Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grading Policy

  • Registration and Records
Responsible Unit Office of Registration and Records
Responsible Cabinet Member VP for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs
Adoption Date 2014-07
Last Revision Date
Last Review Date

Policy Statement

Students may take some courses graded only as satisfactory or unsatisfactory according to the rules stated in this policy.


There are no definitions for this policy at this time.

Policy Procedures

At the undergraduate level:

Undergraduates may occasionally want to take an elective course without risking a negative effect upon their grade point average (GPA). Students who have accumulated at least 54 credits (junior status), may take a maximum of one course on a Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory basis each semester (for a total of four semesters).

Here are a few other points to remember about the S/U option:

  1. It is very important to note that students cannot take a course on an S/U basis to meet the requirements of a major, a minor, certification or professional areas, or the General Education program. Students can take a course in a major or minor on an S/U basis, however, if it is over and above the minimal requirements. (In this case, the course is no different than any other elective that might have been chosen.)

  2. Students can choose the credit option (S/U or letter grade) at the time of registration but can also change it later if it is submitted to the Office of Registration and Records before the end of the late add period. After that, the option cannot be changed and this policy is rigidly enforced. For a change in credit type (S/U to letter grade and vice versa); students must come in, email or fax the request for a change in credit option to the Office of Registration and Records before the end of the late add deadline. (See Dates and Deadlines at

  3. The credit received in courses graded on the S/U option counts toward graduation requirements, but has no effect on the grade point average since the credit is non-indexable (carries no quality points.)

  4. The student’s right to choose an S/U option is in addition to any courses that are offered only on an S/U basis.

  5. The S/U option is sometimes confusingly referred to as “Pass/Fail.” This turns out to be a very misleading mistake. If students choose the S/U option, they receive a grade of “S” for work completed that the instructor decides is the equivalent of a letter grade of “C” or higher. If the instructor evaluates the work at a grade of “C-” or lower, the student will receive a “U” and will not receive credit for the course. In a graded course, the “D-” grade, while denoting poor quality work, is still a passing grade.

At the graduate level:

A limited number of Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory grades, not to exceed nine credits, may be used in specified courses and teacher education practica at the 500 or 600 levels with departmental approval. Additional credits on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis may be taken at a 700 level or above with departmental approval. At the graduate level, an “S” grade indicates that work completed is at least “B” quality; an “S” grade has no effect on the grade point average since the credit is non-indexable (carries no quality points.)

Links to Related Procedures and Information

 There are no links for this policy at this time.

Contact Information

 There is no contact information for this policy at this time.

History (in descending order)

Item Date Explanation
Next Review Date 2019-07 Five-year review
Adoption Date 2014-07 Policy Adopted
Draft Review Date   Draft Policy under 30-day Campus Review


There are no approvals for this policy at this time.