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Spring 2020 Pass/Fail Policy FAQ

Below are the answers to the most common questions that we have been receiving regarding the update to the pass/fail policy for the Spring 2020 semester. Some details are still being determine and we will continue to update this page as we receive additional information.

*If you are an international student and have questions about how pass/fail could affect your visa/OPT/CPT, please contact the Office of Global Services (ogs@northeastern.edu) and review their webpage https://international.northeastern.edu/ogs/.

*If you were studying abroad in Sp20, please contact the Global Experience Office (geo@northeastern.edu).

If you do not see the answer to your question below, please reach out to your academic advisor. The answer may be dependent on your particular circumstances.

Q: Where can I find the SP20 Pass/Fail policy/petition for undergraduate students website and form?


You can find this information on the Registrar’s Office website here.

Q: Can I take a major, minor, and/or NUpath requirement as pass/fail?


In SP20: Yes.

Q: How is pass/fail calculated into GPA?


Grades recorded on the basis of the pass/fail system do not figure in the computation of the grade-point average. Satisfactory completion of all courses taken on the pass/fail system is designated on the student’s permanent record by the letter S. Unsatisfactory work is designated by the letter U.  If the course is passed with an S grade, the hours for the course will count toward the total earned hours for the term.  You will not receive credit for classes in with you receive a “U” grade.

Q: What is a passing grade?


You should speak with your professor if you have any questions about what constitutes a passing grade in their course.  Normally you must earn a “D-” or higher but in some cases, such as English Writing (ENGW) courses (I.e. First-Year Writing, Advanced Writing in the Disciplines), language courses, and some major/minor courses, you must earn a “C” or higher in order for the course to count towards its respective requirement.  Again, if you have any question about which grade will earn a pass (“S”), please check with your professor.

Q: What counts as 2 classes?


Any two 4 credit undergraduate courses. 1 credit labs and co-requisites can be “bundled” together with their corresponding 4 credit course and count as 1 pass/fail course.  Students can also choose to not include their 1 credit lab in the pass/fail request.  Students need to list both the course and corresponding lab CRNs on the pass/fail petition if they want both to be pass/fail.

Q: Can I still make Dean’s list if I elect to take two SP20 courses as pass/fail?


Yes.  Normally, students who elect to take a course pass/fail would not be eligible for Dean’s list but that rule is being relaxed for SP20.  Students must still meet the following criteria in order to remain eligible: earn a 3.50 semester GPA or higher, no incomplete grades, no grades below “C-”, not on academic probation for the current term, must be carrying a full academic course load (16 credits or more).