVE 534

EVE 540

EVE 551

EVE 552

EVE 589

EVE 590

EVE 598

EVE 599

GEO 290

GEO 369

GEO 490

  • Journalism

JRN 101

JRN 135

JRN 170

JRN 200

JRN 220

JRN 227

JRN 300

JRN 301

JRN 351

JRN 490

  • Mathematics

MAT 122

MAT 150

MAT 151

MAT 178

MAT 221

MAT 250

MAT 252

MAT 326

MAT 360

MAT 372

MAT 375

MAT 378

MAT 408

MAT 480

MAT 488

MAT 494

MAT 496

MAT 499

  • Media Studies

MDS 222W

MDS 324W

MDS 385

MDS 482W

  • Music

MUS 102

MUS 115

MUS 117

MUS 171

MUS 204

MUS 205

MUS 210

MUS 220

MUS 225

MUS 320

MUS 325

MUS 341

MUS 342

MUS 441

MUS 442

  • Physics

MAT 150

MAT 151

MAT 252

PHY 230

PHY 231

  • Psychology

PSY 259

PSY 393

College of Education

  • Educational Leadership 

EDL 680

EDL 681

EDL 683

EDL 684

EDL 685

EDL 687

EDL 687

EDL 688

EDL 801

EDL 802

EDL 803

EDL 804

  • Special Education

SED 365

SED 375

SED 435

SED 449

SED 505

SED 509

SED 527

College of Health and Human Services

  • Athletic Training

HMS 227

HMS 302

HMS 303

HMS 380

HMS 383

HMS 384

HMS 388

HMS 402

HMS 403

HMS 411

HMS 490

  • Athletic Training (Accelerated)

BIO 120

BIO 200

BIO 201

CHE 120

HMS 301

HMS 308

HMS 380

HMS 383

HMS 384

HMS 485

MAT 107

PHY 200

PSY 100

  • Communication Disorders

CMD 200

CMD 201

CMD 203

CMD 317

CMD 319

CMD 320

CMD 321

CMD 418

CMD 419

CMD 420

CMD 461

CMD 503

CMD 527

CMD 531

CMD 537

CMD 545

CMD 550

CMD 551

CMD 560

CMD 561

CMD 562

CMD 564

CMD 568

CMD 569

CMD 583

CMD 627

ENG 112

  • Exercise and Sport Science

BIO 100

BIO 120

BIO 200 

BIO 201

CHE 120

HMS 160

HMS 281

HMS 282

HMS 283

MAT 107

MAT 122

PCH 200

PHY 103

PSY 100

  • Exercise and Sport Science (Human Performance)

BIO 100

BIO 120

BIO 200 

BIO 201

CHE 120

HMS 160

HMS 281

HMS 282

HMS 283

MAT 107

MAT 122

PCH 200

PHY 103

PSY 100

  • Exercise Science K-12

HMS 191

HMS 291

HMS 293

HMS 350

HMS 394

HMS 400

HMS 495

  • Health Science

BIO 200

CHE 120

ENG 112

MAT 107

PSY 100

  • Nursing

BIO 120

BIO 200

BIO 201 

CHE 120

CHE 125

ENG 112 (or higher)

MAT 107

MAT 108 (or higher)

NUR 340

NUR 341

NUR 342

NUR 343

NUR 344

NUR 420

NUR 421

NUR 423

NUR 425

NUR 426

NUR 428

NUR 430

NUR 431

NUR 432

NUR 442

NUR 457

NUR 459

NUR 460

NUR 468

NUR 469

NUR 498

NUR 500

NUR 514

NUR 516

NUR 519

NUR 520

NUR 521

NUR 524

NUR 526

NUR 535

NUR 536

NUR 540

NUR 800

NUR 801

PSY 100

PSY 219

  • Physical Education

HMS 191

HMS 292

HMS 352

HMS 442

  • Social Work

SWK 490

SWK 804

SWK 805

SWK 806

SWK 820

School of Business

  • Business Administration - Accounting

ACC 310

ACC 311

ACC 350

ECO 270

FIN 300

  • Business Administration - Business Economics

ECO 200

ECO 270

ECO 350

FIN 300

  • Business Administration - Business Information Systems

ECO 270

FIN 300

  • Business Administration - Finance

ECO 270

FIN 300

FIN 340

FIN 341

FIN 347

FIN 401

FIN 432

FIN 435

FIN 450

FIN 456

FIN 460

FIN 470

  • Business Administration - International Business

ECO 270

ECO 350

FIN 300

FIN 347

  • Business Administration - Management

ECO 270

FIN 300

  • Business Administration - Marketing

ECO 270

FIN 300

  • Business Administration - Public Utilities Management

ECO 270

FIN 300

  • Economics

ECO 200

ECO 270

ECO 350