Spring 2020 Undergraduate Pass/Fail FAQ
Q: My school does not allow first-year students to take classes on a pass/fail basis. Does that rule still apply?
A: No. The pass/fail option will be available for all undergraduate students for the Spring 2020 semester unless the course has already been graded.
Q: My school does not allow students who are on academic probation to take classes on a pass/fail basis. Does that rule still apply?
A: No. The pass/fail option is available regardless of your current academic standing for the Spring 2020 semester.
Q: How will Spring 2020 classes be graded?
A: Faculty members will continue to record letter grades. For any classes for which you select the pass/fail option, any grade of D- or above will be reflected on your record as a P. Any classes for which an F has been assigned will appear as such.
Q: Am I still required to take 12 credit hours on a graded basis?
A: No. You may select the pass/fail grading basis for any and all of your classes for the Spring 2020 semester, unless the class has already been graded. Please keep in mind that you will need to be enrolled in 12 credit hours (regardless of grading basis) in order to maintain full-time enrollment.
Q. Will these courses count against any limits on pass/fail classes?
A: No. Classes for which you select the pass/fail option for the Spring 2020 semester will not count toward any limits on pass/fail classes that your school may have—either semester limits or limits for the undergraduate career.
Q: Does this opportunity have any effect on classes that are set up to be graded as pass/fail (e.g., internships, practica, etc.)?
A: No, these changes to rules and limits associated with pass/fail options do not apply to classes that are set up to be graded as pass/fail.
Q: Will these courses count toward my degree requirements?
A: Yes. If you select the pass/fail grading basis option, the course will count toward all appropriate degree requirements as if you had taken it on a graded basis. This also applies to major/minor requirements. The degree audit will be updated to reflect the change in pass/fail rules for the Spring 2020 semester.
Q: How will the changes to pass/fail affect repeated credit?
A: If you are repeating a course and select the pass/fail grading basis for your repeated course, the grade for your previous attempt will no longer be factored into your GPA and any credits earned will be removed. If you earn a grade of F under the pass/fail option this semester, the F will be factored into your GPA.
Q: What if students require letter grades for professional programs, employment or graduate studies?
A: Because letter grades will be recorded, it will be possible for students to request an official letter attesting those grades should that be necessary. We will ensure that those who need evidence of your academic achievements this spring will be able to get it.
Q: I am considering applying to Law School or Medical School. Can I choose the pass/fail grading basis for my classes?
A: Please speak with your adviser and/or the pre-professional advising resources.
Q: How will this change affect my GPA?
A: The P grade is not counted in the grade point average nor used in the determination of honors. The grade of F earned under the pass/fail option is included in the calculation of the grade point average.
Q: How will this change affect Dean's List for the Spring 2020 semester?
A: Due to the unprecedented circumstances and the impact on students' enrollments for the Spring 2020 semester, the Dean’s List has been suspended for this term.
Q: How will this change affect Latin honors?
A: Any course for which you select the pass/fail grading basis during the Spring 2020 semester will not be factored into the GPA calculations for Latin honors unless you earn an F. Please note that Latin honors for Spring 2020 graduates will be awarded based on the higher of two cumulative GPAs: after Fall 2019 or after Spring 2020.
Q: If I receive a high final grade in a course that I have designated for pass/fail, may I later ask to substitute that grade for the grade of P?
A: No, once you have asked for pass/fail status in a course, you cannot later change to a letter grade.
Q: If I select pass/fail grading for a class during the Spring 2020 semester, will I be able to repeat the course for a letter grade in a future semester?
A: Yes, as long as you meet all other requirements for repeating a course, you will be able to repeat a course in a future term for which you select the pass/fail grading option during the Spring 2020 semester.
Q: Are these changes to the pass/fail rules permanent?
A: No, these changes are for the Spring 2020 semester only due to the impact of COVID-19.
Q: What is the deadline for selecting pass/fail options for my Spring 2020 class schedule?
A: The deadline is April 10 at 11:59 p.m.
Q: How will I make changes to pass/fail for my Spring 2020 class schedule?
A: You do not need to do anything at this time. You will receive a communication from the Office of the University Registrar on April 6 with instructions on how to make any desired changes to pass/fail grading for your Spring 2020 class schedule in advance of the April 10 deadline.
Q: How will I know which of my Spring 2020 classes can be changed to pass/fail?
A: You will be able to select the pass/fail grading basis for any class that has not already been graded.
Q: Do I have to make all of my pass/fail selections at the same time?
A: No. You do not have to submit all changes at once. You may reenter the application before April 10th at 11:59 p.m. to make additional selections. Classes that already have been changed to pass/fail will appear as not eligible.
Q: How do I know if my selections have been processed?
A: Log into your Academic Record in YES, select Academic Detail, and hover over the triangle warning symbol next to the class you changed. A Pass/Fail Grading Basis message will appear.
Q: Are these changes to pass/fail grading for Spring 2020 also applicable to post-baccalaureate students who are enrolled in undergraduate classes during the Spring 2020 semester?
A: Post-baccalaureate students should check with their school’s Dean’s Office for information on pass/fail options for Spring 2020.
Q: Do the changes to pass/fail grading for Spring 2020 apply to undergraduate students enrolled in post-baccalaureate classes?
A: Yes. Undergraduate students will have the option to select pass/fail grading for any of their classes for which pass/fail grading is an option.
Q: How will the changes to the undergraduate pass/fail grading impact students who participated in Study Abroad programs during the Spring 2020 semester?
A: Students who participated in study abroad programs during the Spring 2020 semester will have their coursework posted to the Vanderbilt transcript with pass or fail grading.
Q: I am an international student. Will changing my classes to pass/fail grading basis for the Spring 2020 impact my visa status?
A: As long as you remain enrolled as a full-time student, changing your enrollments to pass/fail grading basis for the Spring 2020 semester will not impact your status.
Q: I am enrolled at Vanderbilt as a consortium, 3+2, or visiting student. How will the pass/fail option impact my course of study at my home institution?
A: It is important that you contact your home institution to determine if and/or how courses graded on a pass/fail basis can count toward your course of study at your home institution.
Q: Who do I contact I have further questions about the changes to pass/fail options for the Spring 2020 semester?
A: Please contact your school’s Office of Academic Services.
Blair School of Music: email@example.com
College of Arts and Science: firstname.lastname@example.org
Peabody College: email@example.com
School of Engineering: firstname.lastname@example.org