Coronavirus Update

April 17, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions for Current Students Regarding Pass/No Credit Options Spring 2020


COVID-19 has had a severe impact on the academic, personal and professional lives of the entire BSU community. While we expect students to continue to pursue learning and to finish the semester strong, we hope that allowing the Pass/No Credit option for all classes will be helpful.

Please read ALL FAQs carefully.  If you have a question that is not addressed here, please email 


What is the Pass/No Credit grading option? 

Pass/No Credit is an option that converts the letter grade you earn in a class to Pass - “P” or No Credit - “NCR” on your transcript. This option has previously been referred to as Pass/Fail. Students also have the option to Withdraw from a course and receive a “W” on your transcript.


Will Pass/No Credit be optional, or will all classes be graded using Pass/No Credit this semester? 

All undergraduate and graduate students have the option to change their grading modality to Pass/No Credit for any number of classes.  Each student must determine whether you want to receive the standard letter grade or a Pass/No Credit for each class.  The letter grade will automatically be assigned unless the student chooses the Pass/No Credit or Withdraw option.    


How will Pass and No Credit Grades be determined? 

Pass (P) grades will be assigned for earned grades of C or above for Undergraduate students and B or above for Graduate students. Pass grades will receive course credit. No-Credit (NCR) grades will be assigned for earned grades of D, F, or FN for Undergraduate students, and C, D, F or FN for Graduate students. The student will receive no credit for the course.  We strongly advise that students continue with the current letter grade until they are able to assess their comfort level with the remote delivery mode, their expectations for the class, and whether or not there may be some reason that would make Pass/No Credit an unacceptable option.   


Will the Pass/No Credit grade affect my GPA? 

Pass/No Credit grades will not count in the student’s GPA.  


What is the timeline and process for requesting a Pass/No Credit grade or a W? 

Any student wishing to change to the Pass/No Credit option or to Withdraw from a course must do so through the Registrar’s Office by May 1, 2020.  The process for requesting any of these options can be found here.


Can I change my mind after requesting the Pass/No Credit option? 

No, once you have requested that your final grade be converted to Pass/No Credit, and your request has been accepted, you cannot change to opt for a letter grade.  


Will Pass/No Credit grades count in my GPA and will I receive course credit for them? 

Classes to which you have requested to apply the Pass/No Credit option are not calculated in your GPA and will therefore not affect your GPA.  Undergraduates will receive course credit  for Pass (P) grades of A, B, or C and no credit (NCR) for a D, F, or FN.  Graduate students will receive credit for a P grade of A or B and NCR (no credit) for a C or below. 


What if I just need credit for a course and am not concerned about the impact on my GPA? 

If you are able to receive credit for a course with a grade of D and are not concerned about the impact on your GPA, then it is best to opt for a letter grade in that class.  Anything below a C with the Pass/No Credit option is considered no credit (NCR) so you would have to repeat the class for credit. 


Why isn’t a “D” converted to “P” in the Pass/No Credit option? 

Most academic majors require a minimum grade of “C” or better in all core course requirements and electives. In order to meet departmental core course requirements, “D” cannot be considered passing in the Pass/No Credit option. 


Are all classes eligible for Pass/No Credit? 

Yes, all courses this semester will be eligible for Pass/No Credit.  It is important to weigh whether or not choosing this option might impact licensure requirements in certain professional areas, so please check with the academic advisor or chair of those programs.  It is still unclear how graduate programs will view the Pass/No Credit grade in the future; however, many institutions across the country are requiring or allowing this option.   


Should I choose to move to the Pass/No Credit option or continue with the standard letter grade mode? 

This is an individual decision each student must make for each class.  Your department Chair, advisor or Retention Coordinator may be able to assist you in thinking through the decision, but it is your decision to make.  Again, we encourage you to continue with the letter grade modality until you have had the time to determine your comfort level with the new remote system and to inform yourself as to whether Pass/No Credit is a good option for you. 


What are some things I should consider before deciding whether to move to a Pass/No Credit grade? 

  • Weigh your options carefully based on where you are in the course.  Review your midterm grade for each course and see if there have been any changes to the syllabus/course requirements that may impact your decision to change your grade to Pass/No Credit.
  • Remember that the Pass/No Credit option does not hurt your GPA but neither does it help it. 
  • If you have a GPA requirement to meet, it might not be in your best interest to change to Pass/No Credit.  The following are areas for which you should seek the appropriate advice:  athletic eligibility, scholarship requirements, graduation requirement (2.0 GPA required), and licensure programs (e.g. Nursing, Education).  If you are unclear please talk with your department chair, academic advisor, financial aid counselor, and/or coach before making your final decision.
  • Although institutions throughout the country are facing similar issues and adopting new grading procedures, it is still unclear about what criteria certain graduate and professional programs may use in the future, so a letter grade may still be in your best interest.


What questions should I ask before choosing the Pass/No Credit option for a class? 

Am I likely to earn an A or B in this class?

If yes, changing to Pass/No Credit eliminates those grades from your GPA. You will lose the opportunity for your hard work to be reflected in your GPA. 


Am I likely to earn a C in this class?

If yes, changing to Pass/No Credit allows you to earn credit for the course, without impacting your GPA. 


Am I likely to earn a D in this class?

If yes, by changing to Pass/No Credit the “D” will be recorded as an “NCR” and not allow you to earn credit, however the GPA will not be impacted. You may have to retake this course if the credit is needed to meet general education requirements. With traditional letter grading a “D” is passing for some general education electives. 

Am I likely to earn an “F” for this class?

If yes, changing to Pass/No Credit will result in an “NCR” for the course, however, your GPA will not be impacted. You may be required to retake this course to meet Departmental requirements and/or SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) for financial aid. 

o   If you are likely to earn an “F”, it may be best to consider changing to “Withdraw” or “Audit.” 


Will choosing the Pass/No Credit option impact my athletic eligibility?

Possibly! Please consult with your athletic coach before choosing the Pass/No Credit option. 


Will choosing the Pass/No Credit option affect graduate school admissions? 

Possibly! Please consult with an academic advisor and any potential graduate programs before choosing the Pass/No Credit option 


What are some examples that might be helpful in evaluating my options? 


Example 1  

I have a 3.5 GPA. I am preparing to apply for graduate schools and am pretty sure I will earn a C in my Spanish course. I want to keep my GPA as high as possible. Because Pass/No Credit will not impact my GPA, this may be the best option for me.  


Example 2 

I am a Criminal Justice major. I am pretty sure I will earn a D in my BIOL 101 class. Since BIOL 101 is not a core requirement, a D is considered passing. If I were to select the Pass/No Credit option, I would fail and not receive credit. 


Has the overall grading scale been changed? 

No, each faculty member is responsible for the grading scale in each class and should share that with students.  Some faculty may opt to adjust their requirements and/or scale to adapt to the new remote teaching environment, so please make certain you are aware of expectations for each course before making a decision about opting for the Pass/No Credit option. 


Will my Department/Major accept “P” for my core requirements? 

Yes. Since only grades of A, B, or C will convert to Pass, all grades of “P” will meet Departmental requirements for a “C” or better in core courses. 


Do I have to continue attending class if I select the Pass/No Credit option? 

Yes, you must continue to attend class and complete assignments even if you select the Pass/No Credit option.  You might put yourself in jeopardy for not passing and, therefore, not receiving credit. 


Does my professor give me a Pass or Fail? 

No. Your professor submits your final letter grade as usual. Your final letter grade is converted to P or NCR by the Registrar’s Office. 


How will taking the Pass/No Credit option impact my financial aid? Will it reduce my award? 

The impact of the Pass/No Credit option will vary based on the situation of the individual student.  If you have additional questions, financial aid counselors are available via 


What happens if I am repeating a course? 

University policy indicates that the most recent grade earned is the grade that counts.  Therefore, the grade from this semester will replace any grade in the same course from a previous semester.  This includes standard letter grades or the Pass/No Credit grade.  For example, if you failed a class last semester, repeated it this semester, and opted for Pass/No Credit grade, the former F would still show on your transcript but would no longer be calculated in your GPA.  The Pass or No Credit from this semester would show on your transcript as well but would have no impact on your GPA because these grades are not calculated positively or negatively into your GPA.  However, if you do not receive a Pass grade (the equivalent of a C or above) you will still not receive credit for the class.