ice of the Registrar

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When can I sign up for a pass/fail course?

During the course change period at the beginning of each semester, you are allowed to add a fifth course on a pass/fail grading basis. One of your five courses must be designated as pass/fail initially, even if you intend to change it to graded at mid-semester. Some courses are not permitted as pass/fail--this will be indicated in the Catalog description or by the instructor in the first class meeting and the Grading Option link will not have pass/fail available when you add or edit a class in PeopleSoft. You will designate in PeopleSoft, which of your five courses is the extra, pass/fail course; you do not need to indicate to the instructor that the course is being taken pass/fail. Pass/fail designation must be done before the end of the drop/add period. To add another pass/fail course beyond the fifth one, you must speak to the Registrar's Office.

In PeopleSoft you can designate a course as pass/fail either when adding or updating classes by navigating to the Add or Edit tab of the Self Service > Enrollment pages. See the PeopleSoft Instructions for more details.

How do I change which course I want graded on a pass/fail basis?

  • If you are changing the PF designation from one course to another, update the Grading option on both. See the PeopleSoft instructions.
  • If you decide to drop one of your four regular courses and keep the fifth PF course, make sure you change the Grading option of your PF course back to Graded so that you have four graded courses.
  • The only time you may make this change is during the drop/add period .

The staff in the Registrar’s Office will be happy to help you if you have problems with making these changes in PeopleSoft.

How do I drop my pass/fail course or change it to regular grading?

Around mid-semester, you will receive an e-mail from the Registrar’s Office, which will provide the option to drop the course from your schedule without penalty, or else to remain in the course for the rest of the semester, either on the pass/fail or regular A-E grading basis. This option is available only for the course, which you designated as your fifth, pass/fail course. If you decide before mid-semester that you want to drop your 5th course, you may do so; please check with the Registrar’s Office for procedures.

May I indicate at the start of the semester that I want the 5th course to be graded?

No, you must sign up for your 5th course on a pass/fail basis according to the faculty’s regulations. This requirement provides you considerable flexibility.

What difference does the grading basis make?

If the course is completed on a pass/fail basis, it will not be used when calculating your GPA and it may not be used to fulfill distribution or major requirements, or to make up an academic deficiency. If you change the course to regular grading, your grade will be used when calculating your GPA and, if the grade received is D- or higher, the course may be used toward fulfilling distribution or major requirements and may be used to make up an academic deficiency from the previous semester. Unless being used to make up an academic deficiency, an extra graded course may not be used as one of the thirty-two semester courses required for the degree.


If you wish to audit a course in addition to your regular semester courses, you should discuss this with the instructor of the course during the drop/add period. The instructor must approve your auditing the course and he or she will decide the level of your participation in the course, e.g., whether or not you should take tests, etc. You may do this without any interaction with the Registrar’s Office. You should not add the course in PeopleSoft.

If you decide during the semester that you cannot continue auditing the course, it would be courteous to inform the instructor. If you continue auditing through the entire semester and want a formal record of the audit to appear on your transcript, you should pick up an audit validation form from the Registrar’s Office during the last week of classes, have the instructor sign the form and return it to the Registrar’s Office before the end of the exam period.

If you are taking a fifth course on a pass/fail basis and decide by mid-semester that you must drop the course but would like to continue in it as an audit, discuss this with the instructor and proceed as above in auditing the course, but remember to drop the course as a pass/fail course.

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