Policies Governing Pass/Fail

In registering for courses, students may choose between normal grading status (receiving a letter grade) and pass/fail.

  • In courses taken on a pass/fail basis, a passing letter grade (any grade above an F, including a D) assigned by the instructor is converted to P by the Registrar's Office and entered on the student's transcript. P is not calculated into the cumulative average, but an F is entered as a 0.0 and does affect the grade point average. Instructors are not informed by the Registrar as to who is enrolled on a pass/fail basis.
  • Courses taken to fulfill any Foundational Approach Requirement, the Sector Requirement, the Major Requirement or a minor cannot be taken pass/fail.
  • College students may take no more than 8 c.u. pass/fail, though the College generally recommend against this many.
  • Students may change the grading status of a course from normal to pass/fail (or vice versa) in Path@Penn through the end of the ninth week of the semester or just before Advance Registration, whichever comes first. See the Academic Calendar for exact dates.

First-year students are strongly advised not to take courses on a pass/fail basis.

Any courses taken on a pass/fail basis that are later certified by the department or program as being part of a major or minor will be uncovered upon graduation.

Please note the exception to this policy for spring and fall 2020 and spring 2021.

All courses taken for a major must be taken for a letter grade, not pass/fail. Some departments have a minimum grade requirement for all courses within the major.

Please note the exception to this policy for spring and fall 2020 and spring 2021.