For the spring 2020 semester only, undergraduate students will be permitted to choose the pass/fail grading option for any courses in which they are registered, with the exception of University College online courses.

ALL courses will meet corresponding BArch degree requirements if taken pass/fail; this includes required architecture courses. The deadline to request pass/fail grading is April 10, 2020. The decision may not be rescinded after the deadline.

  • We foresee no NCARB/AXP implications if courses are taken pass/fail, however we encourage students to double-check the licensure requirements of the state in which they plan to take the ARE exam to ensure there are no additional academic requirements. 
  • The School of Architecture is allowing students to take studio-based courses (design studio, thesis, and thesis prep) pass/fail. If you elect to grade a studio-based course pass/fail, a passing grade will meet the grade requirement for that course. 
  • For students currently working toward a minor, any minor requirement met this semester can be taken pass/fail.
  • GPA implications: A grade of PASS functions similar to transfer credit: it is only credit, not a grade. A grade of FAIL is an F and will negatively impact your GPA as any F would.

When faculty enter grades at the end of the semester, they will enter a letter grade even if you choose pass/fail. A grade of “D” or higher will be converted into a PASS and “P” will be recorded on your transcript. A grade of F, will be an F and calculated into your semester and cumulative GPA as an F.

For more questions and answers regarding choosing the pass/fail grade option, please see below.

If you choose to change any of your classes to pass/fail, please complete the Request for Pass/Fail Grading form and email to Karen Baris at kebaris@syr.edu for processing. 

If you would like to discuss this further, please send any quick questions via email kebaris@syr.edu or you are welcome to schedule a remote advising appointment through Orange SUccess. If you do this, please include in your appointment how you plan to contact me (phone or Teams).

Questions and Answers

Q: Would making a class pass/fail affect scholarships or financial aid in any way?
A: Possibly. Most financial aid requires a cumulative GPA. Passes do not affect your cumulative GPA, but Fails do negatively affect your cumulative GPA. Some scholarships require a semester GPA (for example, SU Success scholarship). If you need a certain GPA each semester, you cannot take all of your classes pass/fail this semester. You will need to earn a semester GPA to maintain those scholarships. Please contact your financial aid advisor for specific questions. You can see who your financial aid advisor is in Orange SUccess in your success network.

Q: Will pass/fail affect University Graduation Honors (Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, Summa Cum Laude)?
A:  Graduation honors are based on cumulative GPA. PASS grades will not affect your cumulative GPA (neither up nor down). FAIL grades will. Students can still earn Graduation Honors if classes are taken pass/fail.

Q: Can ENL and WRT classes be pass/fail?
A: YES- this semester only

Q: Can independent studies be pass/fail?
A: YES

Q: Can classes taken in NYC, London and Florence be taken pass/fail?
A: YES

Q: Can ESF classes be taken pass/fail, and those credits apply to an ESF minor?
A: YES

Q: Can summer classes be taken pass/fail?
A: The exception to apply pass/fail classes to your curriculum is being made ONLY for the Spring semester. If you choose to take a summer class pass/fail, those credits can only be applied to the curriculum as Open Elective credit.

Q: Can I choose to have all of my classes this semester pass/fail?
A: YES

Q: Do faculty know if I elected to take their class pass/fail?
A: NO - faculty will enter a letter grade and system will convert to pass/fail

Q: Where do I find the 5-digit number for the form?
A: You can find that 5-digit number on your class schedule in MySlice. Every class has a unique 5-digit class number

Q: My class has a discussion section and a lecture section.  Do I include both sections on the pass/fail request form?
A: YES

Q: How can I confirm the request has been processed?
A: In MySlice, you can view the grading basis of your classes in “View My Grades”. Please allow the University 2-3 weeks to process your request.