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Pass/Fail

You have three weeks into Fall or Winter term (one and a half weeks into Spring or Summer) to decide whether you want to take a class on a Pass/Fail basis. The Pass/Fail deadline is always the same as the early Drop/Add deadline. But once that deadline has passed, you cannot change the grading basis of the course.  Talk with your advisor if you want some help thinking through this decision.

Why Consider Taking a Class Pass/Fail?

This can be a nice option if you want to take a course that’s not in an area of particular strength for you. Perhaps there’s a Distribution course or an elective that’s really interesting to you, but you don’t have much background in that area. Taking such classes pass/fail allows you to explore without having to worry as much about the grade.

How Does the Pass/Fail Option Work?

Instructors do not know you’re taking their class pass/fail unless you tell them, so they post a “regular grade” (A+ through E).  The Registrar’s Office converts that grade to a “P” or an “F.”  Grades of C- or higher are converted to a P.  Grades below C- are converted to an F and no credit is earned for the course. Either way, it does not figure into your GPA.

How to Take a Class Pass/Fail

Step 1: From your Backpack/Registration page in Wolverine Access select the EDIT tab. 

Step 2: Select the course you wish to edit in the drop down menu and click "Next."

Step 3: Select "Optional Pass/Fail" in the drop down menu next to "Grading" and then click "Next." 

Step 4: Click "Finish Editing" to complete the process.

Need more help?  Watch the video.

Are There Any Restrictions on Pass/Fail?

  • You cannot take courses in your major or minor pass/fail.
  • You cannot take fourth-semester language courses being used to satisfy the LSA Language Requirement pass/fail.
  • You can count a maximum of 30 credits of ungraded work toward your degree. This includes courses that you choose to take Pass/Fail, as well as courses that are mandatory Credit/No Credit and Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.

What Other Factors Should I Consider When Deciding Whether to Take a Class Pass/Fail?

  • It’s not a good idea to take a class Pass/Fail if there’s any chance it could be related to graduate school, professional school, or career plans. Pre-med students, for example, are strongly advised not take any of their science classes Pass/Fail.
  • Consider your personal habits and work style. Will you be tempted to put off or ignore assignments for your Pass/Fail class? You’ll need to be sure you’ll still work hard enough to get the Pass.
  • If you’re sending out a transcript and you want someone to see the grade “under” the Pass, you can pay a fee to have the Registrar prepare a special attachment which will show that grade.

The complete College policies on ungraded coursework can be found here.