Things to consider when thinking about changing your Spring and Summer 2020 grading basis to S/N

The COVID-19 pandemic situation has brought numerous changes and challenges to our everyday lives. If you are considering changing any of your Spring or Summer 2020 courses to S/N grading basis, here are some things you should consider before making your final decision.

The COVID-19 pandemic situation has brought numerous changes and challenges to our everyday lives. Hopefully you are taking care of yourself, finding a groove with alternative instruction courses, spending time resting, and feeling good about your Spring and Summer 2020 courses.

The University has made a number of changes due to this situation, including a temporary change in the grading basis (A-F vs S/N) policy. We in CSE Advising know students have many questions about this change, and want to pass along helpful information for you consider if you are thinking about changing any or all of your courses. You can find those reflection points below. The University has also published a Frequently Asked Questions resource that addresses many common questions.

1) What is motivating you to change your course to S/N? Please remember that in order to earn an S (pass), you would still need to do the same quality of work that would earn a C- in the A-F grading basis. Also, please note that S/N grades do not count into your GPAs. Thus, if it is possible you will get a good grade or at least pass your course(s), we recommend you stick with A-F grading

2) Do you have a good, informed understanding of how you are doing in a course? We strongly recommend you contact your instructor if you have questions about where your grade sits, and what sort of academic work you would have to do to get a good grade over the rest of the semester. With the change in circumstances this semester, your instructor may have changed grading guidelines (though not guaranteed). If you are wanting to do GPA calculations for what the potential outcome of your semester would be with different grades, you can find the U's GPA Calculator here.

3) If you are considering graduate or professional school in the future: It is possible that your intended school will not accept S/N grading for prerequisite courses. While there is a lot up in the air right now globally, historically-speaking, we recommend students considering graduate or professional school in the future keep their major courses A-F. We cannot guarantee who will/will not accept S/N grading. Pre-health students can find guidance from the Pre-Health Student Resource Center here.

4) Pre-major students: Please keep in mind that while a grade of S this semester will fulfill major requirements, it has no weight in your GPAs. That means your other technical courses that you have/are/will take have more weight in your technical GPA for application to the major. Thus, if you can do well in your courses this semester, it could help set a good base for your technical GPA for application to keep A-F.

Please note that as of April 29, 2020, you are able to change a Spring 2020 grade of A-F to S/N by emailing One Stop Student Services ( once your final grade has posted. Final grades are due to records May 18. Once you change your grade to S/N, you are unable to change it back to A-F. Between May 1, 2020 and 11:59p May 22, 2020, to change your grading basis from A-F to S/N, please email with the following information:

  • A statement that you wish to change the grading basis from A-F to S/N
  • Course subject and number (i.e. CHEM 1062)
  • 5-digit Class Number

If you have further questions, please contact your CSE academic advisor. We’re happy to help!