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Pass/Fail Privilege – Policy and Process
All undergraduate students are eligible to take an elective course on a pass/fail basis if they request the option prior to the deadline and are in good academic standing at the time they request pass/fail.
The following conditions apply to pass/fail courses:
- Deadline to apply: Students may submit pass/fail requests via their Student Center from the time that they register until midnight on the Friday at the end of the fourth week of fall and spring semesters. (For modular and summer session courses, pass/fail requests must be submitted by midnight Friday of the week in which the session is one-fourth completed). The deadline for requesting the pass/fail option is posted on the Office of the Registrar website.
- Elective courses only: CALS may reject pass/fail requests for courses listed as fulfilling requirements in DARS, but it is the student’s responsibility to be sure that the requested course is an elective. Courses taken on a pass/fail basis will not count for specific university, college, major, or certificate requirements even if they would normally count toward such requirements.
- Limits on pass/fail courses per term: Undergraduates may carry one course on a pass/fail basis per term. The summer sessions collectively count as a single term.
- Limits on pass/fail credits total: Undergraduates may have a maximum of 16 credits taken pass/fail during their undergraduate career.
The pass/fail option is a student’s choice, and the instructor submits the final grade for the course without any knowledge of whether or not a student is taking the course on a pass/fail basis. The letter grade is converted to an S (satisfactory) or U (unsatisfactory). The grade of S shall be recorded in place of instructors' grades of A, AB, B, BC, or C. The grade of U shall be recorded in place of instructors' grades of D or F. Neither the S nor the U is used in computing the grade point average. A student must earn at least a C to receive credit for the course. In addition to the S or U notation, the student transcript includes the symbol # for courses taken on a pass/fail basis.
Process for requesting pass/fail option:
Students can elect a course on a pass/fail basis by making the request in their Student Center in MyUW. Detailed information can be found at Student Center - Course Change Request. Students may submit pass/fail requests via their Student Center from the time that they enroll until midnight on the Friday at the end of the fourth week of fall and spring semesters. (For modular and summer session courses, pass/fail requests must be submitted by midnight Friday of the week in which the session is one-fourth completed.)
CALS students do not need to submit a paper copy of the pass/fail form to CALS Academic Affairs or obtain advisor or dean signatures.
Once the student has submitted their request to take a course on a pass/fail basis, the request is routed to CALS Academic Affairs for approval or further communication with the student. CALS Academic Affairs must approve the request before the grading option is changed to pass/fail by the Office of the Registrar.
Students can see whether a course is being graded on a pass/fail basis in their Student Center.