Winter 2020 Student Election of Pass/Fail (no credit) for Undergraduate &
Student Election of Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (no credit) for Graduate Students
Frequently Asked Questions

1. When will I be able to make the choice to switch my courses from letter grades to pass/fail?

Students can switch all, some, or none of their courses to pass/fail beginning Thursday, March 26, 2020. The online form can be accessed via

2. What is the deadline to switch my courses to pass/fail?

Students must make their elections for pass/fail by the deadline of May 8, 2020. This will allow students approximately 9 days after final grades are posted in SIS on April 29, 2020 to make their decision. Students are highly encouraged to speak with their academic or faculty advisor before making that decision.

3. Are all courses able to be switched to pass/fail?

No. Individual schools and colleges have identified certain courses that are not able to be converted to pass/fail. If you are enrolled in such a course, it will not be listed in your dashboard for you to elect the pass/fail option. Professional Advisors will have access to the complete list of excluded courses. Please consult your advisor if you have a question about why a course is not showing up on your dashboard.

4. Can I pick and choose which courses I switch to pass/fail or is it all or nothing?

You may choose which courses you switch: one, any, or all.

5. Will I be able to change my mind later if I switch to pass/fail grading now?

Students will be able to change their selections up until one day after final grades are posted to SIS: April 30, 2020 at 11:59 PM. After this date, any elections a student makes will be final and unable to be changed.

6. What are some possible benefits of switching my courses to pass/fail as an undergraduate student or satisfactory/unsatisfactory as a graduate student?

  • Students should consult with their faculty members and advisors if they are considering opting into the pass/fail grading model. Here are two examples of students the election might benefit:
  • A student may be interested in electing a “Pass” (“Satisfactory” for graduate) if they are concerned they will get a C or B in the course and do not want it to affect their GPA, if they maintain an A average GPA. 
  • A student might feel like opting into the “Pass” or “Satisfactory” option allows them to reduce their concern about a grade in the course and focus on other more pressing concerns happening in their life. 

7. What are some possible risks of switching my courses to pass/fail? 

  • Some graduate school programs may require letter grades to be reported in all semesters on a transcript.
  • If an undergraduate student is going to finish a course with a D, they may not want to opt into the pass/fail grade mode because it will appear on the transcript as a F. With the F on the transcript you would not be able to count it as a prerequisite for another course or fulfill any requirement that could met with a D or better. Some courses require a prerequisite of a C or better, a P will fulfill this. 
  • Similarly, if a graduate student is going to pass the course with a B-, they may not wish to opt into the satisfactory/unsatisfactory because a B- or below is considered unsatisfactory/no credit under this policy.
  • Some programs require a specific grade or above to move onto the next course in the sequence. The “Pass” grade will indicate a C or better grade for undergraduate students. The “Satisfactory” grade will indicate a B or better grade for graduate students.

8. How will pass/fail courses transfer from UM-Flint or to other schools?

You should consult your school of choice to see how the transfer credit will be accepted. 

9. Will courses that are graded as pass/fail affect my GPA?

No. Any course that is taken as pass/fail will not be counted toward your semester or overall GPA. 

10. What is the difference between receiving an E or a “Fail”?

The difference between letter grade “E” and “F” (fail) is that E is 0.0 and calculated into GPA. F is fail/no credit and not calculated into GPA.

11. Has the drop deadline been extended through a special schedule adjustment period for Winter 2020?

Yes. The drop deadline for Winter 2020 has been extended to April 17, 2020. Students who drop their courses will not be eligible for tuition reimbursement. 

12. Are other Michigan public universities offering their students to switch to pass/fail as well?

Yes, all of the fifteen other public Michigan universities are currently offering some variation of a pass/fail option to their winter 2020 students.

13. Will Pass/Fail be an option for Spring and Summer 2020?

This has not currently been decided.

14. Will this affect my financial aid?

If you receive financial aid, even though P/F or S/U courses are not used to determine your overall GPA, the grade in these courses can affect your satisfactory academic progress.

15. What happens if I elect P/F in a course I am repeating?

If you are repeating a course this semester and you switch that course to P/F, the letter grade you previously earned will be excluded from your GPA. The P or F grade you receive will replace the prior grade.

16. Will this affect my eligibility for Honors or Dean’s List?

While counting toward the degree, P/F courses will not be used to determine your overall GPA. Therefore, P/F courses will not affect GPA calculations for Honors and Dean’s List.

17. How will this affect my benefits as a military veteran?

Please contact the Student Veteran’s Resource Center before you choose the P/F or S/U option.

18. Will taking a course P/F still count for my major, minor, or for general education?

Yes. For winter 2020 only, any course for which you elect P/F grading will count toward your academic programs and/or for general education.

19. Does election of P/F count toward my lifetime maximum limit of P/F courses?

Courses elected for P/F grading in winter 2020 will not be counted toward your lifetime limit of 4 P/F courses.

20. What grades constitute a "pass" or "satisfactory" and what grades constitute a "fail" or "unsatisfactory"?

Pass = C or better

Fail = C- or below

Satisfactory = B or better

Unsatisfactory = B- or below


Last updated 4/28/2020 at 12:00 p.m. by LAM.